Body Count (1987)

   

Directed by: Ruggero Deodato

Written by: Alex Capone, Luca D'Alisera, Sheila Goldberg & Dardano Sacchetti

Starring:

Charles Napier .... Charlie, the Sheriff
David Hess .... Robert Ritchie
Bruce Penhall .... Dave Calloway
Mimsy Farmer .... Julia Ritchie
Nicola Ferron .... Ben Ritchie
Andrew J. Lederer .... Sidney
Cynthia Thompson .... Cissy
Nancy Brilli .... Tracy
Stefano Madia .... Tony
John Steiner .... Dr. Olsen
Ivan Rassimov .... Deputy Sheriff Ted

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: 1987

Rating:

 

A group of college students go camping in the great oudoors for some fun, lust and adventure but what they don't realise is that years beforehand two teens were murdered there and the killer was never caught and suddenly it's happening to them as well with a killer in a monster mask and a sharp knife.

 

The story has a prologue which looked so far entertaining showing teenage jocks playing basketball in a gymnasium and later on discussing going away camping as well as hearing a story on an indian burial ground that was once there at the camp which seems to work in well to the story since we often have stuff like this in a camp type of slasher flick. Also there's a cheesy but neat shot on an abandoned police car stuck out in the woods in a sort of Evil Dead type of fashion as well as a teenage girl trying to escape from a mysterious killer in the tall misty dark woods and hiding in the car which certainly begs you for more while watching all of this.
Then when the story takes place present day it turns into a disappointment as there's trashy one liners and discussions with a bunch of partying teens in a mobile heading to the campground as this looked a bit uninspired by how this was all done in.
There's a bit of a good focus involving Ben and his family at a table having a mild dysfunctional situation at their home on the campground.
There's a moment when someone looks into a a mirror of the changing rooms and the killer crashes through the mirror and dragging her in as this was supposed to make you jump out of your seat but misses by a longshot. However nice dark shots on all of this.
An impressive moment with one of the teens cautiously looking in a dark shower area which was supposed to keep you in suspense and almost does and then her friends making pranks on her and having a fun time as the chemistry seemed to work in well here.
Another moment that was supposed to look suspenseful and terrifying is when one of the teens is rock climbing and suddenly the killer comes out of nowhere and forces him off the ledge but this was all too set out and very slow by what was going on here that you think to yourself "Whatever!"
We spot a moment when Ben is getting trapped in some sort of a dark room with jars full of objects and a face appearing in one of the jars and exploding which doesn't make sense here whatsoever as you think to yourself if there's supernatural events happening here or not.
Along in the run of the story there's the lead character Charlie the sheriff coming to see Julia Ritchie as they are having an affair which works in well for a horror flick since we wonder if they will ge ttheirs in the end or not.
We also spot some pranks involving a lustful teenage girl named Cissy challenging a burly teen named Sidney to take off his clothes to get it on with her and then her stealing his clothes away and him running around naked as this adds some decent humor to the story and making the moments rather amusing.
Another effective moment is when the character Robert Ritchie is strangling his wife Julia and she struggles to find something to defend herself as this looked a bit insitense to watch however it could've looked a bit more energetic to really bring it up to a high pace here. Also some nice clues on one of them being a possible suspect here.
The action sometimes starts up as one of the teens discovers the broken through mirror with the dead bodies stored there which gave the film a nice horror touch as well as her running away in the woods from the killer. However the story gets a bit boring by what we find out on what happens next.
A nice shot on the killer slowly coming in for the kill with one of the teenage girls as there's some exciting suspenseful moments on what he's gonna do next as well as someone trying to saving the day. Turns out to be a bit of a disappointment afterwards.
Bottom line is that this italian slasher flick made the film promising at first but was a total drag since we've seen all of this beforehand in films like Friday the 13th, Just Before Dawn, The Final Terror and Madman. It just doesn't go anywhere at all and things seem a little obvious with the mysterious moments and tries so hard to be scary and doesn't work with that either. Just a boring run of the mill flick.

The acting is a little too over the top and was spoken in english language believe it or not since we had a couple of American actors starring in it. Lead actor Charles Napier (Charlie, the Sheriff) didn't seem like he was too keen on playing this part which looked like that he was only doing it for the money. He was a bit low on energy when he acted tough or demanding like how he was supposed to portray. Plus needed a bit more inspiration when he was supposed to jump into a scene when the terror starts to happen. I've seen him do far better in other gigs.
David Hess (Robert Ritchie) was surprisingly stiff in his part too as he often puts everything he's got into a role. He just strained whenever he acted gruff or stern. Sometimes he does a nice job acting dysfunctional since he's often done this type of work before but when he acts menacing towards another actor he isn't intense enough like you'd think that he would've been. Also, he is a little off whenever he acts anxious trying to run away from a situation and lacks some energy within this too.
Bruce Penhall
(Dave Calloway) portrayed the guy next door with the brains in which he seemed to show this off in a nice fashion but yet he was another one that wasn't to brag about. He too seemed a bit wooden within his characteristics here. Shows some nice hyped up energy whenever he needed to be this way though and presented himself well onto the camera which I will give him some good pointers for those.
Mimsy Farmer (Julia Ritchie) was one of the better one's in the film in which she really knew on how to act alert to many situations and act full of hype within all of this. Does a good job with her fearful attitude whenever she needed to be this way as well as doing a nice job when she gets strangled in a situation and just trying to really get into this. Plus does a good job with her nervousness later on coming across as a perfect suspect. Yes I'd say she pulled off a nice character here.
Nicola Ferron (Ben Ritchie) was supposed to come across fairly mysterious but yet is a little too much. He also seemed to have a hard time speaking english due to his italian background. Just seemed to force out his words and was way too over the top quarter way through the story when he acts crazy which he seemed to not really study this moment well at all and seemed too goofy within this situation.
Andrew J. Lederer (Sidney) was probably the best one out of the cast since he was a natural ham as a junkfood addict who likes to party as he got into this mode big time with his hyperactive and flirtatious behavior. Certainly made his role believeable with his sarcasm and teasing others and jumped right into things which also looked great. He for sure knew his stuff here.
Cynthia Thompson
(Cissy) had the beautiful looks and she seemed to pull it off fairly medicre with her characterirsitcs like being a tease which shows off pretty well and does seem to do an impressive job freaking out when the terror start to occur around her but sometimes she gets a little carried away. However she shows great anxious expressions within all of this.

A woman appears barebreasted near a doorway while changing.
Another topless one appears while going to a changing room to take a shower and wanders the halls there.
Another one flashes their breasts while taking it off in another scene.
A woman strips down while planning to pull a prank on someone else.
A butt shot on a guy running though a house and the wooded area.

Many bloody stabbings by the killer in the neck and other parts of vicitims bodies.
A couple of heads are stabbed.
Sharp objects are impaled through victims bodies.
A axe is impaled in a woman's head.

The music sounds a little toned out with the synthesizer playing at times but yet it suits some of the low budget types of plots that we see throughout the film. There's also many chiming sounds sounding different from time to time which was incredibly effective. Plus we have some ghostly quiverring sounds as well as heavy rhythm drumbeats mostly used during the opening and closing credits as this sounded terrifically done too. We also hear some windy sounds which works in sounding totally spooky. The composing was put together by Claudio Simonetti whom did a better job for films like Suspiria and Demons.

Cissy: [Taking her top off] If they were anyone in there... would I do this?