SKINNED DEEP (2004) Reviews and Severin Films Blu-ray release news

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Skinned Deep is being released by Severin Films scanned uncut in 2K from the original negative for the first time ever.

“His mind-blowing work as an FX artist has included everything from Frank Henenlotter’s Brain Damage and Frankenhooker to Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle.

And for his 2004 debut as writer/producer/director, Gabe Bartalos created this “demented gift from the B-Movie Gods” (Bloody Good Horror) about a rural clan of psychotic freaks, the killing spree “that takes us places and shows us things we’ve never seen before” (Dread Central) and the final girl that may be their depraved undoing.

Warwick Davis (Leprechaun) and Jason Dugre (Saint Bernard) star – with an appearance by fandom legend Forrest J. Ackerman – in this “brutal, bloody forgotten masterpiece” (Morbidly Beautiful)… Special features:

Deep Cuts – A look back on Skinned Deep with Writer/Producer/Director Gabe Bartalos, Actors Jay Dugre and Karoline Brandt and Weapons Machinist Jake Lee
Audio Commentary with Cast and Crew
Archival ‘Making Of’ Featurette

Skinned Deep is available in a limited edition of 2000 from the Severin web store, which includes a Bonus CD of the first-ever release of the Original Soundtrack by David Davidson, with additional tracks by Jonathan Bepler and The Damned’s Captain Sensible.”

Meanwhile, here is our previous coverage of Skinned Deep:


‘A new icon of terror for a new generation of fear, meet the Surgeon General’

Skinned Deep is a 2004 American horror film about a vacation that turns into a nightmare when a family is abducted by deranged killers.

Written, produced and directed by special effects and makeup artist Gabe [Gabriel] Bartalos. In some territories, it was released as Berserker.

The film’s music score was composed by David Davidson (Blood Surf; SleepStalker) and Captain Sensible of the punk-goth-psychedelic rock band The Damned.

The Center Ring Entertainment production stars Les Pollack, Aaron Sims, Kurt Carley, Linda Weinrib, Forrest J Ackerman (Braindead; Scalps; Queen of Blood; editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland), Eric Bennett and Warwick Davis (Leprechaun series).

While taking a family trip, the Rockwell family become lost on the highway. When their car gets a flat, father Phil (Eric Bennett) goes to a convenience store to find help and a strange old woman invites them to stay with her while one of her sons fixes their car.


The old woman introduces the family to her strange sons: Plates (Warwick Davis), Brain (Jason Dugre), and one whom the woman calls “Surgeon General” (Kurt Carley). When Mrs Rockwell takes a picture of Surgeon General, he kills her.

Plates throws plates at Phil, who is then murdered by Surgeon General. The Rockwell children, Tina and Matthew, escape through a window and are pursued by Surgeon General and Plates…


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“Some of the strange scenes from Skinned Deep include puking on the camera from the bird’s eye perspective, a fully naked guy with an extremely large brain running through the streets of a crowded city, a villain called Creator who is located inside the torso of a headless bodybuilder with dynamite in his shorts, and more. Groovy isn’t it? 🙂 These are just some of the scenes that are bad, worse, funny, sick and strange.” Absolute Horror

“Bartalos is clearly more interested in disturbing the viewer through the sheer weirdness of the proceedings and throws in scenes which are memorable rather than shocking. There is a fair amount of blood, and some good special effects, made all the more impressive by the obviously low budget, although most of the gore is either played for laughs or is simply too odd to cause offence.” Beyond Hollywood

“There is nothing in the film remotely resembling a real situation or person, the action is edited together in an annoyingly disjointed manner and the director could hardly keep still, combining an array of awful shots in a haphazard way. It is horribly bad but never scares or thrills and the attempts at comedy are incredibly childish. The only decent actor in the film is Warwick Davis…” Eat Horror


“There’s simply no grey area with Skinned Deep — either you love it or you hate it. I, for one, adore the movie, and am quick to recommend it to those with like-minded sensibilities. Those of you who can overlook Bartalos’ shaky direction, the plethora of crumby performances, and outrageously stupid script will be presented with a strangely Lynchian gorefest that doesn’t going one toke over the line.” Killerflix

“Now, Gabe Bartalos is a perfectly talented makeup artist. His artistic creations have often been the only good thing about some otherwise perfectly sh*tty movies, including some of the latter entries into the Leprechaun series. Sadly, at some point, ol’ Gabe got in into his gin-soaked head that knowing how to make an oozing stomach wound out of latex made him a qualified writer and director. For the record, it did not.” Something Awful


” …echoes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Eraserhead and Mad Max. Tale of a girl trapped by maniacal rural clan is more a series of whacked-out set-pieces than anything else, and it may wear out many viewers by going so incessantly over-the-top. Nonetheless, this is the stuff that cult followings are made of.” Variety

“It’s all played for silly and weird laughs, the over-the-top gore is too brief to get top billing, and included are some very strange scenes like when a man’s brain is torn open and letter-blocks crawl out of his head to form the word “Love”. And where else can you see an 80-year-old man have a gory fight with a plate-throwing midget?” The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre

Cast and characters:

Les Pollack … Jed
Aaron Sims … Surgeon General
Kurt Carley … Surgeon General
Linda Weinrib … Gloria Jean Rockwell
Eric Bennett … Phil Rockwell (as Eric Scott Bennett)
Lee Kociela … Matthew Rockwell
Karoline Brandt … Tina Rockwell
Jim O’Donoghue … The sheriff
Liz Little … Granny
Warwick Davis … Plates
Jason Dugre … Brain (as Jay Dugré)
Bill Butts … Graine
Geraldine Stone … Miss M.I.A.
Joe Little … Big Joe
Neil Dooley … Pig Pen
Allen Richard … Shakes
Philip Jones … Salmon
Ben Williams … Baby
Forrest J. Ackerman … Forrey
Clayton Martinez … Clay (as Clay Martinez)
Bevis Faversham … Bevis (as Bevis Haversham)
Peter Iasillo Jr. … Petey (as Peter Iasillo)
John Deall … John
Alan Tuskes … Big Al
‘Headless’ Sean … Creator
Joel Harlow … Octobaby
Ruta Empakeris … Secretary
Tonopah … Sidecar Dog
Little Willy … Strangled Feline

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California
New York City, New York

Technical details:

97 minutes


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