Destroyer (1988)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  April 1988 (USA)
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Reviews: 14 user | 12 critic

A prison riot breaks out at the moment of a serial murderer's execution by electrocution, and his fate becomes indeterminate when the prison is shut down. 18 months later, a team of ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Malone
Lyle Alzado ...
Tobias Anderson ...
Russell (as Tobias Andersen)
Lannie Garrett ...
Sharon Fox
Pat Mahoney ...
Warden Karsh
David Kristin ...
Vanessa Townsell ...
Stanley Kirk ...
The Cabbie
Bernie Welch ...
Officer Callahan
Robert Himber ...
Eric Meyer ...
Kurt Hubler ...


A prison riot breaks out at the moment of a serial murderer's execution by electrocution, and his fate becomes indeterminate when the prison is shut down. 18 months later, a team of filmmakers converge on the prison to film a women-in-prison exploitation flick, but find that a certain somebody is disrupting their shooting schedule... Written by Brian J. Wright <>

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April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shadow of Death  »

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Did You Know?


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User Reviews

One-dimensional fun
5 December 1999 | by (State College, PA) – See all my reviews

At first glance, Destroyer looks like a very promising film for horror fans on paper. In an era where the slasher flick was in its prime, it looks as if this film sets itself apart from the rest. It features a human enemy who seems to be more of a genetic freak than an indestructible demon who does not target teenagers, as the bad guy usually does in recent entries of the genre. However, all the positive points end there and what we're left with is another excessively gratuitous gorefest that most horror fans won't take seriously.

Beyond Anthony Perkins, there are no seriously notable names in the movie. It's too bad that such the horror icon did not have a notable body of work after his defining performance in "Psycho", making several mediocre "Psycho" sequels and b-movies like this. Nevertheless, he plays his role as skin flick director to a T. Other than the two heroes, everyone else in the movie is either there to get killed or say a few lines. And the heroes aren't even of note either. The only difference they have with everyone else in the movie and in the number of lines they have. There is never any development of their characters, so you don't know what special qualities they possess that make them the good guys in the end other than mere coincidence and serendipity.

If there's one thing the movie has going for it, it's the way some of the characters get dispensed. There's a nice scene with a blowtorch and the movie's best part, involving a huge drilling device (as seen on the video box). However, as the movie goes on, the scenes become a little less graphic though we are treated to some body parts strewn around and some wax-museum quality bodies. Credit must be given to Lyle Alzado, who looks VERY menacing as the main bad guy. He shows a bit of acting ability in this movie. Throughout his brief career acting after football, which was cut short after he sadly succumbed to brain cancer, he was thoroughly underused as a main villain in movies.

In short, the Destroyer is a decent weekend b-movie. Its partly refreshing perspective on the slasher genre and its almost humorously over-gory scenes make it a fun movie to watch and laugh at with a few friends. Look for some nice (if inadvertent) homages to horror classics the Shining (with the blood on the wall sequence) and Friday the 13th (with the gotcha! end of the movie). Finally, be sure to sit through the credits for a very weird name for one of the movie's songs. The laughs are definitely worth a cheap rental.

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