Killing Spree ~ 1987, Tim Ritter, USA

The man, the myth, the legend- ladies and gentleman, I give you the star of Killing Spree, Mr. Asbestos Felt.

Before we go any further, I need to describe the Asbestos Felt approach to acting. My chosen method for doing this is to use Car metaphors, but full disclosure; I know nothing about cars. OK, so here we go:

In the world of actor/car analogies, Robert DeNiro is sorta like a Rolls Royce. George Clooney would be a Mercedes Benz, and Clint Eastwood is some sort of bad ass Cadillac that still understands how America works. Asbestos Felt, however, would be a Dodge Gremlin, the interior would smell like urine, it would have no doors, and a shattered windshield. It would also be missing three tires, the one tire it did have would somehow be taken off of a monster truck, and the engine is whatever the fuck they put in Indy Cars. Also, the whole car would probably be filled with possums, all of whom are on fire. Simply put, Felt goes fucking hard. While he can’t give you what you need, he can give you a manic, irrational enthusiasm which is almost certain to leave a trail of broken victims in its wake.

Just look at him! He looks like a scarecrow who found a magic lamp, and it’s first wish was to be human, but its second and third wishes were both just for heroin.

But, he’s our boy, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Killing Spree is a true experience, and while it starts so slow that you’ll find yourself expecting it not to live up to all the hype, by the end of the film, it fucking delivers… and then it keeps on delivering, long after your mangled corpse has been abused past the point of recognition.

The Plot: Tom and Leeza are a happily married couple- If by “happily married” you mean inexplicably mismatched and terrifyingly dysfunctional. Their problems all stem from one single root cause; Tom’s old fashioned views on gender equality- and by old fashioned, I mean sociopathic/amish. Leeza isn’t permitted to work. Or really do anything but stay at home. Toms been burned before, you see, so he’s not open to giving Leeza a fucking ounce of freedom, for fear that she’ll up and leave him, and he doesn’t exactly keep a cool head about the whole thing. Even in the face of this controlling, revoltingly unfair treatment, Leeza remains loyal, calm and compassionate, for reasons I cannot begin to imagine. This is not an evenly matched marriage.

Just look at the love.

I mean, WHY would Leeza stay with Tom? She’s utterly gorgeous, and in addition to being controlling and manipulative, Tom looks like a homeless muppet that survived a tornado. What’s the fucking deal?

I mean, level with me; is THIS what women want?!

So, things get worse from here. Despite Tom’s best efforts to Rapunzel his wife away, hidden from the world, he begins to suspect her of infidelity all the same, and his suspicions wind up being aimed at literally every many he can reasonably assume she’s has had contact with ever. This includes a gardener, about a hundred friggin’ repairmen, and even his best friend (a charming old man who’s also a total sleaze-ball).

He’s also a statutory rapist, so maybe doubting his loyalty isn’t such a crazy thing to do after all.

To be fair, Tom’s got his reasons to be suspicious. You see, while lounging about the house one day, our boy finds what he believes to be a journal written by his wife- outlining numerous graphic, sexual encounters between herself and… Well, basically every dude who dares even to approach her. Yep. Pretty damning evidence, I know I’d feel uncomfortable. What he doesn’t know, however, is that this is not a journal, but rather a series of erotic short stories, written by Leeza as a means of exercising her creativity while she’s bored as fuck, toiling away in her house all day. It’s not just for fun, either, Leeza plans is to sell these to an interested publisher, thereby secretly adding an additional income stream to the household, which is meant to help out after Tom’s pay is slashed due to corporate mismanagement. In truth, she is 100% faithful to him, aside from her insistence on bringing in a little bit of money, and what she does she does for the good of their marriage. See, this is why communication is so important in a relationships, without it, blood spattered rampages are almost unavoidable.

This is just a screen grab from the Asbestos Felt episode of MTV Cribs, it’s not even in the movie!

Tragically, Tom would not wait for all the facts before putting into motion his plans for revenge… Awesomely creative revenge. He starts small, but by the end of it he’s kind of the Rembrandt of killing people in broad daylight. It goes without saying that these scenes are the strongest bits in the movie, but there’s other good stuff, too, Like when we get to learn the mysterious origins of a man called “The Stew-Master”.

That’s right, folks, the epic tale of The Stew-master can finally be told.

Who is he?! What does he want!? How could he have come by such a unique accolade? Well, turns out he’s just some dude, and the reason they call him “Stew-master” is because he’s really good at making stew. Yep! It’s pretty much exactly what you’d assume, and it never comes up in the movie again, so the inclusion of this scene defies literally all rational thought. Typically when you’re writing a script, you  make it a point to cut out all the stuff that doesn’t make sense, serve the story, or which kills the pacing… but not with this script. If we were to cut out the bits that didn’t make sense, Killing Spree would simply cease to exist at all. And we can’t have that.

Now, while it’s certainly wacky as fuck, up until this point, Killing Spree has operated more or less within the confines of the revenge/serial killer sub-genre, albeit an atypical one. It would be logical to expect it to continue upon its established trajectory through it’s final act as well, and that’s the biggest reason why you should probably expect it to switch shit up immediately. And it does! In it’s third act, Killing Spree suddenly embarks into uncharted territory and serves us up a helping of zombies, more or less completely out of nowhere and with no explanation. These ghouls (who come with their own enjoyably funky music) are the inexplicably reanimated corpses of Tom’s many undeserving victims, now back from the dead and hungry for vengeance. Oh shit! Hens come home to roost, boys and girls. So, what happens next? Well… I recommend you check the film out and see for yourself. I’ve been told to stop spoiling the end of these movies, so this is all you’re gonna get from me.

Okay, I’ll give you this, too. Spoiler alert- whatever the fuck this is happens. Apparently.

Killing Spree is not a technicality impressive movie. It’s also not an attractive movie… or even a competent one. Does any of that matter to you? This is a splatter film, and the degree to which you enjoy or despise it is entirely dependent on your openness to that brand of low budget, run and gun, shot on video storytelling. Think about it like sushi- if you don’t like sushi, don’t eat it. If you do eat it- I’d imagine you’re not going to like it. Meanwhile, there are plenty of people out there who DO enjoy sushi, and they don’t need to hear you bitch about how gross it is (Full disclosure: I don’t eat sushi. It is gross.) If you’ve managed to stumble across my writing, then odds are you already know how you feel about movies like this, so I suggest you proceed according. For splatter enthusiasts, however there’s a whole second world of options to explore and enjoy, and Killing Spree is a fantastically fun and entertaining example of what’s out there. Every flaw in it is like a generous gift to openly ridicule and enjoy, and these flaws are plentiful, friends. Killing Spree is satisfyingly violent, and frequently hilarious by reason of insanity.

How far away could the next house possibly be that this isn’t going to draw some suspicion? 

This movie was re-released by some unscrupulous distributor with the title I WIll Dance On Your Grave: Killing Spree, in an evident effort to suggest that it was part of the Dance On Your Grave series, themselves something of a degenerate spin-off franchise meant to follow the legendary Video Nasty I Spit On Your Grave. This association is dubious as balls, ladies and gentlemen, and even worse is the tagline on the poster they used, which read:  “Better Run For Your Life, There’s A Babe With A Knife!”

…Yeah… And that babe is this guy:

“You just got Felt, bitches!”

Anyway. The posters for the Dance On Your Grave release of the film are still pretty solid.

Something about this does appeal to me more than Asbestos Felt does, if I’m being honest.

Highly recommended!


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Rampage ~ 2009, Uwe Boll, USA/Germany

Rampage-2009Before we even get into the movie, let’s talk about this poster really fast. Firstly, I have no idea who that female character is, and I just watched this flick. It kinda looks like Elvira, without her makeup… Yeah, Elvira’s not in this movie. Secondly, I love the glowing praise from “Cool Awesome Movies,” who gives this film a whopping 8 stars!!! Apparently, four stars just wasn’t enough, they really liked Rampage. Who am I to argue?

I’m Chris Ochs, that’s who. Review time.

The single best thing that German director Uwe Boll ever did for his public image was to slowly disappear completely. Let’s talk about that.

In the earlier half of the last decade, openly hating on Uwe Boll was very fashionable, especially in film-centric social circles. By any and all reckoning, here was a man who rightfully deserved to wear the title of “Single worst film maker of all time,” and who was also a belligerent, incompentent dick head, whom nobody could tolerate even on the most basic, human level. According to popular belief, Boll had managed to exploit an obscure German tax loop hole, which allowed him to secure generous financing for a string of woefully ill-advised video game-to film-adaptations, each with relatively high budgets, and occasionally, recognizable actors. They were all unwatchably terrible, and earned consistently poor reviews, which Boll often felt a need to rebut. Inarticulate retaliatory statements from Uwe began to feel pretty commonplace, and the situation slowly began to snowball more and more, until Mr. Boll finally became universally seen as the most despised social pariah of the entire psychotronic film community.


Which is weird, because he’s so charming.

But this was more or less temporary, simply because everyone kinda forgot about him. Once the video game thing had ran its course, Boll’s output became more obscure, and he lost even the faintest chance of ever again knowing the joy that is an American mainstream theatrical release. With his movies no longer rubbed mercilessly in our faces, the world soon found itself with better things to do, and even Boll’s widley accepted status as Humanity’s shittiest director came into question when Tommy Wisseau and James Nguyen hit the scene, jeopardizing Boll’s only accolade ever! Finally, at long last, Uwe Boll, Germany’s greatest living shame, became little more than a horrible, horrible memory for us all.

But he didn’t go away completely. Uwe Boll had just become easier to ignore. It seems that, unbeknownst to many, Boll’s directorial output didn’t actually slow down all that much, if at all. Year after year he somehow continued to churn out terrible movies, and in fact, he remains quite prolific, even to this day. Which is disappointing and terrifying.

In 2009, Uwe Boll directed Rampage, an exercise in shock value violence that has somehow proven to be one of his best received directorial efforts ever. The general consensus across the web is that this film isn’t horrid, putrid dog shit, and that’s a lofty goal which earlier Boll films, like Bloodrayne or Alone In The Dark, would never dare aspire to. Unfortunately, humans are often wrong, and this is one of those times. Rampage is horrible.

The film is best described as being kinda like Joel Shumacher’s Falling Down, as interpreted by some mentally ill teenage boy who needs to be sent to counseling immediately. I absolutely mean it, this movie is fucked up, and without reason, or purpose. It’s not even entertaining, and there’s no merit whatsoever to justify the considerable lapse in human decency required to watch or otherwise engage Rampage. This is not a joke, I mean it, If you find a copy of this movie in the possession of an adolescent, it’s right off to counseling with that one. That is a plain-as-day red flag.

THE PLOT~ Some sheltered, over privileged Millennial who has never known hardship decides that the world is over populated, and that he has the authority to make any sort of decision regarding the future of the human race, even though he’s just some shit head who isn’t qualified to do anything. This fucking tool, who knows absolutely nothing except for what he read on Facebook this morning, then concludes that it is his right to walk around town indiscriminately murdering dozens upon dozens of people, while wearing a bullet proof costume that he bought on the internet, even though the amount of humans who would need to die in order for literally any sort of impact on the Earth to be felt would be in the billions, meaning that he achieves absolutely nothing. So, this kid dresses up in his stupid little suit, marches out, and murders a whole bunch of people, which is really, really easy for him to do. Then, he frames the whole thing on his best friend, and retires home to the comfort of his parents house, where he can continue to not pay rent or get a job, i.e., exist as a non-contributing drain on resources, what a hypocrite.

And that’s the movie.


“It’s my masterpiece!”

The violence in this movie is basically inexcusable, but heed my words, fellow movie nerds; do not take my scathing criticism for Rampage’s violent content as some sort of backhanded endorsement, I beg of you. this is not some psychotronic milestone that you need to check off your bucket list by any means, in fact, if you even have a psychotronic bucket list, then you’ve already spent a lot of time on films that are much, much more extreme than Rampage, and most likely every single one was a much better movie anyway. For instance, I’ve seen, AND loved many, many films which were much more violent, graphic, obscene, depraved- you name it. Films with similar themes, like Falling Down, Death Wish, Taxi Driver, Ms. 45, Dead Man’s Shoes, The Devil’s Rejects, I Spit On Your Grave, and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, all of these are films which I have seen, and appreciate. Why, then, are those movies a-okay, while Rampage is not? Really, there are two reasons.

1. Rampage isn’t good enough: Simple as that. You can be offensive, or you can suck ass, but if you do both, people are a lot less likely to tolerate your bullshit. A genius has some clout to work with, and can buy their way out of controversies. If you’re a doofus, you better pray that your movie at least brings in enough money to cover your ass, because if it doesn’t, then we’ll just run you out of town.

2. The director is an idiot: This does matter. It’s the difference between seeing violent content in a painting done by Leonardo Da Vinci, or seeing violent crayon scribblings perpetrated by some creeper with a learning disability. Boll has no thesis, his film has no subtext, it’s nothing more of what it appears to be at its most superficial layer, because that superficial layer is in fact Rampage’s ONLY layer. This film is so shallow that it’s emotionally alienating, and comes across as a joyless, empty exercise in bottom-of-the-barrel shock value for shock value’s sake- and that’s Boll at his worst. (See: Postal.) Rampage is, in essence, inexcusable, and socially irresponsible.

That being said, as far as I know, this is his best movie. I want to clarify that there are plenty of Uwe Boll films which I have never seen (thank freaking goodness,) but Rampage certainly beats all of his video game films by miles. It’s almost a real movie! The dialogue, and the acting especially is suspiciously decent and naturalistic. Kinda makes a guy wonder… Boll supposedly wrote this one, but I stand here before you and call bullshit on that, at least so far as the dialogue is concerned; Boll’s English isn’t good enough, literally any footage of him actually speaking is adequate proof of this. What had to have happened is that either Boll brought in a native English speaker to fine tune each and every line, or the actors themselves were given full license to re-work and/or improvise their dialogue as needed. The suggestion that these lines are word for word Boll cannot be entertained, it’s simply not true.

But that short list of positive things I can muster up on Rampage’s behalf has now exhausted me, and we’re back to facing the harsh, uncompromising truths associated with Uwe’s cinematic output. Rampage blows. It’s not smart enough to be as offensive as it is, and the end result feels uncomfortably empty, stupid, and lame. Really, the only thing we, as humans, can do is to band together and hope that if life exists elsewhere in the universe, that we can keep Uwe Boll’s body of work hidden from them forever, because we’re probably on thin ice as it is, and that’s just the thing to crack it.


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