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Skinned Deep (2004)

DVD Cover (Severin Films)
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Overall Rating 38%
Overall Rating
Ranked #4,346
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The horror film Skinned Deep begins when a family suffers a flat tire on a barren stretch of road with only a diner dotting the landscape. They meet Granny, the seemingly nice old woman who runs the establishment, but they soon find that she is the leader of a deranged clan. The family is slain, with the exception of their teenage daughter, Tina whom one of the sons in the family, Brain (a boy with an externalized brain much larger than his head), takes a romantic interest in. Soon a group of bikers show up, forcing the girl to figure out which group of crazies she should throw in with in order to stay alive. --TMDb
Les Pollack
Les Pollack
Aaron Sims
Aaron Sims
Kurt Carley
Kurt Carley
Linda Weinrib
Linda Weinrib
Eric Bennett
Eric Bennett
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Review by Chad
Added: July 05, 2005
After our movie begins with a scene straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, we're taken to a family who is on vacation and driving through the middle of nowhere. The family, consisting of mom (Linda Weinrib) and dad (Eric Bennett) along with their son Matthew (Lee Kociela) and daughter Tina (Karoline Brandt), soon manage to blow out a tire on one of these back-roads. Unbeknownst to them (but clear to us in the audience), their tire blew out thanks to them running over a spike-trap. Father decides to walk back to a diner that he saw a short walk back, where he meets a kind old lady named, appropriately enough, Granny (Liz Little). Granny says that there's no mechanics available at this time of day, but she does have a grandson who would be happy to help them out if they'll come over to their place for dinner. He agrees to this plan, goes back and retrieves his family from the broken-down van, and it's off to Granny's house for dinner. There, the family meets the rest of Granny's family. The head of the family seems to be Surgeon General (played by both Aaron Sims and Kurt Carley), who wears a pair of dark goggles and has a bear-trap for a mouth. Then there's Plates (Warwick Davis, best known as the leprechaun from the movie of the same name), who, ironically enough, carries around plates with him. Finally, there's Brain (Jay Dugre), a guy with an enormous brain on top of his head. Who'd have thought? Turns out that the mutant / monster family doesn't take too kindly to Tina's vegan remarks, so Surgeon General breaks out some sort of half-circle blade (which I've seen in other movies, but damned if I know what it's called) and kills off the normal family... with the exception of Tina, who Brain has taken a liking to. The plan amongst the mutants is to keep Tina locked up against her wishes so that Brain can make her his wife, but trouble arises when a gang of senior-citizen bikers known as The Ancient Ones shows up.

How in the world does one explain a film such as this? Bizarre would be the best adjective here, but even that wouldn't do it justice. The best way to describe this would be as such: take a few of the better writers from Troma, give them a bit more of a budget than they're used to (but not much), pump them full of acid and various other mind-altering drugs, and tell them to make a movie sort of like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. If that unlikely scenario were to occur, the result would probably be something like Skinned Deep. That result could either be a great movie or one wretched pile of feces depending on what you look for in a horror movie... but personally, I enjoyed the hell out of it.

While I did compare this to a Troma film up above, all of the humor that one would expect from a Troma release is nowhere to be found here. There's a few things that are laughable simply for what they were (a dwarf throwing plates at people, a senior-citizen biker gang), but even these are few and far between. Other than these few things, this is a straight-up... horror film? It does have the elements of a horror film but it really seems to fit more into the avant-garde genre than anything else. Again, bizarre is the key word here.

I also compared this to a Troma film in terms of the budget constraints, but don't let that fool you into thinking that this is a cheaply-made film. While some of the acting could have used some work (even for a low-budget production), the effects and sets are top-notch here. There's a good deal of bloodshed involved with plenty of creative kill methods, and each scene looks as though it received plenty of attention and cash. Really, how many movies feature a young kid being sliced in half at the hands of a bear-trap-mouthed mutant and have the gag come off looking completely realistic? The only time the movie disappoints in the effects department is during the few scenes which use CGI for explosions and such. While they don't look any worse than similar movies which feature these type of effects, it's a bit of a step-down from the great gore and costumes that we quickly get used to as the movie progresses.

Overall, it's definitely worth a rental for fans of horror that completely breaks away from the norm. If there was ever a movie that would pull a "What the fuck am I watching?" remark from the viewer, this would be it. And that makes for one hell of an entertaining film in the case of this title. 8/10.
Edd #1: Edd - added 07/06/2005, 10:36 AM
I can't believe this movie is rated higher than a five.
Christopher #2: Christopher - added 01/05/2006, 08:25 PM
Typical horror plot, girl gets lost from her party and tortured by unusual folks, blah. But the violence makes up for it. The brother getting sliced in half makes the movie awesome, let alone all the other killings. The characters are also unique as heck, I love the brains (pun intended) of the family.
Tristan #3: Tristan - added 04/04/2006, 06:48 PM
I think this is pretty much the worst movie I've ever seen. I couldn't even enjoy it for sheer comedic value.
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