Blu-ray Review: SKINNER

SKINNER was directed by Ivan Nagy from a screenplay by Paul Hart-Wilden and stars Ted Raimi, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, Richard Schiff and David Warshofsky.

Ted Raimi delivers an unnerving performance as psycho drifter Dennis Skinner who wears flesh-suits he slices from doomed prostitutes, falls for a lonely young housewife (Ricki Lake), and is himself hunted by a horribly scarred survivor (an equally unhinged performance by Traci Lords). Richard Schiff co-stars in this still-potent sickie from veteran television director – and one-time Heidi Fleiss boyfriend – Ivan Nagy.

This 1993 obscure psycho-slasher follows Dennis Skinner (Ted Rami), a nice guy-type drifter who also happens to be a deranged serial killer by night. He shows up in a new town and ends up renting out a spare bedroom from Kerry (Ricki Lake), a lonely housewife who’s also dealing with her stressed marriage with her truck driver husband Geoff (David Warchofsky) who stays on the road a lot of the time. Needless to say, Geoff doesn’t like it when he comes home and finds out there’s another man living in his house.

What happens is, Dennis and Kerry kind of become close because he’s around a whole lot more than her husband is. You see where this is going, right? Anyway, while Dennis hits the dirty back streets at night and finds new victims to skin, there’s also Heidi (Traci Lords), one of his victims who survived a gruesome attack that left her horribly scarred and she’s vowed revenge on the psychopathic serial killer. With each new victim Skinner filets (and wears skin suits), Heidi gets one step closer to the madman until the two finally have their final bloody encounter.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. This Severin release comes in a black keepcase which helps it stand out from the others. The Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. Severin Films has given Skinner a brand new 4K scan from the original camera negative and it includes the complete hooker-flaying sequence. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this Blu-ray release. Severin Films did a great job with the 4K HD upgrade for this horror obscurity.

Bottom line is, Skinner is an obscure slasher that I had either watched back in the 90’s during the video store days or maybe I caught it late at night on HBO or Cinemax. Maybe? Anyway, it’s a fun slasher with a sick sense of humor that features a great cast and some special effects by KNB that are gross to the max. There’s a lot of blood and gore in this one! Ted Raimi usually plays supporting characters but he takes the lead and gets to show off in his role as this deranged serial killer. His character is a cross between Buffalo Bill and Leatherface with just a hint of nerdiness if that helps you out any. There’s also Ricki Lake whose lonely character is starved for attention and she ends up getting it from her new crazy new houseguest. Traci Lords gives a great performance as the victim-junkie who survived Skinner’s attack and she’s driven by vengeance to get even with him. Director Ivan Nagy delivered an extremely fun horror obscurity that’s complimented nicely by some impressive cinematography, a great cast and some gross special effects. Severin has delivered Skinner in its Uncut Gory Glory to the horror hound masses and it looks and sounds fantastic. Skinner finally makes its Blu-ray debut on February 19th.

Distributor: Severin Films

Run Time: 88 Minutes

Rated: Uncut

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1) Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English and French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include four new interviews with some of the cast and crew, outtakes/extended takes and the trailer.

  • A Touch of Scandal: Interview with Director Ivan Nagy (20:03)
  • Under His Skin: Interview with Star Ted Raimi (14:24)
  • Bargain Bin VHS For A Buck: Interview with Screenwriter Paul Hart-Wilden (17:09)
  • Cutting Skinner: Interview with Editor Jeremy Kasten (10:41)
  • Flaying Sequence Out-takes & Extended Takes (11:39)
  • Trailer (02:23)
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