Director – Jon Killough
Starring – Mary Jackson (The Exorcist III, Big Top Pee-Wee), Scott Spiegel (The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II), and Susan Rothacker (Robot Ninja, Kingdom of the Vampire)
Release Date – 1990
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 4.5/5
Tagline – “Unhinged! Insane! Totally Out Of Control!”
Several years ago I started writing reviews on my blog just for the hell of it. As much as I love horror the goal of the blog was to dive into exploitation and action flicks that time has forgotten. However, I took the time to review a few of my favorite horror flicks in between action adventures. One of those films I reviewed early on in my review career was the 1990 Jon Killough horror comedy Skinned Alive. A friend from high school introduced me to this slice of pure bliss. Recently Tempe Digital remastered the film and released it on blu. This was the perfect excuse to revisit it.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Crawldaddy (Jackson), her son Phink (Spiegel), and her daughter Violet (Rothacker) who travel around in their van killing and skinning people for their leather business. They run into van trouble in a small town and the local mechanic puts them up in his house for the night while he works on it. They make the best of it and rack up a few extra bodies to tan but the former cop turned drunk suspects they are up to no good and soon an all out suburban war ensues between the three and the drunk divorcee. **spoiler alert**
I absolutely love this movie and I don’t watch it nearly as much as I would like but my love for it shouldn’t blind you to what it really is. The film, as much as I hate to admit it, it painfully rough around the edges and the humor is the only thing holding it together. I love it but I’m not surprised it’s rating on imdb is around 3. People just don’t appreciate the slapstick horror flicks like I do.
The acting in this one is rough but I absolutely love the characters. Crawldaddy, Phink, and Violet sell the film for me. It’s a real indie cinema tragedy that we never got another film with them. I know they die in the flick but so much more could be done with them story wise. I also enjoyed Dead Next Door’s J.R. Bookwalter’s cameo in the film. The supporting cast is just as fun with many memorable characters making appearances.
The story for this one is extremely simple but fits in perfectly during the S.O.V. era of horror. It works in the blood and gore while not making it the complete center of the story. The character’s dialogue fits in well with the story and most of the slower scenes is filled with enough humor as to not bore the viewer.
Finally, the film is overflowing with blood and gore. The effects are hit and miss. When they hit they look great but when they miss they offer up some unintentional laughs which, in a way, works as well. Overall, Skinned Alive is not for everyone but if you like the funny side of horror you can truly appreciate what Skinned Alive brings to the table. The blu looks absolutely stunning and leagues better than the DVD I previously owned which was VHS quality. I highly suggest upgrading to the blu if you have the DVD or grabbing a copy if you have never seen this trashterpiece. It’s such a fun film and Tempe did an amazing job with this release.
NEW! 2K Restored Feature in 4:3 Original Aspect Ratio (1.33:1, 78 mins.)
NEW! DTS HD-MA 5.1 Surround Remix
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Remix
NEW! 2020 Audio Commentary with writer/director Jon Killough, moderated by Tempe historian Ross Snyder of Saturn’s Core Audio & Video
2002 Audio Commentary with producer J.R. Bookwalter and makeup effects artist David Lange
NEW! Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Thai Dubbed Mix
NEW! Carving Up 30 Years of “Skinned Alive” (16 mins.) featuring all-new 2020 interviews with writer/director Jon Killough and actors Susan Rothacker, Floyd Ewing Jr. & Michael Render
NEW! Call Me Daddy You S#!thead: Remembering Mary Jackson (10 mins.) featuring all-new 2020 interviews with Foxx frontman Dave Jackson, original “Violet” Lorie Jackson, director Jon Killough, and actors Susan Rothacker & Michael Render
NEW! Prissy Boy Phink: The Scott Spiegel Interview (8 mins.) featuring an all-new 2018 interview
NEW! 2020 Location Tour (5 mins.) with cast members James L. Edwards, Floyd Ewing Jr., and Michael Render
NEW! Restoration Grindhouse with Audio Commentary by producer J.R. Bookwalter discussing work performed for the new 2K restoration (11 mins.)
NEW! Artwork & Promotional Gallery (5 mins.)
NEW! Behind The Scenes Gallery (5 mins.)
NEW! Production Stills Gallery (7 mins.)
NEW! Optional English or Spanish Subtitles
Tempe Digital Trailers
1990 Original VHS Version with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Mix (1.33:1)
NEW! 2020 Audio Commentary with Doug Tilley and Moe Porne of The No-Budget Nightmares Podcast
NEW! Never-before-seen 1987 “Roommates” TV Sitcom Episode One featuring “Skinned Alive” cast and crew (24 mins.)
1988 “Roommates” TV Sitcom Episode Two featuring “Skinned Alive” cast and crew (31 mins.)
NEW! 1987 Joy Circuit “Love Turns To Darkness” Music Video directed by J.R. Bookwalter (6 mins.)
Cut to the Bone: Dissecting the Making of “Skinned Alive” (35 mins.)
Behind The Scenes (7 mins.)
Camera & Wardrobe Tests (11 mins.)
About The 2002 Remastering (2 mins.)
Original 2002 DVD Release Trailer (3 mins.)
NEW! Optional English or Spanish Subtitles
Tempe DVD Trailers
Collectible slipcover with newly-commissioned artwork by Alex Sarabia, signed by writer/director Jon Killough and producer J.R. Bookwalter
Reversible wrap with 2000 artwork by Dave Arcane and original 1990 Cinema Home Video VHS artwork
Eight-page color booklet with behind-the-scenes photos and liner notes by Tempe historian Ross Snyder of Saturn’s Core Audio & Video
Bonus Manufactured-On-Demand (MOD) Blu-ray with 2K Restored Feature in 16:9 Widescreen (1.78:1, 78 mins.)
Bundle with Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD for just $5 more!