Quick “review”: Snuff (1976)

Synopsis: A group of murderous, Manson Family-esque hippies, led by a charismatic cult leader, wanders the countryside in search of thrills. After following the gang as they terrorizing numerous folks and nubile females, the film then switches gears and becomes a “documentary” of a young women being “killed” by the film’s crew – an alleged actual snuff film.

Controversy: Exploitation-cinema legends Roberta and Michael Findlay had gone down to Argentina to film a quick-and-dirty movie that would cash in on the Helter Skelter craze, titled Slaughter. The result was essentially deemed unreleasable – then distributor Allen Shackleton had the “bright” idea of filming a fake killing, tacking it on the end of the movie and starting rumors that this was the real deal. Doubling down on the urban-legend ballyhoo and renaming the result Snuff (“Shot in South America, where life is cheap!”), he then hired fake protestors to picket in front of theaters and faux-FBI agents to question patrons. Soon, genuine Women’s Rights Groups joined in to denounce the film as misogynistic, real-life cops begin investigating the authenticity of the “murder on camera” claims and New York’s district attorney considered prosecuting a theater owner who was showing it. Variety eventually exposed it as a hoax.

Rating: 6


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