(This "Re-Post Series" is a re-introduction of older writings created for a now-defunct blog from 2011. Still some interesting stuff, though! Beware, some of the old links may or may not still work).
So I was at my pal and co-producer Peter Speers’ place yesterday picking up the final video exports of our recent double-feature, when I’m snooping across his bookshelves and I come across a DVD titled “The Severed Arm” from 1973. Now, this DVD wasn’t exactly out in the open. It had been packaged in the cheapest of cheapest slip-covers (actually it was more of a Photoshopped envelope) and had been squeezed in between “Dawn of the Dead” and “Matchstick Men” and I assume completely forgotten about. It was still shrink-wrapped! According to Peter and his girlfriend Jen, neither of them had any clue as to how that DVD had gotten there on their bookshelf. The package promised gory cannibalism and some kick-ass revenge, while on the front of the envelope there was a picture of a hand that likely had no part in the actual film whatsoever with the tagline: “The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing!”. So of course, we watched it.
Turns out this DVD was distributed by some company called “Dollar DVD”. I assume it had cost a dollar, but there was no price tag on it, even though it was still wrapped. So we throw it into the DVD player, and The Severed Arm starts off in a dimly-lit morgue, where some disguised antagonist saws the arm off of a corpse and then sends it out “Special Delivery” (not kidding – that’s what the package actually said) through the US postal service to our protagonist. From there, it’s pretty much a tedious 85 minutes showing us a complete lack of gore, horror, suspense, competent acting, and for the most part even a heavy lack of exploitation, until we (finally) get to the end, where there’s a lame-ass twist (the killer isn’t who we thought it was, it was somebody you never even knew existed!) coupled with a pretty good revenge twist… if only we got to see it, that is, instead of simply listening to the characters talk about it.
Well, the beer helped, that was for sure. The only fun part was watching it with a couple of friends, and I suppose that’s what these flicks are all about, anyway (although back in ’73 I assume we would’ve been watching it at the drive-in). Still, I wondered who was responsible for this schlock? Some of the credits at the end of the film seemed made-up, but I can’t be certain. Apparently the director also made a movie called “Coed Dorm”. Not much else to go on.
Till the next one, then…