Thursday, January 8, 2009

Skinned Alive

Jeffrey Shapiro is a sad lonely man. Living by himself in his mother’s house after her death, he yearns for female companionship. Despite being reasonably nice looking, with his own home and a good job (insurance), no woman will give him the time of day. He is reduced to hiring a succession of hookers for sex, but he still dreams of finding a girl and getting married. He doesn’t realize he’s getting more action from the hookers, and cheaper, to boot.

Pandora is a hooker. But not just any hooker. She’s also a cannibal, who has to eat (literally) someone once a day. This has to be bad for business, as it would be hell on repeat business, but she perseveres. Amazingly, none of her victims really seem to fight back. I think if someone started to tear my flesh off with their teeth, I would at least try to slap weakly at them, but maybe I’m just a manly man.

Anonymous stalker guy is a dude who used to hire hookers for his younger, mentally handicapped brother, until he hired Pandora, who chowed down on little brother. Now he’s after Pandora, to kill her, and engaging in a little torture and murder to find her.

Pandora and Jeffrey intersect when he hires her services. Surprisingly, she doesn’t eat him (that way), and they fall in love. He’s a little put off when he finds out she’s a cannibal, but hell, no woman’s perfect. He’s so sweet he even starts grabbing victims for her. It looks like they’re going to live happily ever after, until Anonymous Stalker Guy finally catches up with Pandora.

It’s not a bad film. Like a lot of modern movies, it has the feel of a 45 to 60 minute story padded to 90 minutes, and there are parts that are wretchedly slow. Scenes to establish that Jeffrey is a hopeless loser continue long after we’re convinced of the fact. Still, the central story is interesting, and the final plot twist is not the one everyone would expect (and the movie is smart enough to discuss the possibility of the obvious twist). If you’re in to cannibal movies, this would probably do it for you.

It does contain one exchange I thought was hilarious, right after Pandora demonstrates graphically her cannibalistic nature to Jeffrey:

Jeffrey: I wasn’t sure how to tell my family you’re not Jewish. I don’t know how I’ll explain this. You’re not Jewish, are you?

Pandora: I’m an abomination to God.

Jeffrey: You’re a Mormon?!

Well, it made me laugh.

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