Destroyer - Destroyer(DVD) [Chezzy Films - 2020]
Destroyer is a late 1980’s example of the more action & quip bound slasher- featuring a lumbering ‘n’ leering muscle man prisoner back from the dead, terrorizing a film crew who are trying to shot a WIP film in an abandoned jail. It features mountain-sized NFL star Lyle Alzado as the killer, and Anthony Perkins as the films set chewing hammy director. Here on Chezzy Films is a recent no-thrillers/ region-free reissue of the film- and while it is far from the best examples of the slasher genres dying light, there’s enough camp 80’s fun ‘n’ cheese-bound schlock to keep genre fans happy enough.
Destroyer appeared in 1988 and was part of the cycle of popular deranged-prisoners-brought-back to- life pictures, that took in the likes of 1987’s Prison, 1989’s The Horror Show( aka House III)- in my opinion the best of this sub-genre, & Wes Caven’s Shocker also from 1989’s . Destroyer was directed by Robert Kirk and was his one & only feature film- as other than this he directed US TV Documentaries. It’s fair to say Destroyer is shot like fairly standard late 80 horror fare- with Kirk clearly taking influences from the more playful & wise crack slashers like Freddy Krueger, with a pinch of wise-cracking muscle-bound action heroes of the time.
The film begins with mass serial killer/ rapist Ivan Moser (Lyle Alzado) been given his last rites before he meets old sparky- he’s obsessed with a cheesy quiz show, which he insists is left on while his rites are read, he strapped into the chair, and then he gets shocked- it turns out later he had murder the programs female host, along with a large selection of other men & women. When the switch is flicked & the power reaching it height- the whole prison power supply blows- with Moser somehow surviving, and a riot breaking out that causes the jail to shut down & Moser seemingly disappears. Years later film director Robert Edwards( Perkins) hires the dilapidated prison to film a cheeky Women In Prison film in, and fairly soon the cast & crew start to get murdered by the reanimated Moser- who starts his spree by first killing his victims with a massive road drill, before latter resulting to other forms including the electric chair where we get a fairly memorable eye-popping kill.
Lyle Alzado is amusing enough as the eye-bulging, body slamming, manic ranting & quip making killer. Anthony Perkins is also not bad either, and playing something a bit different from his normal Norman Bates type character he more often than got cast as- sure he’s a bit hammy & campy at times, but he’s good in the role he’s playing. The rest of the cast, save from a great sleazy & creepy prison guard, are largely cookie-cutter slaughter fooder- but that’s expected for more low-grade latter-day slasher fare. There are so-so kills though nothing terribly memorable, and the films just over hour & a half runtime moves by well enough. On the whole Destroyer is a passable addition to the late 80 slasher/ action crossbreeding- and if you're a slasher fan of that period & or the deranged-prisons-brought-back to- life genre then you need to pick this up.
As with all of the releases put out by Cheezy films I’ve seen, this has no extras- aside from a general trailer reel- which is a bit of a pity as with these 80’s slashers it’s always nice to hear the back story behind the film's production- but that’s the way the label release their titles.
In finish- this is more for your hardcore slasher fan/ collector- as it clearly steals elements & touches from other films in & out of the slasher genre. But if you ready for that & enjoy the idea of cheesy stalk ‘n’ slash meet 80’s action film then give this a go.Roger Batty