GROTESQUE (1987) Reviews and overview

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Grotesque is a 1987 [released in 1988] American exploitation horror feature film directed by Joe Tornatore (Demon Keeper) from a screenplay written by Mike Angel (Evil Spirits; Psychic Killer; The Love Butcher) based on Tornatore’s ‘original characters and concept’.

Linda Blair stars in the film and was the associate producer. Tab Hunter, Donna Wilkes and Brad Wilson co-star.



During Lisa (Linda Blair) and her friend Kathy’s (Donna Wilkes) vacation at her parents home in the snowy mountains, a group of punks break in to rob them. The gang murder the family until only Lisa is left alive.


Lisa’s adopted brother Patrick (Bob Apiza), a mutant hunchback who was hidden away, attacks the gang until he is killed by the police which results in his father Rod (Tab Hunter), a plastic surgeon, seeking revenge on the final two gang members…


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Grotesque is a fairly awful movie that somehow manages to have a nasty mean streak and a cheekiness in the span of its 90 minutes; I’m almost positive its script was culled together from discarded pages of other scripts to form a misshapen Frankenstein’s monster of bad ideas and even poorer execution.” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!


Grotesque is the rare film that naturally morphs from one genre to another, completely seamlessly. One minute home invasion, the next it’s a straight-up slasher. But why stop there? Why not include a lengthy section of police interrogation drama, followed by full-on revenge film? It’s not a good film-watching experience at all, but it does culminate in one of the weirdest, WTF endings I’ve ever seen.” Will, Silver Emulsion Film Reviews


“the picture is a time-wasting jumble of half-baked ideas, overcooked performances (the actors playing punks are ridiculously overwrought throughout), and herky-jerky pacing” Stuart Galbraith IV, DVD Talk


“The main twist of the story wasn’t very plausible but was kinda neat, and the “meta” twist ending was really friggin silly but didn’t either add or take away from the movie. The gore is pretty lacking with cut away kills and not plasma … Taken on face value the movie is just average and could have really shined with a better script and more Linda Blair.” Jason, Horrorphillia


” … the strangeness and seemingly incomplete nature of Grotesque will no doubt be a turn-off to most people. I’d heard mostly bad things about this movie going into it; after watching it, I can understand the negative reactions, but, for me, it worked in so many ways, and it’s so unusual (and arguably a trainwreck) that I couldn’t help but be enthralled by what I was watching.” The Death Rattle

“Plenty of lousy acting to please those who like a good bad movie.” John Stanley, Creature Features

Main cast:

  • Linda BlairRepossessedHell NightThe Exorcist and its sequel
  • Tab Hunter – Cameron’s Closet; Out of the Dark; Pandemonium
  • Donna Wilkes – 90210 Shark Attack; My Stepbrother is a Vampire!?!; Schizoid
  • Brad Wilson – Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills
  • Nels Van Patton – Camp Fear
  • Sharon Hughes – The Last Horror Film
  • Michelle Bensoussan
  • Charles Dierkop
  • Guy Stockwell – Santa Sangre; Werewolf  TV series; It’s Alive
  • Brad Wilson
  • Luana Patten
  • Robert Z’Dar – Maniac Cop; Evil Altar; Hellhole
  • Billy Frank
  • Bunky Jones [as Bunki Z] – Hide and Go Shriek; The Kindred




Filming locations:

Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino County, California

Image credits: The Death Rattle

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