“Naked Massacre” (1976)
Studio: Seaberg Film Distribution
Starring: Mathieu Carrière, Debra Berger, Christine Boisson, Myriam Boyer
Directed by: Denis Héroux
Running Time: 92 min.
Synopsis: A Vietnam vet goes to Belfast, Ireland and terrorizes a group of student nurses.
Naked Massacre is loosely based on mass murderer Richard Speck who murdered eight student nurses in Chicago in 1966. The film is pretty much a bio of Speck, accept the names are different as well as the time period and location. The film is not well known, but it is an underrated horror film from the 1970’s. Not a classic, but it is a well done movie that has a great cast and a suspenseful story.
The movie starts off with a Vietnam vet, Cain (Mathieu Carrière), getting off a ship that docked in Belfast, Ireland. Cain is looking for a ship that will take him back home to the States. He also left one war and entered another when Ireland is having their own terrorists attacks during the time of the IRA movement. Even when Cain is sitting in church to get some rest, the place is bomb, with a few people dying. As Cain looks for money for a ticket on ship, he spends his few days in Ireland trying to find some type of work, going to bars, and sleeping at a shelter.
Cain also notices a group of student nurses who are staying at a house across the street from the bar that he frequents. Over the next few days, Cain watches the nurses come and go. We also learn that Cain is very disturbed and has hatred towards women. Getting desperate for food and money, Cain enters the nurses’ house asking for food. They give him some and he leaves, but comes back later during that night and breaks in and holds the nurses hostage in their own home.
One of the standout players is Carrière playing Cain, who plays a great creep throughout the film. Towards the beginning of the film you feel sorry for him a little bit. This is before you find out he is a maniac. At first he is a sad character just looking for a way out, but then you see him become a monster when he rapes, tortures, and murders the young nurses. The setting of the story also fits the tone of the film. The whole world looks bleak with news stories about bombings in Vietnam to gunfire right on the streets of Ireland. The whole world looks like a war zone where ever you go. Add in the murders from Cain and the atmosphere around is as dark as you can get.
As I mentioned before that the story is based roughly on the Speck murders and it is pretty close to the actually true story. The only thing different is the killer’s name and that he is a Vietnam vet. Also the story takes place in Belfast instead of Chicago and the time period in which the film takes place is not the same as the actual events, but the story of the film matches the crime that happened in ’66. Some of Cain’s background is similar to Speck and he even has the same tattoo on his arm that Speck had that reads “Born for Hell.”
Denis Héroux directed the film and the production was based out of four different countries, which are West Germany, Canada, France, and Italy. There were tons of countries involved in the making of this small horror film. Naked Massacre is mostly available on DVD in public domain 50 or 100 packs and I believe it is also available on its own on DVD. The film is worth a look and a very good horror film from the 1970’s.