Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Shallow Grave, College Girls Slaughtered

The brutality of some of the horror films of the 1980s caught the attention of self-proclaimed morality policemen. Tipper Gore (the wife of Al Gore) was such one clown. When her husband ran for the nomination against Michael Dukakis, Mrs. Gore dropped the cause like a Cincinnati Bengal receiver drops a touchdown pass. Hence 1987's "Shallow Grave" went unnoticed by any government committee. The brutal slaughter of helpless college girls after humiliation and torment make this tale a bit more harder to take than some of the other 'playful' slasher films of the era.
During a very gratuitous shower scene, a nubile college babe (Kimberly Johnston) will be humiliated and horrified by a prank of four of her classmates. The four offenders will be called to the headmaster's office and read the riot act. Basically, they get away with it and pile into a red convertible and head to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break. These silly flirts are only interested in college guys and alcohol, but their lives will change...and so will their lifespans. When their car is disabled in rural Georgia, Sue Ellen (Lisa Stahl) will head into the woods to relieve herself. Bad idea as she will then witness the naked sheriff (Tony March) murder the naked Angie (Merry Rozelle). Now our four coeds become hunted.
Poor Rose (Donna Baltron). She has just stripped down to her panties to sunbathe near the disabled convertible and will get a bullet to the head from the maniacal sheriff. Cindy (Just Kelly) will also be slaughtered as the sheriff's rage begins. Now the lovely Sue Ellen and Patty (Carol Cadby) are on the run. Now framed for the murders of their friends and Angie, our sultry duo are hunted by the whole town. Their fate will be tortuous and heartbreaking, but can they survive an evil sheriff and false murder charges? As the immature flirts are turned into damsels in much distress, we the viewer are now pulling for their survival.
Not the feel good film of 1987, but this gratuitous and brutal story will please fans of those who like their horror with an edge. Both Sue Ellen and Patty are quite stunning and the torment that will befell them will be hard to watch. Playful and silly for the first half hour, to ominous and brutal in the final hour, "Shallow Grave" (directed by Richard Styles) is a surprising gem from the 1980s.

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