Ted Rami, Traci Lords, and Ricki Lake all in a slasher movie. Instant smash hit you would think. Sadly you would be wrong. Somehow with a cast this eclectic in a slasher film it just came and went. The movie in question is called Skinner. It came out during the big horror rental boom of the 90’s (1993 to be exact) and it kind of just came and went. Not much fanfare in the magazines, nothing. Which was sad as it is quite a good little slasher with a great performance by Ted Rami.
Skinner stars Ted as Dennis Skinner. He’s a nerdy quiet kind of guy who doesn’t care for the people he works with, so at night he goes out to Skid Row, picks up hookers and skins them alive before killing them. He calls it punishment. Well he needs a place to live so why not rent a room from a really hot Ricki Lake. Yes, Ricki was drop dead gorgeous at this time in my opinion. They become friends, heck they even share a nice slow dance together while Dennis holds a big knife.
Now even though he seems to be living the life he made the mistake of letting one of his victims get away. Heidi (played by Traci Lords) was left disfigured at the hands of Skinner, and is now a morphine addict. She been tracking him down and is looking to get revenge for not only him offing some of her friends, but leaving her disfigured as well.
This film is great. Rami gives a truly memorable performance. Playing the quiet guy as well as the over the top killer. At one point he even skins a guy then wears his skin pretending to be him. It’s all very well done for a goofy as it is at times. Ricki has a smaller part but she is fantastic as well. She and Rami actually have a great chemistry together. Traci is good as well. She always did do great in these horror films and it’s a shame she didn’t do more. She could have been a top horror star in my opinion.
The special effects are also very well done. Although the film is a lower budget one, the practical effects are very nice. The film, although not as graphic as you may think is still very gory. In fact the film had to have almost 9min edited out of it when it was originally released.
Well now, thanks to the great folks at Severin Films Skinner is getting not only the Blu-ray treatment, but it’s being presented uncut as well. Yes that means the entire skinning and flailing around in a person’s skin scene And let me tell you the print looks amazing. Severin is quickly becoming the go to for these obscure slasher, and horror titles. With every transfer they do the quality gets better and better. This film looks like it was just made yesterday it’s so clear. The night scenes are well done as they don’t have much in the way of the blue tint that a lot of transfers do. This is one of the better looking ones I have seen. It even has special features
As I said the film looks great, it truly is a long lost classic in the realm of slasher films and the Performance by Ted Rami is enough to warrant picking this one up alone. It’s a fun film that has a nice grimy Grindhouse look. So if you have never seen it it’s a must have, and If you have seen it now its uncut, so it’s a must have as well. Go ahead and order it today
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!