Starring Krystal Pixie Adams, Amethist Young, Bailey Paige, Caitlyn Dailey, Alice Reigns, Lisa Marie Kart, Ashley Lynn Caputo, Paula Tsurara, Rachael Shaw, Geneva Whitmore, Joe Makowski, Bob Glazier, Evan Stone, Joel D. Wynkoop
Directed by Sean Donohue
If you feel that the mainstream slasher genre lacks a proper set of balls, then look no further than Sean Donohue’s ridiculously gory horror flick Death-Scort Service. Fans who long for the days when hardcore violence and shameless nudity went hand-in-hand should walk away from this experience with every itch painfully scratched. It’s definitely not for the easily offended, but then again, if you’re reading this review, chances are you’re well aware of what you’re about to watch. And if you’re not, well, I don’t think I can adequately prepare you for the things you’re getting ready to see.
The Indiegogo-funded slasher (which featured perks such as T-shirts, stickers, and lacy underwear) doesn’t offer up much in the way of story, but again, that’s not necessarily an issue. Why complicate full-frontal nudity and gratuitous violence with a plot? The setup is pretty simple: A group of call girls discover that someone is picking off prostitutes one by one in an increasingly shocking number of ways. Although a pair of ladies attempt to track down the scumbag responsible for these horrendous crimes, it becomes very clear that they have absolutely no idea who they’re up against. Like I said, it’s not wholly original, but Donohue has other ways to keep you entertained.
A word to the wise: If rape, torture, and murder immediately make your stomach flip, then you’re in the wrong part of town, pal. Death-Scort Service is a mean, tasteless, and unapologetically violent flick. Critics may bash the movie for a number of different reasons, but they can never accuse the filmmakers of not thoroughly understanding their audience. And while things often went a little too far over-the-top for my personal tastes, I can’t fault Donohue and company for delivering exactly what hardcore horror fans want to see. The camera doesn’t flinch when it comes to the many on-screen eviscerations, which will certainly please those who want an in-your-face experience.
What makes these moments of extreme violence so effective is the film’s decidedly low-fi aesthetic. It feels like something that slithered out of a sleazy time warp, having accidentally popped into the 2000s when it should have arrived during the days of big-box VHS tapes and impossibly costly rewind fees. My friends and I would have rented this thing and paused it every time we thought parental units were headed to the basement to spoil the fun. I say all of this lovingly, of course, because like most horror fans of a certain age, I’m frequently wracked with waves of vivid nostalgia.
Is Death-Scort Service flawless? Hardly. Although Donohue’s direction is more than capable, his insanely limited budget has a tendency to push to the surface when you want it to fade into the background. That said, he certainly didn’t skimp when in regards to the FX. And while the performances are mostly sturdy, they’re about what you’d expect from this kind of low-budget, DIY genre flick. The actresses aren’t distractingly bad, mind you, but those who crave nuance and subtly are most certainly barking up the wrong tree. Sorry if that completely spoils your fun.
Of course, fans of Joel D. Wynkoop (The Bite, Lost Faith) should enjoy the veteran no-budget actor’s turn as Angus. As I’ve said countless times in the past (and will again in the future, I’m sure), the guy is always a joy to see, even when he doesn’t have very much to do. Wynkoop has no trouble stealing his scenes, but then again, die-hard fans already knew this. But it’s always worth pointing out.
At the end of the day, there’s absolutely nothing about Death-Scort Service that’s subtle; it hits you repeatedly about the head and neck until the final credits roll. Sometimes it’s with nudity, sometimes it’s with violence. Occasionally, you get both. Again, that’s definitely not a complaint. I found myself enjoying the flick even when I felt dirty, which, I guess, is a compliment. Donohue and company know their audience is filled with filthy freaks, and they’re more than happy to supply our demand.