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When we got word that a direct-to-DVD thriller called
JUNKYARD DOG was coming to disc and VOD this week, we shrugged. DTV horror
movies are a penny a pound and the appearance of a new one isn’t exactly cause
to strike up the band, but a closer look at the credit block revealed an
interesting cast, specifically lead Vivica A. Fox (KILL BILL) and professional lunatic Brad
Dourif, strong screen presences all. And then there was the trailer, a slick –
but not too slick – bit of grimy, intense terror. But the element that sealed
the deal for the coverage you’re about to read is that the man who wrote and
directed JUNKYARD DOG under the banner
of his Bass Entertainment Group was Kim Bass, one of the head writers of one of
the funniest sketch com TV shows in history, IN LIVING COLOR.
At first, it makes no sense. What could a man who has
devoted his life to broad comedy (he also created the tween sitcom SISTER,
SISTER) possibly have to offer a picture trading in forced confinement and
cannibalism? Well, a closer look at the late, lamented 90s Fox show is a study
in darkness, with vignettes like the skeletal Fire Marshall Bill (played by
series regular Jim Carrey), the ludicrous The Head Detective (in which Damon
Wayans is rebuilt as a severed head with feet) and Vericosa, the steroidal
female body builder (again, a brilliant physical turn by Carrey); indeed,
And so is JUNKYARD DOG, which sees a normal, attractive man
combing the highways looking for young girls to abduct, confine and eat!
“Growing up in a house full of sisters, my father would
always say ‘when you borrow the car, always leave a full tank of gas for your
mother and sisters’,” says Bass. “I get that now. Predators are everywhere. You
and I have probably been stalked by one but for whatever reason it didn’t work
out. JUNKYARD DOG comes from the idea that if your car breaks down at night,
you call a tow truck and you have to trust that some guy who you don't know is
going to pick you up, you’re going to sit up in the cab with him. That’s what
happens here. A normal, handsome looking guy picks girls up, they trust them,
they get in the cab, he gets quiet, and then…”
Bass knows his horror, loves the genre in fact, and is
ensuring that JUNKYARD DOG has enough grisly shock to please fans of such
things. Enter the cannibalism angle, “Hundreds of women go missing every year
and they’re never found. I got to thinking, why is there no trace of them? How
do they just disappear? That’s when I added the cannibalism. What if the killer
ate his victims?”
Part hard boiled police procedural (with a sharp turn by
Fox), and part skin crawling, flesh eating Hannibal Lecter horrorshow, don’t
let JUNKYARD DOG slip off the leash. Find it, see it.
Also from Bass is the wild eyed action flick KILL SPEED. To
find out more about both pictures and future genre romps from bass (next up…a
western!) head right here.
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