Directed By Justin Wingenfeld
Starring: Debbie Rochon, Julian Wells, Kevin G. Shinnick, and Armando
Running Time: 76 minutes
DVD Studio: Shock-O-Rama
In Colonial times, Margret (played by Debbie Rochon)
and her sisters were peaceful practitioners of white magic. When one of
her sisters was raped and murdered by an evil witch hunter, Margret turned
to black magic for revenge. In the present day, Margret is reincarnated as
a woman married to the cheating Howard (Kevin G. Shinnick) (also a
reincarnation of her sister’s murderer). He and Sadie (Julian Wells), his
mistress, decide to bump Margret off so they can be together. When Sadie
rips him off and blackmails him, Howard thinks he’s hit rock bottom.
However, things get worse when the black magic powers of Margret’s
ancestor kicks in and she raises from the dead to wreak some unholy havoc.
Please, don’t rewind again! D’oh, they did it again!
feels like a thirty minute feature stretched out through some clever
editing to make its relatively short running time. Now don’t get me wrong,
this is one professional looking indie horror film here but there are
enough abandoned ideas in this film for several features. The dialogue is
trite but it holds together through the spider’s web of plot. The cast is
up to the task and everyone puts in some supremely sleazy performances.
Indie horror icon Debbie Rochon is subdued but convincing as Margret, a
woman who waits 400 years to get her revenge. Paint her blue, load her up
with worms, and send her out for some undead revenge, y’all! She’s ready!
(Insert whip-cracking sound here.) The gorgeous Julian Wells adds her
patented dose of softcore sex and is quite good as Sadie, a conniving and
somewhat frightening sleazebag. Kevin G. Shinnick is a pretty dang good
actor as well (just not as sexy). Hell, after only a few minutes of
screentime, I wanted to see Howard get done in.
I admire what the filmmakers are trying to accomplish with the multiple
perspective storyline of Skin Crawl
although I don’t feel they are entirely successful. Taking a
straightforward story and telling it from different angles is a very
difficult thing to do and here it comes off as padding. The “rewinding”
adds another 30 or 40 minutes onto the movie that I could have lived
without (although I do appreciate director Wingenfeld's attempt at putting
a new spin on an old formula). And the persecuted-witch-prologue barely
ties in with the rest of the film. The cohesion of these two sections was
grossly neglected. However, this does have the feel of an old pulpy horror
yarn, so it is easy to forgive most of these nitpickings.
Although somewhat disappointing in the plot and script department,
does manage to deliver some nasty moments of horror. Just try and not
cheer Rochon on as her rotting corpse lurches toward its gory goal. I
betcha you’ll have to! Those viewers out there who are squeamish at the
sight of bugs will be climbing the walls with this one as there are
maggots, worms, and roaches aplenty. Oh yeah, and keep your eyes peeled
for cameos from sexy starlets Misty Mundae (Shock-O-Rama)
and Ruby Larocca (The
Devil’s Bloody Playthings).
is presented in full frame on this disc and looks and sounds very good
(although the DVD menu volume nearly blasted me out of my chair). Extras
include a featurette called “Under Your Skin” that has interviews with
Debbie Rochon and writer/director Justin Wingenfeld. There is also a
feature commentary with producer Michael Raso and Wingenfeld. And last but
not least, the obligatory Shock-O-Rama trailer vault. Nice little package,
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