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WEIRDO FLICKS: 'Killing Spree'

by Eli Kroes

You might not be familiar with the term 'Z-Movie,' but if you grew up in the 90's, chances are you've seen one. They're the beyond-low-budget monstrosities that teased you from the walls of the mom-and-pop video store. Usually, the films themselves could never live up to the pictures on the videotape boxes (because this was way before your fancy 'Digital Video Discs' and 'Blu-Rays') but occasionally you'd find something truly unique. 'WEIRDO FLICKS' will clue you into some movies which 'unique' doesn't even begin to describe...

'Killing Spree' - 1987, Directed by Tim Ritter

Tim Ritter has created some of the most psychedelic pieces of garbage you will ever lay eyes on. I'm still not sure if he intends his films to be as weird as they are, but holy hell are they weird. His 'biggest' flick, a slasher called 'Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness' is one of the most disjointed, coked-out oddball things I've come across, and this film, which came out a couple years earlier, is just as weird. In fact, it might even be weirder...

So, you've got a semi-normal slasher setup: A guy catches his wife cheating and goes crazy, killing all her various lovers. These include the TV repair man, the lawncare guy, and his own best friend. Pretty standard slasher fare, right? Well, except for the fact that he never actually 'catches' her cheating...he just keeps finding her diary, then he reads an entry while a red light shines on him. Also, it's a little weird that he chooses to kill all these other guys instead of her. Also, the TV repair guy knows Karate, so he's a little hard to defeat.

The acting is as awful as you'd expect, but the poor delivery coupled with Ritter's equally demented writing makes something truly bizarre. Actors are either wayyyyy over the top or completely emotionless. Ritter also employs some interesting killing techniques. For example, the main character at one point attaches knives to his ceiling fan, then grabs a guy by the legs and holds him up into it, beheading him. Pretty elaborate. 

But, that's still not the weirdest part. Stop reading now if you really don't like 'spoilers,' but I'll tell you right now that it doesn't even matter. The plot is completely see-through, so you pretty much know this stuff the whole time.

First of all, his wife hasn't really been cheating on him (hence the diary-reading). She's just writing romance stories for a magazine because she doesn't want her man to be the sole breadwinner of the household. So, needless to say, all the dudes he's killed come back to life to fight him.

Yep. Mind you, this isn't a zombie movie, or a supernatural horror film at ALL. It's mostly based in reality (despite the dream-logic that permeates from most of Ritter's work) so this twist is just totally wrong. And awesome. 

If you're looking for something mindblowingly bizarre, look no further than this (or any of Ritter's other films, for that matter.)


VHS photo by Toby Hudson.