For a first entry, I figured I’d go with a double-feature DVD I watched over the past weekend: The Severed Arm and Good Against Evil. Among trashy horror movies, these are just a so-so pair.
The Severed Arm has a bunch of no-name actors involved in a revenge tale that kicks off when a writer gets a severed arm in the mail. It turns out that he and four friends went on an adventure a few years back, one in which they decided to explore an abandoned mine that seems only around 15 feet long. There is a cave-in, and since no one bothered to either stay above ground or let anyone know where they were, they’re trapped for who knows how long.
Weeks go by and finally their canteens of water run dry. Famished, they decide to resort to cannibalism, but rather reasonably, they figure they can just eat bits and pieces of Ted, the poor fellow who drew the short straw. Within seconds of severing his arm (no surprise there, based on the title), rescuers arrive and all is well, at least for four of the five. These four conspire to lie about the arm, saying it was lost in the cave-in.
End of flashback. Back in the present, the four realize that their friend, not only forcibly left-handed but crazy as well, is out for revenge. And they’re right, at least in a way. Someone is getting biblical (an eye for an eye, an arm for an arm…), though almost any viewer will pick up on the fact that it isn’t likely Ted doing the acts based on the way the attacks are portrayed. All will be revealed by the end, when the last act of revenge is particularly nasty.
Filmed in the 1970s, The Severed Arm is an earlyish body count movie with a little bit of blood but only minimally gory by today’s standards. Storywise, it is just okay, but filled with plot holes. If Ted isn’t the attacker (I can’t say killer, because he doesn’t always kill), why does he appear to only have one arm? In addition, he seems to succeed either by incredible luck or by the ineptitude of his prey. A throwaway movie like this shouldn’t be judged on quality, however, but as to whether it is fun or not. In this case, it’s not all that fun to watch; it’s too well made for a so-bad-it’s-good feel. On the one-to-ten scale, it gets a three for quality and four for entertainment value, which means it is skippable.
Next time, I’ll take on the “B” side of this double-feature (or was this the B-side?), Good Against Evil.