Film Review: Killing Spree (1987)

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SYNOPSIS:

A paranoid, mentally unstable guy starts killing off all the men he thinks that his wife is cheating on him with. He soon comes to regret his decision when they come back as zombies for revenge.

REVIEW:

I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Tim Ritter on a couple of projects and the guy is just an all around class act. Not only is he an awesome person in general he is also a very talented filmmaker who puts his heart and soul into his movies. Killing Spree is no exception. It is a fun, freaky little movie that has an interesting premise, some great characters, and best of all, some truly awesome death scenes.

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I loved the overall storyline of the movie and while some may argue that it is a little simple it still kicks all sorts of ass in my opinion. We have this weird guy named Tom (played brilliantly by Asbestos Felt) who is a bit off his nut thanks to his ex-wife cheating on him in the past. Now he is married to a beautiful woman and things are looking up for him but he can’t be completely happy because he is terrified that she is going to cheat on him too. When he finds some evidence that suggests that his worst fear has come true he snaps and decides to kill all the men that his unfaithful wife has slept with in a number of bizarre and truly entertaining ways. Yes, it may sound like it has been done before by other people but Ritter puts his own unique spin on it that makes it stand out among the crowd. And hey, none of these other movies actually have the murder victims come back to life and attack their murderer like Killing Spree does.

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Another reason I really dug this film is the fact that it is just a zany and fun movie and I had a blast watching it. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and in typical Ritter fashion there is a good mix of horror and comedy going on here. Not a lot of people can successfully combine the two genres, but Ritter always manages to pull it off without a hitch like he does here. The mistake many people make when trying to incorporate comedy into horror is that they try way too hard and rely on constant obnoxious dick and fart jokes (or gross out humor) but that just isn’t the case with this film. The comedy bits are actually funny and the scenes with the nosy old lady who lives across the street from Tom had me in stitches (especially her death scene later in the movie which is arguably the best one of the film thanks to how gross and just out there in general it is). If you want to see a horror film that does a great job of including comedic elements then this movie is for you.

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I also liked the characters too. While I couldn’t really relate to Tom I still liked him and found myself rooting for him as he carries out his murderous mission. He is just odd enough to be likeable without being too creepy or crazy, and I had a great time watching him dispatch of his victims in a number of cool and creative ways. I also liked his wife Leeza (played by the lovely Courtney Lercara who needs to come back to acting and make a few more horror films because she is talented as hell) and couldn’t help but feel sorry for her to an extent after Tom loses his mind. The men that Tom kills are all great characters too as most of them are cocky, arrogant assholes that you love to hate (especially the delivery guy with the funky cowboy hat). Genre legend Joel D. Wynkoop shows up at one point and is as awesome as every as one of Tom’s victims who claims to be a Karate expert (though it doesn’t really help him once Tom is done with him). All around this movie has a great cast that does an awesome job of bringing their respective characters to life.

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Did I mention that there are some great death scenes in this film? We get someone killed with a ceiling fan with machetes nailed to the blades, fun with a lawnmower, a screwdriver through the head, a decapitation, and my person favorite, someone having their face ripped off with a claw hammer. Fun stuff all around! Best of all, despite the fact that Killing Spree is a low budget flick the effects look nothing short of excellent (the dream sequence where Leeza’s face is a giant set of lips comes to mind as it is as impressive as it is unsettling). This movie has a pretty high body count and I for one was thrilled to death as a result!

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If you ask me Killing Spree is a classic 80’s horror film as it has everything needed to make a great fright flick. It is well-written (I love the big twist that takes place toward the end when Leeza makes a confession that changes everything) and just a great movie in general (the inclusion of the zombies at the end is a great touch too). If you haven’t seen it you are missing out so check it out as soon as you can. They don’t make them like this one anymore.

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About Todd Martin

Todd Martin grew up in Irvington, a small town in Kentucky. Thanks to his mother, father, and favorite uncle he started watching horror films at a very young age and has been a horror geek ever since. He is basically a walking encyclopedia of horror flicks (especially the 80’s slashers), comic books, and pro wrestling, and has been writing for the biggest majority of his life.

His first book, Nightmare Tales was published in 2006 and he has had several short stories published in several collections. He and his wife Trish published their book “The Gardener,” a horror novel that is a throwback to the slasher films of the 80’s in 2011 and he is working on a collection of short horror stories When he isn’t reviewing movies and books or doing interviews for Horrornews.net he has been known to act from time to time as he has appeared in a handful of low budget horror films. He also enjoys writing screenplays and enjoys making movies as well. He wrote the segment “Angel” which appeared in the 2004 film “Tales from the Grave 2: Happy Holidays!” which was produced and directed by Stephanie Beaton, and recently appeared in Tim Ritter’s film “Deadly Dares: Truth or Dare 4.”. He resides in Kentucky with his wife Trish, their cat Buffy, and their wiener dog, Cujo

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