Back in 1982 New York was trashier, dirtier and full of
interesting and dangerous characters and this is the setting for Frank
Henenlotter’s ‘80s grindhouse classic. It is a DIY master class in film-making
on a low budget and with non-professional actors.
The story revolves around Duane Bradley, a young guy newly
arrived in New York City carrying a wad of cash and a mysterious basket he
never lets out of sight.
We find out that in this basket is Belial, Duane’s
deformed Siamese twin, separated from him when they were younger but whom Duane
rescued. The brothers are telepathically linked and Duane looks after Belial,
feeding him copious amounts of burgers and hot dogs. They are in New York to
find and kill two of the Doctors involved in the surgery having already
murdered the third Doctor back in their home town.
Putting the story aside, the film is a bizarre ride through
the grimy weirdness of New York. It is filled with brilliantly odd characters,
most of whom are clearly brand new to acting (and probably never acted again).
The on-location filming brings a raw, realness and the special effects and gore
remain charmingly effective with some old school stop-motion animation bringing
Belial to life.
Film graduate and Project Manager from Newcastle Upon Tyne, horror obsessive, defender of underappreciated movies, lover of old school wrestling, catalogue of useless music trivia, aspiring author and all round moaner