skinned alive & the reflecting skin

I’m a completionist. I hate to give up on a film because it’s so shitty but that’s what happened while watching Abel Ferrara’s The Driller Killer. So take it from me, that film is only good for two things: reminding you 1.) that it must’ve sucked to have lived in NYC during the late 70s and 2.) first wave punk was GODAWFUL.

Thankfully, Tubi saved the day with two BANGERS, both with ‘skin’ in the title and both released in 1990.

Skinned Alive (1990)

I low-key loved this movie. So much so that I might add it to my Tubi Hall of Fame. It possesses many of the qualities I look for in a film, chiefly having a short runtime.

I almost certainly wasn’t the only one taken with the film. One of the many grotesque deaths bears a strong resemblance to Hitler’s death in Inglourious Basterds because Quentin Tarantino is a senseless hack (so am I, btw).

There’s also a striptease scene that made me absolutely sick to my stomach 👍

But what I find most charming about this movie is how it absolutely shits on the state of Ohio. Now I might’ve spent a grand total of 20 minutes in that state, but goddamnit, there’s something funny about that place.

What’s Skinned Alive about? Some insane family stops in a small town and raises hell. In case you couldn’t guess, this family skins people alive. Only a drunken, pathetic, ex-cop stands in their way.

The Reflecting Skin (1990)

I’m not sure that I would call this a ‘horror’ film, but I can see why many do. If you take the time to think about it, the story is absolutely terrifying and depressing.

An 8-year-old boy growing up somewhere in the midwest post-WWII gets verbally, emotionally, and physically abused while the bigoted police department investigate the deaths of local children. Meanwhile, the boy’s older brother, who’s probably dying from radiation poisoning, (and played by Viggo Mortensen), engages in a relationship with a woman that the boy believes to be a witch.

There’s no gore, few frightening images (worst of which is Viggo Mortensen’s ass cheeks), and no supernatural elements to speak of. So this might not satisfy all tastes. But it does have one thing going for it: NOTHING gets resolved and the movie ends with the boy screaming into the sunset.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of The Reflecting Skin. I had to turn to IMDB to find answers, and that’s when I found this review, written by an abuse psychologist who found this to be the “most accurate depiction of abuse” he/she/them has ever seen:

I’ve always wondered how well horror and drama would mix. The only well-known example of this would be The Exorcist. But much like We Are The Flesh, answers don’t come easy and what you find might be depressing AF.

*****

But you know what’s NOT depressing?

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