Directed by Tim Ritter [Other horror films: Day of the Reaper (1984), Twisted Illusions (1985), Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness (1986), Wicked Games (1994), Creep (1995), Alien Agenda: Endangered Species (1998), Screaming for Sanity: Truth or Dare 3 (1998), Twisted Illusions 2 (2004), Deadly Dares: Truth or Dare Part IV (2011), Hi-8 (Horror Independent 8) (2013, segment ‘Switchblade Insane’), I Dared You! Truth or Dare Part 5 (2017), Trashsploitation (2018, segment ‘Truth or Dare’), Hi-Death (2018, segment ‘Dealers of Death’), Zombarella’s House of Whorrors (2019, segment ‘Cosmic Desires’), Sharks of the Corn (2021)]
Dedicated to H.G. Lewis, Tim Ritter’s low-budget fourth film is overly inept but extraordinarily fun, and if SOV horror is something you’re a fan of, I think you’d find this a blast.
The story, if taken seriously, is actually somewhat tragic, what with a man believing his wife is cheating on him, and so he decides to kill the men ‘making’ his wife unfaithful. Of course, in as low-budget, gory ways as possible. Obviously, this isn’t a Hollywood film, and the acting is pretty awful across the board. That said, so many of the lines of dialogue are hilariously awesome that it doesn’t matter (such as a favorite of mine, “Why is she writing all of this down?”).
Asbestos Felt does fantastically great as the paranoid husband, with plenty of cheesy dialogue and overall a beautifully delicious performance. Courtney Lercara, the wife, wasn’t quite as memorable, but I did love her over-the-top scenes of her various lustful encounters. Pretty much everyone else was second tier, but that doesn’t stop individuals such as Raymond Carbone, Joel D. Wynkoop, and Rachel Rutz from standing out of the pack in their wacky, goofy ways (Rutz’ nonsensical dialogue just broke me up multiple times despite her short time on screen).
For a lower-budget flick, the gore effects are decent. They don’t really become great until the ending (such as the hammer in the jaw scene, perhaps my favorite kill, followed by the lawnmower sequence), but you can tell that Ritter definitely got his sensibilities from the Godfather of Gore, H.G. Lewis, who, like I mentioned at the beginning, this film is dedicated to.
I have a few issues, though, that hinder this film from reaching it’s arguably-rightful place of above average. One was a dream sequence which struck me as way too goofy, though the fact that it is clearly a dream sequence grants it some leeway. The other problem, though, is the conclusion, in which the movie shifts gears from a slasher to something else (and to avoid spoilers, I’ll just say it sort of comes out of nowhere). The final 15 minutes felt far more stale to me than the rest of the film, and I would have been okay with a 70 minute film, cutting out or changing the conclusion.
It’s a shame, as pretty much everything else is both amusing and deeply enjoyable (I always loved his random beach-rage sequence – for some reason, that’s always a scene that I remember the most from this flick). The twist, such as it was, came across as slightly more sophisticated than one might think from a film like this, but it certainly added a tragic twist to the film. If only the ending was better. It’s still a deeply enjoyable film, though, and despite my seemingly unenthusiastic rating, I’d recommend it to fans of lower-budget outings from the 1980’s.
2 thoughts on “Killing Spree (1987)”