One of the biggest box-office successes of its era, Cunha’s William Castle-like production deals with two American filmmakers who come to Brazil and attempt to make a snuff film in a remote barn.
Two shady producers out to make a snuff film concoct a bizarre plan to trick a crew of technicians and actors by pretending to be well-to-do Americans producing high-end porn in Brazil. With a clever script by Carlos Reichenbach, Snuff plays like an exploitation version of Fassbinder’s Beware of the Holy Whore.
Director and producer Cláudio Cunha devised several William Castle-like marketing tactics – such as parking an ambulance outside the screening room and paying audience members to scream at the film’s premiere – and Snuff ended up becoming an unprecedented hit (four million tickets sold).
Embodying both the commercial and artistic aspirations of Boca do Lixo filmmaking, the film looked forward to the uncertain decade that would follow, when censorship norms loosened and producers became eager to take flashier directions. –IFFR