Steve Guttenberg…catalyst of horror?

He’s come a long way since boogying down with the Village People in Can’t Stop The Music, landing himself in the Lavalantula and Sharknado movies and on The Goldbergs in recent years. But in the past decade, Steve Guttenberg has also briefly appeared in a couple of horror flicks just long enough to trigger the premise. So let’s take a look.

CORNERED (2009)

If you’re a fan of the 1989 classic Intruder, in which workers at a grocery store are stalked and killed by a psycho, you’ll probably feel right at home with Cornered, in which workers at a mini-market are stalked and killed by a psycho.

With its top notch gore effects, Intruder is definitely the better film, but Cornered is a fun little slasher that came way too late in the post-Scream era to receive much attention.

Steve Guttenberg appears as a delivery man at the beginning of the film while the crew of the store is closing up and discussing a rash of murders in local stores. Steve poses the question: what awful things would you do to the serial killer if you could get your hands on him?

The likable and typical cast of characters includes a burly store owner, indie king James Duval as his junkie nephew, the pretty girl, the chunky guy, and the feisty black woman. Once they close the store, the workers go upstairs to play a game of poker. 

There’s too much talk while they play cards and constantly notice then ignore noises coming from downstairs. There are also a set of pointless sequences involving Duval having withdrawals while freaking out over cockroaches.

But finally the group starts heading downstairs one by one to be brutally killed off…in the ways in which they said they’d kill the killer. The killer wears a gimp mask, but it’s not explained why. Perhaps this psycho was inspired by Gimp Face from my gay Halloween horror novella Scream, Queen in my book Wet Screams!

The final act is the strong point here, with plenty of suspense, body reveals, and a chase scene. However, it’s so obvious who the killer is I can’t imagine you won’t guess right from the start.

GOOD BOY (2020)

In this installment of Hulu’s Into The Dark, the director of Tragedy Girls and Patchwork is back with another darkly comic horror flick, starring Judy Greer as a desperate woman. She’s desperate for companionship, desperate to have a baby, and desperate for job security.

Steve Guttenberg plays her boss. After telling her they are restructuring her company in a way that will afford her less work, he suggests she get an emotional support dog.

She does, and quickly falls in love with the little brat.

Actually, it’s much worse than a brat. It’s a cold blooded killer! It begins tearing apart anyone who rubs Judy the wrong way. How cool would it be to have your own little Cujo? I mean, as long as you didn’t have to clean up his messes.

Maria Conchita Alonso plays her landlord and pokes fun at the questionable need for “emotional support animals”, a very controversial topic these days, especially on planes. Well, at least it was until wearing masks became the hot topic on planes. What a world.

Judy is great as usual, and there are buckets of blood and some funny moments (the dog made me chuckle the most), but the film begins to drag once the plot is established. It’s no surprise it becomes fairly predictable. She has a killer dog, the dog kills. Not a whole lot you can do with that. The Bad Seed, The Good Son, Good Boy, etc, etc…

Things definitely pick up in the final act, and the generally sad themes that stem from her bond with the dog are really sobering. But the biggest question I had that’s never explained but almost seems implied—does the little dog grow into some bigger, rabid monster when it attacks?

 

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 www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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