Death Row Diner (1988)

   
Produced & Directed by: B. Dennis Wood

Written by: James Golff, B. Dennis Wood & Salvatore Richichi

Starring:

Jay Richardson .... Bill Weston
Michelle Bauer .... Julia Wilcox-Weston
John Content .... Otis Wilcox
Salvatore Richichi
Tom Shell

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: 1988

 

 

Rating:

 

A Hollywood movie producer Otis Wilcox (John Content) is framed for murder that he did not commit and was given a death sentence without having his last meal and is dead while being hungry.
Years later his granddaughter Julia (Michelle Bauer) marries an obnoxious film producer Bill Weston (Jay Richardson) who is trying to make her life miserable while filming his fact based movie on her grandfathers sentence.
During a thunderstorm Otis is resurrected as a monstrous scarred figure and is hungry for human flesh and revenge.

 

We spot a beginning and a trashy narration by the Otis Wilcox character as well as a prologue which is set to black and white in which this seemed to look necessary but yet everything looked all too trashy with the performances and what is taking place with Otis being sentenced as none of this looked at all effective and terribly amateurishly done too by the preacher and everything else surrounding this and when he is electrocuted in the chair it doesn't look the least bit intense as it was supposed to have been.
Then we have a teaser on someone being executed which boggles you wondering why it's someone else saying the same lines and then we spot a crew of filmmakers as well as the head character Bill Weston being arrogant and cocky as this all looked terribly cheesy with what was going on in this scene.

There's a mildly amusing scene with a character that hasn't been named in the film but seemed like a MAFIA type of filmmaker watching on what's new on the news as we spot the reoprter as well as some Spanish person dicking around before announcing some sort of a weather report which was laughable but not in a funny way as it was supposed to have been but it was interesting talking about the success of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers since it was a joke since a couple of the stars from that film is in this one as well as it being made by the same company too. Seemed necessary to fit this one in. THings grow lame when this person is upset on what was said and fires his gun at the TV screen but I was not thinking what a bad ass motherfucker at all. However the scene was intended him to be that way.
We also get many lame discussions between Julia Wilcox-Weston and her opposite actor who as well doesn't have a character name but let's say he's the boy next door as they tease you on the screen with their close romance towards one another and making you think that they will have some sort of a fling. Their conversations seem terribly forced and are choked on their words as you can tell. Makes you wonder if they only did one take by each shot that they did due to a lack of a no budget here.
However things look cheesily entertaining when we spot lame spacial effects of lightning striking outside the city of Los Angeles and then effects on an electric chair lighting up and then Otis being resurrected looking good and scarred in a monstrous way as this can please people who like trashy made for video no budgeters suince this was as good as it got in the flick. Nothing to brag about nonetheless.
A neat moment with this character dragging someone in another part of a prison with steam swarming around and a red light shining on this in which this adds another nice indie type of horror touch to a no budgeter flick. This can seem quite entertaining and making you hope that the film will get better but it's a disappointment later on.
More trashy moments and corny situations including a caterer truck coming in for the film company and an Elvis caterer coming out which I was thinking that this was lame to watch as well as spotting Otis doing his thing in an outhouse. I really shook my head to this as I wondered if the film will lose it's horror touch and leaning towards a basic comedy and boy this was pretty gross to add this in as well.
Another gross out moment when people are at the catering table and spot something canniballistic in their food which their reactions weren't shocking except for one person who got sick and loses more touch into the shocking situations unravelling in the story. These moments looked incredibly stupid and badly written too.
We spot the terror with two crew members goofing around near the jail cells and then Otis coming in to do the slaughtering so the horror still fits in but the grisly effects looked very off and terribly phony too. Yet another lacklusting budget that they should've put more effort into to make this look more horrifying. Also there's another moment when someone is playing ping pong and he slaugters someone with the paddle which also looked lame since we all know that those objects cannot kill someone especially by how gruesome this was made out to be.
A nice setting with Julia set in a room with canniballistic setting around her as well as Otis talking to her. The moments with the near terrors once again look amateurish but then it does seem mildly funny later on with their conversations as well as discussing on what happened when he was executed.
Towards the near end things are fully funny when Otis is back in business as well as offering his canniballistic meals towards Julia as well as making a deal with a distributor but the horror doesn't all disappear till almost the end when he shows on his vengeful ways with Bill that he used for his horror film so the timing seemed right even if the moments itself looked amateurish as the rest of this flick.
Bottom line is that this film was made on a home video with no money at all or very little in which the picture didn't look too good as well as I had to crank the volume up very high to hear it and even the sound was very off with the discussions going on in the picture. The film seemed to be very much like a Troma Team type of a horror flick. In other words alot of slapstick and goofball comedy in it's terror but this film was only funny in certain areas and very lame in other spots. Not scary or shocking as it was meant to be due to a lack of effort on the filmmakers and the director moved on to work in the adult film industry as this film itself looked very poor like a porn flick but offers no skin as you'd almost expect while continuing to watch it through. Things look amusing during the closing credits when it shows bloopers and outtakes. Still this flick was a huge disappointment and barely known.

The acting is terrible but however Jay Richardson (Bill Werston) seemed to be the best out of the whole cast in which he does well with his cocky and obnoxious attitude. Also he does well with his hyped up and growly attitude too. Seemed to do it well by coming across as someone that would piss you off. However he overly does it at times and gets carried away with it all. But he wasn't overly terrible like the rest here and came across as someone who is in charge.
Michelle Bauer (Julia Wilcox-Weston) I never found to be a great actress but she was quite humiliating in her performance here as she sounded like she was out of breath whenever she was speaking her lines. Didn't seem to get into her part at all especially when she has a flirtatious type of personality. There are times she is okay at getting angry, upset or even ticked but even then she can be over the top by behaving like this. When she screams or acts frightened in a certain scene she is way off which is surprising. She tried to be wicked and witty near the end of her performance but this fell flat too. Didn't seem like she cared to perform in this film which is understandable.
John Content (Otis Wilcox) was god awful in every way as he tried to sound dark and gruff in his narration to the story unravelling but he doesn't do the trick at all. Plus when he acts upset and anxious in his prologue scene he doesn't make this convincing and seemed to just say his lines and was low on his energy and characertistics. He needed lessons big time. Also when he is resurrected and acts menacing he is sloppy while doing this as well as when he talks which is humiliating to watch. However he seemed good on his comedic timing later on when he is back in business as he can offer some chuckles but that's about it.
Salvatore Richichi played the MAFIA type businessman and he was very rough and wooden in his performance especially while getting aggressive in which he couldn't relate to his role one bit while we continue to watch him carry on with what he does here. He seemed to have sort of the looks but barely as that did more of the talking. Not a born actor but a pure amateur.
Tom Shell was the actor boy next door in which he only had the good looks for this role and was another disappointment. He really didn't know on how to get into his charming romantic discussion with his actress. Also when he reacts to stuff he is way off. He seriously was making a fool out of himself for everything that he did in his performance. You'd think they'd be wise to cast someone who has the right looks and talent for this role but he is too over the top with everything that he does.

A body is bloodied.
Hand is revealed in a catering room which looks horribly fake.
Head is knocked off which looked terribly phony.
Arm is torn off.
Canniballistic food and blood is revealed.

We have alot of off beat moments with the composing as at first it sounded cheesily amusing for the opening credits giving it an old fashioned type of feel to it all but when it overly plays in other areas it becomes incredibly annoying. However there's some low budget effective music when the title character is resurrected from lightning botls in the electric chair that works in fine. Some off piano tapping that is offbeat too. There's some odd ghostly sounds which seems fun to listen to while watching this clunker giving it a nice horror feel to it all. Also we hear some heavy rhythm beats for some other terrors adding action to it. But all in all it most of this was amateurishly composed.