I recently purchased a brand new Panasonic Bluray/VHS combo player and I’ve been going on scavenger hunts all over the city and internet, looking for rare movies on video tape. Thanks to my good friend, New Beverly Cinema Queen Julia Marchese, I found a small independent video store that’s selling off its entire VHS inventory. The place turned out to be a virtual treasure trove, where I was able to purchase TONS of old movies for peanuts, that are either not available on DVD, out of print, or so obscure even I have never seen them before. I’m gonna write up some reviews of certain select titles from my new collection.
DESTROYER (1988) stars former NFL star and steroid victim LYLE ALZADO as Ivan Moser, a vicious criminal with forearms like hamhocks and a brain like a chickpea, who is executed for the rape and murder of over 23 men, women and children (one victim was a Vanna White styled game show hostess). But like the tag line reads, “3000 VOLTS COULDN’T KILL HIM…IT JUST GAVE HIM A BUZZ”! A violent prison riot follows his electrocution and the place is closed down amid talks of cruelty and inhuman treatment towards its prisoners.
Years later, ANTHONY (PSYCHO I, II and III) PERKINS is a B-movie director shooting a women-in-prison flick called, “Death House Dolls” inside the abandoned institution. 80’s icon hottie DEBORAH (VALLEY GIRL, WAXWORKS, APRIL FOOL’S DAY) FOREMAN (with an awesome BELINDA CARLYLE hairstyle) plays the stunt double for the diva starlet, while her boyfriend CLAYTON (JUST ONE OF THE GUYS, APRIL FOOL’S DAY) ROHNER serves as the screenwriter of the movie.
It’s not long before ALZADO starts killing people on the set, one by one. In one fantastically violent scene, the former redneck warden is blowtorched to death in a bathroom stall, and in yet another, ALZADO rams a jackhammer through a cop’s torso! Good gore!
In a brilliantly creative use of exploitation cinema, there’s a wonderful bit where the film crew shoots a nude shower scene filled with lots of topless women, while ALZADO watches from a peephole. It plays like a really creepy PORKY’S.
Other highlights of this silly little action/slasher involve ALZADO cutting off DEB FOREMAN’S hair and EATING it(?) and another featuring ALZADO photocopying a served head on a Xerox machine.
All in all, this was a fairly entertaining “lost” 80’s schlockfest that is not (and never has been) available on DVD. A blast from the video store shelf past to be certain. Until next time, be kind and rewind! Nerd out!