That this absolutely terrible British comedy horror flick was made back in 1988 and yet was only released on video in the early 2000s should have been some indication that it was going to be a depressingly shite film. But it had an interesting premise, in that Jackson (Gregory Cox), a Byron quoting serial killer, wanders the streets killing at random until he meets a blind girl, Shelly (Fiona Evans), and falls in love. And so somewhat stupidly I decided to give it a go. Ah, how I regret ever waking up that day.
Dreadfully scripted by Mark Cutforth and tediously directed by Anders Palm, this is supposed to be a satire on the whole slasher genre but it’s so poorly scripted and acted that it quickly becomes just as bad (if not far worse) than the films it sneers at. The whole movie revolves around the joke that Jackson is an intellectual killer and fully aware of the horror he creates, but it wears thin so quickly that you want to scream at the tv as loudly as the murder victims do when they’re killed in surprisingly rubbish ways. The two lead actors are okay, as in they didn’t make me want to smash the tv screen in, throw it out of a window and then go outside and set fire to it just to make sure I never accidentally witnessed this film again, but the script is so awful it’s probably not a shock that everyone walks away from the movie looking like a RADA reject, and the majority of the supporting characters are responsible for some of the worst acting ever committed to celluloid. And I’ve seen all of Neil Breen’s output, as I’m clearly some sort of masochist.
Much of the script is supposedly littered with thoughtful and perceptive comments on life, sex, love and society, but this commentary is now so outdated, tired and semi-offensive that it’s actually painful to watch, I was tempted to put dynamite in my eyes and destroy them for good and I’ve become rather fond of them over the years. By the end of the movie Jackson decides he has no choice but to murder everyone and goes about killing all of Shelly’s friends at a party, whilst tediously philosophising throughout. Finally he kills Shelly off, despite her claims of love, exclaiming afterwards “It’s a hell of a life being a monster, a hell of a life”. And then the movie ends with Jackson walking along a street and noticing a cinema showing ‘The Hand of Death Part 26 Jackson Returns’ and screaming “No!”, it’s a bit of reality breaking meta commentary which is supposed to be funny but only made me break down in tears at the prospect of a possible sequel.
The video box has a quote on it from IMDB claiming it to be “The best satire of gore & slasher films ever made” but on further inspection this was made from a member of the general public who surely must be the film’s director Anders Palm, and though there are other positive reviews on the site I can only guess that either Palm has many other IMDB accounts or that he’s an evil hypnotist who’s managed to trick people in to writing them. It’s unfortunate that another review from the website wasn’t quoted on the box, as it’s far more accurate: “Annoying attempts at humour…We plod through over a half an hour of crap about him and his blind girlfriend and their relationship problems…This looks like home movies filmed on the streets in and around London on a pocket change budget…It’s one of the most memorable flicks you’re ever going to see, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good”, at the very least I would have saved both time and money and watched something far more interesting instead.
If I haven’t put you off yet, it features a fair amount of gratuitous nudity as Palm is a sexist jerk, the soundtrack is an irritating mix of the worst of 1980’s electro pop, it’s 85 minute running time seems like an ice age, and if I was to ever meet the director of this film I couldn’t promise that I wouldn’t end up in prison for murder. And do you really want the same thing to happen to you? Some of the films included in “Oh, The Humanity” section on this site fall in to the “So bad they’re funny” category but this is not one of them, there wasn’t a single moment where I stopped grimacing throughout. Also known as “Hand of Death Part 25: Jackson’s Back” and “Unmasked Part 25”, I would never have watched for longer than twenty five minutes if it wasn’t so that I could write this review and warn others about this dreadful abomination. Please don’t make my painful sacrifice be in vain.