Skinned Deep – USA, 2004

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‘A new icon of terror for a new generation of fear, meet the Surgeon General’

Skinned Deep is a 2004 American horror film written, produced and directed by special effects and makeup artist Gabe [Gabriel] Bartalos. In some territories it was released as Berserker.

The film’s music score was composed by David Davidson (Blood Surf; SleepStalker) and Captain Sensible of punk-goth-psychedelic band The Damned.

The movie stars Les Pollack, Aaron Sims, Kurt Carley, Linda Weinrib, Forrest J Ackerman (Braindead; Scalps; Queen of Blood; editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland), Eric Bennett and Warwick Davis (Leprechaun series).

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While taking a family trip, the Rockwell family become lost on the highway. When their car gets a flat, father Phil (Eric Bennett) goes to a convenience store to find help and a strange old woman invites them to stay with her while one of her sons fixes their car.

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The old woman introduces the family to her strange sons: Plates (Warwick Davis), Brain (Jason Dugre), and one whom the woman calls “Surgeon General” (Kurt Carley). When Mrs. Rockwell takes a picture of Surgeon General, he kills her. Plates starts throwing plates at Phil, who is then murdered by Surgeon General. The Rockwell children, Tina and Matthew, escape through a window and are pursued by Surgeon General and Plates…

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Reviews:

“There’s simply no grey area with Skinned Deep — either you love it or you hate it. I, for one, adore the movie, and am quick to recommend it to those with like-minded sensibilities. Those of you who can overlook Bartalos’ shaky direction, the plethora of crumby performances, and outrageously stupid script will be presented with a strangely Lynchian gorefest that doesn’t going one toke over the line.” Todd, Killerflix

 

“There is nothing in the film remotely resembling a real situation or person, the action is edited together in an annoyingly disjointed manner and the director could hardly keep still, combining an array of awful shots in a haphazard way. It is horribly bad but never scares or thrills and the attempts at comedy are incredibly childish. The only decent actor in the film is Warwick Davis and they made him wear a backpack full of plates and gave him a monologue about his plate obsession” Eat Horror

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“Bartalos is clearly more interested in disturbing the viewer through the sheer weirdness of the proceedings, and throws in scenes which are memorable rather than shocking. There is a fair amount of blood, and some good special effects, made all the more impressive by the obviously low budget, although most of the gore is either played for laughs or is simply too odd to cause offence.” James Mudge, Beyond Hollywood

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“Now, Gabe Bartalos is a perfectly talented makeup artist. His artistic creations have often been the only good thing about some otherwise perfectly shitty movies, including some of the latter entries into the Leprechaun series. Sadly, at some point ol’ Gabe got in into his gin-soaked head that knowing how to make an oozing stomach wound out of latex made him a qualified writer and director. For the record, it did not.” Ben Platt, Something Awful

Cast and characters:

  • Forrest J Ackerman as Forrey
  • Eric Bennett as Phil Rockwell
  • Jason Dugre as Brain
  • Warwick Davis as Plates
  • Karoline Brandt as Tina Rockwell
  • Peter Iasillo, Jr. as Petey
  • Kurt Carley as Surgeon General
  • Bill Butts as Graine
  • Neil Dooley as Pig Pen
  • Joel Harlow as Octobaby

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