Spiker (2008)

Spiker reviewReviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Frank Zagarino, Giselle Rodriguez, Matthew Jared, Josh Folan, Ginger Kroll

Directed by Frank Zagarino

Fact: albinos are evil. Pink eyes. Pale skin. White hair. Black hearts. I’ve never met any albinos but if I did I would know to fear them. Why? Because movies and television have taught me to. You never see any good albinos on TV or in movies, do you? They’re always serial killers or assassins or sadomasochistic agents of the Vatican. Spiker is the latest motion picture to warn the world about the evil intentions of the albino race.

The albino slasher dubbed “Spiker” got his nickname because railroad spikes were his weapon of choice. A mass murderer of the Michael Myers persuasion: violent, silent, emotionless, superhuman strength, seemingly undying; the catalyst for his killing spree being as simple as suffering a broken heart. The woman he loved got knocked up by another man and he snapped. She committed suicide by throwing herself in front of a train. He then became a mute killing machine who murdered people with railroad spikes as his means by which to lash out at the world.

I can understand how getting cuckold could cause one to snap, but how exactly did this make him super strong, nearly unstoppable, and capable of surviving underwater for what appeared to have been several hours?

The film opens with the Spiker escaping police custody during a ferry boat transport. Believed by some to have perished after jumping overboard and never coming up, Spiker will emerge from the lake a good while later and begin his killing spree anew. The first victim, quite convenient if you ask me, is a guy working on a pier using railroad spikes. He steals the guy’s clothing, stocks up on spikes, and treks towards a house in the woods he has ties to.

Wouldn’t you know it all this is happening the very evening a half dozen high school friends have decided to hold a make-out party in that very house in the woods? One female in the group, Lisa, just so happens to be the spitting image of the dead woman the Spiker once loved. She’ll keep experiencing ghostly visions of the woman in her wedding dress roaming the grounds (visual effects so chintzy they’re more likely to elicit chuckles) and almost seems to have some psychic link to the killer. The somewhat creepy caretaker might be the one to provide the answers she’s looking for before they all get spiked to death.

Frank Zagarino is a longtime star of direct-to-video action flicks going all the way back to the mid-80s. He’s also directed twice before but this marks his first foray into horror. He seems a bit out of his element here on both sides of the camera, although I must say the film does have the feel of a cheap horror movie Action International Pictures would have produced back in the early 1990s. That comparison can be construed as both a compliment and a criticism.

From an acting standpoint, Zagarino’s Spiker, with a perpetual blank expression on his face, and once he changes from his prison jumpsuit to a long trenchcoat looking like Rutger Hauer dressed like Walker, Texas Ranger, he may look like someone you wouldn’t want to mess with, but as a movie slasher, he lacks any frightening aura. This is why Michael Myers wears a mask. Otherwise, he’d just be a guy with a vacant stare.

To his credit Zagarino the director appeared to try to put more emphasis on suspense than just mindless slashing. To the film’s detriment, it isn’t the least bit scary outside of two effective scenes: one in which a dying victim is seen in the background crawling towards unsuspecting friends and the very last scene is a good one, certainly not your typical slasher movie ending. There’s something very ho-hum about the entire production, from the predominantly generic script to the formulaic kills to the stop-and-go pacing to some awkwardly staged scenes to the iffy acting to the intrusive and sometimes inappropriate score – just a dull edge to the proceedings.

Spiker is a slasher flick that’ll probably only satisfy the hardest of hardcore slasher movie fans. For everyone else, it’s a fairly limp horror movie that makes for barely passable entertainment. All things considered, if this movie equated to the killer’s weapon of choice it’d be a butter knife instead.


2 out of 5

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