Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Scalps (1983)

There's something strangely hypnotizing with Fred Olen Ray's Scalps. Nothing really happens for at least fifty minutes, and yet I continue to watch when the bunch of non-characters are walking thru the deserts, talking bullshit about nothing and just having a boring fieldtrip of their own - unaware that an evil and very angry indian-demon is stalking them in the distant. 

It's nothing more than that. But somehow Mr Fred manages to create and interesting tension, a dreamy atmosphere out of very little. The movie is seldom quite, an abstract ambient landscape of music is filling almost every second out in the desert and makes uninteresting views of rocks way better than it probably was meant to. The actors is okey, but has nothing to work with.

The main thing is of course the gore, and that's graphic and sadistic. A realistic cut throat, a graphic scalping, something getting hit very hard in the back of the head, arrow-hits... it's not as much as it seems, but gory and well made. The demon itself is quite... cheap, and looks more like a bit more advanced Halloweek-mask. But I'll buy that, seen worse. 

A nice piece in my collection of eighties-horrors, but I guess it's only for the hardcore fans. Ah, Forrest J. Ackerman makes a cameo to. I've met him, ate lunch with him and had a great time - so that's probably the best thing with this movie.


mamoulian said...

I guess it's mostly because of the nice cover... but it would've been interesting if Fred Olen Ray (or somebody else) could've filmed one or two of Graham Mastertons early "red indian demon"-novels, for instance: Revenge of the Manitou or Charnel House ;-) It would've been a good mix of campiness and substance from both of the, I believe...

Patrick B said...

The cover makes the movie look very cool and adventurous, but I don't think this is something that will ever spark my interest.