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Scum of the Earth

I've been wanting to see Scum of the Earth ever since I saw the trailer for it on the 2-disc Grindhouse Releasing edition of Cannibal Holocaust. When I would casually mention it to people, they would always direct me to Something Weird Video's site and say, "look, you can get it there!" and I would have to say, "no, I can't, because I don't want the H.G. Lewis version, I want the S.F. Brownrigg version also known as Poor White Trash part 2" and they would say, "ohhhhh." But finally, a friend comes through with a copy ripped from a VHS transfer that, according to him, "looked like it was soaked in cat urine for years."

HURRAH! Finally, I get to see this movie I've been antsy about for…a little over a year, I suppose.

Now, I'm not typically into hixploitation, but lately I've been on a bit of a grindhouse/exploit kick and this movie falls right into that sub-sub-genre. In fact, I think it falls somewhere under that sub-sub- genre's fridge and sits there festering for a few years, before someone says, "hoo, what's that stink?" and they find this movie sitting there.

It's greasy. It's grimy. It's sleazy. These characters invented Tobacco Road, then were kicked out for being too trashy. The plot, if you can call it that, involves a young woman named Helen whose husband is axed to death by some mysterious stranger out in the woods. She hightails it into the woods and runs into a guy named Pick. No shit! He brings her home to his family: pregnant wife Emmy, retarded son Bo, and bitch daughter Sarah (pronounced Say-ruh). They all eat some possum, happy ending ensues.

Not really! Helen gets raped by Pick, Bo goes out for help, gets impaled on a graveyard fence by mysterious killer, Say-ruh goes out for Bo, tries to ho it up with mysterious killer, gets strangled by barbed wire, Helen attempts to make a break for it, Pick gets shot in face with shotgun, and…FUCK! The DVD doesn't work past this point! The last thing I saw was a strange man new to the story arriving at Chez Scum. The whole thing froze, so I didn't get to see the last few minutes. I hope it either ended well, with Helen and Emmy (the only nice hick in the whole movie) escaping and living as lesbians, or ended poorly, with Helen and Emmy dead at the hands of mystery killer.

At this point, I don't even want to know how it ended, because I like an open-ended movie sometimes. I'll just pretend that this mystery killer gets his nuts ripped off. THE END.

– review by Rev. Anna Dynamite

Addendum by Rev. Ivan Stang:

I was the negative cutter on Scum of the Earth Part 2. I worked at Century Studios from 1974 to 1975 and then (after a 'stint' on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation shooting bad documentaries) from '77 to '79 or so. S.F. "Brownie" Brownrigg was my boss. Back in the day I was remote personal friends with the actors in that movie because they were also in the subsequent Brownrigg features Don't Hang Up and Leave My Grave Open. The latter features the first professional screen appearance of character actor Steve Tobolowsky. (Grounhog Day, Memento.) The best-known of Brownie's features was of course his first, Don't Look in the Basement.
A fellow was writing a book on the Dallas feature film scene of the 1970s, interviewed many of us; I ended up getting back in touch with old Century Studios friends; but the book was never published.
"Brownie" had once worked for the great Larry Buchanan, auteur behind such greats as Mars Needs Women, Goodbye Norma Jean, The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (not the TV version but a 1964(!) one), Down On Us and his classic, Zontar -- The Thing From Venus.
My coverage of all this was in the SubGenius History Course – don't tell me you made up that diploma YOURSELF without doing any of the HARD STUDYING.
I THOUGHT it was in the course anyway.
Most of what we did at Century were commercials and business films. I was Assistant Sound, Asistant Camera, Assistant Gaffer, and Assistant Editor until finally they made me Editor. And then I quit to be House Dad, Free Lance Film Cutter, and Sacred Scribe. This is my 30th year as Sacred Scribe. No. 31st. I forgot, it's 2009.