Blu-ray Review: Skinned Deep (2004)

August 15, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

The Rockwell clan are making with the cross-country vacay bag when they suffer some static with their vehicle and are forced to stop at a remote country store in the hopes of getting some repairs post-haste!
Well, instead of getting their SUV fixed, they wind up guests over at Granny’s (Liz Little) place where the grotesquely suburban Rockwell’s meet the just plan grotesque members of Granny’s family… mutants one and all, and each one is more out of their skull and crazed for blood than the last!
What could have been a simple stalk n’ slay picture turns into a demented fever dream thanks to the absolutely off-the-fuckin’-charts sensibilities of writer/director Gabe Bartalos (who’s probably best known for his work in the make-up department of the Leprechaun series and the Basket Case sequels). Every single sequence is filled with odd close-ups and camera placement, maniacal use of image distortion lenses, bizarre mutants, and surreal sets… often all at the same time. The end result is a picture that looks like it was plucked screaming from a nightmare, injected with bleach, and shot back into whatever hell-born uterus it emerged from, only to end up on our television screens… it’s fuckin’ glorious!
Add into the mix some serious splatter, a man with a brain the size of a small planet running down a city street completely nude (more on him in a bit… ), Warwick Davis as a diminutive psycho who murders people by hucking plates at them (his name is Plates for the record), a biker gang comprised of folks well-over the age of 60 (and who’s ranks include Famous Monsters of Filmland publisher/horror legend  Forrest J. Ackerman), and some sort of fucked up, Stockholm Syndrome-style love story between said giant-brained dude, and the Rockwell’s daughter Tina (Karoline Brandt) and you have the absolute perfect recipe for psychotronic lunacy done to a fuckin’ “T”!
Adding to the overall appeal of this (in my not so humble opinion) masterpiece of surreal deliciousness, Severin have provided a few prime-cuts of bonus material roast to serve up to the slavering horror hounds doubtless laid low by the monstrous munchies after ingesting so much brain-altering cinematic substances!
Offered up here are an audio commentary provided by cast and crew (Bartalos and Brandt among them), a retrospective on the film’s production, an archival behind-the-scenes featurette, and the film’s trailer.
I simply can not heap enough praise upon Skinned Deep; it’s entirely off-the-rails, unique, and extremely awesome… grab this one post-fucking-haste!


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