Friday, March 5, 2010


a.k.a. Shadow of Death, The Edison Effect
Directed by Robert Kirk
cast: Deborah Foreman, Clayton Rohner, Lyle Alzado, Anthony Perkins
Here’s a mess of a slasher mish-mash starring former NFL defensive end, Lyle Alzado, as the game show obsessed con Moeser. During his electrocution for the rape and murder of 23 men, women and children (he cackles before his execution, “it was actually 24“) the giant goon short circuits the entire prison resulting in a riot that leaves 13 guards and 37 inmates dead. Years later, the town folk don’t talk much about the event or the strange happenings at the abandoned prison. That is, until Robert Edwards (Anthony Perkins) shows up to direct his Women in Prison picture “Death House Dolls“. 
Before we can enjoy the obvious fun of a reanimated Lyle Alzado zombie running around killing the crew of a W.I.P. set, we are forced to spend half an hour with our bland stock leads stunt girl, Susan Malone (Deborah Foreman from VALLEY GIRL), and her screenwriter boyfriend, David Harris (Clayton Rohner).  It’s painful, but just as your mind wanders towards unpaid taxes, Moeser shows up with a giant jackhammer to save the bloody day.
The numerous in-jokes, rip-offs, groan-inducing stock characters and blatant use of dream sequences (very common around this time) to emulate the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series actually added more nostalgia than “seen it before” snobbery to my viewing experience. 
Yeah it’s predictable, poorly written, and badly directed, but DESTROYER throws in enough nudity, explosions, rats, and body parts to make for a decent six packer. Anthony Perkins and the one note Alzado put forth some effort; seeing the big lug simulate the tornado tongue using a pair of scissors must have caused some serious soda spit takes from theater patrons. Sadly, Lyle Alzado would die four years later at age 43 from brain cancer blaming it on a 22year addiction to anabolic steroids. The same year as DESTROYER, Renny Harlin directed an electric chair horror film called PRISON starring Viggo Mortensen, Waldemar Korzeniowsky directed THE CHAIR and 1989 would see two more hit the big screen with Sean S. Cunningham’s THE HORROR SHOW and Wes Craven’s SHOCKER. Only available on VHS and Laserdisc, DESTROYER will most likely be the one forgotten.

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