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When I watch a good video, I like to pour a little blood over my popcorn for flavor. Let's take a look at offerings from filmmakers who attempt to appease our appetite for blood, sliced flesh and dismemberment.

Aftermath Cannibal Campout Skinner

SKINNER     
This first film is far too superior to be classified as a B-movie. If I gave an award for the best twisted performance it would go to Ted Raimi (Lunatics: A Love Story, 1991) who stars as Dennis Skinner in Skinner (1995). His performance as a psychopathic murderer/skinner is impeccable. With his best bed-side manner Skinner devulges his psychosis to a dead victim as he skins her, explaining that he had to watch while his father performed his mother's post-mortem autopsy. Later Skinner sneaks back into the room and walks up to his mother's slab, peels her face off (just like daddy showed him), puts it on like a mask, walks over to the mirror and looks at his mother's face. He says, "...and at six years old, that can really freak you out."
He's being sought by Heidi played by the FBI's poster child for child pornography, Traci Lords. (Lords was arrested in 1986 for starring in 77 mainstream porno flicks while under 18.) Lords is extremely effective at playing a prior victim of Skinner's who escaped a skinning halfway. Only the left-hand side was removed prior to escape. Limping, she traipses around in a black trenchcoat, wide-brimmed hat, high-heels and blond hair slung across the left side of her face to conceal her disfigurement.
In a dramatic revenge-filled moment she peels the photo emulsion from a photo of Skinner and swears that she will kill him next time. (She is featured throughout the film in lingerie.)
That's not all. This film co-stars daytime TV schlock host, Ricki Lake as Kerry Tate, from whom Skinner rents a room. After developing a romantic interest in Skinner, the relationship goes to hell as he reveals his real self --- wearing a female victim's skin.
My favorite scene is a segment that starts with Skinner being touted by the obnoxious Eric, played by Dewayne Williams. Next scene: Skinner saunters around town wearing Eric's skin like a Halloween costume, doing his best impersonation of Mr. T.
There are plenty of hookers who provide Skinner with various costumes to parade around in.
Is this film disturbing? Yes. Does it feature grotesque special effects that'll turn your stomach? Yes. Are some parts hilarious? You bet. So this film gets the coveted four-skulls as a prime pick for your next blood-viewing experience.
Get it Now! It's on sale for a mere $9.98 at Amazon.com.


CANNIBAL CAMPOUT    
Here's a nice little shot-direct-to-video budget two-skull cannibal show, highly remniscent of 2,000 Maniacs (1964) the Friedman/Lewis tale of a backwoods town full o' flesh-mutiliatin'-Southerners. True to form, Cannibal Campout (1988) includes lots of dismemberment, blood, guts, gore and hillbilly humor.
The acting is of a low-B-grade variety, which is to be expected from a film where the actors double as crew.
The film's humor is supplied by psycho-hillbilly-comedian, Richard Marcus who teeters between psycho and stupid baby-talk. His performance is the video's highlight, if it has one.
Amy (Amy Chludzinski) has just found out she's pregnant and goes on a camping trip with her boyfriend, Chris (Christopher Granger also behind this film's music) and their five friends for the weekend. Amy's waiting for a romantic moment to tell Chris the news during their holiday from college.
On their way, they run into a pair of hillbilly tough guys (Marcus and Gene Robbins) who try to make trouble for them. The van's driver, Jon (Director/Producer Jon McBride) says, "Look it's Deliverance," and avoids the nasty encounter by quickly passing the hillbilly car.
A pair of the camping party are planning to scare the campers by faking murders with fake blood and a Jason-type hockey mask. (Now, here was a great opportunity to move this film to three skulls but it is not pursued by screenwriter, John Rayl.)
One-by-one, the camping party is wacked with sledgehammers, axes and machettes by the three orphaned brothers who are trying to store up food for the winter, pausing to sample bits here and there while it's fresh. A hulking, mute cannibal brother (Special effects man Joseph Salhab), wanders around the woods in overalls with a pilot's helmet with oxygen attachment, completely hiding his grossly disfigured face in a Harpo-ish performance, less any humor or intelligence.
Add Cannibal Campout to your video collection for $10 plus $4 shipping, to: Video Oyster, 145 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011.


AFTERMATH    
Both autopsy and necrophiliacs will be pleasantly satisfied by Aftermath (93), a twisted import film from Spain. This half-hour short film features some very authentic-looking autopsy footage. Is it real or is it effects? You'll have to decide for yourself.
Screenwriter/Director Nacho Cerda' depicts what may go on behind the scenes in a mortuary after you get your toe tagged. In Aftermath you see it all:
First, they cut open your noggin, yank your brains out, weigh them and stuff your pumpkin with a towel. Then they gut you like a fish, washing and examining your innards. This is followed by stuffing all your assorted parts (including the brains) into your gaping chest cavity and stitching you up a bit to keep them from spilling out. They rinse you down and cover you with a nice, clean sheet; all in a day's work.
I get a thrill from letting my queasy friends watch my autopsy films, just to see how long they can take it without covering their eyes. Cerda' knows there are folks out there like us, so he takes it one step further . . . hold on, it's a BIG step.
Enter demented, necrophiliac/mortician, portrayed brilliantly by Pep Tosar. Marta Marti' (possibly played by herself) has recently died in a car wreck. The mortician sadistically (and erotically?) performs the above procedures, with a few twists. First he whanks-off next to her in mid-autopsy. That might be satisfying for some but not Peppy-boy. He's gotta whip out the ol' camera with the built-in timer, programmed to take a photo every few minutes. He takes off his drawers and mounts the bloody, diembowled corpse!
OK, if your into pushing the limits of rudeness, this film takes the cake. The production values --- filmography, direction and music --- are all A-Numero Uno.
This three-skull sick-o flick is available for $20 plus 2.50 shipping and handling from Ransom Note Graphics, P.O. Box 13314, Oakland, CA 94611.


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Dave Lewis, a non-recovering videophiliac, is constantly on the lookout for strange and unusual videos. If you have an independent film (with or without good production values) or know of a rare or unique film that may be good for review, please write:
Dave Video Addict, P.O. Box 1753, Aberdeen, WA 98520. Or, e-mail Dave at webmanabc@hotmail.com.
This review was featured in Bloodsongs Magazine Issue number 9. You can obtain a print copy from the publishers for $5, payable to: Implosion Publishing, 777 Twenty-Eighth Street, Orlando, FL 32805

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