Monday, October 10, 2011


Destroyer (1988)

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.

 The props guy rewire finds that the electric chair is still functioning when they use a stunt dummy to portray Sharon Fox is destroyed while the scene is shot. The prison janitor and former guard Russell finds the wardens corpse and seems quite pleased with his findings. The following day an officer arrives looking for the warden and Russell is more than happy to show the officer where the warden is, but the corpse is mysteriously moved. Ivan again appears and kills the officer with a giant jackhammer while Russell listens in gleefully on the other side of the wall.

The shooting continues and Edwards is not pleased with his stars performance so when re-shooting the execution scene Rewire legitimately gives a small shock to Fox to get a believable reaction from her and this drives her to storm off the set and threaten to quit the film. While Fox runs to her dressing room to drink and sob, the rest of the cast and crew leave to have dinner at a local greasy spoon. While at the diner Harris meets the fry cook "Fingers" who was the executioner responsible for electrifying Ivan years earlier and he hints that Ivan is still alive and in fact living in the prison. Harris not believing this story decides to stay behind and talk longer with Fingers while the cast makes their way back to the set. Fox  while stumbling through the prison gets shut in the elevator and it takes her to the boiler room where Russell attempts to attack her out of nowhere, She does manage to fight him off by smashing her booze bottle over his head sending him down on a fatal fall to the basement floor beneath. However her small victory is short lived as Ivan shows up to strangle her to death.

The cast and crew return to the set and cannot find Fox so they go ahead and shoot the important shower scene with Malone standing in for the star. When she enters the prop room to get her wig she narrowly misses  Fox's body hanging in the corner. The shower scene is shot without a hitch and we get treated to the requisite nudity for the film and it is a nice bunch of ladies indeed.Ivan appears to like it as he watches through a hole in the wall unseen by the girls. Back at the diner Harris finds out that the reason no one knows about Ivan living in the prison is because the groundskeeper Russell is in fact Ivan's father who has been hiding him out for the past 18 years. After hearing this Harris gets a cab for a mad dash back to the set, But it appears to be too late as Malone returns to the showers only too find everyone missing and another cryptic message directed at her is written on the wall in blood. Malone fearing the worst tries to contact anyone and manages to get a hold of rewire through a walkie talkie. As he turns the electricity back on his radio goes silent and Ivan now dressed as a cop responds . Malone then meets up with whom she thinks is an officer of the law and sorry for her it turns out to be the madman himself. Malone is then trapped and taken to the electric chair. She is able to free herself and stabs Ivan in the leg with some scissors and the final chase scene ensues. As Malone runs through the prison looking for an escape or some help stumbles upon all the victims sitting in the garage office. As the game of cat and mouse continues Harris arrives and manages to break into the prison which is now on lock down with some dynamite.Though once he runs into who he believes is a cop gets his ass handed to him by Ivan. The final showdown takes place when Malone and Harris try to escape in a car when Ivan manages to rip Harris from it and seems to be getting the best of the two heroes until Malone runs him into a stack of fuel cans. Russell returns with a blowtorch and after a brawl Malone lights him up and locks him in the sewer drain before Ivan comes back for the final showdown.after a long fight Malone gets the upper hand and lights him up as well sending him to meet his dead father in the sewer and blowing him up with a oxygen tank.
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)
Fun Factor:8
Overall: 6.5 out of 10


  1. I think the thing I like the most about this movie is the shower scene because you gotta appreciate Anthony Perkins is directing it. Alzado was also really good in it, but I think his part could of been better written. I've been putting off a Satan's Screener to this for a while, mainly because I've gotta a Sasquatch Shocker seqment that's gonna take alot of work. You might of noticed my DESTROYER poster in the background in the last couple episodes.

  2. Yes,Perkins just syaing "SHower Scene" was classic. Plus the scene was kinda hot , I have such a soft (Or Hard) spot for 80's nudity in films. Women just looked different back then. Anyway I never noticed the poster but that is awesome. I would love to see your take on this flick sometime. Thanks for subscribing man that just made my day.

  3. ooops nevermind , I thought you subscribed Mark oh well, It's still awesome that you check my site out, It means allot. I have been watching your vids since day one and I really appreciate the support