As urban legends of extreme cinema spread, filmmakers—some credited, some pseudonymous—unabashedly exploited the “real or faked?” quandary/queasiness, daring viewers to watch a grisly exposé of a murderous cult in South America (“where Life is CHEAP!” huffed the poster) that purportedly killed unsuspecting actors live on camera. Newly shot footage was stitched in with repurposed excerpts of Findlay’s 1971 The Slaughter. “Banned” in New York… until now, at least.
Print courtesy of the American Genre Film Archive
A surprise hit that should have been a sure failure, Snuff is a masterpiece of exploitation marketing. The film itself is among the worst ever made- dull in parts, laughable in others, but while the big “snuff” climax of the film doesn’t come close to realistic, the verite cinematography and mondo-style filmmaking, combined with the abrupt ending (supposedly running out of film) still ends up haunting me far more than much better horror movies. An exploitation essential. -Kevin Bahr, front of house staff