Director – Scott Spiegel
Cast – Elizabeth Cox, Dan Hicks, David Byrnes, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi, Eugene Robert Glazer, Renee Estevez, Billy Marti, Burr Steers, Craig Stark, Bruce Campbell
Release Year – 1989
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I really do not know why on Earth this underrated slasher film is not spoken about more often in the horror realm. I believe it to be simply because there is not much distribution for the film, which limits its availability to us horror fans. Director Scott Spiegel, who is a long time friend of horror icons Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, did an excellent job with this film. I knew this guy had talent when I learned that not only did he grow up and make short films with Raimi and Campbell, but he wrote “Evil Dead II” with Sam Raimi, which is highly regarded as one of the best horror films of all time. Although he has not had as many directing jobs as I’m sure he’d like to have, he has amazing credits in the areas of writing and producing for some pretty great horror films, but you can do your own research on that.
This film takes place in an old fashioned supermarket as the staff of mainly young employees gets ready to close. A cashier girl named Jennifer is having problems with an old boyfriend of hers who just got out of prison. After giving her a hard time and being a complete jackass, he gets into it with a few of her coworkers and they eventually kick him out. However, with his ego bruised and his undying love for Jennifer, he finds a way to secretly break back into the supermarket, and then all hell breaks loose as the night shift workers begin to get hacked up one by one.
I really liked this movie simply because of how fun it is to watch. The acting is questionable(its an 80s slasher…what do you expect?) but the execution and camera work in this film is quite amazing, especially given that this is a pretty unknown, low budget film. When the movie first begun and I saw the fight scene involving Jennifer’s crazy ex and her co-workers I was really thinking to myself…”What? I thought this movie was supposed to be good, this is way to cheesy!”. However, once the film actually gets going this flick quickly redeems itself from cheesyness, to awesomeness! First and foremost, the kill scenes in this film were amazing. They were gory, original, and even quite comical. Seriously, who laughs out of joy after a brutal kill scene? No I’m not crazy, Scott Spiegel just knows how to do this type of work and made it happen expertly. Now, as if this film couldn’t get any cooler…it also has acting roles for the infamous Evil Dead and Spider Man trilogy director Sam Raimi, his brother Ted Raimi(who appears in a lot of Sam’s films) and even a small role at the end of the film by the epic horror B-movie icon Bruce Campbell! Director Scott Spiegel also gives himself a short cameo as “The Breadman”. Honestly, can you think of any other film in history(other than the short films they made in high school) that has Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Scott Spiegel, and Ted Raimi all with acting roles? Yeah, there are not any.
The reason this film is receiving its very positive 8-rating is because it scores wonderfully in what it was trying to do; be an epic 80s slasher that is not only fun to watch, but takes place in a supermarket; an original setting compared to the countless other 80s slashers that take place in a house or cabin. I did not personally like the ending to this film, and that is one of the reasons for this film not getting a higher rating. On another note, given that this film was released in 1989, this quite possibly the last 80s slasher film, so let’s be glad that the 80’s slasher flicks went out on a high note.
Overall, this is a fun film to watch if you are a fan of the slasher genre and is definitely one of the best, and most underrated slasher films of all time.