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Askew Review 15

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(Brain Damage) 80 minutes. Rated R, gore, violence, nudity. While driving cross country to California, four college pals, two girls, two boys, have their merry way detoured into a ride of torturous hell. After picking up a sexy hitchhiker named Lucinda, the four friends realize they’re in a fight for their lives. So what do they do? They drive a few miles away, pitch camp for the night, and have sex. The next morning, for some odd reason, the kiddies think all is ok, but are once again subjected to the wrath of Lucinda. However, this time the fast acting foursome gets the upper hand and seemingly kills Lucinda (in a very entertainingly gory manner). However, just around the corner, Lucinda lurks once again. After all, this is Hells’ Highway (imagine hellish like echo).
This is one of those movies that I know people will hate but, for various reasons, I liked. Although this movie has plenty of negative points, I was able to take the fun, nudity, and gore parts and shadow the less redeeming aspects. The gore is at times a bit cheesy, but it’s also way over the top and creative. You’ll dig the way Lucinda is killed by the car. Even better is the line yelled by the hot blonde after getting the innards of Lucinda’s head splashed on her; “This is the worst trip ever!” Oh, I was on the floor. The three female leads are very good looking and do a good job with the acting. The blond, can’t remember her real name, does get naked for you. Phoebe Dollar (Lucinda) is pretty hot, as long as you don’t look at her profile. Although he is one of the top billed, porn legend Ron Jeremy is only in the movie for maybe five minutes. However, his short scene is hilarious and rather fitting due to his line of work. Ya, you’ll cringe too. On the negative side, the male leads are rather poor actors. But who cares about the men (with the exception of Richard Simmons of course)?  My biggest beef with this movie is the ending. The story is really nothing new, but it's entertaining and the ending was an unfitting train wreck.  I will give credit to the production crew for the time and effort it must have taken, but the miniature sets are just too fake looking. I also saw a few scenes that reminded me of three popular icon horror flics; Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Exorcist. I am not sure if these scenes were intended to be a type of homage, or if I’m on crack. If you are expecting a masterpiece, you’ll be disappointed. But, if you take this flic for what it is, an independent, low budget gore horror movie, you’ll like it. – Denis Sheehan



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