Gruesome Charisma: A Valentine to 1993’s SKINNER

A serious look at the unique 1993 Ted Raimi serial killer shocker

Any movie that contains a rare leading turn from perennial bit parter Ted Raimi, and that features Ricki Lake and controversial skin flick starlet Traci Lords among its supporting cast has to be special.

Has to be.

So believe me when I tell you that SKINNER (1993) is.

An awesome yet long forgotten footnote in the wave of serial killer chillers instigated by the success of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991), SKINNER is the best kept secret of the subgenre’s boom period. Seductively out of step, it’s also something of an anomaly too. Less procedural-based a la SEVEN (1995) or COPYCAT (1995), SKINNER is more an oneiric dissection of a truly twisted mind; a sort of cross between the slice o’ life misery of HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER (1986) and the candy-coloured surrealism of SUSPIRIA (1977), to which its lurid lighting owes an unmistakable debt. Powerful, vibrant, off-kilter, and beguiling, the film pulls you in the second Raimi’s eponymous psycho drifts into Los Angeles in its dream-tinged opening.

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Serial killer drama coming this November from IFC Midnight

Films charting small-town serial killers and their effect on the population are omnipresent in cinema, literature and television and yet Duncan Skiles’ directorial debut THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER is just a dash different. And it’s that kink in convention that makes it such a shocking and hypnotic piece of work.

The film stars Charlie Plummer (ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD) as Tyler, a teenager coming-of-age in a Christian bible-belt community recovering from the grip of a serial sex-killer. Tyler is just discovering girls and one night, when taking a young lady out on a date, she discovers a crumpled image of a woman bound and gagged stuffed down the passenger seat of his truck. Repulsed, she asks to be taken home, despite Tyler’s insistence that the picture is not his and he’s telling the truth. Because this truck actually belongs to his dad Don (Dylan McDermott, AMERICAN HORROR STORY), an upstanding member of the community and a loving family man.

Continue reading “Trailer Premiere: THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER”