Scum of the Earth (1963)

Rating: N/A

Dir: H.G.Lewis
Star: William Kerwin, Allison Louise Downe, Lawrence J. Aberwood, Sandra Sinclair

[0] H.G.Lewis started work in the field of sex rather than violence, trying to sneak as much as he could past the censors all-seing eye. This is an example of the ‘nudie cutie’, where the plot is nothing more than an excuse to see pretty girls with few clothes on. It all seems terribly harmless now, with nothing that would be out of place in an average evening’s TV viewing – I think there is one nipple, and if you blink you miss it. No doubt in it’s day it was considered pretty hot stuff. The plot, such as it is, concerns a girl who starts modelling to earn enough money to go to college – at first the assignments are totally harmless, but they gradually become ‘swimwear adverts’ and before she knows where she is, they have become bad enough for her to be black-mailed by the photographers into doing ‘just one more photo session’.

In the end the photographer realises how evil he is being, and kills the thug who is terrorising the girl – the ‘Mr Big’ commits suicide when faced with capture by the police. According to the voice-over at the end of the film,the ‘Scum of the Earth’ in the title are those who prey upon young girls to get them to take part in such things. This seems a bit hypocritical, given the large number of camera shots in the film which languidly cruise up an actress from head to toe, or occasionally toe to head. The acting itself is fairly dire – well down to the usual standard…