BOUGHT ON BLU: a psycho killer, aliens, and a silly sequel

I bought one because it’s a sequel to an 80s flick, one because it was the only flick I still needed starring Bruce Campbell, and one because it stars Traci Lords, Ricki Lake, and Ted Raimi. So were they worth adding to my collection?

SKINNER (1993)

Somehow, this dark killer thriller with a dose of camp passed me by in the 90s. I think we even had it at the video store I worked in, and for whatever reason I never got around to watching it (I was too busy going to techno clubs and raves).

Deliciously twisted and trashy, Skinner features Ted Raimi as a psycho killer who rents a room in Ricki Lake’s house while her blue collar husband regularly has to leave her home alone to travel for work.

Personally, I’d never let him leave…

Meanwhile, Traci Lords plays a druggy who was also a victim of “Skinner” but managed to get away. She’s now on the hunt for him to enact her revenge.

Ted works in a warehouse and spends his free time picking up prostitutes, skinning them alive, and then wearing their skin in Leatherface fashion. The neon lighting is great, and there’s plenty of detailed gore, but at this point, at least for me, there was something almost cartoonish about it that lessened the intensity of the horrific situations.

Having said that, there is one long sequence that is heinous and disturbing. After an altercation with a Black guy at his job, Ted kills and skins the guy and then runs around in his skin speaking in a stereotypical Black dialect. This goes on for a looooong time.

I usually don’t like “portrait of a serial killer” movies, but this one just feels so unapologetically offensive in its execution, brings to mind how awesomely subversive films could be back then, and focuses on a different faction of society than we usually expect.


Sean S. Cunningham of Friday the 13th fame directs this made-for-SyFy original. Watch it for Bruce Campbell, but don’t watch it expecting Bruce to do his shtick.

It’s sort of like Stephen King’s Storm of the Century vs. The Thing. A group of people is trapped in a small town airport during a blizzard. Cops come in with a prisoner they can’t get to the precinct in the storm. That prisoner is Bruce, and he is totally in his prime here, looking mega hot.

Before long, the group discovers that not everyone is what they seem. There are aliens among them! When they aliens are revealed, their eyes change and they sort of behave like they’re possessed.

Naturally the group splits up in an effort to figure out a way to escape the airport, and no one knows who they can trust. There are some fun moments, including an attack in an x-ray machine, kids turning into aliens, and a suspenseful scene viewed through monitors, but it’s an hour in before we get the first satisfying alien attack.

The high point is that Bruce and the remaining survivors take on the leader of the aliens in the last ten minutes, which are definitely the highlight. We also get a nice and slimy CGI alien explosion.


Over 30 years later, David DeCoteau’s cult favorite from 1988 gets a sequel…that he has nothing to do with. Instead, scream queen Brinke Stevens directs. She was in the original with Michelle Bauer and Linnea Quigley. Here, Brinke and Michelle return as ghosts.

Linnea was apparently set to appear in the film but got into a bad accident just before shooting, so 80s horror queen Kelli Maroney stepped in as her sister, the house mother of the sorority.

Running only 62 minutes long, the film opens with a jazzercise session set to 80s style music to get us in the throwback mood. Then we are presented with numerous montages as the sorority girls prepare for pledge night.

There are two showering montages, boys spying on the naked girls, a whipped cream hazing, a party montage when they get to the bowling alley, a flirting montage, and finally a cat fight 37 minutes in.

This is the moment when a trophy is broken in the bowling alley and the little Ghoulies rip-off from the first movie is released.

He grants everyone wishes while purposely misinterpreting them. He also turns some of the girls into demons as in the original film, but overall, this feels much more like a typical, amateurish Full Moon film of recent years rather than 80s direct-to-video trash.


About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
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