Schlock du Jour: Ritual of Death (1990)

Say hello to your new favorite bad movie.

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It is said that every 300 years a movie lifts its head proudly to the sky like Horus, the LAZER FALCON, and spews a beam of technicolor plasma so hot that it melts the sun and the suns of 1000 other galaxies, and in that awesome devestation makes everyone in the American midwest exclaim “Wow, that was a pretty good movie!”

Ritual of Death is not that film. It lifts its bloated head from the black swamp like a horrible frog and pops like a bubble, belching primordial ciphers that quickly turn to farts and die. But with sprinkles on top!

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Pictured: Not a lazer falcon.

To put it another way—Imagine Tommy Wiseau and H. G. Lewis made a movie together. it would have looked a lot like Ritual of Death (albeit with more Wiseau ass). It is basically Blood Feast by way of The Room. Now don’t let any of that deter you!  I am merely being cheeky. I had more fun with Ritual of Death than I have with any movie since Jungle Trap!

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Oh hai Herschell!

Brad is having visions of American Indians blowing smoke on a prone man and dancing. This is really going to interfere with his acting! Ya see, his theatre troupe is going to put on a play about Egyptian rituals involving sacrifice, and no I don’t know why so don’t ask me. But the visions are getting to be too much! Plus, you’ve got this Hitchcockian man in a bowler hat popping up everywhere with his oozing hand and fuzzy book.  It’s an Egyptian manuscript, and Brad and his would-be Steampunker friend Jim—they need it.

Before long, Brad has gone full-on possessed wacko. He gets naked and eats a pile of raw meat in his room while a frog watches. I know! And that’s just the beginning! Then, people begin to die.

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And oh, do they die. The blood and sicky-awesome special fx add a massive layer of icky fun to an already enjoyable time. Brad’s face sloughing off rivals the degeneration Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. Maybe if the dialogue was delivered in a manner that made a lick of sense the players needn’t have perished terribly, both on stage and off. A trained cat could have delivered lines better.

There are too many hilarious elements to Ritual of Death that deserve mentioning, and that this review will do a disservice to by not picking those elements apart. Nobody fights back. There’s a cop who’s fed up with this shit and wants the play cancelled. There’s the vision of the couple bathing in a clawfoot tub full of blood, playing with a severed goat head while screams are heard all around them. There’s a cult. There’s corpse re-animation. There’s my own personal bliss.

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Brazil isn’t particularly known for their horror films, but this English-dubbed picture from director Fauzi Mansur is worth knowing. It is full-on banana nut bread crazy. If you’re still reading, it’s because I piqued your interest. Go out into the world and find a way to perform, er, see Ritual of Death.

10/10

Stay slime, and be rad at all times

-Rat

 


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