The Candy Snatchers (1973)

DVD Cover (Subversive Cinema)
Crime, Crime Thriller
Guerdon Trueblood Guerdon Trueblood
Tiffany Bolling Tiffany Bolling
Ben Piazza Ben Piazza
Susan Sennett Susan Sennett
Brad David Brad David
Vince Martorano Vince Martorano

6.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: November 23, 2005
This seventies exploitation flick centers around sixteen-year-old Candy (Susan Sennett) and the criminals that intend to kidnap her. As it turns out, Candy's father Avery (Ben Piazza) is the manager of a rather large diamond store, a fact which these criminals have found out and plan to take advantage of. These fine specimens of society - consisting of the female ringleader Jessie (Tiffany Bolling), her psychopathic brother Alan (Brad David), and Vietnam Vet Eddy (Vince Martorano) - kidnap Candy as she's hitchhiking her way home from the private Catholic school that she attends and proceed to take her to a remote location in which nobody could possibly find her. The plan is to bury her in a make-shift coffin with only a small pipe leading in to give her oxygen while they do their business with her father, but little do they know that a young boy by the name of Sean (Christopher Trueblood) is playing nearby and witnesses the whole thing. As the criminals go about their business of trying to get cash out of Candy's father, it's up to young Sean to get some help for our heroine in distress... the only problem here is that he's a mute with a pair of abusive parents that would rather he die in his sleep that spend another day looking at him. It's a tough spot to be in if you're a Catholic schoolgirl named Candy, and there's plenty of twists and turns throughout the running time to keep things interesting.

Prior to Subversive Cinema's release of this DVD a few months ago, the only way that one could obtain this movie was through illegal methods (aka, those damned bootleggers). I've heard a lot of good things about this movie, but an official release has been "just around the corner" for the last couple of years, so I held out and waited. It turns out that this was a pretty solid disc in both the features department and the feature presentation, but I have one huge gripe about the package. You see, this movie was released to drive-in theaters back in the seventies, and since then, there has really been no way to obtain it. It has never had an official VHS release (to my knowledge), and as I mentioned, this is the first time it's hit DVD. Therefore, it pretty much goes without saying that with the exception of those who partake in bootlegged films, a good majority of people haven't seen this film. Now then, you may be asking yourself... "what in the hell does that have to do with the movie?" Well, Subversive decided to slap one of those lovely non-skippable menus on here prior to the movie... you know, the typical FBI warning, a small company logo, and oh, a compilation of clips which reveal the ending of the fucking movie. Yeah... you can't skip over this menu and get straight to the movie, and if you watch it, you're going to see the big twist ending of the film. Whichever genius working at Subversive who was responsible for this decision should be dragged out into the streets and shot. Although this wasn't a fault of the movie itself, it did indeed bring my enjoyment down a bit.

Now then, with that glaring error of judgment aside, the movie is pretty entertaining. Sure, it's pure exploitation sleaze, but honestly, who doesn't enjoy some of that every now and then? All of the requirements for a good exploitation flick are here; the reasonably graphic rape of a minor (who was played by an actress who was twenty-six at the time of filming, but she sure didn't look it), nudity, violence, bloodshed, and even a small dose of black humor. Fans of this style of movie will certainly have a good time with this disc, but if you've never enjoyed the classic grindhouse releases of the seventies, this disc probably won't do a whole lot to change your mind. It features an above-average storyline and was quite entertaining to yours truly, don't get me wrong... but even though it was entertaining, I can easily point out that there was nothing groundbreaking or heavily original to be found here.

One thing I can say about this movie was that the performances given by these actors and actresses was surprisingly good for this type of movie. I usually skip right on over this section of the review for these movies, because honestly, one doesn't watch these films for award-winning performances. However, the acting from all involved was well above the acceptable mark, and each character was truly believable and easy to either get attached to or pull massive amounts of hate from the viewer. It surprises me that the three main stars of the film (Susan Sennett, Vince Martorano, and Christopher Trueblood) never really went on to do anything after this film. Between the three of them, they've had a grand total of six appearances in either film or television after the release of this film, a fact that I personally think is a crying shame. Each of them had ample amounts of talent, even Trueblood (who genuinely looked to be about six years old during the film), so why they didn't have long-lasting careers is beyond me.

Give it a rental if you're a fan of either exploitation flicks or crime thrillers. While I'm still pretty pissed off about the ending being revealed before you even get a chance to press play on your remote, I found that the movie lived up to its hype and was worth the wait. 8/10.
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