Twice Dead (1988)

The B-Movie is a much maligned art form, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder as we all know – that’s what I tell myself when I’m watching horror films alone again on a Saturday night anyway .. but whatever. The point is that their cheesy, tongue in cheek approach to death, blood, ridiculous supernatural happenings and the exploitative way it approaches every aspect of life, makes me happy and gives me hope for the world in general (think It’s a Wonderful Life, with partial nudity and Jimmy Stewart wielding an axe .. Wow, I would have totally watched that film). Oh and the puns – the one liners! B-Movies are the place to find gold in scripted form – by gold I mean that stuff that turns your finger green after wearing it once and leaves an unsightly rash, but still, at some point that thing looked like the real deal.. Good stuff.

Twice Dead is a weird one, sometimes I’m not sure whether it’s trying to be a horror or a Corey Feldman vehicle without the main draw, and yet … I never get tired of watching the thing.

The Cate’s family are left a dilapidated mansion by their great uncle, which comes in mighty handy seeing as though the head of the household is in the process of going bankrupt and they don’t have anywhere else to go. The house had been swindled out of the possession of a famous stage actor Tyler Walker, by their great aunt who Tyler was obsessed with (so much so that the guy had a mannequin in her image that he liked to play house with, a lot), and subsequently killed himself rather than leave. And now he haunts the place. Just to put that extra market value on the property

Oh but there isn’t just the quaint and not at all creepy history of the place that adds to the charm, the house is also the headquarters of an authentic eighties street gang (bandanas and leathers ahoy!), who are pretty miffed about having to relocate, to say the least. Oh and it doesn’t help that they’re big on the trying to rape and kill people when annoyed either.

What would be the solution to a gang of rapists/murderers/individuals who think bandanas are acceptable form of accessory to their ensemble …be? That’s right – play a major prank on them so that they all think their fellow gang members have been killed horribly, and make them want even more revenge on you.

Excellent plan Scooby.

Never fear though, there’s always the ghost of the weird mannequin fetish guy to help you!

Well, Dead Twice aint good kids, it isn’t even great, but damn it, it’s entertaining to the very last second. It’s sort of Goonies meets well .. A really awful attempt at a horror film. It’s badly made, badly acted, fashion hell, with a boom microphone that was in shot so much that I really thought it should have had an acting credit a the end, but I’ve got to say, it’s still one of my favourite eighties horror films.

If you’re looking for quality and Oscar winning FX then, look elsewhere because believe me, you’ll feel violated by the end of the movie, but if, like me, you love a Trier, then Dead Twice is worth the watch, because if nothing else, this film really tries, and at some stages goes well on it’s way to succeeding.

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