SOV Summer: Las Vegas Bloodbath (1989)


Las Vegas Bloodbath was one of my first introductions into the bizarre world of shot on video mayhem. I am from Sin City and this movie was floating around my fair weather town back in the early 90s, thanks to the infamous Mascot Video Store, which was owned by the even more notorious Ray Dennis Steckler. My friend gave me a copy (I would not venture into Mascot until some years later) and, well, it was something to behold. The upshot is that I can promise you there is a literal bloodbath, so truth in advertising pays off!


Ari Levin is Sam Butler, and slightly reminiscent of a stretched out Nic Cage (and just as over the top). After scoring some big business deal, he heads back to Vegas to spend some time with his wife, Ruth (Elizabeth Anderson in a horrifying blonde Tina Turner wig). Only upon his unannounced arrival, he stumbles across wifey and her other lover. It takes Sam about five seconds to realize that justice can only be found at the end of his revolver and he kills the couple. Fully charged on anger and vengeance, he then proceeds to decapitate Ruth and take her head along for his upcoming massacre. Sam kills everyone from bartenders, to daytime whores (my favorite bit) to oil wrestlers to pregnant oil wrestlers! I mean, Ruth really pissed this guy off.

The second half of the film deals mostly with the ad-libbing oil wrestlers who sit around and talk smack and eat donuts. Then they watch about 20 minutes of one of their matches and then order pizza. Then they die. By that point you’ll either be moved to tears from boredom or laughter. It really depends on your tolerance for these kinds of regional efforts. Myself, I was pleasantly surprised by how tolerant of this film I was. I mean, it’s no Woodchipper Massacre. Not even close, but it is enjoyable if you love schlock or if you dislike daytime whores. And who doesn’t?

vlcsnap-749818Las Vegas Bloodbath is still a hard movie to recommend. It will be an endurance test for even the most seasoned gorehounds, but at the same time, man, is this film audacious. The scenes in the second half of the pregnant wrestler and her unborn baby are kind of worth the price of the rental. The first time I saw what he did to her, I remember sitting there in absolute disgust. This time I laughed. I also wondered a bit about this woman who is most absolutely pregnant (and sometimes topless!). She was either a great sport or hard up for drug money. Who knows, all that matters is… wow. Just wow.

And I guess that’s best thing that can be said about Las Vegas Bloodbath. Wow. Just wow.

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2 Responses to “ SOV Summer: Las Vegas Bloodbath (1989) ”

  1. This film had me at “Computer Generated Title Card”!

  2. Great review, Amanda. Everyone needs to see Las Vegas Bloodbath at least once in their lives. I would have read the review earlier, but I got interrupted by all of these daytime whores.

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