Death by Dialogue

August 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm (7 Heads, Death by Dialogue) (, , , )

Death by Dialogue – 1988 – United States

A group of friends vacation at the ranch of a famous explorer. The house is full of taxidermies and fossils, and is adjacent (inexplicably) to a movie set of a Mexican village. When the friends uncover an evil magical film script, all hell breaks loose as demonic ghouls, psychotic bikers, and a metal band are transported from the abyss to cause havoc.

As you can surmise from the summary above, Death by Dialogue is bewildering. In the first ten minutes, a man is barbecued by a dominatrix with a flamethrower, and it only gets more absurd. Undead dirt bikers leap over a wall of flame. Demonic forces suck a man into the ground and blow him up. A gargoyle vomits.

Two scenes are especially unforgettable. In one, a couple screws in a barn hayloft. The floor undulates and the woman is blown through the wall for no reason. The man staggers from the barn screaming, “What the fuck is going on?” He stumbles into the woods where a hair metal band serenades him with a song called “When the Axe Comes Down”, before chopping him with a guitar which makes his head explode. In another scene, a woman dreams of relaxing by a misty lake. Her boyfriend rolls up in a race car so she gets topless and makes out with him. Afterwards, she jerks his scarf and his head tears off as she makes an ambiguous expression of delight or horror

Death by Dialogue is amusingly unrestrained, but poorly made. The acting is awkward, the dialogue is brain dead, and the plot defies all logic. However, cool monster makeup, motorcycle stunts, and excessive explosions enhance the production value. Filled with every weird location and prop the producer could find, Death by Dialogue is one of the few flicks in Troma’s catalog that is more extreme than Troma’s ludicrous trailer leads you to believe. In other words, it is a blast to watch.

Rating: 7/10 Shrunken Heads. Watch it for “When the Axe Comes Down” if nothing else.

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