Lisa (Linda Blair) and Kathy (Donna Wilkes) travel into the mountains
to attend the Krueger family reunion. During the witching hour
the Krueger house is invaded by a vicious gang of punks searching
for drugs, jewels, and cash. After torturing and killing the
Kruegers the gang discovers the terrible family secret locked
away in a hidden room. Predators become prey when deformed cousin
Patrick escapes captivity and seeks bloody vengeance.
plot of Grotesque is told in three different
sections. We have a family stalked by killers opening, crazy
freak killing everybody in sight middle, and a Tales from the
Crypt style ending. With such sudden shifts in story lines,
it's easy for the viewer to feel lost. The only constant during
the three different plots is the gang leaders, Scratch and Shelley
(a severely over acting Brad Wilson and Michelle Bensoussan).
As soon as the viewer feels a connection with one set of character,
those characters die off and a new set is introduced.
strongest attribute is its cast of slasher alumni. Besides Blair
and Wilkes, the cast also features Robert (Maniac Cop)
Z'Dar and Charles (Silent Night, Deadly Night)
Dierkop. Sadly, none of these actors have enough screen time
to rank their presence much higher than cameo status. And the
viewer really loses interest when the beautiful Blair
and Wilkes depart. Both actresses bring a great deal of energy
to Grotesque and the film really stumbles without them.
fans should look for special appearances from Halloween
III's Jack-o-Lantern and Skull mask. Skull mask even
has a love scene, which is a bit odd. Guy Stockwell plays the
"special fx genius" head of the Krueger family and
dresses like Madman Marz for a false scare. Stockwell's cheap
effects are good for unintentional laughs. One doubts this guy
could find work in Hollywood with anyone other than AIP or Roger
Corman. Good old Buck Flower is listed in the closing credits
as pre-production coordinator. One wishes he had a role in front
of the camera as well.
is a flawed yet still entertaining film. It's really hard not
to laugh out loud while Brad Wilson shrieks his lines like a
rabid banshee. Somebody should have shown him the definition
of subtle before filming started. In a surprising bit of good
taste, Blair and Wilkes keep their clothes on for the film.
Flesh fans will be disappointed but it's nice to see these normally
exploited actresses shown some respect. There's also a "beauty
is skin deep" moral at the end, which makes this a good
slasher to show little brothers and sisters. Sure, the violent
bits might give the
brats nightmares but at least they learn something.