Monday, May 4, 2009

"Savage Abduction"--not that savage, and not that abductiony.

Last night's B-picture was "Savage Abduction", a 1972 cheapie romp that was unintentionally hilarious. The plot--a serial killer hires a gang of bikers (okay, three bikers and some biker groupie) for $10,000 to kidnap a couple teenaged girls for him to murder. Now, I checked--even in 1972 ten grand is not enough to risk going up on charges for kidnapping and being an accessory to first degree murder. But this is the setup.

So of course, how do they kidnap a couple teenaged girls? Some clever ruse? Some elaborate game of cat and mouse? Nope, two of the bikers basically drive by and see two women standing on a street corner who were trying to figure out how to get to the hospital to visit one of their aunts. (I should point out that although these girls are supposed to be 17, the "actresses"--and I use that term loosely--were at least 25 years old from the looks of things) The girls didn't really seem to have a plan for how to get to the hospital--they were just standing around on a suburban street using expositionary dialogue like "I can't believe we're in Hollywood!" and "now, how are we going to get to the hospital?" Question--did you ever once walk around some city and ask your friend "Can you believe we're in ____?" People don't talk like that!

Nevertheless, two of the bikers drive up, and offer the girls a lift. The girls confer amongst themselves--is it safe to hop on the back of some strangers' motorcycles? Well, apparently our education system was no better in 1972 than it is today (I blame the new math!) because they actually have to consider this. One says "they're kind of cute" (NOTE--these bikers were several hot showers and haircuts away from "cute" even by early '70s standards) and tells her skeptical friend "if they don't take us where we want to go we can always jump off [the motorcycles]". WHAT??? When is jumping off a speeding motorcycle a good plan??? The skeptical one agrees [!!!] and says "okay, but if you're wrong you owe me!" Yeah, it'll be some consolation to know you're the one in the right after things go surprisingly wrong at some biker lair.

So of course, they're kidnapped, tied up, forced to dance in their underwear (yeah, 1970s underwear was very disappointing, what was probably intended as a thrill was more sad than anything), and then locked in a closet. The girls' best attempts to get the bikers to let them go is to say "let us go!" and "you promised you'd let us go". I'm surprised these clever negotiating tactics didn't work!

Finally, the serial killer shows up, and starts dancing with one of the girls, preparing to do his stabby thing. One of the three bikers apparently gets a conscience, attacks his cohorts, and tackles the serial killer. Mind you, the girl who the killer was dancing with has at this point been untied, but spends the entire fight standing there--not helping the biker who's trying to save her (I guess he wasn't that "cute"--ha ha ha) or untying her friend and running the hell out of there. Finally, the "good" biker prevails, but not before getting stabbed himself; at this point (probably realizing that hanging out with a bunch of corpses is worse than waiting to see how a knife fight between a serial killer and a scruffy Easy Rider reject would turn out) the untied girl goes running to the street for help, leaving her bound friend with the corpses. Ah, friendship!

Strangely, when I try and IMDB "Savage Abduction" the movie comes up under a different title, "Cycle Psycho" (try saying that three times fast!). I'm not sure why it would get that name, since the only motorcycling was the point at which they picked up the two obviously challenged young women.

Lesson--in Hollywood, you need your own car.

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