Oh yes, this totally nonsensical and insignificant 80's slasher dud stars the one and only Kevin Costner! I bet he's as proud of this film as George Clooney is of "Return of the Killer Tomatoes" or as Tom Hanks is of "He Knows You're Alone". But hey, wait a minute According to the data on this website and I rarely ever doubt its accuracy "Shadows Run Black" is a film from the year 1986! Are we supposed to believe that Costner starred in this turkey after he appeared in classier movies like "Silverado" and "Fandango" and only one year prior to the almighty successful Brian De Palma milestone "The Untouchables"? Of course not... A bit of quick research teaches us that "Shadows Run Black" was already finalized in 1981, but remained shelved for obvious reasons (because it's awful). Then in 1986 it was removed from the shelves and rapidly distributed, again for obvious reasons (it was still awful, but people would suddenly pay to see it because it stars Kevin Costner). Luckily for Kev, his role is merely a small and supportive one, and even though his character is often mentioned and talked about, his actual appearance in the film is rather limited and brief.
What are we left with then? "Shadows Run Black" is a misogynic, incoherent, clichéd, zero-budgeted and laughably inept slasher attempt. "A masked killer, a couple of idiotic red herrings and most of all a lot of female full frontal nudity is all we need in order to make a successful horror movie, right?". That's basically what the writers and producers must have thought when they started filming. Some psychopath, entirely dressed in black and wearing a ski mask, is slaughtering lewd girls left and right, supposedly because of their amoral behavior. The killer's main target is a local beauty queen with racist brother and a black boyfriend with an impressive porno-mustache. The frustrated and loud-mouthed police detective in charge only focuses on one prime suspect, and that is Kevin Costner in the role of a sleazy youthful thug. This movie is downright ridiculous. There is almost no link between the characters and the vast majority of them don't even have backgrounds or personalities. You'll see the proof of this when the end credits roll over the screen, as the actresses are referred to as "girl stabbed in chest" or "girl killed in kitchen". In return for their fifteen minutes of fame, however, these poor girls were obliged to parade fully naked in front of the camera for several minutes non- stop. The nudity is exaggerated and completely unrealistic, atop! Let me ask you: do you know any girl who would go and investigate strange noises in her house while still naked? Wouldn't any woman in the world put on at least a gown or a shirt? Director Howard Heard was so obsessed with his naked amateur actresses that he also lost continuity out of sight. For instance, whatever happened to the The build-up to the murders lasts incredibly long, what with the girls undressing and staring at themselves in the mirror, while the actual murders are tame and done with in the blink of an eye. I guess it's much easier and cheaper to show naked flesh instead of suspense and bloodshed. The killer's identity is simple to guess and so pitiably clichéd that you won't even believe it. Another great moment for the 80's slasher-industry, sigh
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