Thursday, November 13, 2014

Anthony T's #TBT: "The Turnpike Killer"

Welcome to another edition of Anthony T’s #TBT on This week, I decided to revisit my review of “The Turnpike Killer”. The film will be having its national DVD release this upcoming Tuesday from Wild Eye Releasing. Please note that this is a repost from my film review portion of my DVD review of the film back in 2012.

Repost form 6/21/2012 with minor changes.

It’s been a while, since yours truly has done an independent horror review that hasn’t been released from a major distributor. But once the package for “The Turnpike Killer” came in, I knew that I had to review this film.

The film is about a killer (Bill McLaughin) who has been on a murderous rampage for the last ten years in the city that never sleeps. His murders have been so sadistic that he has been coined as “The Turnpike Killer”. He has been searching all these years for the chosen one, but he thinks he’s closing in on that person. But unknown to him, NYPD Homicide Detective Lloyd (Edgar Moye) is on his trail and closing in on him. “The Turnpike Killer is sure to horrify you one way or the other. The film also features special appearances from Ruby Larocca (The Lost, Porkchop) and Manoush (Barricade).

“The Turnpike Killer” is one of the most shocking horror films that I’ve seen in a long time. Directors Evan Makrogiannis and Brian Weaver do a very good job keeping my interest. One of the reasons is, the way that they handled the direction. I liked how, they kept everything serious. When watching low budget slashers, the violence usually isn’t scary or shocking. It sometimes hurts my experience when watching a serious horror film. This film was different though. From the tone of the film to the horrifying sequences, Makrogiannis and Weaver did a very good job making me horrified at watching the film’s action. It’s very hard for a film to do when watching a film of this nature, because violence in a low budget horror film usually isn’t scary or that shocking. The directors pull this off very well. The other thing that I liked about the direction was the way that the film was shot. It had the feel of an eighties micro budget horror film with its grainy look and ultra-violence. It helped the film achieve what it was set out to do.

The acting here was also very good. The directors focused on getting the best performances possible to fit the film’s very dark tone. By doing that, it makes the terror feel real. The other thing that I liked was Bill McLaughlin’s performance. It’s very menacing. He does a very good job making the character, as a person that you would literally fear on the streets. It helped the film work as a whole for me, because if the performance isn’t that way then the film doesn’t work in my opinion.

Makrogiannis and Weaver’s screenplay does a very good job making you feeling horrified at the film’s action. What makes this screenplay good was the way that they spend time developing the film’s characters. The writers spend time to develop them, so you feel horrified when a character is killed off. It’s needed, because if you don’t care about the characters then you’re not interested with the story. The other thing that I liked about the screenplay was that the film ends with a surprising twist. It works very well here, as it answered a lot of questions that I had with the main character for the majority of it. When that happens, you feel like everything in the story makes sense.

This is worth seeking out for fans of eighties micro budget horror. “The Turnpike Killer” is a horror film that is filled with shocking violence and a twist that you won’t see coming.

Review Rating: Four Stars

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