Scum of the Earth

1963

Action / Drama / Thriller

6
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 17%
IMDb Rating 5.5 10 459

Synopsis


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1hr 15 min
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English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 15 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gavin6942 5 / 10

The First Roughie?

A naive and innocent teenage girl (Allison Louise Downe) is blackmailed into modeling in the nude for a photographer who is in league with a teenage gang whose boss illegally sells photos of teenage girls being abused and degraded.

First of all, let's get it out of the way: the father (Edward Mann) is possibly the worst actor who ever lived. Downe, on the other hand, does a great job, and it is interesting that she transitioned from nude victim to one of Lewis' longest collaborators.

Allmovie wrote, "Unintentionally funny and poorly photographed, this film certainly has its moments for connoisseurs of bad cinema, but others will find it tawdry and dull." This may be true, but to put it in the context of H. G. Lewis, it is actually one of his better-made movies and the film quality has held up well. Most of his films have awful prints, but not this one. Even the score seems pretty decent.

Reviewed by Uriah43 4 / 10

Leaves Much to the Imagination

"Sandy Sinclair" (Sandra Sinclair) is a pretty blonde who for unspecified reasons feels forced to model in the nude for a photographer named "Harmon Johnson" (William Kerwin). Likewise, Harmon also feels somewhat trapped into photographing her because another man by the name of "Ajax" (Craig Maudslay Jr.) has threatened to destroy his studio if he doesn't cooperate. However, since both Sandy and Harmon are getting paid for their efforts they reluctantly continue. Then one day Sandy is told by the overall boss, "Mr. Lang" (Lawrence J. Aberwood) that she can essentially retire provided that she finds her replacement. She then recommends an attractive teenager by the name of "Kim Sherwood" (Allison Louise Downe) who is currently in high school but needs money for college in the fall. At first she is told that the pictures will be relatively modest. However as she continues each session becomes more and more risqué to the point that she soon finds herself being blackmailed by another accomplice named "Larry" (Mal Arnold) to pose entirely nude. Fearing that her father might find out, she does as she is told which then results in even further degradation from both Larry and Ajax. Now rather than reveal any more of this movie and risk spoiling it for those who haven't seen it I will just say that this was a relatively mild "exploitation" picture which leaves much to the imagination. Of course, the fact that this was produced in the early 60's probably has much to do with that. The acting was okay but in any case this was a very basic type of film which certainly won't appeal to all viewers. That said, I recommend it for mature audiences only.

Reviewed by Woodyanders 6 / 10

More sizzle than steak

Wholesome and innocent young cutie Kim Sherwood (an appealingly awkward portrayal by pretty brunette Allison Louise Downe) decides to pose for a few photos in a bathing suit in order to raise money for college. However, poor Kim soon finds herself being blackmailed into doing nude photo shoots. While the premise certainly has plenty of lurid potential, alas writer/director Herschell Gordon Lewis punks out on said potential by skimping on the nudity and, even more surprising considering his reputation for outrageous splatter cinema, holding back on the violence. That aside, this picture still presents a reasonably tawdry, if really tame and tepid expose of the scuzzy underbelly of the underground smut trade. Moreover, the colorful rogues' gallery of reprehensible low-life characters gives this flick a certain campy kick: William Kerwin as smarmy photographer Harmon Johnson, Sandra Sinclair as the cynical Sandy, Mal Arnold as loudmouth distributor Larry, Craig Maudslay Jr. as the brutish Ajax, and, best of all, Lawrence J. Aberwood as deliciously odious arch slimeball Lang, whose fabulously flamboyant "deep inside you're all dirty" speech rates as a surefire histrionic highlight. In addition, although the narrative suffers from erratic pacing, things thankfully do pick up steam and go into thrilling overdrive at the lively climax. The competent cinematography by Lewis boasts several neat fades and dissolves. Manuel Ortiz's bombastic score hits the melodramatic spot. An acceptable enough diversion.

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