Starring Natalie Dickinson, Henrik Nolren, Robert Paschall Jr.
Directed by Patrick Johnson
Another of my finds at the 2012 Texas Frightmare Weekend was this fun little number. She’s Crushed (alternately titled Crushed depending on the source) was released on DVD and streaming services in 2010. Since then, Texas filmmaker Patrick Johnson has re-cut the film and created this disc, which he calls the “Ultimate Bootleg Director’s Cut”.
The film follows Tara, a beautiful young woman who develops a crush on a neighbor, Ray. Ray has a girlfriend but isn’t above flirting and eventually sleeping with the aggressive Tara. Unfortunately for him and everyone around him, Tara’s not quite right in the head, and to call her a “stalker” really doesn’t scratch the surface.
No, Tara is a psychotic serial killer, and if she obsesses over you, it’s all over for ya. Ray becomes her latest target along with anyone even remotely connected to him that might take his attention away from her.
It turns out Tara was once a normal girl but suffered horribly at the hands of another psycho, which left her completely bent. Also abused by her psychiatric physician, Tara’s form of therapy now involves torture with power tools and at-home lobotomies.
This cut differs from the original in many ways. Entire characters were cut, scenes were trimmed or put back in the film, and a number of musical selections were added that enhance the overall batshit insane vibe of the flick. The music is used for irony a great deal of the time: songs with happy lyrics over scenes of horrific mutilation, that kind of thing.
This is not a fantastic piece of dramatic cinema. This is just good old fashioned fun. Tons of splatter, over-the-top performances, and outrageous set pieces make this a good time. This is a great disc to put on when you’ve called some buddies over, bought some beer and pizza, and want to let loose. It’s a long, long way from perfect, but the overall result is just terribly entertaining.
Natalie Dickinson’s turn as Tara needs to be pointed out; she really carries a challenging and difficult role as both victim and psycho very well. She’s courageous as hell and carries the entire movie on her slender shoulders. What makes the movie fun is that it’s never played for laughs. It’s 100% serious and earnest, but then a song plays while someone’s losing toes and it just becomes hilarious. Johnson clearly knows what kind of movie he’s made and has a hell of a good time with this cut.
Getting a copy of this is tricky. It’s not for sale. Rather, if you buy a poster from the She’s Crushed website, he’ll slip you a copy for free. This is a bootleg, after all, not something you’ll ever see in stores. What’s more, once he’s out of stock, that’s it. This one is meant as a neat treat for cons and direct orders only, not for mainstream consumption.
Far from perfect, schlocky in many ways, I still had a good time watching this one and recommend seeking it out if you like this kind of fun, gory, psycho-stalker stuff.
3 1/2 out of 5