Review of The Severed Arm
(1973) Thomas S. Alderman Director
Starring Paul Carr, David G. Cannon, Marvin Kaplan, John Crawford, Vince Martorano, Ray Dannis, and Deborah Walley
When six friends go spelunking it comes down to the luck of the draw as they are trapped by a cave in. For them to survive they decide to resort to cannibalism and sever the arm of one of their companions. After being rescued the men go their seperate ways. Five years later, the one armed man begins seeking revenge.
This movie is a character study in the Darwinistic belief of survival of the fittest that delves deep into the social contract of how we determine who is most valuable to a society.
Okay, it’s really not. It’s a schlocky, low-budget horror revenge story with a who’s who of character actors from the seventies and eighties. However, aside from the low budget and scenery chewing acting it is not a bad yarn. This would have been double billed at the drive-in with a much better movie.
The storytelling is strong and there is an element of surprise that later became standard in many of the slasher films. The films end does fall into the Bolivian Army Ending trope that many early 70’s films succumbed to but it is not the letdown that it could be. In fact, this is the type of film that I would like to see Hollywood remake with a bigger budget and better directors and actors.
In all The Severed Arm is a fun movie to watch and doesn’t disappoint provided your expectations are not too high.
This film is available on netflix and on YouTube.