Killing Spree

Director: Tim Ritter

USA - 1987

Hoff! Hoff! Hoff! Hoff!

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Upon reading some of my past reviews, I've noticed a tendency to always start off by pointing out something negative about the film in question. (I also notice a plethora of spelling and gra"Look at me! I'm crazy! No, really!"mmar errors, but that's beside the point.) My commentary usually begins with such intellectual tidbits as: "Man, did that suck," Or the variation, "Man, did that blow the goat." And though the film may have, in fact, had oral relations with said mammal - and these remarks may be very true to my feelings - I realize that there are a lot of good qualities of otherwise bad films that I may have neglected to bring forth. In short, I fully realize my tendency to be a pessimist. And in light of this, I am going to begin this review with something positive. Something I find truly interesting about this movie. The star of Killing Spree is a guy named Asbestos Felt. I think Asbestos Felt is an interesting name; it’s also quite catchy. Granted, I wouldn't want this particular appellation for myself – unless, perhaps, I was a professional wrestler, or maybe an adult movie star - but it's an intriguing name nonetheless. So there. Something positive. Wow, that felt really good; like an immense weight that has been lifted off my chest.

Man, did this movie blow the goat.

Asbestos Felt plays Tom Russo, an airplane mechanic with a bad barber and an unhealthy obsession with his wife, Leeza. Ever since catching his previous wife doing the deed with his former best friend, Tom has never been the same. Engulfed in jealousy, Tom’s paranoia forbids Leeza to even get a job – terrified at the notion of her hooking up with some hunky colleague and having an affair. InYes, that's supposed to be a real head one brilliant stroke of foreshadowing, Tom confides in Leeza his inability to deal with any future bouts of infidelity. Who knows what would happen if he found out that his wife was, once again, found screwing around?

If you need a compass to see where this is going, seek help.

One day, while Leeza is out with a friend, Tom happens across a little black book. In the book, which turns out to be some kind of a diary, Tom discovers vivid accounts of Leeza messing around with not one, but several different suitors - the electrician, the TV repair man, the delivery man, the lawn guy, and last but not least, his current best friend! Naturally, this enrages Tom. Said fit, along with all future fits, is visually emphasized for us, the viewing audience, by a red light that floods the room whenever Tom reads about one of Leeza's sexcapades. It's also accentuated through the ridiculous mugging of master thespian, Asbestos Felt. "Look at me, with my mouth all agape and the eyes bulging out of my nutty head! Can't you tell I'm insane?!" Next tim"Ugh, how does Dean Koontz come up with this crap?!"e, why not just use flash cards or subtitles?

Instead of just confronting Leeza with the evidence, Tom instead spends a good majority of the remaining film knocking off the aforementioned TV repair man, lawn guy, best friend, and so on and so forth. Targeted at gorehounds, the whole point Killing Spree is the imaginative (yet stupid) murders - decapitation a la ceiling fan, intestines hooked up to car battery – you get the picture. I'm not big into blood ‘n guts myself, but I would think that if you're going to write a rudimentary script to act simply as a vehicle to highlight your "talent" for special effects, you should, at the very least, make sure the effects are something worth showcasing. One must take into account that there are distinct differences between what a severed human head might look like and how a mannequin head straight from the "Fall Collection" at J.C. Penney will probably not do the trick. Not only do they display one of the worst decapitated heads I have ever witnessed, but then they let the camera dwell on it for about five minutes. I waited patiently for the laugh track to kick in.

The characters are rather ridiculous as well. We have an overweight Did you lose something there, Tex?surfer sporting a mullet presumably stolen from Billy Ray Cyrus – and I’ll be jiggered if he didn’t try his damndest to say "dude" at the end of each and every sentence. You know, because he's a surfer, dude! Then there's the TV repair guy who also happens to be a karate expert. Now, here is a guy who would be completely believable as, say, the Night Manager at Denny's - but he's about as much a karate expert as perhaps Rosie O'Donnell. But my personal favorite of the bunch is the delivery man. He looks like John Holmes, sports a cowboy hat like John Wayne, but grabs his crotch and struts around like he's Jimmy Walker! Come now, my friend - pick a character and go with it!

If you can make it that far, there are some "surprises" and "plot twists" at the end.

Asbestos Felt is a pretty cool name, though.

Screwdriverhead: Because Pinhead has already been done

 

Killing Spree

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-- Copyright 2000 by J. Bannerman

 

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