CLAW OF TERROR (1973)
posted 02/07/2013

Directed by:
Marc B. Ray

Starring:
Fred Holbert ... Matthew
Leigh Mitchell ... Vera / Daisy Parsons
Robert Knox ... Mack Parsons
Ron Bastone ... Sailor

Country: USA
Runtime: 90 min
Original title: Scream Bloody Murder
AKA: Matthew
The Captive Female
     
         
   

Claw of Terror aka Scream Bloody Murder is a god-awful piece of thrash we dug up for the site. It’s vile and depressing. It is kind of frightening to think someone so disturbed like this should be running around on a delusional homicidal rampage. We are talking about the main character, Matthew. This guy should have been born and died in an insane asylum. It is creepy because with all the violent headlines in today’s news maybe something like this could really happen. Let me tell you all about it.

As a boy, Matthew runs over his father with a tractor by accident and then the tractor runs over his hand. So now he has no hand and feels the guilt of killing his dad. We then meet up with him as a young adult in an insane asylum where he has a hook for a hand and is being released to meet up with his mother and her new husband. Matthew already doesn’t like having a step dad. He doesn’t want men touching his mom, literally. Arriving home, late one night, he peeps on his folks making out in the woods so he takes an axe to his step dad’s head and tells his mom everything is going to be alright now that he can’t touch her anymore. She replies “I wanted him to touch me!”. This sets him off and he throws his mom down, and she smacks her head against a stone. Kill count: three and more on the way! Matthew leaves home to hitchhike to as far as he can get. He starts hallucinating with visions of his parents in zombie makeup, driving him further over the edge.

Along the way he kills a married couple, preventing the guy from touching his bride. He is not comfortable with men touching women so he’s trouble anyplace he goes. He finds a saucy milf redhead named Vera who in her own words describes herself as “an amateur painter who turns tricks to pay the rent.” Matthew likes this woman but not her tricks! He slit’s the throat of one of her customers, then tries to lure Vera, the prostitute, to be his faux mother, drop her hooking and live with him in a mansion. Of course he has no such place; he’s a deadbeat miserable son of a bitch. He remedies this by killing the inhabitants of a mansion, to shack-up in with his reluctant lady friend and mugs strangers to buy her clothes, groceries and art supplies. Vera has walked into a death-trap but when she tries to flee Matthew ties her up and keeps her captive in the house.

The rest of the film deals with their captor captive relationship. He feeds her spaghetti and threatens to cut her tongue out when she doesn’t want to eat anymore of his stupid cooking. Eventually she’s gonna need a bath and I’m still so pissed off we get no nudity and there were many capable scenes too. So she takes her clothes off and hands them to him. He’s twitching already because he’s never been with a woman and does not want to participate in the things men do with women. She tells him that men like to see her naked but he looks away. After the bath she reminds him that he promised he was gonna fulfill all her needs but he didn’t bargain on sex. They kiss a little but he won’t go further. They have a scuffle and he kills her by opening her throat with his hook. There’s not much gore but a few thin blood slash marks. He begins to have more visions of people in zombie makeup so he runs into a church and kills himself inside; claw to the abdomen.

Matthew makes me sick. This movie is all sorts of creepy because we get to see mental illness unravel in gritty 70s exploitation manner. I’d like to note that it was pretty clever that the actress that played Matthew’s mom in the beginning also plays Vera, the hooker. This is neat because Matthew identifies each woman with his mother. Then again they might have been short on actors. I recommend you watch this movie at least once - who knows - you might get hooked!

- Jorge Antonio Lopez

 

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