Monday, September 21, 2015

Honourable Mention: Mad Mutilator

Oh Lordy, Lordy… sometimes there is inept, sometimes surreal and sometimes we get a unique combination of the two. Welcome to Mad Mutilator, also known as Ogroff, a bizarre and rubbish French offering from 1983 and directed by Norbert Georges Mount.

How inept and strange. Let us look at the opening scenes. A car pulls off the road onto a forest track, now in the upcoming scenes the continuity flips the car's parked location from dirt track to road and back again. Three people get out of the car – a man, a woman and a child with his dog… but it seems that all three were shot on separate days, there is no coherent continuity between the three and none share their shots.

getting out of the car
The man goes for a pee, the child runs in the woods and the woman has a cigarette. Then we see Ogroff (Norbert Georges Mount) – a man with axe and mask. He kills the child first and then gets the man. He finally goes for the woman and we get the worst chase sequence of all time. At first round the car and then through the countryside, at times the super 8 film seems speeded up like the keystone cops. However she is able to stay ahead of him and even (from some shots) seems to have lost him. We do get POV shots from him at times.

random clown
She flags a car, which stops (and causes him to walk nonchalantly away, rather than pursue her or quickly hide) but a clown gets out, tells her to use her legs and then drives off! Ogroff resumes the pursuit. Then she gets to a crossroads and doesn’t know which way to go and sees a man pushing a bike. She approaches him and he turns – it is Ogroff! He captures her, binds her arms, they walk a bit (with him pushing the bike and holding her bonds) and then the bonds seem to fall off and she runs off again.

a rare reaction emoted
She somehow gets away from him and finds a shack and enters it, walking through it without any level of emotion showing despite the axes that line the bed (she doesn’t take one) and the body parts around the place. She finally emotes to camera when she gets blood on her hand, leaves the shack but is caught and tied to a cross. Then she screams (incessantly) and so he cuts of her tongue (it appears) but it is a bloodless operation. For some reason Ogroff is throwing flesh into a trap door under his house. 

strangely familiar
If it all seems bizarre so far believe me it will only get weirder. We discover, via a piece of dialogue (and the film is almost silent so a piece of dialogue is rare), that the police are aware of Ogroff but can’t find him in the woods. A girl wanders around the woods and is eventually caught by him, however he doesn’t kill her as she looks like an old photograph (actually she looks nothing like) and they sleep together! Before he caught her she found a body hanging from a tree, she cut it down and (for apparently no reason) stabbed it. It then got up and she shot it. It got up again and she then tied the noose to her car bumper and beheaded it… Wait… a zombie?

a zombie
Oh yes, the thing under the house are actually "things", multiple, and they are zombies. Suddenly we have the dead rising from graves and slow, shambling Romero-esque zombies on the loose. Was Ogroff the guardian of this area? The film hints but doesn’t say. That’s all well and good, you might now say, but what about vampires… This is, after all, Taliesin Meets the Vampires. Firstly it isn’t Ogroff himself, though he does drink gathered blood from a bucket at one point. Instead we keep cutting scenes to a “hands only” shot of someone playing with a car engine.

the priest
Cut to the end of the film and the car is on the road and stops to pick up the girl, who is running from the zombies. The driver is a priest (Howard Vernon, Dracula Prisoner of Frankenstein, Revenge on the House of Usher, the Erotic Rites of Frankenstein & Daughter of Dracula) and the girl warns him of the living dead. He says something about many types of creatures of the night. She wants him to stop at the nearest village to warn the police but he refuses – he has to get home before dawn. Then he finds time to pull over and attack her… with fangs and a bite.

distorted but fangs on show
It’s shot in such a way as you don’t actually see it, but he stakes her with his cross and then it is dawn. The car drives off, she is pulled into a gutter (by a red eyed fiend) and the credits roll… As I say, bizarre, inept but containing a fleeting visitation of a vampire who is dressed as (or is) a priest. The soundtrack is awful, tonal electronica. The photography is amateurish. Moutier ran a horror fanzine and owned, I understand, a video store – he is no Tarantino, not by a long shot. One for the very dedicated slasher/zombie/vampire fan!

The imdb page is here.


WatchingTheDead said...

This sounds so bad it might be good!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

probably only if watched in good company

Alex. G said...

Looks like Tarman from Return of the living dead decided to make a cameo on the cover.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

It does indeed Alex :)