Scum of The Earth!/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Scum of The Earth!
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Lang (Lawrence Wood) is a shady scumbag pornographic photo producer that blackmails young women into posing for nude photos that he then turns around and sells to high school boys. His star model Sandy (Sandra Sinclair) has gotten sick of the business and wants out, but Lang tells her that the only way she can leave is to recruit other models to take her place. Reluctantly, she seeks out her prudish friend Kim (pretty Allison Louise Downe, who looks remarkably like a sixties version of Sherilyn Fenn) to come down and pose for a few "normal" pictures. Unaware of what she is getting into, Kim agrees and is forced into having embarrassing photos taken of her by a slowly reforming photographer named Harmon (Blood Feast alum William Kerwin, looking like the Marvel comics character Dr. Strange). Harmon must make a decision as to whether he is going to protect his new charge, or allow her life to be ruined like so many girls before her.

Released the same year that Herschell Gordon Lewis made horror film history by making the first major gore film Blood Feast, Scum of the Earth is a slightly different type of film than what Lewis normally was known for. His "roughie" (which features no actual nudity) is nowhere near as misogynistic as other films that followed, such as The Defilers, and instead goes straight for a campier vein. The character of Lang, in particular, is one of the best characters in the film and the "talking to" that he gives Kim when she tries to quit is a highlight of the entire genre.

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Note: Speaking of Blood Feast, besides Lewis favorite William Kerwin appearing in the film, Fuad Ramses himself Mal Arnold is also present here. Other cast members from the seminal gore/camp film appearing here are Sandra Sinclair, Craig Maudslay Jr., and Toni Calvert making this film a true "blood" relative to the first entry of the Blood Trilogy.

Surprisingly, some of the performances in this film are quite good for the type of picture that it is. William Kerwin gives the best performance as the porno photographer with a heart and he really seems to have an internal struggle with the hell he is participating in putting Kim through. Allison Louise Downe is also a fairly decent actress in her own right and passes off as naive perfectly. Unfortunately, the film's lack of nudity is incredibly depressing, as Downe is certainly something worth looking at.

Review by Pockets of Sanity

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