Outrageous sideshow performer: A carnival performer whose show consists of bizarre acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken.
As a child, little hillbilly Luther once witnessed a sideshow geek doin’ his thing in a barn and was immediately transfixed by the man’s bloody antics. Now Luther is grown and incarcerated on three counts of murder, but he is about to be granted parole…
Pretty much as soon as Luther hits the street he mauls an old lady (who for some reason is a young actress made-up to look old) with his razor sharp set of steel dentures, then while on the run from the police, he jumps into a parked car’s backseat to hide. Shortly thereafter, the owner of the car, Hilary, hops in and drives home to her secluded farmhouse to prepare dinner for her daughter Beth, and her boyfriend who are soon to be returning home from college for the holidays. Luther’s about to have a feast fit for a king!
The first thing I noticed about this film is that it looks like it was made in the late 70s-early 80s; with the faded colours, grainy film stock, and overall atmosphere it really feels just like some grimy piece of trash discarded and forgotten about by the local grindhouse (though I loathe to use this now filthy word!). The other thing that immediately sticks out is that its almost a silent film – there is very little dialog aside from the constant clucks, squawks & crows that emit from Luther’s mouth as he does his bizarre chicken act.
Now to the violence and nudity! There’s definitely some bloody scenes here as we witness Luther gorily tear into necks, fingers and chests with his grill, but it’s nowhere near as ultra-violent as its reputation / reviews suggest. The only nudity here is from Hilary’s daughter, Beth, (TV star Stacy Haiduk who played Lana Lang in the Superboy TV series) who has a lengthy shower scene – of which there is a whole seven more minutes of in the outtakes section for all you sleazefiends – and a sex scene.
All in all, a decent semi-slasher flick with plenty of grubby ambience. Luther is a total freak and it’s fun to watch him gore people up and run around like a retarded chicken, especially when he does his wacky victory / death dance after a kill.
One major negative with this disc though, is the idiotic Troma extras: first off we have an utterly witless intro to the film with Troma head honcho Lloyd Kaufman introducing Troma’s “freakshow” which consists of some fag that pretends to suck Kaufman’s dick and another fuckwit who tries to suck his own cock, but farts instead. These childish attempts at humour are really not funny and had me pissed off before the film even started. Aside from the brainless intro there’s also Troma extras like a global warming awareness short and a twelve minute PETA propaganda film trying to convince us all to become vegetarians. I really don’t think this kinda proselytizing bullshit should be on a DVD – yes, I understand that Kaufman is obviously worried about the environment and a vegetarian who wants to get the message out there, but I’m sure most of us know what goes on in a slaughterhouse and what the short life of a battery hen consists of, why force it onto the unsuspecting public who just wanna watch a campy horror film?
- Introduction by Lloyd Kaufman
- Interview with director Carlton J Albright
- Troma’s “Freak of the week” episode
- “Make Your Own Damn Movie”:
- Film school in a box!
- Radiation March
DIRECTOR(S): Carlton J Albright | COUNTRY: USA | YEAR 1990 | DISTRIBUTOR(S): Vendetta Films | RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes | ASPECT RATIO: 1.33:1 | REGION: 0 | DISCS: 1