Lunchmeat (1987)

Author: Josh G.
Submitted by: Josh G.   Date : 2008-05-03 03:38
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Written and Directed by: Kirk Alex
Starring: Kim McKamy, Joe Ricciardella and Chuck Ellis


Reviewed by: Josh G.









ďCAUTION: IF DECAPITATIONS, CANNIBALISM AND BRUTAL, SAVAGE ACTS OF SUSPENSE AND GORE TURNS YOUR STOMACH THIS FILM IS NOT FOR YOU!!!Ē


If that doesnít catch your attention, nothing will. Iím guessing a lot of horror moviegoers were in awe at the cover art Lunchmeat presented to them. With those blood-drenched words and an overweight hillbilly chewing on a limb, the promotion was basically sealed. Who could pass up the chance to watch what remained inside the Tapeworm Video Distributors cassette? I first thought that the feature presentation would be focussed around cannibals, and set in the desert. Donít ask me why I thought desert. I just did. To my pleasant surprise, it was about neither. While there was some flesh eating and ripping of skin in bare hands, Lunchmeat turned out to be a backwoods slasher movie with hillbillies, 80s standards, and plenty-o-gory goodness.

Six young adults are driving to Mount Edgar Ė a place where they are hoping to camp out at. Thereís Roxy (Kim McKamy of Dreamaniac, Evil Laugh, and numerous adult flicks) and her boyfriend Frank (Joe Ricciardella); thereís Sue (Patricia Christie) and her pal Eddie (Bob Joseph), and finally, punk Debbie (Marie Ruzicka) and whiny blind date Cary (Rick Lorentz). They are oblivious to the fact that they are headed straight towards hillbilly hell! Redneck Paw (Elroy Wiese) and his three sons Elwood (Mitch Rogers), Harley (Robert Oland), and Benny (Chuck Ellis) need some fresh meat for dinner. And look who has dropped in? Tasty teens, all set with 80s fashions. Itís a chase through the woods once the visitors arrive. Who will die, and who will fight back with a vengeance?

First off, I just want to say that the scoring for Lunchmeat, as dated and ridiculous as it sounds, is absolutely sensational! Setting the tone and reminding you that this is a true 80s production is what it does best. Characters in ultra low budget direct-to-video features such as this arenít really expected to be fleshed out, but Iíve got to hand it to Marie Ruzicka. Debbie is the most likeable person of the bunch, and very unique too. She dresses similar to what Violet of Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning might, except without the attitude or robot dancing. Itís very hard to see her get picked off. The rest of the cast is likeable, at least on the victim side of things. Cary is an exception. Heís annoying and a complaining wreck. However, he and Debbie were the most fun and lively, so itís just as well that they were lumped together as a couple.

Harley and Elwood, two redneck killers, try to be funny but they are, in reality, more irritating and overdone than Cary. They repeat lines, Elwood acts stupid, and Harley is the unlikely reliable sibling. Paw is good as the leader of the maniacs, but my favorite is Benny, not just because he doesnít talk, but because heís like a giant limb-eating baby, who is by far the creepiest of the clan. The family keeps him on a leash, giving off the idea that this lunatic is raving mad! The backwoods scenery is a positive, and the story keeps it simple. Itís a rednecks slaughter teens movie with no other subplot to spoil your attention from the main focus. The most effective scenes are the chases through the woods, where the camera follows the chased kids, shaking wildly to give it that intense feel. The downfall is that it becomes a little dull with the non-POV scenes, and losing interest becomes a problem.

ďRow, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream;
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream!Ē

Believe it or not, these adults sing that nursery rhyme over and over again while riding in the car. What are they, kindergarteners? Moving on, in the gore department, blood is splattered everywhere! Decapitations with mannequin heads, throat munches with delicious strings of skin, pick axes in the neck, machetes through the stomach, and shovels beaten against the toughest of men. Itís a shame that after all of that, we receive an ending that, while eerie, doesnít resolve anything at all. The hunters soon become the hunted, with the remaining teenagers fighting back. The dark feel of no escape is always present in this slasher. In other words, you feel isolated. 'Entertaining Trash' is my personal alternative title for Lunchmeat, if I were ever to name such a thing. It focuses on shots for a lot longer than it needs to, but trust me. A week night will do you great service. Rent it!




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