I noticed there are a bunch of great movies on Netflix like Heat, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Avengers 2 and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  But I’ve already seen those movies and there’s nothing else particularly exciting or truly awful to hold my interest.  So I delved deep into the Amazon Prime Dungeon.  Do you want to see a mid-80s “horror” movie that squanders Linda Blair and fails on every conceivable level?  Oh yeah, let’s check this out.

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Grotesque (1988)

The description of the movie says it’s about scumbag punk rockers who attack a family, then someone or something gets violent revenge.  Okay, I’m in.  But where does Linda Blair fit in?  It turns out not at all.  This is truly a garbage film with a spectacularly terrible ending.  But we’ll get to that in a minute.  Let’s start with the awful plot.

I knew I was in trouble when the credits play over a still photo of a spooky house with lightning while some lady talks nonsense.  This goes on for what feels like an hour.  Then a creepy woman in a bed calls on the horrible monster to take her or kill her, either way she’s cool.  So a big, fat dude in a rubber mask and monk robes comes in and does something to her, bite her or kiss her?  It’s so ineptly shot I couldn’t see what happened, but she dies.  And then “Cut” we’re in a terrible movie within a movie.  There’s a fat, bearded make-up effects dude who’s going to his cabin in Big Bear. 

Then Linda Blair and her boring female friend drive to Big Bear and have terrible conversations the whole time.  They cross paths with a VW van full of stereotypical ’80s punks and we all know what’s going to happen.  But first Linda Blair takes an off-camera shower while her friend is slowly and boringly threatened by a masked man coming up the stairs.  But wouldn’t you know it, it’s make-up effects dude in a pathetic rubber mask who is also Linda Blair’s dad.  This is the worst, crappily shot jump scare I’ve seen in a while.  Like the entire movie, it’s over-lit with no sense of foreboding or atmosphere. 

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So finally the punks show up, kill the family, and Linda Blair takes a header out of a second story window and runs away into the snow in her nightgown.  Then some dude in a jumpsuit and monster face starts bloodlessly killing the punks.  His “Grotesque” make-up is laughable, and he has a rubbery weiner-thing hanging off his cheek and it looks ridiculous.  Grotesque completes this violent revenge task in about five minutes of screen time, but before he can get the last two punks, the cops show up and blow his ass away.  Spoiler alert.  This is an unintentionally hilarious moment.  Also, Grotesque fails to rescue Linda Blair, who is murdered.  

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At this point, there’s about an hour of movie left, the only reason I’m watching this steaming pile is Linda Blair and her character is dead, and there’s no more plot to deal with.  Holy crap is this a bad sign.  What we get is some truly boring police detecting and legal mumbo-jumbo.  The jackass cops have to let the punks go, “With no evidence our hands are tied.  There’s literally nothing we can do.”  I guess forensic evidence didn’t exist in 1988.  There were multiple haphazard murders, fingerprints all over the place, blood spray…  I’m pretty sure there’s a mountain of evidence but these dillweed filmmakers need to pad out their cheap, boring and terrible horror movie. 

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The big twist is the dullard brother of the Grotesque family, who was introduced halfway through the movie, gets bloody vigilante revenge.  He plastic surgeries the punks and then rips off his mask and he’s a Grotesque, too.  But then the colossally stupid “twist” is that we’ve been watching the crappy movie the filmmakers were making and then Dollar Store Frankenstein and Wolfman decide to attack the audience of the movie within a movie within a movie.  “Let’s show them some real monsters,” says Wolfman. Oh, this is so terrible.  The filmmakers show only contempt for the audience who paid good money to see this crap-storm of a movie.  Although it didn’t cost me a cent since I’m already getting Amazon Prime, I still felt insulted and ripped off.

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Blatantly cheap, shoddy, condescending, and deadly dull.  The acting is over the top and atrocious.  This is truly a godawful movie that deserves to be forgotten and the filmmakers need to be beaten and tortured by a Grotesque. 

By Channing Kapin

I am a professional writer living in Van Nuys, CA. I have spent the last 20 years honing my sarcasm writing for the internet. I have two cats, a dog and an imaginary hairless mole rat.