Dir: Robert Kirk
You know there really is no other feeling quite like stumbling upon a film you remember seeing in video stores as a child but neglected to pick up because you thought it looked lame or whatever, Then years later coming across it again and finally giving it a chance only too find you had been neglecting a real classic. That my friends is the surprising case with this hidden gem. Judging by the cover of the film this looks like your typical run of the mill 80's straight to video action flick, And that is certainly not the case here as Destroyer is one awesome twist on the Slasher genre. Starring former NFL bad boy Lyle Alzedo as Ivan Moser in an awesome performance portraying a real psychotic killer.
The film opens with Ivan Moser a convicted rapist/Murderer getting prepped for execution by electric chair. When the switch is hit he is shocked until the prisons lights go out and a riot breaks out. The story goes that Ivan managed to survive and escape during all of the madness. Several years later Script writer David Harris and his girlfriend stunt woman Susan Malone are shooting a Women in Prison film with director Robert Edwards (Anthony Perkins "Psycho") .Harris stirs up some publicity on the local news by stating that he found that the prisons warden was responsible for the riots 18 years prior. This pisses off the former warden who owns the Prison now and he arrives on the set to have words with Harris. While the shooting continues and Malone finds a disturbing note she believes is a prank by the film crew. Shortly after that discovery the warden is quickly offed via blow torch by Ivan who is lurking around the prison where he was supposedly executed in yeas ago.
Malone wakes up in the hospital and we get the popular horror film twist in the end before the closing credits.
The theme song is called "Kiss my stinky white ass"
Can you get any better than that?
On the surface Destroyer is the typical 80's slasher flick but, There are a few things that set this film apart from the rest of the pack. First the fact that the killer is just a mad man and has no supernatural powers , Second this is one of the few In Prison Sub-genre films of horror, and to round it off Lyle Alzado is truly excellent in his role of Ivan Moser as he brings allot to the character making him legitimately creepy with just some subtle touches and mannerisms, His size is intimidating and looks like a legit bad ass and he was if you are familiar with his NFL background you know that, His facial expressions are priceless and in one scene when he has Malone strapped to the electric chair and he is cutting her hair, he begins eating it which just comes off truly creepy and makes the character unforgettable and a step above the run of the mill Movie killer. Destroyer manages to mix the excitement of an action film with the gore and violence of a slasher perfectly and I am surprised this film has not resurfaced with the resurgence of Grindhouse style films getting DVD releases as of the last few years. This movie just screams Grindhouse and I am sad to see this film forgotten. As I said I never gave this film a chance due to the cover art and bypassing it thinking it would be some cheap action Cobra style action flick and now I am disappointed in myself for not finding out about this film sooner because I really enjoyed it. It is sad that Alzado passed away shortly after this film was made because I could have seen him making some serious waves as an actor if he would have lived on, He could easily have gotten roles in action films as a hero or a intimidating villain and to see a sequel to this film would have been awesome. I have to recommend this film highly to any fan of Grindhouse style exploitation as well as slashers because this film really delivers the goods just based on Alzado's performance alone. Quite honestly the rest of the cast is forgettable but he manages to carry this film to greatness without a problem. Definitely worth checking out if you can track this one down , I promise you will not be disappointed. This film has made my next review easy to pick out as the prison theme has sparked my interest and next I believe I will be reviewing another one of the small sub genre of Penitentiary Horror films and I will be checking out the classic gore fest Prison.
Characters:7 (Ivan Moser is truly epic)
Overall: 6.5 out of 10