Sunday, September 7, 2008

Truth Or Dare? -A Critical Madness (1986)









Good lord, was this a movie? It seemed more like an excuse to show a few car chases, explosions, naked breasts, and fake blood. It was a good enough excuse either way.
Our story starts with a drawn out scene where our dear murderous psychopath, Mike, catches his wife in bed with another guy. Mike cracks up pretty bad and an imaginary hitchhiking girl convinces him to burn his wallet, cut open his own chest, chop off a finger, and rip out his own tongue all in a ridiculous game of truth or dare. After thirteen months in the state mental hospital, Mike is released and tries to kill his ex-wife. He fails, winds up back in the asylum, escapes again, and goes on a killing spree. In one scene, the killer wears a crude mask and drives down a Florida interstate stopping chainsaw a young boy, machine gun some pedestrians at a bus stop, and stab a cop. Then he gets in a shootout with another cop, who decides to torch the shed he’s hiding in. Typical police procedure, huh?
I loved how amateurish this film was. Nowadays the amateur B-movies are all shot on digital video and everything looks like crap. There is no color, everything is pale and dull looking and screams out cheapness. This film actually looks good and sounds good, like it could be a half decent movie, but it’s so amateurish and ridiculous you cannot believe what you are seeing. I suppose that’s one reason people are always remarking that horror films were better back in the 80s. Even the nonsensical maniac films like Truth Or Dare looked decent, and were so damn weird and experimental that people at least felt like they were watching something a little bit unpredictable.
This film really grew on me. When I first watched it I thought it was going to be another classic example of a tedious, bland slasher film, but it was just so immature, bizarre, and far-fetched that I couldn’t help but fall in love. I guess you’ll have to see it to believe it.
For those of you who become fans, the director, Tim Ritter has his own website: http://www.timritter.com. He also made a sequel titled Wicked Games (1994), AKA Truth Or Dare 2, followed by Screaming For Sanity: Truth Or Dare 3 (1998), where Mike, the main character from the first movie returns for another round of mayhem. Both sequels are on DVD. The original Truth Or Dare? Was released on DVD but is long out of print. I recommend downloading it.

3 comments:

Mick O'Brien said...

I admire this flick for a number of reasons. First, the director was only in his teens. The second reason is its audacity. Good chice for a review.

Anonymous said...

I loved this movie too, totally agree that it is bizarre and experimental, but fresh. I don't think there's ever been a movie like it since, it's just all over the board...like a disturbed individual made it, it's so scattered...really feels disjointed like the guy who's going mad is telling the story in the fragments of his disturbed perception, and if looked at like that in a David Lynch type of way, the movie makes all the sense in the world. At heart, a guy's wife cheats on him. His world is shattered and he enters this hallucinatory, self destructive world (and what is real and what is not is interpretational) that ends in violence against the betrayer. Whether it all really happened or not is up to interpretation. I see the whole movie as being in his mind because it ends with a lingering shot of the nuthouse the maniac ended up in, so my view is that he only killed his wife in his mind and all that happened after he found her boffing his best friend was in his head. Wild stuff! They sure don't make 'em like this anymore, I scored the limited edition DVD of this one, it goes for $150 bux on Amazon now. There's great history on the movie here, too:
http://www.youtube.com/user/truthordaremovies

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