05th Mar2016

‘Luther the Geek’ Review (Vinegar Syndrome)

by Mondo Squallido

Stars: Carlton Williams, Tom Brittingham, Karen Maurise, Edward Terry, Joan Roth, Stacy Haiduk, Thomas Mils, Jerry Clarke | Written and Directed by Carlton J. Albright


“A movie with a fowl bite!”

When Luther (Carlton Williams, in his only role) was a young boy, he witnessed a group of rowdy locals egging on the local Geek (Tom Brittingham, also in his only role) to bite the head off a chicken. This combined with him getting his teeth accidentally knocked out by one of said locals in the ruckus leads young Luther to develop a taste for blood. Naturally, this turns him in to a bloodthirsty psycho and paves the way for a life of crime. After serving 20 years and thanks to prison board member Mrs. Butler (Karen Maurise, Dark Skies), a much older and balder Luther (Edward Terry, The Children) is set free. Armed with a set of homemade metal teeth, Luther carries on from where he left off and sets off to continue his reign of terror, one neck at a time! It’s not just the chickens who need to watch out. On his rampage, Luther invades the farm of Hilary (Joan Roth, In Transit) and her daughter Beth (Stacy Haiduk, Superboy). Can Beth’s hunky boyfriend Rob (Thomas Mils, Bean) and / or bumbling local trooper (Jerry Clarke, Tracks) stop Luther before it’s too late? You better clucking well hope so!

I won’t lie, I really found Luther the Geek to be quite a dull film. I know that this is a cult classic for some, but I just don’t see what’s so special about it. Let’s get the positive out of the way; the gore. Both Mike Tristano (Evil Dead 2) and William Purcell (Invasion USA) do a fantastic job with some genuinely gruesome special effects. Unfortunately, that’s really the only positive I can give for this film. OK, maybe some of the scenes including the busty Stacy Haiduk “elevated” things slightly, but boobs and blood don’t always make a film. Some may be surprised by this, but Luther himself isn’t really a memorable character. I mean no disrespect to Edward Terry, but his portrayal of Luther is unintentionally comical and rather camp in places. I know his constant clucking and wide eyes are supposed to inject fear in to the audience, but he seriously makes the quacking killer in The New York Ripper seem like one of horror’s true greats. The only unsettling thing about Luther is that he looks like me if I was the balding offspring of Klaus Kinski. Now THAT is truly a terrifying thought! As for the rest of the film? Average in every way. The acting is pretty lame, David Knox’s (Captain America: The First Avenger) cinematography is about average and the score from Vern Carlson (Vigilante) is one of those unmemorable late 80’s / early 90’s synth scores that just exists. Yeah, really finding it hard to even really write about this film because I don’t know if I told you this, but it was just so dull! Even though the film may be nothing to shout about, the release itself is!

This is Vinegar Syndrome once again taking a Troma property and giving it a must own release for fans of the film. The film is scanned and restored in 2k from the original 35mm camera negative and looks and sounds great. To top off another great restoration job there are a whole bunch of extras. All of the extras from previous Troma releases are included as well as an introduction and commentary from Carlton J. Albright himself, there’s a video interview with Jerry Clarke, reversible artwork and the original theatrical trailer. It’s a bumper package and even though I am really not a fan of the film itself, listening to Albright talk about the film and those involved is insightful and entertaining. It’s one of those instances were the extras are actually much more entertaining than the actual film! If you are already a fan of this film, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pick this up. For those wanting to experience Luther the Geek for the first time, this is also a release you should check out, just be warned about the actual film.

Luther the Geek is available as a DVD/Blu-Ray combo from Vinegar Syndrome.


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