Director: Tim Ritter
USA - 1987
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 grammar
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; its 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, Toms paranoia forbids Leeza to even get a job
terrified at the notion of her hooking up with some hunky colleague and having an affair.
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,
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 time, 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 surfer
sporting a mullet presumably stolen from Billy Ray Cyrus and Ill be jiggered
if he didnt 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,
Buy it! We love your money!
-- Copyright © 2000 by J. Bannerman