Movie Reviews 119 – [DVG] Skinned Alive (1990)

Continuing with the reviews of the Demons, Vampires and Ghouls DVD set:

Skinned Alive (1990)

Skinned AliveEven though this was a very early J. R. Bookwalter production, it’s almost hard to believe that he was in any way responsible for this dreck of a movie. The story is so sparse and one dimensional that makes it a perfect specimen of an example where somebody had a germ of an idea for a movie and then went out and shot it without bothering to write a script or any real notion of where they wanted to go with it.

This is another Hillbilly dysfunctional family movie with the only difference being is that they are on the run instead of living on some dilapidated and isolated farm. The Crawldaddy family, comprised of brother Phink and sister Violet are led by a patch-eyed, wheelchair bound matriarch, ‘Crawldaddy’ herself leading the way on a murderous rampage while traveling in their rusty (but not so trusty) old van.  When said van breaks down in a small town the naive garage mechanic agrees to put up the family for the night when unable to repair the vehicle immediately. I know, bad idea.

Aside from hanging the skin from their latest victim in their new basement abode, the almost singular highlight of the movie comes when sister Violet puts the moves on brother Phink for a little bit of incestuous family luv’in. Our hopes of at least some titillation are quickly dashed and instead we are treated to watching “Ma” burping, belching and chomping on a meal like a goat served by her host and hostess. There is a side story about the divorced neighbor going through some rough times, but for the most part the two plots are disconnected and only come together forcibly at the end.

Sadly, the vintage 80’s Commodore Amiga generated graphics and screen credits (they even brag about this in the end credits) are probably the most exciting things in this limpid excuse for a horror movie. While Bookwalter neither wrote nor directed this production of his, I found it ironic that he has a cameo as a Jehovah witness, Jehovah’s not believing in hellfire. It was certainly an hellish experience watching this movie because there certainly wasn’t enough of it onscreen


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