Friday, January 7, 2011

The (A?) Severed Arm (1973)

Netflix and IMDB can't seem to agree about what this movie is actually called.  Netflix says A Severed Arm and IMDB says The Severed Arm.  Since I'm laid up on the couch all weekend due to a severed foot (see how I played that?) I think it's only apt that I start my weekend movie marathon with this nonsense.

I've seen lots of revenge movies but I don't think any have dealt with someone coming back for revenge after his friends chop off his arm and snack on it.  But such is this movie.  A group of middle-aged weekend warriors go off exploring an abandoned mine.  The mine collapses and the men are trapped inside.  Fast forward and we discover it's been seven days that they are trapped.  Another flash forward, and it's been two weeks.  I'm finding this slightly unbelievable already, because they mentioned at the start that they had very little water.  So I'm not sure how it would have lasted for two weeks, but whatever.

Anyway, they decide that the best way to survive would be to eat only pieces of each other instead of an entire person.  So they draw straws to see who the unlucky bastard to become the first course will be.  The guy who gets picked cries and whines so much that they decide to put the operation off for another couple of hours.  But finally they hold him down and go for it, when ironically help shows up right after they hack it off.  They make up some story about the person losing his arm in the cave-in, claiming that he is delirious and making up stories about them trying to eat him.  As he's lifted in the ambulance, he claims, "I'll never forget."  And so it begins.

The remaining survivors of the cave-in are being stalked by an unknown person (or people mwahahaaha) and they are trying to solve the mystery without involving the police.  The "stalking" is really not that scary at all and pretty much involves notes on the bathroom mirror and half-assed phone calls.  The "twist" is pretty predictable but the ending pretty sick and almost Saw-like.

The acting in this movie is pretty horrendous and it's dark for pretty much the whole time, making it hard to see what the hell is going on.  There was pretty much zero gore in this terms of the deaths and "attacks," the camera just kind of cut away while they were doing it.  The electronic music gets super-annoying after a while, but hey, that's the 70s for you.  I won't say that this movie is as awful as some people make it out to be, but I wouldn't recommend it.  It definitely had a lot of potential, but unfortunately could not follow through on it.