To be clear, my VHS copy is the Paragon release. I would like to check out the Video Movies release and I have two different versions of the film on DVD. The cover art screamed, “PICK ME UP!” on the shelf of my local Mom and Pop video store when I was a kid. There are a few different covers for the film but the Paragon is the best copy and it’s uncut. It’s quite the underrated slasher that’s fun for everyone! I’ve read both negative and positive reviews for this film. I agree with both sides except that the score is lame. I enjoyed the score. What the hell was wrong with it? Some slashers are an acquired taste. Especially, if you’re not a big horror fan or you only dig mainstream horror films and terrible remakes. For those of us that actually grew up obsessing over the horror section in our local Mom and Pop video stores, it’s pure gold. Sleazy, trashy, exploitative golden shit. Savage Weekend is not the best slasher ever made but it’s every bit as entertaining as the best in show. Okay, some critics have called it boring and there isn’t a lot of blood spillage or detached limbs but people say the same thing about Halloween and it’s considered to be the best slasher of all time.
The story follows a group of friends and adulterers in a small, hillbilly town. If you have seen Deliverance, I’m sure you know where this is going, minus the banjo and butt sex. There’s no character development and the entire group seems to have some deep seeded sexual issues, the heroine most definitely. What is Marie’s deal? She’s kind of a whore and still lusts after her estranged husband, who also has problems. The most alarming scene would be when she’s stroking the cow’s teet in a very sexually awkward manner. That scene had me feeling a little uneasy. Her sister just lies around naked (oh we get plenty of nudity in this feature) in the grass then allows Jay to put his penis (we see it from afar) in her vagina right there on the grass for Mother Nicky’s viewing pleasure. Fairy boy Nicky seems to have some weird jealousy ‘thing’ with Jay and Shirley’s relationship. I don’t get it, he’s gay but lusting after Shirley? As he watches them have sex, he squeezes on a barb wire fence. He squeezes so hard that his hands begin to bleed. In another scene, Shirley is doing a sexy dance in her undies for Nicky as he follows her around.
Other than the sexy burlesque, my favorite scene is undoubtedly the bar scene where the sexy queer beats up a few rednecks. He even tells a guy he will make a bloody Mary out of his face. I love how he just strolls on in there in his shorts looking as gay as possible and batting eyes at the bartender, who doesn’t know how to make a Martini. Mother Nicky grew up in the Bronx so he knows how to squabble.
The editing is absolutely atrocious. I lost count but there are a few scenes where the boom mic makes an appearance. Seriously, the editor and director watched this in the editing room and thought, “This looks good.” Did they notice this and decide to keep it in there anyway?
The plot twist wasn’t too surprising for me. When I watch horror films, I try to remember all the characters introduced, what motive they may have, and where they are at the time of the murders. I also try to remember that there are red herrings in every single horror movie. Always suspect the most obvious but also keep them on the back burner because the filmmaker may just be fucking with you.
Caitlin O’Heaney is such an underrated actress that didn’t get enough work in the 80s. She’s gorgeous, sexy, and knows how to dance. I tried to find a clip of her doing her sexy burlesque dance on You Tube but I could only find a clip of the very end of this dance routine. You may remember O’Heaney as the lead actress in “He Knows You’re Alone” and Miss Farmer in Three O’Clock High. Yancy Butler makes an appearance as a young girl in the film. Christopher Allport stole the show as Mother Nicky. I don’t know if he was gay in real life but he sure as hell put on a great performance as the token fruit basket. Unfortunately, this amazing actor died from a skiing accident in 2008. I don’t know how many times I have to read about celebrities dying in ski accidents along with people in general. Just don’t ski. Allport was also in Dead and Buried, another fun horror film, To Live and Die in LA, Invaders From Mars, several episode of Dynasty, Jack Frost I and II. Does anyone know what happened to the star Marilyn Hamlin? She just completely fell off the radar and had a very minuscule career as an actress.
The lovable William Sanderson plays, are you ready for this? OTIS! That’s such a typically name for a hillbilly in horror films. Not every jack ass living in the country is named Otis. Gosh. Any who, True Blood will recognize Sanderson as Bud. The once lovable town Sheriff and now very dead racist and vampire hater dating the mule that ran the modern day KKK in Louisiana. Some of you might also recognize Sanderson from the Newhart show and Blade Runner! Blade Runner happens to be one of the best films of all time.
Director David Paulsen was a writer and director on television shows Dynasty and Dallas. He is also responsible for Schizoid, another favorite obscure film of mine. If you ever pay attention to Paulsen’s dialogue, he plays against the rules. Especially, for the horror/slasher genre.
Savage Weekend is far from a masterpiece but a must for slasher fans. You don’t want to miss out on this titty fest! Gore fans may be a little disappointed. Also, handlebar mustaches are not sexy.