Skinner (1995)

Directed by: Ivan Nagy

Written by: Paul Hart-Wilden


Ted Raimi .... Dennis Skinner
Ricki Lake .... Kerri Tate
Warshofsky .... Geoff Tate
Richard Schiff .... Eddie
Traci Lords .... Heidi

Release Dates: Direct-to-Video: July 12, 1995



A traveller Dennis Skinner (Ted Raimi) is running away from a woman stalker Heidi (Traci Lords) and hides out at a house that has a room for rent owned by a landlady Kerri Tate (Ricki Lake) who is having a sketchy relationship with her husband Geoff (David Warhofsky) as he is always on the road with his job as a trucker which their marriage is questionable on how long they will be staying together.
Dennis watches Heidi while she sleeps as well as going out at night picking up prostititutes later on killing them and then carving their skin with blades and cleavers using their skin as clothing.
Heidi tries to track him down before Kerri is his next victim since she has a deadly dark secret about him from a past encounter.


Good close up shots on Dennis Skinner walking along some water travelling as well as entering a house and having a conversation with Kerri Tate about renting the room.
There's many good dark shots with Dennis wandering around the halls of the home as well as a shot on Kerri sleeping and him staring at her which leaves an intersting chill.
Some effective arguments between Kerri and Geoff Tate
about a disagreement on having a roomate which looked like a good dysfunctional relationship as well as him acting pigheaded towards Dennis when he introduces himself leaving a nice impressions with this by not being a good idea.
A good moment with Dennis in a room with a prostitute by having a brief discussion with a nice red light shot on them along with him going into a bathroom and then coming out without the shot revealing him on what he did and a nice fearful reaction on her and then covering her mouth which showed some fair timing.
A good shot on Kerri trying to carve a turkey before putting it in the oven with Dennis picking up a kitchen knife she threw and raising it and then stabbing the turkey and showing her how to carve it with good close up shots on this.
Great close up shots with Heidi putting a needle in her arm as well as a close up shot on her screaming intensely. There's also good shots on a hotel manager peeking through a hole in the wall watching her.
There's a good shot on Dennis coming up towards a hooker with good shots on attacking her and a nice close up shot on him slitting her throat which looked quite disturbing along with Heidi attacking him and then a good shot on her talking soothily towards this prostitute telling her with icy words that everything's going to be okay as well as a nice dark shot on Dennis coming up behind Heidi and whacking her in the head as well as carrying the hooker away.
There's lots of great gruesome and creepy shots with Dennis speaking as well as showing him stripping skin off of this hooker lying there lifeless which makes it hard to watch but the makers really brought out the horror in it with his close up camera shots on all of this as well as showing Dennis wearing the skinned suit after he's done.
There's a good brief moment with an employee getting aggressive towards Dennis and slamming him against some lockers after work time for something he didn't like which looked like a realistic moment on someone getting angry against another one looking like a brawl is going to start.
A good shot on Dennis standing next to a corner alleyway with a young lady coming up asking if he's okay as well as a great camera shot on him turning his head looking bloodied and answering crazily with her screaming and running away as well as shots on him wearing a skin suit speaking goofily while trying to chase her in which this piece looked incredibly twisted and corny.
There's another great argumentive moments between Kerri and Geoff while he's walking towards his truck to work which looked believeable that they were close to separation in which this looked nicely done.
A nice shot on Kerri stading up near a staircase walking down talking to Dennis standing in the dark near a staircase telling him he wants to show her what he's really like and then showing himself wearing a skin suit with a good close up shot on her screaming and there's a nice shot on him screaming too.
A good moment with Heidi coming up to Geoff speaking coldly towards him when he demands to her why she's in his house as well as a good struggling battle between them. There's also a great shot on her removing her hair and hat to expose herself.
There's a good moment with Dennis talking crazily towards Kerri while she's tied up with good shots on her crying in fear and pleading him not to kill her.
Also great battling moments between Heidi and Dennis against one another with good camera shots on this too.
Bottom line is that I saw this renting at my local video store when it was newly out and I was thinking OOH and AHHH while looking at the video box cover as well as seeing who was starring in it but didn't rent it just yet. Then I saw it was rated a turkey in my video guide. Next when stores were clearing out VHS tapes only having DVDs I bought it not too long ago as some VHS tapes were still surviving at a local store. I had to admit this film was pretty bad and not showing a heck of a strong plot in it. It does have interesting low budget values with the lighting used in it along with some good directions and the odd interesting creepy performances but that's about it which is why I didn't bomb it and considered it below average.
This film was almost like a tribute to the true demented maniac Ed Gein on what is going on.
There's some good moments with how this maniac Skinner was stripping off skin from people. But when he tries to impersonate them by wearing the skin I found it a little too corny and extremely twisted.
The story is very slow to begin with which you wonder when the terror is going to happen as it heats up a bit with Skinner staring at the Kerri Tate character while she's sleeping but afterwards nothing really happens afterwards but then he reveals what he does after he picks up prostitutes which is not for everyone to watch unless you're into watching all kinds of horror scene's no matter how gruesome they are.
This film is pointless and a bit of a bore ripping off elements from flicks like Psycho, Silence of the Lambs and Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the skin stripping scene's since those films were also borrowed heavily from the Ed Gein psychopath. If you're in the mood for a bad film with low production values (This wasn't made on a cheap camcorder by any means), then watch it but don't expect it to be anything else than what's mentioned above.

The acting is half good and half bad. Ted Raimi (Dennis Skinner) seems to do okay though as this demented maniac in which he seemed to portray someone very eccentric as well as a nerdy type too. He also really knew how to really talk insanely when he does his crazy deeds with people's skin. He certainly came across as a good horror character actor. Good angry expressions in a certain scene which leaves an impression that he's going to do something deadly to someone else.
Ricki Lake
(Kerri Tate) however lacked big time as she was way too average and didn't seem to concentrate too well on her role but does well when she gets into an argument in certain parts of the film as well as her crying but that's about it.
Her screaming looked phony in a certain scene too. She's of course better known as a TV talk show host.
Warshofsky (Geoff Tate) portrayed well as a trucker with an arrogant and pigheaded attitude as well as showing some tough guys looks which really helped bring out his character too. He does well with his aggressions and acting negative. Kinda reminds you as one of those typical rednecks who are difficult to live with.
Richard Schiff (Eddie) came across nicely as one of those sleazy hotel managers in which he studied his craft well by his nasty type and perverted behavior. Although he wasn't the main character in the film he still passes his job not too badly.
Traci Lords
(Heidi) certainly came across as extremely mysterious and very creepy as a strange type of woman after Skinner. She showed good expressions that she is not someone you want to know and brought her part to life very well with her cold speaking and acting almost ghostly too. Of course this film came out after her success on a brief stint on Melrose Place even if this was shot beforehand and became a household name.

There's a brief breast shots on women that Skinner uses for his skin suits

A throat is slit.
Skinner slices skin off a woman from top to bottom which looked very good and grueseomely graphic. To some who can't handle graphic gore may want to fast forward this piece.
Skinner is wearing many skin suits.
Eddie the sleazy manager of a hotel is crawling near a doorway looking half slaughtered.

Two composers named Keith Arem and Contagion did the score for the film which sounded typical low budget cheesy effects but yet it sounded quite interesting as you can tell they did different one's each with the low gloomy synthesizer effects for the really dark moments along with some groaning effects as well as the odd high pitched sounds too.