One movie was created to cash in on waning days of the drive in, the other the for the direct to video market. Both movies have two titles, one generic and one exploitative. Neither movie can really be considered good, or classic but they are delightfully loopy affairs and when it is 3 AM and you can't sleep they are very entertaining.
As per IMDB the plot for SAVAGE INSTINCT aka THE CALL ME MACHO WOMAN (1991) “A young widow on a trip to the backwoods stumbles upon the operation of a gang of drug smugglers. They attempt to kill her in order to keep their operation a secret, but she turns out to be more resourceful than they thought, and starts to turn the tables on them.”
Thoughts: I know the trailer tries to sell this as some kind of superhero film but that only works if you consider rudimentary competence to be a superpower because the film's heroine is the only character that shows even a smidgen of it. But for me SAVAGE INSTICNCT is more of a survival horror movie, just that instead of killer inbred mutants the film's heroine finds herself on the run from the most generic gang of drug runners imaginable. The movie doesn't waste all that much time before putting the protagonist in danger and finding ways to keep her there. As the movie goes on you'll notice that things go from survival horror to outright slapstick and back again fairly quickly. I really don't know if they had a clear grasp of what kind of film they were trying to make. The comedy and the gore always seem to brush up against each other in the weirdest ways, the “Ballet Lessons” scene from the trailer is a perfect example of this. All that being said this is one of those movies I always watched all the way through when I caught it on TV and yes, I do own the DVD of it.
As per IMDB the plot for THE FORGOTTEN aka DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT(1973)”A young psychiatric nurse goes to work at a lonesome asylum following a murder. There, she experiences varying degrees of torment from the patients.”
Thoughts: Another film I first saw as a kid on late night TV. THE FORGOTTEN is the classic horror trope of being trapped in an insane asylum but this has got to be the most laid back insane asylum in the universe; patients wander around freely, the phones are apparently out and there is only one doctor in charge of everything and apparently there are plenty of axes for everyone. Into this mess comes Nurse Beale, she's young, beautiful and for all her education the only person in the world not able to realize there is something really strange is going on. The film goes along as a series of increasingly grotesque set pieces, each of the film's lunatics gets a moment to shine. Spoiler alert- eventually Nurse Beale does look the the basement and then all Hell breaks looks in an appropriately over the top style. This is my favorite of the two films and I must admit that to this day I consider the final moments of this movie to be pretty damn haunting.