Schlock & Gore: Grotesque (1988)

So I was at the local Suncoast and a DVD caught my eye. GASP! It was a Roger Corman’s Cult Classics All-Night Marathon! One movie included in the set really grabbed me. It was called Grotesque.


Now while I thought that a movie called “Grotesque” sounded like exactly the sort of thing I’d review, it wasn’t exactly indicative of anything in particular aside from grotesqueness. What could it possibly be about? A monster ass that inexplicably disfigures innocent children by shitting orange pus all over them? Or perhaps it’s about an alien that gets off on rearranging the the faces of all of Earth’s beloved pets until the human race goes insane! No, what I viewed may have been even stranger…

Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I have written this review three times already. I am having that much trouble properly conveying the details of this clusterfuck of a movie. I have probably spent more time thinking about this movie than anyone involved in its unholy creation. To outline all of the events that happened in Grotesque is an alluring prospect, but I also want to sound coherent, so I will attempt to summarize it, and then I will propose my remake of Grotesque.

Bear with me while I unload the events that transpired upon thee:

We are introduced to Orville Kruger (Guy Stockwell) a movie makeup guy after a false opening that was just a scene from a movie he was showing. He goes to his home in the Hollywood Hills for a little vacation, since his daughter, Lisa (Linda Blair) is visiting. Lisa and friend get harrassed by some absurd punks in a VW bus on the way up. I’m always down for punk antagonists, so I’m all-in.

Punkbert Z’Dar
Later at the house, the punks show up and take pleasure in murdering everyone, except Lisa, who escapes by defenestrating herself through a second story window and running away barefoot in the snow all night long. They send one punk to chase after her. Meanwhile, they are inside this estate in Beverly Hills, so might as well search for hidden heaps of cash, right? A ladypunk and a punk played by “The Face” Robert Z’Dar find a hidden room behind a bookshelf. This must be the place! But Egad! No! All they’ve found is the deformed family secret, Patrick!

Patrick, with his blobby face full of skin tags quickly kills Punkbert Z’Dar and the other punks, until he is chasing the final two through the snowy woods. Normally, the mentally handicapped Patrick wouldn’t hurt a fly, but he has to kill to avenge his family (or something)!

Are you still with me? Okay. Now forget about that for a while, because it’s time for the movie to introduce Lisa’s uncle, Rod just as it feels like it’s coming to an end. A neighbor shows up and finds the carnage and calls the cops. Then Rod, a plastic surgeon, shows up to join the vacation only to stumble upon the tragedy. The culprits can’t have gone too far, can they? Time for a witch hunt!

Patrick catches up with the punx and Lisa. The punx kill Lisa and then the police show up and blast her grieving, adopted bother in the face, killing him. But who is responsible for killing the family, the cops wonder. So the cops take the punx to the station to begin the cop procedural portion of this clusterfuck!

Uncle Rod knows the truth about Patrick being the family secret and so he goes rogue, capturing the punks and revealing that he is the mutant boy’s actual father. Then he tears his face off, revealing that it was a mask made by his brother Orville, so that he could work in peace and have an actual life, which makes me wonder why they didn’t make a fake face for Patrick, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Rod disfigures them and locks them away. But NOT REALLY BECAUSE THIS WHOLE TIME YOU HAVE BEEN WATCHING A MOVIE WITHIN A MOVIE! HAHA CLEVER RIGHT!? This means that the movie from the false opening was a movie within a movie within a movie!

The movie cuts to a theater screen, and then we see Frankentein’s Monster and the Wolfman looking at film cells from the projection booth, discussing the movie they just watched. They give it an 8 and then go into the theater proper to scare everyone. Yes, that’s how it ends.

So what would I have named this little picture so that it more aptly described the events depicted on screen? Maybe “Plight of the Murderpunx.” Or perhaps “The Grotesque Face of Revenge.” Let’s call it “Herp Derp Gotcha!” While we’re at it, let’s recast with some fresh faces. Maybe replace Linda Blair with Selena Gomez. Yes I know how that sounds, but Linda Blair didn’t do this movie any favors.

The heart wants what it wants
Let’s change the unrealistic and lame punks into something like the cretins from Class of Nuke ‘Em High. Then douse it in gore and splash a helping of slime over everything for good measure. This movie was sorely lacking in the slime and gore department.

Punks seen in Class of Nuke ‘Em High and Return to Nuke ‘Em High, respectively
Let Disasterpiece score it and add an animatronic or puppeteered creature of some sort in there to really put it over the edge. Finally have Eli Roth direct it. That would be my 10/10 version of this film. As is, Grotesque was entertaining enough and receives a 6/10 from me.

Stay slime, and be rad at all times!

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