Savage Weekend Film Details
Overview: Several couples head upstate to the country to watch a boat being built. Unfortunately they are stalked by a murderer behind a ghoulish mask.
Tagline: You have been chosen. You are doomed. Prepare for…. SAVAGE WEEKEND
Review: On of the most unusual 70s horror films, Savage Weekend is a truly remarkable movie from an era made in which filmmakers were allowed to get away with in your face political incorrectness. Whether it’s a scene of erotic cow milking, a nude woman being tortured with a branding iron, or a man in a boat ripping his girlfriend’s bikini top off followed by a man in a bed ripping HIS girlfriend’s nightgown off, Savage Weekend might cause you want to take a shower afterwards. Director David Paulsen seems to shoot the film with a European sensibility, and it’s pretty clear that Bava’s classic Bay of Blood had a HUGE influence in this film. The movie begins with a woman in a blood splattered white gown running through the woods from a killer. We then cut to four friends preparing for a weekend incursion in the country. Marie, Shirley, Robert, and Jay are heading upstate with Nicky, their friend, for some fun. Marie’s estranged husband Greg is staying behind, as he has been having all sorts of personal problems recently. The group arrives at their lodging to find a bat nailed to the door. They unwisely laugh it off. The next morning the five are busying themselves with various activities: Marie and her male friend are fishing with a local, Shirley is frolicking naked in the field and Nicky is room to the radio. Otis, a very disturbed man, is in a graveyard yelling about boats. Back in the fishing boat, we learn from a local that Otis once locked a female cousin in a neck-vice and branded her. No one seems worried at all. Meanwhile Jay comes across a VERY naked Shirley in the field and the two engage in the first of what is to be many soft core encounters featured in this film. We move onto some plot development; mostly odd tidbits of the town the five friends are spending time in. Marie and Robert aren’t really concerned, and proceed to go at it like rabbits. The next day, Marie makes a move on the local who took them fishing, caressing his arm. Even though he was earlier flirting with her, he winds up spurning her advances, sending Marie away. We cut to a POV of the killer walking through the house, rifling through the visitors’ belongings. We find a fright mask that Shirley picked up at the market and puts it on. And this all takes place in this first 25 minutes! As you can see, there’s a lot going on here. Does it have its flaws? Sure. There are quite a few plot holes here. Then there is the fact that a very large chunk of this film is just the couples going at it. During the scenes when the cast members aren’t having sex, the director reminds us that he is not exactly thinking with his, um, head. I’m not complaining though. In fact, it can be argued that the film most comes alive during its numerous scenes of bare flesh. It’s worth noting that the two lead actresses in the film spend the majority of Savage Weekend in either their bikinis, underwear, or no clothing at all. The sexiest scene by far occurs about 15 minutes into the movie. Marie is sunbathing on a canoe with two male friends, and the camera suddenly zooms in on her sprawled body. Beginning at her lower legs, which are suspiciously spread wide open, the camera slowly pans over her form, lovingly surveying every square inch of skin. The director is practically lying his camera on top of actress Mailyn Hamlin’s body here. I am not going to lie to you–I wore out my old VHS tape from playing this scene on my VCR one too many times. It is a classic scene where David Paulsen quickly points out not just what he as a director and the character of the two sexually frustrated men focus on but also the audience themselves. He uses this scene to immediately point out that the audience is just as fascinated with sex and the female form as he is and most importantly that there isn’t any shame in it. This film is a bit long winded and slow moving, but it never loses you. For the most part, though, it is the cast that really makes this film succeed so well. They’re are all fascinating, some of the most memorable I have ever seen in a film. While all of the casts give good performances Marilyn Hamlin as Marie steals the show as a woman so brazen that she even shocks the men around her. She becomes aroused by the sick tale told by Mac about Otis and his twisted past, then has sex right after wards! I was equally impressed with Christopher Allport as the flamboyant Nicky. He’s hilarious in a few scenes, and I found it interesting that the filmmakers portrayed a gay man as being so tough as opposed to the common stereotype of a cringing weakling. William Sanderson is frightening as the disturbed Otis, and it’s no surprise that he became such a prolific actor following his skillful performance here. However, the true star of the show here is the location. The director brilliantly captures the lakes, hills, woodlands, and surrounding nature of upstate New York that you might want to pay it a visit just by watching this movie. Despite all of it’s flaws, Savage Weekend is undeniably entertaining, frequently imaginative, and quite memorable. It’s an absolute must for people who love horror films that take place in rural and rustic settings. I am highly recommending it as an underrated gem of a movie that has so much going on that it makes most current horror films feel uninspired and bland in comparison.
Duration: 88 min
Also known as: A Hora do Calafrio,Дикий уик-энд,Ena Savvatokyriako gemato erota,The Upstate Murders,Salvaje fin de semana,Savage Weekend,El asesino tras la máscara,The Killer Behind the Mask,Un Week-end Infernal,Killer hinter der Maske