Tim Ritter’s low-budget exercise in absurdity and gore is packed to the gills with bad acting, cheesy lines, ridiculous effects, and exagerrated characters. And still, it’s damn near a low-budget horror comedy masterpiece. KILLING SPREE tells the story of Tom Russo, a newly married man with a jealous streak a mile wide. When Tom discovers a book that seems to detail his wife’s extramarital affairs, it’s just the push he needs to convince himself that all men are out to get his woman and the only solution is to kill them one by one.
From fan-blade scalpings to screwdriver brain-drillings, KILLING SPREE has it all. Asbestos Felt is Tom, and whether it’s the wild hair or talent, portrays an entirely off-his-rocker husband with an endearing sort of wackiness that really fits the story. Felt is perfect for the part. He’s also backed well by Courtney Lercara as his wife, and an array of victims including cult favorite Joel D. Wynkoop. It’s safe to say this movie could not have been made any better with more experienced actors, or a higher level of realism. It is what it is thanks to the amateur elements, cheesy acting, and clumsy dialogue.
There’s plenty of blood and gore, even if the effects are obviously cheap, and enough gimmicks to please your typical gorehound. In particular, there’s hooking a hammer into the lower jaw and pulling half a face off. Fans of cheesy 80’s gore won’t be disappointed here.
Technically speaking, you could tear this movie to shreds. The camera angles are confusing, generally having way too much empty space and very obviously amateur. Voices are muffled and at times even lost. But neither of those should be unfamiliar to 80’s direct-to-video horror fans. In the case of KILLING SPREE, each one of those technical flaws only adds to the overall craziness and camp feel of the film.
With quotable one-liners like “How ’bout a haircut, slimeball!” and “Why does she write all this down?!”, KILLING SPREE is the perfect brainless cheeseball horror to watch alone or with a room full of slightly inebriated friends. This is what the straight to VHS low budget horror days were all about, and though it attracts a particular type of audience, those who love it know who they are. For the 80’s VHS gore lovers, this is an absolute must see.
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