Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Skinless (2013)
Whacked Movies | Buy at Amazon | Review by Dan Taylor

"I'm gonna get wasted and laid... I just cured cancer!"

Dr. Peter Peel (or Peele as the box copy refers to him) has a few problems. There's Dr. Alice Cross (Erin Ryan) the roommate/researcher he's carrying a torch for and Neil the Financier (Dave Parker) who wants results from the research he's been funding since the pair were fresh out of college.

Oh, yeah, and there's that personal pan pizza-sized melanoma growing on his shoulder.

But things are looking up. He's had a breakthrough in his cancer research and plans to synthesize the enzymes of a cancer-eating parasite in order for the serum to attack and eat cancer cells.

Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, Neil the Financier won't fund further research without results so Peele moves to human trials in order to prove everyone wrong, cure cancer and get wasted and laid. Not necessarily in that order.

Dustin Wayde Mills' SKINLESS sure as hell doesn't break any new ground, but I must admit that it was a low-budget blast. Reuniting with his BATH SALT ZOMBIES star Brandon Salkil (who co-wrote the screenplay with Mills), SKINLESS owes more than its fare share to the bevy of "brilliant scientists who get consumed by their inventions" genre efforts that have come before it from DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and FRANKENSTEIN to FROM BEYOND, HOLLOW MAN and beyond.

Yet the mad doctor flick that SKINLESS seems to hold in the highest reverance is easily David Cronenberg's sticky icky updating of THE FLY. Salkil's twitchy performance is heavily influenced by Jeff Goldblum's tragic turn as Brundlefly, right down to his mannerisms, chick-napping and eating habits (playfully dubbed "Goldbluming").

But while Cronenberg's THE FLY was a horror movie you could probably watch with your parents or wife, SKINLESS definitely tosses out some of the higher brow elements of that flick and replaces them with plenty of face melting, limb tearing, eyeball mace-ing, jaw ripping and boobs. Lots of boobs.

If I had any complaints about SKINLESS I'd bitch that the flick grinds to a bit of a second act halt after a snappy first 20 minutes and some of Peele's dialogue is unfortunately muffled and obscured due to the costuming. Luckily, the pacing picks up and Mills piles on the grisly creature effects (courtesy of DMP Studios), making SKINLESS a more than welcome addition to the Mad Doctor Pantheon.


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