Honestly, with the absolutely harrowing news that’s come out of Cleveland over the last few days, you’d think — perhaps even hope — that I’d have the good sense and just plain human decency to not go anywhere near legendary exploitation producer David F. Friedman’s 1971 softcore sex-slave sleazefest The Big Snatch right now, but since I’ve never really been noted for my sense of timing —
I suppose the fact that no one involved in the actual making of this film wanted their real names to be associated with it probably tells you everything you need to know right off the bat (check the credits for hilarious pseudonyms such as “Jim Nasium”and “Mary Goround”), doesn’t it? Shot for a paltry $11,000 in Southern California by co-directors Byron Mabe and Dan Martin (who mas moonlighting from his gig as an L.A. county sheriff’s deputy and billed himself as “Ronnie Runningboard” in case his bosses ever got wind of this thing), The Big Snatch centers around the hare-brained scheme of two truck-driving yokels (ringleader Bart, played by a guy calling himself “Harry Chest,” and dim-witted sidekick Momo, played by a guy calling himself — well, “Momo”) to kidnap five beautiful young co-eds and turn them into their own personal low-rent harem. The gals spend a pretty good chunk of the flick stuck inside a drained-out swimming pool,then they all get raped in turn (“rape” in this case being portrayed as a series of largely listless softcore dalliances featuring plenty of full-on nudity and simulated pseudo-penetration), a bit later one of the ladies tries to escape and has her panties yanked down before being tied down, spread-eagled, to a revving car engine that’s had its radiator cap removed (the infamous “steamed clam” scene you may have heard about), and then the industrious gals actually do manage to effect an escape en masse, whereupon they immediately strangle Momo to death before twisting and crushing Bart’s cock with a pliers and then tossing him down onto a dirty old mattress and “gang raping” him for about the final 30 minutes of the film, although I have no idea how his “junior member” was even supposed to be functioning by that point.
Anyway, that’s what happens when you refer to women as “pigs” and order them to call you “master,” I guess.
It it all sounds pretty rancid and sleazy, well — it is. But it is fun to see future sexploitation semi-starlets such as Peggy Church, Jane Tsentas, and especially incomparable Russ Meyer stalwart Uschi Digard in early roles, and the truly atrocious “acting” is a hoot to sit back and absorb. Beyond that, there’s nothing much on offer here — the camerawork is all pretty straightforwardly haphazard (if that makes any sense), the revenge factor is decidedly dialed down since the rapes were portrayed as being an enjoyable experience for them women, and the whole thing’s quite obviously just a flimsy excuse to get some uniformly very good looking ladies to debase themselves for what had to have been an undoubtedly paltry paycheck. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — we all know that people will do anything for money, but it’s what they’ll do for no money that’s truly amazing.
Even for a “roughie,” this is a pretty mean-spirited affair, and even for a cheapie, its production values are astonishingly low, but I gotta (shamefully, I assure you) admit — as a curious memento of a largely-forgotten cinematic age, The Big Snatch makes for some strangely compelling — if crushingly, achingly dull — viewing at times. Which is hardly the same thing as me actually recommending this film, as I hope you’ll agree. If you’re foolish enough to attempt to take this flick seriously, you’ve gotta put aside not only your sense of what’s good and bad, but also what’s right and wrong. But who says you’ve gotta take something seriously in order to fully absorb what it’s all about? I’m not going to go so far as to say any of you good people will actually enjoy what’s on offer here, and chances are you’ll find yourself as flat-out bored during the “sex” scenes as I was, but there’s a certain amount of bravado on display here by our anonymous-at-all-costs filmmakers for even thinking that they could get away with making something like this in the first place that’s, while certainly far from admirable, at least interesting to witness.
And if witness it you must, you’ll be glad (I guess) to know that The Big Snatch is available on both VHS and DVD-R from, you guessed it, Something Weird Video. It’s presented full-fame with mono sound, neither of which are very good (which is, I’m sure you’ll agree, quite appropriate), and the only “extras” to speak of are a smattering of trailers for other SWV titles. All in all, bare-bones release for a bare-bones movie with a very bare-bones “idea” behind it. But shit, since the bare breasts are all anyone cares about here, I guess it all works out. Just please don’t go getting any ideas from this thing , I beg you.