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  • Skinned deep, this is a masterpiece of bad movie making. To most people, saying that this movie is terrible would be an instant turn off but for me that just sounds like a dare. Enough, about this movie. Its sorta like Rob Zombie's house of 1,000 corpses... well, strike that, its exactly like house of a 1,000 corpses except they had a budget of like 8$. That's slightly unfair, because this did have the star power of Warwick davies. That may sound sarcastic but its not meant to be, Warwick rocks. It also has a guy called Surgeon General who happens to have the coolest mask i've ever seen and some headless guy wearing a belt that proclaims his crotch to be "Dyno-mite". Assuming your still reading this, which may be a mistake on my part, the movie is about a girl whose family is killed in the first 15 minutes of the movie, including her kid brother. Bravo to Skinned deep for breaking rules of killing kids in a monster movie. You should know, in case your mourning the deaths of these imaginary people already, each one of them had it coming. Seeing them die is the first of many oh so rewarding moments in this movie. that moment is in line with a naked man with a gigantic head runningdown a street and a fight between old people and the hick/monsterfamily who really just steal every scene they are in. No part of this movie is a let down, even up to the very end where the best song ever plays through the credits, by song, i mean a girl screaming for like five minutes. I can't urge you to see this any harder, seriously.
  • This film sucks but is so bad its hugely entertaining. Wait till you see Brain for the first time - don't be drinking cos you will spit it out all over yourself.

    The family in the film must be the dumbest bunch of people ever assembled cos for them to believe the story that's fed to em is just ridiculous.

    The acting is so bad it rocks, the plot is off it's head and special effects are not special. The Surgeon General in it has the strength of ten tigers too.

    Watch it and love it for all the wrong reasons.

    Telling it like it is there.
  • There's no real plot to the movie. It's just a loose collection of ideas strung together in something resembling a plot. That ultimately makes it one bizarre movie. This rivals a Blood Diner or Ichi the Killer for just sheer strangeness. It's not necessarily good but it isn't bad either. I can't really score it as that would imply this is an actual movie and not some bizarre experiment in performance art gone horribly awry.

    The only real gripe to have with the movie outside of the fact that it looks like it was shot on video, is the aforementioned story. Really, it plays like three different movies. The first third is typical slasher sleaze, the middle is some bizarre form of social commentary, and the last third is a survival film. Really I would've tightened the script up and put it more on a Nightbreed route with the daughter eventually accepting the freaks and finish it out in a finale of bikers vs. freaks in an all-out war. But really I'm guessing that wouldn't have worked as it looked like their budget was already being stretched thin.

    Consider it one really bizarre movie that was too ambitious for its own good/budget.
  • I still remember the General... Nice Jaw, nice overall look. That, and that it was stupid. Very stupid. Bad acting (not as bad as in movies like "Abscent of Light" or "Goth", but stupid), bad music, bad story, lots of gore and goofy characters.

    Seriously, the movie is meant to be comedic, or how else could you interpret a wrestling match between a senior citizen and a midget? A plate-throwing dwarf? The grannies and grandpas getting ready for war? The colorful comic - like look? This one never wanted to be taken serious, and as long as you don't, you might enjoy it. If you are indeed looking for a deeper sense or some kind of message, you're completely lost.

    Then again, if you dislike cheap splatter movies, why did you even rent it?
  • Skinned Deep is a cheesy Texas Chainsaw Massacre rip off with a fair share of gore! It offers funny characters, a typical Texas Chainsaw Massacre rip off plot and an hour and a half of entertainment! Not only there is no nudity, there is also no sleaze climate. The story is about a family that consists of two fat parents, a young brother and a vegetarian older sister who happens to play the main role of the victim that is tortured by the typical deformed family! This deformed family consists of as usually one person who happens to be an old lady. This old lady also happens to be psychotic , but she looks normal, and a bunch of deformed bastards. One of those deformed bastards actually has a sensitive soul. Therefore, the girl victim takes advantage of his sensitive soul for her own survival interest. Later on, a bunch of funky old people declare a war on that deformed family who has killed their buddy. In a nutshell, I suggest you watch this cheesy flick if you enjoy b-grade cheese cinema! And no! It ain't so awful as the films produced by Troma!
  • RevRuin21 March 2004
    Troma + David Lynch + Texas Chainsaw Massacre = Skinned Deep

    Aside from the lead, Warwick Davis and the guy who played Brain, the acting is pretty much awful. It looks like it was shot on video. The majority of the budget looks like it went to the special effects, (which were decent.) (Considering the director is a special effects artist, this was no surprise.) The, uh, story was a bare-bones Texas Chainsaw knock-off. The dialogue zig-zagged between hilarious and cringe-worthy.

    Overall, though, I enjoyed it. I hope it gets some kind of DVD distribution, because I would probably buy a copy. It's just so goofy and weird that I couldn't help but smile through it.

    "NO! NO! NNNOOOO! NO! NNNNNNOOOOOOOO!! NNOOO! NO!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!"
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Imagine if those musical geniuses The Residents attended a film school run by Frank Henenlotter and John Waters. Now, imagine that for their doctoral thesis, they did a remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). The result would probably be very close to Skinned Deep. I love The Residents, Henenlotter, Waters and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (TCM), so I was an easy target for this film. However, note that you should approach Skinned Deep with caution directly proportional to how familiar with you are with (and how admirable you are of) those artists (and artworks). This is not a "normal" or "high gloss" production by any stretch of the imagination. It frequently resembles those artists' impassioned rejection of established artistic standards. If you're not attuned to the style, if you're not a fan of rejecting standards in that way (including the standard set forth by the "cult of originality"), if you think that Interview with the Vampire (1994), say, is the sole recent pinnacle of horror films and should be emulated stylistically, Skinned Deep is likely to just seem to you like a crappy, clichéd film with bad acting and questionable technical elements. For me, it's frequently pure genius instead.

    The core idea of the film is the same as TCM and many other unofficial "remakes", or "reimaginings", including recent ones like Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses (2003). Basically, a group of "innocent" individuals (this time a family out for a vacation in the mountains of the western U.S.) has a problem while driving through the boonies. They make it to an odd country store/diner, where they're lured to an even odder home. They run into the even odder rest of the family, who invite them to eat cannibal food (this step is optional, but frequently present, as it is here), and who then engage in some combination of kidnapping/killing/torturing the group of innocents, just for the hell of it, basically, but maybe also because they're getting low on meat. Writer/director/producer/loom-operator/cobbler Gabriel Bartalos also throws in a couple elements not usually found in these films, such as the hilarious septuagenarian biker gang, which becomes a major subplot in the climax.

    Although some people are sure to complain that this is "just a rip-off of TCM", I think that is misguided at this point in time (if it was ever guided). Genres and subgenres arise through (often conscious) repetitions and variations of elements found in influential precursors. The transition from "rip-off" to "genre" is an ambiguous one in the public consciousness, but could be said to be correlated to the number of "rip-offs" (which are seen as negative) that accumulate. Once there are enough, it becomes a "genre" (which is seen as positive, or at least non-negative). In this respect, it somewhat resembles the "heap paradox" of logic/philosophy. By this point, there are more than enough TCM-like films for it to be considered a legitimate subgenre. The TCM-orientation of Skinned Deep should seem no more negative than, say, the Dracula-orientation of Count Yorga, Vampire (1970), or the Ten Little Indians-orientation of Identity (2003).

    Instead, that Skinned Deep is a TCM film enhances it instead, just as any genre orientation for any film does. It situates it in a shared (with the audience) system of signifiers and archetypes that create depth while allowing the filmmaker(s) to concentrate on subtleties and the finer points of style. A lot of impact arises through the ways in which a work differs from the genre. This is no different in Skinned Deep than in well-respected (and deservedly so) artworks such as Igor Stravinsky's Mass, or Francois Boucher's Toilet of Venus, which are examples of fine-grained subgenre works in music and painting, respectively.

    Bartalos has created a bizarre concatenation of moods and styles here. Amazingly, they mesh with nary a problem, despite the fact that he transitions on a dime from serious, disturbing scenes of violence and gore to hilarious, surreal scenes such as one featuring of an antagonist freak running naked through crowded city streets. The freaks in Skinned Deep are one of the best collections I've seen in a TCM film, as good as Rob Zombie's Firefly family in House of 1000 Corpses. I especially loved Warwick Davis, who is delightfully campy here. But I have a thing for midgets in films. They almost always bring my score up a point. The costume design for "The Surgeon General" (he's on the DVD cover art) was excellent and somewhat reminiscent of "Dr. Satan" in Zombie's film. Of course, the costume design for Brian/"Brain" was wonderfully, sublimely ridiculous, as was the concept and effects for "The Creator".

    The cinematography is as interesting, varied and frequently non-traditional as the moods of the film. There is a lot of well-executed hand-held work, and Bartalos has a Brian Eno-ish knack for capitalizing on "mistakes", which I love. A number of times, weird reflections and lens haze end up creating extremely effective atmosphere. Not leaving tradition completely behind, Bartalos even has a lot of beautiful scenery shots, including passing Joshua trees (I love Joshua trees). And the score is superb and unusual throughout--just check out the bizarre music that enters with the motorcycle gang; it organically grows from the sounds of the engines.

    The effects, as well as the production design, were also excellent. Gorehounds should be more than happy. The production design often gives Skinned Deep an extremely dark Alice in Wonderland feel, which is helped by Karoline Brandt's performance as Tina. Of course, many of the performances in the film are questionable by any kind of normal criteria, but for me, they worked superbly. Films like this shouldn't have performances like The Merchant of Venice (2004); it would ruin the gritty, alternate, psycho-world atmosphere. And if all of that's not enough for you, there's even a cameo from Famous Monsters of Filmland founder Forrest J. Ackerman!
  • Sweet Jesus...

    While watching Skinned Deep I thought I was watching a bad movie from the mid 90's - but nope! This 2004 indie flick is so messed up in all departments, I actually couldn't even enjoy it as a so-bad-its-good movie!!

    While listed as a comedy horror in its synopsis, I honestly don't think it had the smallest bit of comedy in it during production. Only since its release and ratings do I believe that the word comedy was added to make it seem that all the terrible bits were on purpose.

    Taking more than its fair share of inspiration from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; House Of A 1000 Corpses; and Jeepers Creepers - Skinned Deep does have moments where it could have been something sweet, although had it been from a better director, editor and stronger cast! The acting is among the worst I have ever seen - I mean,dreadful - especially the mother of the maniacs, and how the they got Warwick Davis to do this I'll never know!!

    The camerawork is also dreadful with many dirty lenses and awful shots, marred once again by the bad editing. Is there anything good? Well, the FX work is very well done, with a great character in the Surgeon General - although they never really know how to use him properly, and Warwick Davis gets to play a mental ADHD fuelled crazed ninja-of-sorts who uses plates for weapons - it has to be seen to be believed.

    Skinned Deep is something else! Its confused, its messy, its funny for all the wrong reasons, and for me - its a hard watch because it seems like such a wasted opportunity. And I haven't even got to the biker pensioners yet or that bizarre twisted ending...

    This makes Godfrey Ho look like Kubrick!
  • This movie starts of really bad like Troma wanted to make a Texas Chainsaw Massacre Rip Off. An incredibly stupid family gets lost in nowhere and meets a creepy family who happen to kill them. Creepy? I meant to write "cheesy"... there's an evil granny, a guy with a huge brain who adopts the surviving daughter, a hyperactive midget throwing dinner plates and a maniac in the vein of House of 1000 corpses with a bear trap in his face (and the subjective view like in "Predator"). Now when this isn't odd enough the movie puts scene on scene which just makes you wonder if this is a satire or a real bad slip on a Maniac-Hillbilly Movie. The gore is pretty rare and reminds of old "Bad Taste" days, especially with the exploding heads. But the humor is just insane in this movie... a bunch of bikers come to help the girl but they are all from the retirement home and call themselves "The ancient ones". Now you get exploding seniors and a senile bum beating up the midget and ripping his head off to play football with it. Sounds insane?? Then meet "The creator", a headless muscle hunk in a strip show style environment where his offspring breeds. He is not just flexing his muscles but also talking some incredible philosophic bullshit. Oh and his crotch sais "dyno-mite"... now guess what the girl finds in it later to launch some explosives and real cheesy FX?!? "Skinned Deep" is an insane or rather schizophrenic movie... it slides between classic horror, total trash (the bum fight reminded me a lot of the "Street Trash" style), over the edge politically incorrect humor like Troma delivers it and a mixture of real bad camera and effects and some pretty decent shots and splatter or explosive effects. One minute you want to turn the movie off, the next you smile because of the absolute insanity of it. The movie ends with the typical "sequel awaiting" finale but tops it off with the credits rolling on the girl screaming for several minutes in an incredibly funny way. I couldn't help but laugh there. If you dig trash with a strange sense of humor you might dig this movie... its different for sure. Anyway I don't know if I want to slap the makers for this piece or shake hands for creating something uniquely stupid that somehow managed to keep my attention till the end. I don't really know what happened here.
  • Once again, my assumptions couldn't have been more wrong! I really thought this movie would be worth the 5$ I spent on it, because it's the directorial debut of Gabe Bartalos; who happens to be the regular special effects guy of such brilliant directors as Frank Hennenlotter ("Brain Damage", "Frankenhooker") and Matthew Barney (the "Cremaster"-cycle). Well, "Skinned Deep" once more proves that people who're talented in the art of make-up effects don't necessarily make good directors, as Bartalos' own project is an irredeemable lousy gore-flick that hangs together by amateurism. The script, for starters, is highly unoriginal and just the umpteenth "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"-rip-off. But what really irritates about this movie is the total lack of coherence and the overload of stupidity. "Skinned Deep" revolves on a family of bloodthirsty lunatics that fill their days with killing tourists. Their latest preys are the Rockwells, but the multi-brained son insisted on keeping the teenage daughter Tina alive, and even to incorporate her as a crazy family member! So far, this seems like a reasonably normal horror plot but the depraved family also battles a gang of old and senile motorcycle hooligans as well as a jeep full of chubby woodchoppers, and this is where the absurdity really kicks in. A lot of retarded things are being said and done (ever heard a midget bringing ode to a plate?!?) and even the rather cool gory effects can't keep you interested. The acting is really atrocious and Bartalos' directing is incredibly incompetent. The Surgeon General-character is the only memorable horror villain of the family. He's an unearthly strong mutant with a razor-sharp metal jaw and goofy little sunglasses. Warwick "Ewok" Davis looks pretty imbecile as the pale-faced, plate-flinging dwarf and I don't even want to mention the elderly cast-members. If the acting skills of all these amateurs hasn't given you a headache yet, sitting through the end credits definitely will, as it just features girlish screaming for FIVE WHOLE MINUTES! Damned, girl! You could try, like many of my fellow reviewers apparently did, to look at "Skinned Deep" as a typical so-bad-it's-entertaining trash movie... That didn't work for me, though. It's just rubbish, period!
  • "Skinned Deep" from 2004 is listed as a horror comedy, well that might be stretching it a bit, because this movie from writer and director Gabriel Bartalos wasn't exactly much of any of those.

    When I sat down in 2021 to watch "Skinned Deep", I hadn't even ever heard about it, so I didn't know what I was in for here. But the movie's cove seemed interesting enough, plus the fact that I hadn't already seen the movie and it being about a family of deranged killers could prove entertaining enough.

    And I must say that when I saw that the movie had Warwick Davis on the cast list, I felt that perhaps the movie could be better than anticipated.

    Well, "Skinned Deep" simply failed on every account to provide me with much of any entertainment or excitement. Gabriel Bartalos only managed to come up with a movie that felt like a watered-down and diluted rip-off of the "The Hills Have Eyes" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" combination. That does sound like something that could be a great mix, I will say that much, but Gabriel Bartalos just failed to provide with an adequate movie here.

    The storyline told in "Skinned Deep" was just a swing and a miss. There was nothing funny, scary or even remotely interesting about the things that took place, and the character gallery was an atrocity. So there was nothing enjoyable to be witnessed here. And there weren't anything scary here either.

    This is not a movie that I would recommend you waste your time, money or effort on. My rating of "Skinned Deep" lands on a generous two out of the stars.
  • with Warwick Davis as Plates.

    This is one of those horrid movies that no one buys, that makes money off of stupid renters. I'm a stupid renter. This is about a girl named Tina, who goes to a weird town with her family. They go to some house and eat there( they eat cheese off of a cardboard box) and are all killed, except for Tina. The characters are granny, the crazy mother, Plates, the midget that throws plates, Brain, a guy with a big head and the Surgeon General. This is horrible. It is plot less and has no real point. Most of these F-List films start off bad, but get better as they go along. This movie starts out OK(the first ten minutes), but after that, it gets so horrible, I can't even stand it!!! One typically brainless scene shows a guy's head burst open and blocks come out of his head and spell LOVE.????? WTF is that? I rented this looking for a bad movie, but if you expect any entertainment at all, avoid this at all costs. They have it at Blockbusters.

    0/100. R for violence, language, and Brain's penis(yuck!!)
  • Gabriel Bartalos, his name only ring a bell as make up and special effects for the great movie Brain Dead by Kevin Tenney. You can find his name easily on movies in the genre but this was his first and last attempt of directing one. What a failure. It all could have been great but I guess he wanted to make a movie about a weird family like in Texas Chainsaw Massacre but what's this. A man with a head as big as whatever. Bad acting and sometimes it is really bad that it almost becomes a spoof. The use of the camera was always the same. Used a thousand times before. Completily zoomed out and then getting close to the action. Gives a weird effect but don't do it the whole time. And using smoke, nothing against it but if you see where it comes from, no no no. The best part is the slashing itself. The killing of the visiting family is well done but the rest of the movie, no acting. For example, when the girl is being tied together, she never screams. It's sad to see but it is also a fact to stay in your own territory.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After her family is murdered, a teenage girl is held hostage by a family of mutant freaks. One of them, Brian, wants her as his bride. "Skinned Deep" is one of those films that will have you're jaw dropped to the floor when it's all over, and you'll be thinking to yourself, "Where the hell do people get money for stuff like this?"

    What works in "Skinned Deep"? Well, there's a lot of gore. Slit throats, Exploding heads, severed heads, and even a brain dismemberment (Don't ask) are among the many goodies gore hounds will find. Writer/director/producer/effects artist/control freak Gabriel Bartalos is no stranger to the horror genre, having done the effects for films like Blade (1998), Basket Case 2 (1990) and Brain Damage (1988), so as you can imagine the special effects are the highlight. There are some crazy make-up creations here, my favorite being the main baddie, Surgeon General. There are lots of other memorable characters in the film, like Plates and Brian. The film is hilarious to sit through, intentionally or not. Brian's "dream sequence" and the end credits—which are composed of nothing but the main actress's screaming—had me and my friends on the floor laughing.

    Just about everything else in the film didn't work…at all. The acting is bad, the writing is bad, the direction and editing were choppy at best. The film makes no sense at all, but hey it was a fun ride.

    Don't expect a serious horror film here, "Skinned Deep" is anything but that. However, rent it with a group of friends and a good time is to follow.

    5/10.
  • Seriously one of the best movies ever if you like this kind of thing. Do you sharpen your plates? Do you enjoy Christmas lights and skeletons. This is an excellent movie about motorcycles. Have you ever been a hood ornament? Well, let me tell you .... It is AWESOME! You are going to love it!

    An enormous, giant brain head in a homemade Indian hat! Headless muscle guy! Blocks for brains! A wiggly midget who throws plates! Guy with metal teeth. Something like a robot, maybe! Octopus baby! Evil old lady who eats blood through her neck! Finger Soup and money.....yum! Blood AND guts! Unnecessary penis flopping in the wind! Dyno-Mite!

    I am trying to make this 10 lines long. That is a ridiculous requirement!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Let me first start off by saying that Skinned Deep is perfect. Not long ago my friends and I had the idea, on a rainy day, to go rent some horrible looking B movie merely for the laugh factor. While searching Blockbuster we finally decided on Skinned Deep. This movie had everything. We love the fat kid who got cut in half, but somehow it took him a few seconds to realize it. We also loved Plates, the plate throwing midget. His "porcelain" soliloquy made me almost defecate in my pants from laughter. I must say that the Brain character wasn't real interesting, until he ran through the streets of New York nude, for absolutely no reason. (We also saw on the bonus features that they filmed it in New York with real people, and the actor who played Brain even got arrested). However, all of these characters combined don't come close in greatness to our favorite character, Shakes. He had us from "F@ck You". Shakes is a man in his eighties who apparently suffers from some disease that makes him shake uncontrollably, but yet still manages to rip the head off a midget and punt it into the local interstate with a broken foot. If every movie had Shakes in it, I would be a happy man. Overall, the acting was bad (they must of gotten the actors from the Ben Affleck School of Theatre), the special effects were a joke, and the plot was absurd. But in the end, isn't that what you would want from a crappy movie. Kudos, to the director for realizing the potential for comedy. The unfortunate thing about renting Skinned Deep first, is that now every time we try and watch a bad movie for the comedic value, it doesn't compare and we always end up talking about Skinned Deep.
  • Skinned Deep is a movie so dreadful in concept and so amateurish in execution that it must've been a calculated bid for cult status. I can only assume that, on realising that making a decent horror film was way beyond his capability, make-up FX man-turned-writer/director Gabriel Bartalos opted to make the worst and most bizarre film he possibly could in the hope that fans of crap movies would seek it out, revel in its absurdity, and adore it for its sheer awfulness.

    Well think again, Gabe... this one sucks so hard that even the most devoted worshipper at the altar of cinematic trash will struggle to stay the distance.

    In this almost unwatchable pile of cack, a family taking a road-trip are attacked by a family of freaks after their car suffers a blow-out (how's that for an original set-up?). Only teenage cutie Tina (Karoline Brandt) survives the slaughter, when Brain (a mutant with a huge external brain) takes a shine to her.

    The other members of Brain's clan (a plate-throwing dwarf, a deformed creature with a steel trap for a mouth, and their evil matriarch) attempt to induct the frightened girl her into their family, but Tina isn't too keen on the idea: when alone with Brain, she tears out a chunk from his massive head (which for some reason contains several animated wooden alphabet blocks!?!) and makes a bid for freedom.

    Meanwhile, a gang of geriatric bikers turn up to deal with the murderous mutant clan.

    As the battle rages between the elderly and the mutated, Tina wanders into the lair of 'the creator': a musclebound, headless body with a vicious little creature inside its abdomen.

    In the hands of a skilled movie-maker, and with reasonably talented actors, this kind of demented lunacy might just work, but with Bartalos directing a motley cast completely devoid of talent, Skinned Deep fails miserably. Even a few gory effects towards the end of the film cannot save it from being a complete wreck.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I am not a cynic, but every once in a while I go to the movies with the expectation that I'll be disappointed. On that account, Gabriel Bartalos' Skinned Deep (2004) certainly does not disappoint. The film has been described as "the most original and surreal horror film you'll ever see." I have just one question for that critic – was he on drugs at the hospital when he wrote that review? A schlock-ish rehash of everything you've seen before in a slasher movie – only not necessarily in this order - the experience of watching lead, Forrest J. Ackerman (whose name is never given) and his motley crew of co-stars, (Eric Bennett, Karoline Brandt, Linda Weinrib) have their intestines turned into coleslaw by the demonic local yokel – who, no kidding, just happens to be a serial killer - treads familiar territory in very familiar ways. What is particularly impressive about this film – if the word impressive should at all be used – is its special effects. Not surprising, since Bartalos was an effects man before turning director, everything in his film from severed limbs to exploding heads get the A-list treatment.

    Nothing in the vein of mass murder ever looks fake or contrived, though both words amply describe everything else in the film, from its utterly painful acting to the narrative thread of circumstances that John Q. Public and sons into a raw sushi patter at Denys. Note to Bartalos; grotesqueness alone does not a horror film make…oh, and don't quit your day job.

    Hart Sharp Video, who I must confess, I've never heard of before, have done an uncharacteristically bad job of transferring Skinned Deep to DVD. Colors are muddy and bleed into one another. Fine detail is completely lost. Pixelization breaks up background information throughout, and there's more than a subtle hint of edge enhancement. Contrast levels seem much too pasty for day scene, and incredibly too pale for night. Blacks are more tonal gray, with a disturbing line of video noise that will easily be detected on larger monitors, about two thirds of the way down the screen. Overall, the image quality has the consistency of a television broadcast during a wind storm.

    The audio is stereo, but it's not anything to write home about – more like something you'd rather cover your ears to. This is a bare bones DVD release, and if I'm any judge of film art, you won't be seeing a deluxe four disc special edition any time soon.
  • I had myself pretty much prepared for Skinned Deep given the fact that I've rented several Fangoria released films in the past, and generally know what to expect. Usually there's no plot, bad dialog, no scares, in fact just about everything is bad with a Fangoria release except for the gore.

    And I suppose that's why I keep coming back to these flicks.

    Skinned Deep does deliver on the gore quite early in the film, but pretty much leaves you hungry for more and the only thing there to chew on is one terrible line, plot point, or general stupid place in the movie. This thing just plods along after the initial kills, forcing you to watch weird scene after weird scene that made little or no sense.

    People have pointed out the relations to Basket Case, TCM, and Troma a few times already in other reviews... That doesn't matter. They can give props to anyone they want, it's not going to make this strange flick any better.

    1.5/5 corpses... Avoid, unless you want to see the Napoleon Dynamite of horror movies.
  • I asked myself that question after turning off the DVD player upon my initial viewing of Skinned Deep. Why did I enjoy it? The acting is poor, the direction is shoddy, and the story just isn't there. So why did I find myself totally engrossed in this movie? Because it's FUN! From it's David Lynchian set pieces to the Henenlotter-esquire makeup effects, Skinned Deep is just plain old stupid fun. As long as you don't go in expecting anything other than a movie that's full of gore, bad acting, and stupid fun, you'll have a good time.

    This is the best movie Troma never made. How Fango ended up with distribution rights is beyond me. Regardless, kudos to them for giving this film the light of day. I'm happier for it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I love watching movies. All kinds of movies. From the classics of cinema to the low budget low rent movies released from Troma. But on occasion you get a movie to watch that has you just scratching your head in wonderment. You think to yourself, why oh why did someone feel the need to make this movie? Or better yet why oh why would someone GIVE someone the money to make this movie? Such is the case with SKINNED DEEP.

    Gabe Bartalos is a well-known special effects artist. His makeup effects began as far back as TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 where he was part of the special effects crew on to films like DOLLS, DARKMAN, BASKETCASE 3 and more. He's done a great job in all of these films. But he's only directed two feature films. From my point of view, sorry to say, it was 2 too many.

    SKINNED DEEP is Bartalos first feature film. The artwork for the box and the creature design of the character seen on the front, Surgeon General, looks fantastic. The character even looks intimidating in the film. Unfortunately that's about the only good thing the movie has going for it.

    The Rockwell family is on vacation, mom, dad, junior and teenage Tina. A flat tire leaves them stranded and dad walks the family down to the house of a little old lady who runs the general store/gas station down the road. What they don't know is the house contains a group that makes the Addams family look normal. It isn't long before everyone but Tina is killed, saved only because family member Brain wants to keep her.

    Yes Brain looks exactly like his name, a guy with a head 10 times the size it should be a shaped like his brain swelled up one day. Also in the group as the aforementioned Surgeon General with the bear trap like jaw (I mean literally it's a bear trap) and Plates (Warwick Davis) a plate throwing little person who spouts soliloquies. The movie follows the usual pattern of seeing weird things taking place, Tina trying to escape and people trying to stop the family. In this case those facing off against them are a geriatric biker gang.

    I know, with a story like this how could it not be an Oscar contender right? But the movie is terrible on so many fronts. The camera work is so bad with the worst choices for shots imaginable. The acting is bad as well with the worst performance coming from Liz Little as Grannie. Elementary school performers could outdo her. The story...well...it almost feels like there is a tiny thread running through here surrounded by the dreams and nightmares of Bartalos tossed in for his own amusement. Unfortunately I found them not the least bit amusing.

    Like his other effort SAINT BERNARD I found this movie overindulgent, a way for a director/writer to express himself in a way that isn't entertaining but that snobbish critics and "art" lovers will clamor over and heap praises on while the average film goer will watch and wonder why they gave their money away to be forced to sit through this. The set designs and the creature designs are the only saving grave for this movie and that's not saying much.

    This might not be the worst movie I've ever seen but it's working its way up that ladder. Apparently it has its fans though and Severin is limiting the printing of the film to just 2,000 prints. There may be that many people who love it but I'm not thinking there are. Only time will tell if we see this one on the discounted price sale come Severin's Thanksgiving Day sale.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This wants so bad to be a cult movie, it hurts. And it's painful. On a very physical level. Because that is something I've never agreed with: weird for the sake of weird.

    But "Skinned Deep" has another side to it, something I completely agree with, and love. It's a horror fan's horror movie.

    The homages are fast and furious. The TCM reference is obvious. I won't even go there. More subtle, but just as strong, is the Henenlotter influence (who is even thanked in the credits). If you know the "Basket Case" flicks, you'll see it. And it is just one of many horror in-jokes.

    And that's cool. That's way cool. But that alone won't keep a movie afloat. As a horror fan (which means I've been burned about a million times), I need something more. Character, scares, laughs, gore.

    Well, it's got the gore. No problem there. But when it comes to building characters I can root for (either in the heroine or the villains), it falls kinda flat.

    Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself. The plot, which you may have seen before, goes like this: a family breaks down in the back country and turns to the locals for refuge. But the locals are a crazy family of demented killers. There you go.

    So I liked it. It was cool. Lots of crazy visuals and wacky ideas. Still, that's really all it is. If you're looking for substance, and not just a heapin' helping of weirdness, you're out of luck.

    But if you're content to see a funky horror flick that doesn't try too hard, this one fits the bill.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was watching this movie expecting an amateurish low budget horror flick like Ozone - Attack of the Redneck Mutants or Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence, but this one is definitely a lot better than those movies.

    (minor spoilers) Among other things, we get a midget throwing dinner plates as if they were shurikens, an elderly biker gang, and a Texas Chainsaw Massacre inspired mutant redneck family. Not your usual slasher stuff. The movie also has a few Troma-like jokes, which are actually pretty funny without being too silly.

    Since this is low-budget, the camera work and acting are bad (although Warwick Davis as Plates is brilliant).

    A fun, weird, original B-horror movie.

    Rating: 7/10 (subtract at least 2 points if you're not into low budget stuff, but then you will probably have never heard of this movie)
  • This movie was one of the most f***ed up movies I have ever seen. The make-up effects were awesome. Surgeon General was crazy looking, although somewhat reminding me of Balzac the Jaws of Death from GWAR. The quality of video and sound was rather low... but you can't let that make a movie bad. The storyline was awesome. The actors were funny, especially Warwick Davis' role as Plates. It was like nothing I've ever seen before. The gores scene were really well-made, the Grandmother melting after the tube was pulled from her head. A lot of people who seen this movie before told me it was cheesy and stupid... obviously they don't appreciate a creative, unique and fun horror movie,
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Veteran make-up pro Gabriel Bartolas writes, produces and directs this horrid freak show. You really have to be in the right mood and or three sheets to the wind at 3 a.m. to survive this one. The curiously sick side of me enjoyed this brutal horror flick. The Rockwell family is on vacation when a flat tire leaves them in the middle of nowhere. Don't you hate that when it happens? They find refuge in a run down diner ran by Granny(Liz Little), who is actually a rather insane individual and matriarch of a weird family of mutants. The most imposing member of the family is the metal-faced Surgeon General(Aaron Sims/Kurt Carley)who carries out his own Texas chainsaw massacre. The Rockwell family is butchered except for teen screamer Tina(Karoline Brandt)taken captive and chosen by "Brain"(Jay Dugre)to be his future bride...think not! The scenery is worse than a train wreck. The violence is strong, gory and very graphic. Also in this cast of unknowns are: Eric Bennett, Warwick Davis and the obnoxious Linda Weinrib. Have Blockbuster to save you a copy.
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