When I see Linda Blair and think The Exorcist and Roller Boogie, see Donna Wilkes and think Angel and Jaws 2, and see 60s teen idol Tab Hunter and think Polyester and Grease 2, I know a 1988 film called Grotesque starring all three is my kind of movie. I’m so glad this piece of crap made it to DVD so I could add it to my collection. You can’t talk about a movie this bad without spoilers.
The intro is so promising, with a big scary house, thunder and lightning, a woman in a bed, and a freaky man monster in a hooded robe approaching her…. But it’s just a movie being made by a horror director! You could kind of consider this is a wraparound story in a film that is more like a horror anthology because Grotesque has three very distinct segments.
In Part 1, the first half hour, Linda Blair and Donna Wilkes are friends driving to the house of Linda’s parents up in the mountains. On the way there, Linda and Donna are harassed on the road by a bunch of “punkers” in a van. You know it’s from the 80s when the baddies in a horror movie are punk rockers. These baddies don’t stop there. The punks break into the house of Linda’s family and kill everyone. Linda gets away and runs off into the snowy woods in her pajamas….
Part 2, the second half hour, focuses on the punks. While ransacking the house, they unleash a “grotesque” man who proceeds to chase them all down and kill them! It magically becomes daylight. Linda and the remaining punks being pursued by grotesque man are all still running through the woods! After endless footage of a search party looking for them, the party arrives on the scene and shoots grotesque man…even though one man in the party begs them not to…
It’s Tab Hunter! On to part 3, the final half hour. Suddenly, Tab is the big star. He knows these punks killed his whole family. They claim that when they stopped at the house because their car broke down, the monster attacked and killed all their friends. So they are set free. But Tab needs to get his revenge. And this is where the whole movie becomes worth the watch. The twist ending is delicious. It’s like Tales from the Crypt episode great. Too bad the movie was an hour too long.
But it’s not over! The whole movie was just a movie! Frankenstein and the Wolfman have taken over a projection booth. I am NOT KIDDING. They hated the movie and feel no one respects real monsters…so they go down to the theater to show the audience (which includes Linda Blair) what real horror is.
I am so glad I finally discovered Grotesque and that it didn’t stay lost in the 80s forever.