Grotesque (1988)


Directed by: Joe Tornatore

Written by: Mike Angel


Tab Hunter .... Rod
Linda Blair .... Lisa
Brad Wilson .... Scratch
Michelle Benosoussan .... Shelly
Donna Wilkes .... Kathy
Sharon Hughes .... Donna
Charles Dierkop .... Bill Matson
Nels Van Patten .... Gibbs
Lincoln Tate .... Blane
Guy Stockwell .... Orville Kruger
Chuck Morrell .... Jim Fulton
Billy Frank .... Ear Box
Robert Z'Dar .... Eric

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: June, 1988 (West Germany)




A young woman named Lisa (Linda Blair) hopes to have a relaxing time at her parents house up in their remote cabin in the snowy mountains along with her friend Kathy (Donna Wilkes) but they run into trouble along their drive with a bunch of punks but eventually manage to drive away.
However, they followed her as they slaughter her family but she manages to get away. Another person with a grotesque looking face was watching them and manages to kill most of the gang especially after he finds out that Lisa was murdered in cold blood in the wooded area.
The police accidentally kills this person and a close family member Rod (Tab Hunter) takes the law in his own hands since he has a deadly secret to reveal to the punk leader Scratch (Brad Wilson).


An interesting cheesy beginning with a deep narration showing house in a thunderstorm for the opening credits with trash discussions on something that we see deformed only to tease us that it's a movie in itself with the filmmaker Orville Kruger discussing it which seemed amusing to watch with good shots on him and the others talking about it.
Nice moments with the characters Lisa and Kathy having a discussion in their vehicle as well as trying to get a van to go past them and seeing a wild punk girl screaming out at them which looked convincingly unpleasant to watch as well as making you cringe for what will happen later on in the story.
Trashy discussions with the head punk Scratch in a rage talking to his other gang members while their vehicle broke down as this looked incredibly cheesy to watch and not intimidating as it was supposed to have been. However there's a good moment when they stop Lisa and Kathy from driving and acting creepy towards them as you wonder if they will be trapped and endangered which looked impressive.
A nice add on to the story with a store owner trying to warn both Lisa and Kathy about some punks he encountered at his store and that are nearby which also is a nice impression in the story too as it makes you cringe for more.
Some nice heartwarming moments with the two of them arriving at the cabin in the snowy mountains and greeted by Lisa's mother as this looked too pleasant as it makes you feel bad for them as to what will happen later on while we continue to watch.
Cheesy moments on what we may think is some creep approaching Kathy and a shot on this person wearing a creepy mask only to find out that it's Lisa's father whom is of course Orville pulling a prank as well as him doing this to other family members as this also looked good and uplifting to watch.
Also some nice discussions between Jim and Kathy when he shows her around his room of horror masks and figures as this was strongly drawn in and also looked pleasant to watch.
There are nice camera shots with the creepy displays in the cabin during a thunderstorm. Plus a nice shadow shot on Scratch spying in the cabin and walking up a ladder to a room with his gang.
Perfectly intense moments when they terrorise the family as this indeed looked disturbing to watch as well as one of them killing a family members in fron of the others which is not for everyone's tastes and perfectly psychological too. These actions really come to life and makes you want to kill these evil and vicious punks.
We also have a long moment with Lisa running away in the snow which could've been cut a bit shorter but not overly long yet it makes you wonder if she will escape from the madness of the punk chasing after her when she tries to hide or lose him.
Nice shots on the ghoul in his area watching them as well as this figure tearing out and attacking as this looked good and vengeful however you could tell that his deformed face was a mask and his shape also looked phony as this seemed to be a lack of a budget from the film.
There's perfect killings from this ghoul which makes you want to cheer him on for how evil these punks were and thinking you hope he kills them all in a painful death.
Good shots on the hunters in the snowy area trying to track down the killers as well as Orville Kruger trying to stop one of the policemen from shooting the ghoul as a mistaken identity but of course there's many unwise choices that were used in horror flicks as you want to hit this lawman for what he did.
We spot a scene with a good cop/bad cop situation towards Scratch and Shelly as this at times looked fun to watch by trying to be physical to them etc but the moments from time to time looked a little corny.
I loved a moment when Orville stops his vehicle towards Scratch and Shelly and then pulls a rifle at them and forcing the two to get in which is a good feeling for all the nasty deeds that they've done.
Plus when they're kidnapped there's good shots on them being strapped down with Orville planning his nasty experiments as the situations here for sure looked bizarre when he reveals his darkest secrets as well as to what the story unravels. Plus it had a very weird ending too.
Bottom line is that this film looked promising and does delivers in many parts but other times it was pointless too and makes you think where is this story going? It is disturbing and intense with a great revenge plot to it in this action-horror plus it's a very Tales from the Crypt type of story too along with combining the disturbing elements of Last House on the Left and Class of 1984.
Yet this film was made on a lower budget compared to any of them but not a cheap video quality type by any means.

The acting is in rough shape but some of it wasn't too terrible. Tab Hunter (Rod) tries his best as a vengeful man against the punks and can almost have you convincing too. However he is a little too over the top yet his energy is pretty good and definetely shows in insanity when needed to. Plus he was good shouting out not to shoot in a certain scene and getting anxious which he did well. Also shows off a good sneering attitude when pointing a rifle at two people while in his car. He just needed a bit better coaching when losing control or getting upset.
Former Exorcist scream queen Linda Blair (Lisa) however, didn't do much for me as a frightened victim to her slaughtered family but she wasn't terrible. Just nothing too special. However shows a good uplifting behavior in the beginning of her performance as well as showing some cautious behavior when she is stopped in her vehicle. Seemed to do well with her emotional intensity when seeing one of her family members getting killed as well as showing okay aggressions too. While she runs away at times she is on the ball and at times a little off. She doesn't react too well though when getting strangled half to death.
Brad Wilson
(Scratch) as the nasty punk leader seems way too over the top in the beginning of his performance when getting into a rage when his vehicle breaks down as he was supposed to be intimidating but looks way too hokey when he does this. Other times he seems to do okay with his vicious attitude due to his evil tormenting onto the onscreen family members with his hissy voice. However when he tries to sound emotional while lying on stuff it looked plain wooden. Yet his looks and everything was dead on so he had the punk looks.
Michelle Benosoussan (Shelly) shows some nice powerful and forceful energy with what she does here as the punk girlfriend in which she comes across as a nasty type of pig and was great by thrusting a deadly object against someone else. Does well with her powerful and demanding attiude and looked good for the part. However when she pretends to be emotional at the same time she is slightly off by pretending to act innocent.
Donna Wilkes
(Kathy) seemed to do a good job as someone whom is innocent and sensitive. She shows a nice pleasant behavior when curious about some horror props and costumes and getting into her discussion greatly. Plus does a nice job with her scared and defenseless types of actions too.
Charles Dierkop
(Bill Matson) is good playing a good cop/bad cop type of character and is extremely energetic. He seemed to really show good aggressions when firing his gun or being dimwitted about stuff. Was fairly okay getting demanding and forceful when questioning someone but at times gets a little carried away.
Nels Van Patten (Gibbs) seems well remembered as one of the insane punks who cackles alot. He for sure jumps into his role to the extreme big time as well as great by being sick and evil in a scene which makes you hope that he will be the next one to go. Plus was good by acting forceful as well as lustful too with his aggressions as someone you don't care to be around for being so creepy.
Lincoln Tate (Blane
) certainly knew her craft as a warm and caring family woman in which she shows off a great welcoming behavior as well as taking things lightly and enjoying life. Had the perfect motherly looks too that you wouldn't want to upset her in which she shows a perfect versatality acting freaked out and frightened when she's terrorised. She was a true character actress.
Guy Stockwell (Orville Kruger) Bless his soul. He was the best out of the whole cast as he brings a bunch of good with to his role as a filmmaker and makes his part truly likeable. Does well by pulling pranks as well as getting into a good conversation about his props towards someone else and brings off a terrific charm to what he does here. Plus had the right looks for this role too. He stands out the most in this film.

A father head is bashed
Some bloody stabbings
A deranged retarded man's face is blown off

Jack Cookerly and Bill Loose both perform great keyboard to sum up the suspense and action in this film as they proved they can do fine with it. There's alot of chilling sounds as well as a scene with some old fashioned organ sounds too when the punks slowly creep into the cabin which works in nicely. Also there's good drumbeats as well as terrific other types of adventureous music especially when the hunters are in the woods to snuff someone out which stands out strong. Also we have wavy music as this sounded nicely put in for a low budget horror such as this one. Yet there's dixieland jazz with piano and banjo playing during the closing credits which sounded too hokey and didn't fit into the movie at all.

Gibbs: You gotta choice. You can either face the maniac or freeze your ass off (Cackles)