3 December 2006 | Coventry
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad... JAKE!
Crazy & obscure little early 90's horror gem, this "Mad Jake" (a.k.a. "Blood Salvage). It's definitely better than I expected although severely lacking originality and a little too long for its own good. Tucker Johnston's script almost seems to be a tribute to Tobe Hooper's earliest horror classics, with a family of demented rednecks terrorizing innocent road travelers ("The Texas Chainsaw Massacre") whilst their pet-alligator (remember "Death Trap"?) carelessly wanders around the estate for no real reason. Father Jake is a genius yet totally deranged surgeon/religion freak who, with the help of his two sons Hiram and Roy, removes the healthy organs of innocent people and sells them to a sleazy elderly guy on the black market. Pretending to own a towing-service, Jake picks up the happy Evans family on their way home from a beauty contest where the gorgeous but crippled daughter April *almost* won. He takes an interest in April, as he thinks he can cure her damaged spine, but the young girl is tougher than she looks and fights back. "Mad Jake" contains quite a lot of grisly images, as these weirdos keep all their victims hanging more dead then alive in a barn, and April's desperate attempts to escape result in the occasional flashes of sheer suspense. The villain-characters are rather interesting, especially the oldest son Hiram who wears shirts of Lynyrd Skynyrd and claims all women are dirty whores. He also drives a truck with nasty spikes attached to the front and spontaneously starts fights with heavyweight boxing champions (a cameo by Evander Holyfield). So, you see, there's even a fair share of effective humor in this sadly forgotten horror movie! The acting performances are more than adequate with enthusiast lead players and respectable names in the supportive cast. John Saxon, a personal favorite of mine, stars as April's loving father and Ray Walston briefly appears as the organ dealer, eerily dressed in black. Highly recommended to fans of solid B-horror, if you can find it somewhere.