Cut Throat (2002)

cutthroat_1Cut Throat (2002)
AKA Scared

Starring Luciano Saber, Kate Norby, Cory Almeida, Raquel Baldwin Horton, Doug Cole, J. Robin Miller, Paityn James, Brad Lockerman

Directed by Keith Walley

Expectations: Zero after Speck.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

If it wasn’t for my dedication to finishing this completionist review series of the Full moon catalog, I would have never watched Cut Throat after seeing Keith Walley’s previous film, Speck. I consider myself open-minded when it comes to movies, but there are few films that left me with such distaste as Speck. Thankfully for my sanity, Cut Throat is a far superior film. I’m not saying that it’s good, or even that it’s worth watching, but at least I didn’t want to huddle in the corner of the shower after Cut Throat. This is also why I’ll probably forget this movie relatively quickly, while I think Speck will stick in my mind like a festering wound for a good while to come. It’s funny how that is.

Cut Throat is something of a slasher in the Scream style, but it owes a greater debt to Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Like that film, Cut Throat is about a film production beset by tragedy and murder. The masked killer of the film-within-a-film is actually killing the actors and crew members, oh no! Our hero is the film’s new lead actress, Samantha (Kate Norby), who replaces the murdered previous star about an hour after her death. You’d think they’d at least stop production for the day, but I guess when you’re already out of money and the whole thing might be called off at any moment, you’ve gotta keep it rolling no matter what.

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Speck (2002)

Speck_1Starring Doug Cole, Beverly Sotelo, Stacy Cunningham, Flynn Beck, Kaycee Shank, Sunny Lombardo, Cinderella Gatcheco, Dawn Hawley, Erin Shayla Cullen, Debra Mayer, Larry Dirk

Directed by Keith Walley

Expectations: I don’t know. Not much.


Speck is of the rare breed of low-budget horror films that go the arthouse route. This is always shaky ground, because unless the filmmakers are very competent, “artful strokes” very quickly devolve into boredom and pretense. In the case of Speck, this is definitely the case. To be fair, Speck is made with some amount of skill, but its arthouse leanings never translated to any kind of meaning for the audience. I had lots of thoughts about the film while watching it, but instead of looking for insight into its murderous lead character, I found myself wondering more about the filmmaker behind it and why anyone would want to make this movie.

Speck seeks to dramatize a true story. On July 13, 1966, Richard Speck entered a Chicago home and one-by-one murdered eight student nurses who were living there. This brief description also serves as a plot synopsis for the film, as Speck is very much focused on this night and not much else. The film shows us the world from Richard Speck’s point of view, and it’s colored with hateful narration that informs us of his views on humanity and how we’re basically all worthless maggots. His victims are nothing more than women in a room in Speck — we know nothing more about them than Speck does — and their status as student nurses is only conveyed to us through some on-screen text as the film opens.

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