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Grotesque (1988)

  Tags: 80's, Billy Frank, Brad Wilson, Bunki Z, cabin, Donna Wilkes, Grotesque, Joe Tornatore, Linda Blair, Michelle Bensoussan, Nels Van Patten, Sharon Hughes, Stacey Alden, Tab Hunter

Your rating: None Average: 6.5 (2 votes)
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Joe Tornatore
78 minutes
Linda Blair, Donna Wilkes, Tab Hunter, Brad Wilson, Michelle Bensoussan, Sharon Hughes, Nels Van Patten, Billy Frank, Bunki Z, Stacey Alden

I stumbled across this fairly unknown 80's horror flick recently starring Linda Blair. It's clear from the title and cover that we're gonna deal with some freakish creature, but that's not all, as the punks in the film are the real villains. The premise sounded promising, but sadly, the movie itself is just one big mess, especially towards the end, where it just seemed to get worse as time went on.

The story follows Linda Blair's character, "Lisa," and her friend, who decide to visit family at a secluded winter cabin. Along the way, they encounter a group of annoying punks, who make their presence known around town by causing trouble along the road. Obviously they're up to no good and its proven true when they barge into the cabin and start harassing the family. Thinking since the father is some big-shot horror movie make-up artist that he would naturally have a stash of cash hidden somewhere the cabin. Sadly for them, it's not money that's hidden in the cabin, but a hideous human being with freakish strength. Now it's the punks that have to fend for their lives, as the foul beast takes them out one by one with his bare hands.

I really liked the premise for the film and also wanted to like the movie, but it's pretty clear early on that this wasn't going to be a flick worth remembering. The punks were annoying from the get-go, with their leader who can't say one line without yelling it, to the obnoxious guy that giggles after ever sentence. Oh, and lets not forget the girl that decides to make some sort of dolphin noise while still keeping a straight face. What the hell's wrong with these people? Were they seriously supposed to be intimidating?

Luckily, once the deformed guy breaks out he starts offing them pretty quickly. What I liked most about his character was the fact that he was so freakishly strong that he didn't even bother with weapons at all. A snap of a neck or bear hug was all he needed to make short work of these big-hair make-up-wearing pests. However, the look of the guy wasn't as "grotesque" as the title might lead you to believe. He basically looked like a dude that had his face partially melted off, which didn't really do much for me. I've seen a lot more grotesque beings in horror flicks, but I suppose it might've worked for an 80's audience.

Although this isn't a good movie, it did offer some interesting additions to an otherwise bad film. Like the fact that we're dealing with more than one enemy, and we're also shown a police side of the things that's not normally shown in horror flicks. Once all the mayhem is over, a search party is sent out and after survivors are found, they're questioned. Normally things just end when all the baddies are killed. If you shed all the extra bits, this is just a straight-forward revenge flick, which becomes more apparent at the climax.

The movie should have just ended at the hour mark, because everything after that point just seems like a waste of time. For instance we have one sequence involving a man walking to the cabin, and we're continuously cut from him, to the dead bodies inside. This is repeated until the man finally reaches the cabin, which takes entirely too long. It's pretty clear scenes like that are only there to fill up the running time, because there's honestly not much more story to tell at that point. Then when you think the film is finally over, we're thrown an even more ridiculous WTF ending.

The film had potential, but mostly falls flat due to the poor directing and script, which is all over the place, especially with the characters which were either empty or annoying. However, the movie did deliver a couple other bits that were interesting up until the hour mark, where it starts to go downhill. Rent at your own risk.

Posted on April 12, 2012 - 2:30pm | FrighT MasteR