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The Hooker & The Prostitute
Originally Posted 10/14/14
Sometimes you just shouldn’t do it. Go do anything else. Go for a walk. Go make something to eat. Go punch a wall, if you must. Just don’t watch the damned movie. Not right now, at least.
If you are in an upbeat, “let’s have some fun” kind of mood, you don’t watch Deep Impact. So, after a nightmare of a time at work, followed by a few headaches waiting for me when I got home, the last thing that I should have done was watch Scream Bloody Murder. However, I had already blasted it out on Facebook that I’d have a review up during the weekend. Well, I missed that ETA. And I don’t want to disappoint people by doing that. I just choose to disappoint with the quality of my writing.
As the movie starts, we find a young boy, Matthew, playing in a field. His father drives around in a tractor doing whatever it is that tractors do. Dad gets off of the tractor to check the engine. Matthew climbs onto the tractor, revs up, and proceeds to drive over Dad. Dad is, needless to say, crushed by this development.
Now, Dad may have shown Matt how to start up and drive the family’s John Deere, but he never showed him how to stop it. Instead, Matt jumps off of the tractor and somehow manages to land IN FRONT of it. The tractor then runs over Matt. Well, his hand. Matt’s teenage sex life is now in serious jeopardy.
We then see Matt as he is being escorted by a nun from his house to a waiting car from St Jude’s Mental Hospital. Matt grows up in the hospital and the next time we see him he is a man in his early 20’s with a slight resemblance to a young Scott Glenn. His crushed hand has now been replaced with a hook. Matt also has just received a letter from his mother telling him that she has just remarried. Matthew is visibly displeased by this.
The next few scenes get a little confusing. Matthew is released from the hospital. If it is stated why, I missed it, but I guess Matt’s mom must have missed it too. Not only does Matthew have to walk home, but his mother is not even there when he shows up. She actually shows up a couple of minutes later, returning from her honeymoon with her new husband, Mack. As I said earlier, she also missed the part of the movie where they explain how Matt got released, so she’s quite surprised to find him home. She introduces her new husband, who in turn greets Matt with “When’d ya get home, son?”. Matt replies “Don’t call me son!”, then runs off like an angry child.
Later that night…. another night?…. whenever, apparently not content from their honeymoon, Mack takes Mom out into the woods of the farm for a lil’ bow-chicka-wow-wow. Not sure what the bed in the house did for him to be so spiteful towards it, but they probably should have discussed their differences earlier. Matt watches them from the shadows. The ax that Matt carries in his hand does not. It’s an ax. They don’t have eyes. And they probably aren’t the conversationalists that beds are. At least Mom exhibits a modicum of decorum by saying that this is no way for a married couple to act and then heads inside. Mack tells her that he will meet her inside after he checks on the cow. The cow is not an integral part of the plot.
We never see any bovine character acting because Matt murders Mack before he gets that far. Matt’s mother, not informed of this plot development either, happens to walk up as Matt is chopping her husband’s head off. She doesn’t scream. She just kind of mutters “Jesus Christ”. I guess you get used to this kind of thing having Matt as your kid.
Matthew, Oedipus complex in full overdrive, tells Mommy that they only need each other and that he doesn’t like seeing other men touch her. Mom tells Matthew that she likes it when men touch her. Matt is pretty grossed out by this. Let’s face it, you would be too. No one wants to hear their mom talk about how she likes to have her ass slapped while being called a whore. Matt pushes his mother, causing her to hit her head on a strategically placed rock, killing her.
With Mom, Mack, and any chance of further development for their characters dead, Matt packs up and hitchhikes his way out of town. He meets a young couple at the nearby gas station and catches a ride with them. After just long enough to learn their names and explain why they are driving out in this area, they decide to pull over and stretch out. The couple starts playing in some nearby water. Matthew starts picturing that the young woman is his mother and becomes enraged that a man is touching her. After throwing some rocks at the poor guy, Matthew kills him by sticking his hook into the top of the guy’s head. He then drowns the girl while saying, “This time you’ll stay dead”. He flees the scene and hitches a ride with another motorist.
Matt rides into what I believe is Venice, California. The first person that Matt meets is a prostitute named Vera, who is out on her porch working on a painting. Matt strikes up a conversation with her. Seeing him as just a potential client, Vera humors Matt by letting him call her “Daisy”, his mother’s name. To make this even more bizarre, the actress playing “Vera” is the same actress that also played Matt’s mother. She tells Matt that he can come visit her once in a while as a “friend”. Just then, a sailor on ship-leave walks up looking to pay for Vera’s, ahem, “services”. When Vera takes the sailor inside, Matt takes Vera’s painting knife and uses it to cut up her painting. He then waits for the sailor to leave and follows him to a nearby alley, where he slits the sailor’s throat with the paint knife.
Matt heads back to Vera’s house. When she steps outside to greet him, he returns her now bloodless painting knife. Matt tells Vera that he watched the sailor use the knife to cut up her painting. He also says that the sailor stole the knife, but that he followed the sailor and talked him into giving it back. It’s a pretty shady story, but Vera doesn’t question it. She does question the stories that Matt starts feeding her about being the son of a multi-millionaire and about the mansion that he claims to live in.
You have to give Matt some credit. A lot of guys would have just continued with the “big” talk. A few would have even driven her by some mansion in the hills and given her a lame excuse about why they couldn’t go in at that moment. Most wouldn’t have bothered, seeing as Vera is just a whore. Why buy what you can rent? Not Matt. Determined to live up to his words, Matt finds him a mansion. He dupes the maid by telling her that his car has broken down a block away and that he needs to use the phone to call for a tow truck. The maid takes Matt to the kitchen to use the phone, where he grabs a meat cleaver and hacks the maid to pieces. Matt then smothers the elderly lady that owns the house with a pillow. And just to be a prick about the whole thing, he also takes the old lady’s dog downstairs to the kitchen’s prep table and chops its head off with the cleaver.
Matt takes the old lady’s car and drives back to Vera’s. I guess that at some point while he was in the mental hospital, Matt learned to properly stop moving vehicles. To prove that he’s not (exactly) a liar, Matt gets Vera (who he only calls “Daisy” by this point) to agree to go see his mansion. While there, Matt tries to convince Vera to stop being a hoe and to come live with him. Ya know, in this mansion that he doesn’t own. She refuses and Matt goes bat shit crazy. Well, more so. She attempts to leave, but due to Matthew’s trying to stop her, she falls down the stairs and is knocked unconscious. Matt takes her into one of the bedrooms and ties her to the bed. He’d usually have to pay extra for that.
From this point on, the movie becomes about Matt keeping Vera prisoner in this mansion that he has stolen, all the while tormenting her from scene to scene. It’s all pretty bleak stuff without the slightest hint of levity. Exactly what I needed on a night when I was already feeling like 10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag.
Scream Bloody Murder is actually a fairly well made movie with pretty solid acting throughout. While not even remotely upbeat, it might be a decent watch when you are actually in the mood for something a little more grim and dreary. And Phantasm fans, look for a bit part from Angus Scrimm as a nosey doctor late in the film.
Fun Fact: The director of this film would later go on to become a writer for television shows such as “The New Mickey Mouse Club” & “Kids Incorporated”. Sadistic bastard.