16. Video Violence…When Renting Is Not Enough (1987)
To warn you ahead of time, I have a really nasty virus and a high fever, so this may not be as sophisticated and insightful as you are used to. I will most likely also overuse parentheses and exclamation points.
Last night I had crazy fever dreams, including one in which I was a huge wolf and had to construct shelter for the winter because there was a big blizzard coming, but at the same time I was also a little girl getting trapped in the ruins of a castle and I didn’t know enough German to escape.
This movie was not as funny as I had hoped it would be. Really, for a direct-to-video, late-80s no-budget slasher, it was actually pretty decent. The acting was terrible, yes, but the “snuff film” sections of the movie were incredibly realistic.
There is a dude who has just moved to this small town from New York to open a video store. He knows something is weird because he just opened, but already there are more than 300 people in the video club. Do you know what that means?
Over 300 people in the town have VCRs!
Shit, do you have chills already? That is a seriously sinister statistic, or at least it is presented as such. I know that actually probably would have seemed anomalous in 1987, but it is still pretty funny.
This guy is married and is a pretty boring character, but unfortunately the movie is about him so you are stuck.
The main jist of the plot is that the town is full of murdering maniacs who make homemade snuff films and they keep sneaking their snuff films into his video store to fuck with him, and then in the end they end up murdering him and his wife as well, and they take over the video store for their own sinister purposes!
Here are the important bits:
1. The town only has two police officers: the guy who greets people and the police chief. Also, he wears a sweater vest and a toupee.
2. The snuff films are often really creepy and realistic. There is one scene in which the two main murderers (Eli and some other dude, he calls it “the Eli Show” and he always wears stupid hats) kill this hitchhiker (I can’t post a good screencap because there is too much blood and nudity and I don’t want my blog to be rated “mature”) and carve Eli’s name into her chest. It made me really uncomfortable. I think the fact that they are exactly the kind of untalented, fucked-up guys that you would expect to really see in a snuff film that makes it creepy. I made a sanitized version of the screencap for you:
3. The other murder scenes are totally hilarious! One of them takes place in a deli, and they chop a guy’s head off and put it in a pot and actually get an actor to look into the camera and say “Soup’s on!” THEN, they take the guys arm and put it in the deli meat slicer. Classic.
4. The music composed for this film is actually pretty great.
3/10 for plot
8/10 for gore
4/10 for acting
7/10 for sweet synthy soundtrack
2/10 for how much I cared about the main characters
Anne rating: 4.8