Sharpshooter Triple Feature
The Zodiac Killer (1971)
The Sex Killer (1965)
Zero in and Scream (1970)
Film: You gotta love Something Weird Video! They don’t whitewash their lesser releases…they REVELL in them. These three films, The Zodiac Killer, The Sex Killer and Zero in and Scream, although not all containing ‘sharpshooter’ murderers, are classic examples of exploitation films, but somehow they are still kitschy fun and entertaining, if not just for the nudity, then at least for the acting, or the inappropriate soundtracks or just because they are dumb.
The Zodiac Killer
Produced and directed by Tom Hansen (who played Mongoose in The Hellcats), The Zodiac Killer is the tale of a motiveless killer who is terrorising San Francisco, ridiculing the police with letters and phone calls, but who is he…? This film is apparently based on the facts in the case of the ACTUAL Zodiac Killer, and features an introduction from a reporter who was ‘actually threatened by the Zodiac Killer’. This film is worth its weight just for the philosophical discussion about women over the age of 20 and the worst wig ever put on film. This film has no nudity in it but it more than makes up in violence, even if it’s of the red paint variety.
The Sex Killer
Directed by Barry Mahon, upon who Steve McQueen’s character in the Great Escape was based, The Sex Killer tells the story of Tommy, a lonely, introverted manikin factory worker, who is taunted by his macho workmates and has an obsession with watching women sun-baking topless from the roof of a building using binoculars, but his fascination becomes a dangerous one, as Tommy becomes more obsessed, he turns to violence, murder and necrophilia. Funnily enough, a premise like that would make you think this film is like Maniac, unfortunately this B/W picture is as dull as they come, with some of the most plodding camera work ever seen…but there is a hell of a lot of topless women in it. Amusingly enough, POV shots of sunbathing women through his binoculars change viewpoints without him ever leaving the same spot on the rooftop. There’s also some hilariously bad continuity errors too, like underwear magically appearing under a characters clothes.
Zero in and Scream
This film, directed by Lee Frost, who also directed Love Camp 7, is about a lonesome man, whose sense of solitude leads him to commit acts of violence against well heeled amorous couples in Hollywood. Of the three films this seems to be the one that gave the disc the ‘R’ rating. It is more a soft core porno with a murderer thrown in. His lingering looks through the sights of his gun BEFORE he has even cocked it are very funny. One of the funniest endings to a LRSK-themed movie you will ever see.
Let’s face it, when the makers of these films made them, they weren’t worried about the effects of the Viet Nam War on young minds, or how Kafka or Neitzche influenced modern thought, or any sociological ramifications these films might have, they wanted to make short movies with a lot of nudity and/ or violence in them. The story was only ever secondary to how many nubile young girlies could be butchered and/or whip out their boobs for a bit of male oriented entertainment. Luckily there were many such girls and we can still enjoy them today, although while watching I can’t help but think that most of these girls are probably grandmothers…
There is just so much on this disc it has to be given an average score just for the quantity, as for the quality, well, if exploitation sex films of the sixties and seventies are up your alley, you’ll love it. The film and audio value varies from feature to feature, but all in all you can clearly see and hear everything that is going on, and to be quite honest, the average quality adds to the sleaziness of it. A warning though for fans of the Brazilian or the shaven haven: you will be disappointed. The women in Zero In And Scream have more bush than Mike and Mal Leyland EVER saw. That’s not to say that there isn’t a bit of meat for the ladies either: in ZIAS there’s a fair bit of swimming pool-based penises as well!
Extras: Trailers for ‘The Sex Killer’, ‘Zero in and Scream’, ‘The Psycho Lover’,’ Honeymoon of Terror’ and ‘Aroused’.
Gallery of Sick Sixties Sex films with Audio Oddities is a 10 Minute and 40 second montage featuring audio of radio commercials for such films as ‘Wife-Child’ and ‘Poor White Trash’ and others played over images of posters and one-sheets of films such as ‘A Smell of Honey, A Swallow of Brine’ and ‘Orgy of the Golden Nudes’ and others – this is one of those great montage sequences that Something Weird Video is so good at.
WISIA: I don’t think I would watch these again, even though I enjoyed them a fair bit. They are in interesting snapshot of the exploitation films of the time.