‘The film that could only be made in South America… where life is CHEAP!’
Snuff is a 1976 American horror feature film and is most notorious for being marketed as if it were an actual snuff film. Its release contributed to the urban legend of snuff films, although the concept did not originate with it.
The film started out as a low-budget gore film titled Slaughter which was written and directed by the husband-and-wife grindhouse filmmaking team of Michael Findlay and Roberta Findlay.
Filmed in Argentina in 1971 on a budget of roughly $30,000, it depicted the actions of a Manson-esque murder cult, filmed mainly in silence due to the actors understanding very little English. Film financier Jack Bravman (Zombie Nightmare) received an out-of-court settlement from American International Pictures (AIP) so the latter could use the title for the 1972 Jim Brown action movie of the same name.
Independent low-budget distributor and sometime producer Allan Shackleton took the film and shelved it for four years—but was inspired to release it with a new ending, unbeknownst to the original filmmakers, after reading a newspaper article in 1975 on the rumour of snuff films produced in South America and decided to cash in on the urban legend. He removed the credits and added a new ending, filmed in a vérité style by Simon Nuchtern (not director Carter Stevens as is often cited), in which a woman is brutally murdered by a film crew. The new footage purportedly showed an actual murder and was spliced onto the end of Slaughter with an abrupt edit…
On October 22nd 2013, Snuff was released on Blu-ray by Blue Underground as an extras packed disc, starting out in a limited-edition “blood-red” case available only with the first pressing.
“Clever promotion turned this incompetent gore quickie into one of the most controversial movies ever … With virtually no nudity, the incoherent effort works strictly as a spectacle of amateurishly staged violence using animal entrails and crude effects in the style of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ films.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror
“Now, by today’s standards, the gore effects aren’t THAT impressive. However, if I was watching this on a grainy or badly copied VHS I would have shit my pants as throughout the entire sequence both the male and female actors performances make it seem so plausible. See this movie for the history, nothing more.” 42nd Street Cinema
“The Manson/biker stuff is a snooze, despite the leader being named “Satan” and the money shot at the end is just bogus, it’s laughably, charmingly so. As a cultural phenomenon, though, Snuff obliterated obstacles that might have stood in the way of other emerging artistic transgressions. Never look down upon the origins of your extremes.” Mike “McBeardo” McFadden, Heavy Metal Movies
” …a trailblazer, a very awful, boring, tasteless and deceitful, trailblazer.” Kindertrauma