Death by Dialogue
DEATH BY DIALOGUE. 1988
Director: Tom Dewier

GORNO: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY. 2007
Directors: Lester Norris
& Oliver Assiran

THE SLASHER. 2000
Director: Jim Haggerty

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Death by Dialogue The title Death by Dialogue (1988) sounds like it ought to be an Agatha Christie spoof. But it's no-budget very goofy supernatural slasher.

Clumsy writing, poor acting, & John Gonzalez's pathetic attempt at a rock 'n' roll sound track sabotages Death by Dialogue's slight claim to oddity. You can't fault it, however, for lack of incident.

It's a tale of an unfinished film script which functions as a terrifying grimoire, killing whoever reads it, mostly vacationing teens with so little personality it scarsely matters what happens to them.

Death by DialogueThe underlying premise might seem to be that if a film script is written at a sub-sub-sub level of incompetence, it'll take on a destructive magic; in which case it's surprising anyone involved in making this film is still alive.

But chances are the writer/director didn't personally think it was badly written. Which of course heightens the charm of its naive ineptitude.

Instead of the usual cabin by the lake where teens get picked off one by one, they're staying at a movie ranch.

"Victim 67" is the script's title, but the original title was simply "Victim." Just before each death, another page appears in the script, describing the doom of another person. The title amends itself each time, from Victim 69 to Victim 70 & so on.

Death by DialogueThe whole substance of the film is the picking off, which at least are varied even if not well staged:
  • Death by standard fire gag.
  • Death in explosion while having sex.
  • Death by head smashed in with the guitar of talentless heavy metal rock band ghosts.
  • Death by falling in an invisible hole & melting.
  • Death by sword-weilding maniac in cape.
  • Beheading in dream, but it didn't happen.
  • Exploding motorcycle zombie.
Just like the Necronomicon or any decently magical grimoire, the film script cannot be destroyed. It must be sealed in a glowing urn, not easily done because the urn repels the script.

The film ends abruptly with a funeral for the demon, as if the piggy bank finally ran out of pennies & the kids had to quit filming. So if you're ever in the sort of mood that is apt to find fimmaking ineptitude hilarious, Death by Dialogue might be worth your time.



GornoWithin the amateur film Gorno: An American Tragedy (2007) there's a second amateur film in progress, that of would-be documentarians interviewing all the white trash princples relating in any manner to a gruesome murder of a girl.

I guess these are supposed to be character studies because it's got nothing else going on.

And I suppose someone must have written a script for it, but it seems like the world's worst & least imaginative actors are making it all up as they go along. They have nothing better to resort to for effect except four letter words.

The Marilyn Manson wannabe doesn't look anywhere near as cool in the film as the illustration on the dvd box pretends. Not even close.

GornoRidiculously bad photography captures as best it can equally ridiculous dialogue as little more than talking heads, punctuated here & there with images of violence of all sorts, including suicide. For gore FX they seem to have had one red crayon to work with.

The film strives to show what a horrible world young people grow up in. That, or what a horrible movie young people appear in.

I was so bored that the most interesting thing was to keep watching for the sound boom to dip into the picture.

The SlasherThe title is a film-fan coinage combining gore & porno, but Gorno the movie is very short on either.

I didn't think I'd see a worse film for a long time, but very soon I found that I was foolishly subjecting myself to the laughably bad The Slasher (2000).

It has a somewhat similar docudrama feeling, an approach that is supposed to justify the unutterable lack of production values.

It begins with a madman in a cheap mask following a girl down the road. When she realizes she's being followed, she runs in the woods & stands behind a tree, where she's easily found & hacked up without even any gore shown on screen. So why bother to film such thematic material if you're not going to show anything?

Investigators, seemingly fresh out of high school without even any Junior College acting experience, try to track down the insane serial killer. New York never looked dorkier! It's just so hysterical to see films this pisspoor advertised as "a masterpiece of horror."

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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