Skullduggery (1983)

Directed by Ota Richter [Other horror films: N/A]

I’ve had the vaguest notions of this Canadian film for many years, never really knowing what it was about, aside from some cursed young man going on a killing spree. I guess that’s all you need to know, and all you get to know, because Skullduggery is entirely illogical and nonsensical in a way I’ve rarely witnessed before.

There are a lot of elements about this movie that I can’t make heads or tails of at all, such as the gorilla in the hospital (who appeared to be smoking), or the (evil/possessed?) jester doll, or the funeral chase sequence, or the lengthy costume party at the end (it started out normal, but then it became Satanic somewhere along the way, I guess?), or the magician, or the snake/heart attack, or the most unenthusiastic DM I’ve ever seen, or the random cuts of a guy in shadows putting a puzzle together, or the tic-tac-toe guy who pops up every other scene for no reason, or the guy in a sparkly suit playing piano, or the suit of armor that lives with the jester/killer…

This film is utterly bewildering.

I guess it’s fair to call it a slasher, as multiple people get killed with swords or knives, but this movie is so out there that I doubt many would really want to count it. Certainly, with the threadbare plot they had, it could have been a more conventional slasher, but the direction Skullduggery defies explanation. I mean it – I’m floored.

You know what? I think that says it all. This movie is bizarre on a level that few movies I’ve seen are (only ones that immediately comes to mind is 1981’s The Territory or 1989’s Things), but it’s also rather dull despite the crazy stuff in the film.

Just watch it. Be amazed. But I don’t think anything could really prepare you for this. The theme song is catchy stuff, though.


Author: Jiggy's Horror Corner

Fan of the horror genre, writer of mini-reviews, and lover of slashers.

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