Skinned Deep

Skinned Deep


Reviewed by: Scott Macdonald

There are few kinds of movies I despise. The ones I do, generally have little respect for their audiences.

In this vein, Skinned Deep is a spectacularly hollow smorgasbord of gore, feeble camerawork, dull chases and action editing that fails to deliver anything beyond the prodigious letting of blood. Shades of classic low budget shockers, Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead and Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, flicker accross what remains of your conscious mind.

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The script follows the cliché of a family going into the dustbowl of Middle America, where a commune of freaks take pleasure in killing people and decorating the lower dungeon of their house with human remains. The freaks are occasionally imaginative and would serve better in a more interesting movie. There's an impressive character with a penchant for slicing up people with his metallic teeth. Another is a very stupid man, with an abnormally large brain, called Brain (ho-ho!). Also, there's an irritatingly played murderous dwarf, with kitchenware as weapons.

Skinned Deep was shot, using a prosumer grade DVCam, washing out the detail and preventing us from getting a proper look at the impressively icky sets. As for the unintentional hilarity, I was left pondering whether the film was a sophisticated satire of the geek show genre, or a repulsively bad example of it. The almost unbearably thin straight characters exhibit more than their fair share of stupidity and the freaks are unengaging as anti-heroes.

As for the tone of the piece, it seems that writer/director Gabriel Bartalos decided to put in everything he thought might be a cool gag. Sorry to burst his bubble, but Skinned Deep will not find it's audience. Even fans of slash'n'slice would do best to stay away.

Reviewed on: 22 Aug 2004
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Middle American freaks kill passing strangers in disgusting and bloody ways.
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Director: Gabriel Bartalos

Writer: Gabriel Bartalos

Starring: Karoline Brandt, Jay Dugre, Warwick Davis, Liz Little, Peter Iasillo, Aaron Simms, Kurt Carley

Year: 2003

Runtime: 97 minutes

Country: US


EIFF 2004

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