3.7/10
155
6 user 2 critic

Headcrusher (1999)

| Horror
A mobster kills his cheating girlfriend and her lover and bury the bodies in a wall. Twenty years later, construction workers disturb the area and the horrible secret is discovered. The ... See full summary »

Director:

Ricardo Islas

Writer:

Ricardo Islas
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marilea Butler Marilea Butler ... Lt. Kinderman
Stephanie Beaton Stephanie Beaton ... Mrs. White
Kris Haines Kris Haines ... Manolo / Headcrusher
Sia A. Moody ... Sandra (as Sia Moody)
Nancy Adams Nancy Adams ... Doctor Thorn
Joseph Martin Jauch Joseph Martin Jauch ... Worker #2 (as Joe Jauch)
Enrique Gonzalez Enrique Gonzalez ... Bob
Chris Kipiniak ... Clerk #2
Maria Goldman Maria Goldman ... Nurse
Katherine Aguirre Katherine Aguirre ... Police Officer
John Lafferty John Lafferty ... Worker #1
Gregory Armstrong ... Worker #3
Johnny Arreola ... Miguel
Dareese Dareese ... Tony (as R. Dareese)
Noah Cuellar Noah Cuellar ... Gary
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Storyline

A mobster kills his cheating girlfriend and her lover and bury the bodies in a wall. Twenty years later, construction workers disturb the area and the horrible secret is discovered. The mobster and his men are marked for death, as someone (or something) is getting revenge! Written by jjturley@hotmail.com

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Genres:

Horror

User Reviews

 
Exploitation in the extremist possible way...
11 February 2005 | by LuisitoJoaquinGonzalezSee all my reviews

The major difference between the slasher cycle of today and the boom years of the early eighties is that it's much easier to make a movie nowadays. If you had the budget to produce a small feature then there's not a genre less complicated than the traditional stalk and slash flick. Many of the hundreds of direct to video turkeys that have been released post-scream haven't even attempted to revitalise the age old formula, which makes it even more inexplicable that a fair majority of them have still made a tidy profit. Being a self-confessed avid fan of the category, it's great to find a poorly financed effort that actually looks to have been made with the inspiration to try something different. Headcrusher certainly carries a great deal of intrigue that warrants it to be seen by aficionados like myself. Despite being one of the few Spannish-American influenced cycle-entries (Don't Panic and Angel Negro are among the others), it also boasts a gore-filled reputation and a cameo from a blood-descendant of Al Capone playing a psychotic mobster!

After the credits have rolled, we see prolific scream queen (and all round nudity guarantee)) Stephanie Beaton straddling a soldier named John Ramsey (George Orsini) in a dimly lighted room. Adultery is a cardinal sin; especially if the wife that you're playing around with is 'married to the mob'. Unfortunately for this randy couple, her husband just happens to be a sadistic gangster - and he's just caught them in an inescapable situation. Before the Lothario has even had the chance to zip up his flies, the mob boss has strung up his flirtatious mistress, snapped a few of her fingers and strangled the last gasp of air from her lungs. It takes two to tango of course, so lover boy gets his head squished in a vice and gives us the explanation for the choice for the movie's title. (Great brief gore shot!)

Twenty years later a group of builders are renovating that same room, which has now become an abandoned basement. As the rest of the workers go to lunch, Manolo Santana (Kris Haines) continues digging until he discovers a broken skull lodged behind some re-laid brickwork. As he examines his bizarre find he suddenly begins smashing his head against the wall as if a mad spirit has possessed him. His friend Miguel - who was eating his lunch nearby – rushes to help his workmate, but by the time he arrives Manolo's head has been crushed to a bloody pulp. Sometime later whilst being prepared for an autopsy, Manolo's body re-animates and goes on a bloody rampage. Dressed from head to toe in army surplus garb and sporting a gore-splashed gas mask, the maniac begins killing off the gangsters that were involved with the soldier's slaughter from the prologue. Manolo's daughter Sol (Paola Valdes), his friend Miguel (John Arreola) and an inquisitive doctor (Nancy Adams) all begin an investigation to try and discover what strange occurrence has lead to this gruesome massacre...

Headcrusher is possibly the most gratuitous exploitation effort that I've seen for quite a while. Perhaps you could say that it vaguely resembles the works of Andreas Schnaas. Actually I must admit that Richard Islas does look to have a sprinkling of talent, which is more that can be said for the former hack that I mentioned. Make no mistake about it, this is one gore filled excursion into exploitation that is literally overflowing with blood and extreme scenarios. One guy gets his 'little friend' bitten of whilst being 'pleasured' by his girlfriend in a scene that's both painstakingly gruesome and hilarious in equal measures. Another fellow is kneecapped and then squished by a train, plenty get their heads crushed and the torture scenes in the pre-credits are right out of a hokey human slaughterhouse. Islas manages to get away with the cheap gore effects as they're only on screen for an extremely brief time. He provides just enough splatter to allow your mind's eye to grab the full extremity of his intention.

I bet that many gore hounds will disagree with my opinion that a filmmaker can ruin a feature by over-stretching the limits of gratuitous exploitation. But this is coming from a fan of the likes of Absurd, Zombie Creeping Flesh and The New York Ripper. The problem with Headcrusher is that a lot of things were thrown in wholly unnecessarily, when the feature would have probably played better without the excessive attempts at 'shock factor'. There's a gay sex scene, which seems only to have been included to include a gay sex scene and also I must mention the Cambodian torture-vixen, who is a female character so inexplicably bizarre that she makes Elvira look like the spectacled church girl that lives next door. There's also a brief sub plot concerning a government 'Jacobs Ladder-type' conspiracy that was immensely intriguing, but was left simmering on the back burner, which is a shame as it deserved a decent conclusion.

Although Head Crusher does feel somewhat like a petrol sports car that has been filled with diesel and never manages to get out of first gear; the good points easily outweigh the bad and it remains worth a look. Watching Dominique Capone play a mob boss, when his relative was the most famous gangster in the history of the mafia was a neat touch – even more so when you see how similar Dominique looks to Big Al. Although the dramatics will never be mind blowing in a film of this level, these guys certainly tried their hardest and they deserve credit just for that. I can think of worse ways to waste eighty minutes


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Also Known As:

Broken Skull See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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