SKINNED DEEP (Blu-ray Review)
FROM SEVERIN FILMS
Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat🙀
I’ll give Skinned Deep props for one thing...the mask worn by “Surgeon General” (the most homicidal member of a psychotic backwoods family) is one of the coolest I’ve ever seen in a horror film. With black goggles and a bear-trap jaw, he looks like a monstrous version of the Iron Giant.
If it was available as a Halloween mask, I'd scare the living shit out of every kid in the neighborhood.
There’s demented imagination behind all the antagonists, including “Plates” (Warwick Davis), a pasty-white dwarf whose weapon-of-choice is fine china, and “Brain” (Jason Dugre), with his horrifically huge head. Then there’s the muscle-bound maniac who has no actual head. Finally, we have family matriarch Granny (Liz Little)...outwardly kind while directing her boys to commit a variety of atrocities on tourists and strangers.
Skinned Deep is the brainchild of writer-director Gabe Bartalos, mostly known for doing make-up & special effects on various low budget films - including a few cult classics - for over 30 years. Hence, his directorial debut - released in 2004 - is full of bizarre, grungy production design, outlandish violence, gushing gore and freaky faces. While the film’s visuals reflect a pretty low budget, it’s obvious every dollar Bartalos was able to scrape together is up on there on the screen.
|"The hell you say!"|
Skinned Deep ends up as a hodgepodge of tenuously-connected sequences, like the director had a lot of cool individual scenes in-mind, then built a story around them. But that ain’t necessarily a deal-breaker, since the budget-conscious make-up and SFX keep things from becoming dull. Just don’t expect much in the way of originality, decent performances or a well-structured narrative.
“DEEP CUTS” - A new retrospective doc, featuring interviews with writer-director Gabe Bartalos, actors Jason Dugre (“Brain”) & Karoline Brandt (“Tina”) and weapons machinist Jake Lee.