Saturday, April 7, 2012

Scalps

Scalps (1983)

Dir: Fred Olen Ray (Alien Dead/Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers/Cyclone/Evil Toons)

IMDB Rating: 3.0 out of 10


When one thinks of B-Movie directors in the States, The name Fred Olen Ray should certainly be on the top of that list among names like Ed Wood,Frank Hennenlotter,H.G. Lewis and Lloyd Kaufman. Ray has made so many films and most are utter trash, But he did make one of my favorites with Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers so he's good in my book. Scalps is one of his earlier films and it is a real doozy. There's nothing really wrong with the concept here but in the delivery is where it truly bombs. So let's get into this gem here and the review may be shorter than normal because honestly there is not much to say about this film.

              The film opens with a Archaeologist discovering some Native American artifacts and upon uncovering a stone, he appears to get possessed and ends up killing himself. After the opening sequence we see a small group of Archaeology students heading to a desert to look for thee artifacts. On their way they are warned about the spirit of "Black Claw" by a older Indian man at a small fill station, He warns the group not to venture into the sacred grounds as no one returns due to the evil spirit of the Indian renegade. Ignoring the warnings they continue on their journey and set up camp. One of the groups girls DJ begins acting strange right away and starts having strange visions of a lion faced man and a mutated Indian warrior. She begins spewing cryptic warnings as well but the group continues their work and begin finding several artifacts.



After about an hour of the film passes by, One of the students Randy begins acting very strangely and it appears that the artifacts have taken him over. One night he decides to take his girlfriend Louise for a walk to get some privacy, It quickly becomes apparent that sex is not the only thing on his mind as he becomes very aggressive with his lady and strikes her to the ground before forcing himself on her. After a odd rape scene, Randy takes to the blade and Scalps her after cutting her throat and we have the films first kill at the a little past the 57 minute mark. This is kinda pathetic considering the films run time is only around 70 or 80 minutes.
Randy returns to the camp covered in blood claiming that his girlfriend had fallen, Once the gang finds her they quickly realize this was no accident. Upon returning to the camp Randy has disappeared and he left his Indian necklace with DJ who continues to get stranger by the second. The groups leader Dan finds that their car has ben sabotaged leaving them stranded so he heads down the road to an abandoned truck they spotted earlier. Once he arrives he is greeted by a now mutated version of Randy.






Back at the camp the gang begins to worry about Dan not returning but decide to wait until morning to go looking for him. During the night Dan's girlfriend hears his voice calling her in the distance and she heads out alone to follow the voice, This of course leads her into a ambush by the killer indian warrior. As the bodies begin piling up quickly DJ alerts the remaining two that it is the work of Black Claw and that they must leave or they will all die.Not buying into that theory the last remaining guy heads out looking for the missing group members.On his journey he of course is snuck up on by the possessed Randy but manages to fight him off and make his way back to the camp. Upon Randy's arrival to their campsite he is greeted with a few gunshots that successfully put him down and as he lays dying he transforms back into his normal self. Just as our hero regroups, DJ now taken over by the soul of Black Claw kindly removes the mans head leaving just her there in the desert alone now.


Early the following morning the students professor shows up to  check up on the group only to find them dead and DJ quickly dispatches him as the camera comes in close on her face t show she indeed has now been possessed by the Indian Renegades spirit.

This films is the pits. I have liked a few of Fred Olen Ray's movies in the past and never are his films groundbreaking or even good but they are usually entertaining, That is not the case with this one. The make up effects are hit an miss, the gore effects are decent but this movie is just dull as all hell. The films is basically lame dialog between the group members and not even funny or cheesy just boring as they go on about artifacts and sleep only to wake up walk and repeat the scenario for nearly an hour of the films hour and twenty minute run time. If you have the patience to sit through the first hour (Which my friend who was watching this with me did not as he left about an hour in.) the kills do come quick but the payoff certainly is not worth it as none of the kills are anything special. I sat here the entire time just listening to the obnoxious soundtrack that plays through the entire film non stop wondering when anything was gonna happen. If you are even a die hard slasher fan I could not even recommend this one and as i said it had promise and usually Ray's movies are at least not boring and chalk filled with nudity this film strayed from what brought him to the ball game and the film suffers as do the viewers for it. Definitely skip this one as it is a tremendous waste of time.

Gore:5
Nudity:1
Story:3
Characters:2
Fun Factor:2
Overall: 2.5 out of 10

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