Sunday, October 3, 2010

THOU SHALT NOT KILL...EXCEPT (1985)

I remember reading about this film in an issue of Fangoria when I was a tween or teen. As all the Internet probably already knew, THOU SHALT NOT KILL is a product of the EVIL DEAD team, with Bruce Campbell co-responsible for concocting the story and Sam Raimi appearing onscreen as a murderous hippie with presciently bad meth-teeth. The hippie and his cult have a fine time Altamonting up the woods until they cross paths with a bunch of 'Nam vets. A dog is violated, a woman bound to a tree, and then it's hippies vs. the Establishment, like a woodsy re-enactment of the 1968 Democratic convention, only with the sides switched.

It's a pretty fun exploitation flick and one can definitely see elements of the Raimi and Crew style emerging here. The budgetary constraints are naked for the world to view, but, for people who are cool, that will make the achievements of the film that much more impressive. It's paced well, the editing and camerawork is solid, and a lot of the acting ain't bad. I would've liked to have seen more of Sam Raimi and his hammy Manson act, but it was important to establish the relationship with the barmaid, I guess, even though I'd forgotten that she was tied to a tree somewhere by the movie's end.

Given how obscure this is, I wouldn't mind at all to see a well-handled remake. It's always a pleasure to see hippies killed and a modern retelling with Afghani vets blasting patchouli-pots with wheatgrass teeth would be just fine with me. #7 of 31.

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