Weasels Rip My Flesh
Year of Release: 1979
Genre: Horror/Science Fiction
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 64 minutes (1:04)
Director: Nathan Schiff
John Smihula ... Inspector Cameron
Steven Kriete ... Detective Anderson
Fred Borges ... Dr. Sendam
Fred Dabby ... Fred
Jody Kadish ... Jake
Edward Schiff ... Boy 1
Jon Grossman ... Boy 2
One dark night, a NASA probe returning from Venus crash-lands near the wilds of Long Island and unleashes a radioactive curse upon the nearest living creature, a rabid weasel. Unbeknownst to the innocent residents, this mutating menace transforms into an invincible fiend, stalking the residents in a terrifying quest to satisfy its hunger for human flesh. Discovering that the weasel's blood possesses fantastic properties of regeneration, mad Dr. Sendam decides to use it for his own twisted purposes while an intrepid government inspector closes in fast on the bloodthirsty, furry menace.
Weasels Rip My Flesh, remindin' us that in another time, another place, an with another dollar, we mighta had Teenage Mutant Ninja Weasels. Always a shame when an idea falls short of its maximum potential.
Speakin' of weasels in men's clothing though, I gotta get somethin' off my chest right now an I don't care who hears it: Saul Schwartzberg is a blood sucking parasite who oughta be forced to bob for corn dogs in the Grime Time deep fryer. Exploitin' yuppies an bitter, soulless, balding men vacationin' with their families to make up for the 70 hour work weeks they hafta maintain to afford hush payments for their former secretaries in Aruba is one thing, but this time he's gone too far. You're not gonna believe the nerve of this asshole - Billy Hilliard, Apollo, an me were rootin' around for mushrooms out on Silas Tankersley's place the other day, when up pulls Saul in his BMW (how he got up that washed out "road" an past Silas' tank trap I have no idea). Well, realizin' that nothin' good could possibly come of this, Billy an I figured we'd better go make sure Saul hadn't gone an put a lien on Silas' property or anything like that, only when we got down there an learned the truth of the situation it became clear that our initial assumption was entirely too charitable for a guy like Saul. Apparently Saul ain't content to exploit poor, unsuspectin' suburbanites for commercial gain, oh no, just stuffin' city folks with roadkill an callin' it "the rural dining experience" ain't enough - he wants to bus people out to Silas' property an have Aesop Marlin lead a "Bigfoot Adventures" tour featurin' Silas as the main attraction.
"Saul, shouldn't you be at The Rural Mural jackin' up the rent on those 10-year-olds leasin' sidewalk space for their lemonade stand or somethin'?" I sniped.
"Fat chance, those runts're past due - I'm shutting them down this afternoon. Now if you don't mind, I believe this conversation was between me and Mr. Tankersley," he glared, annoyed at the indignity involved in acknowledgin' my existence.
"Now, this opportunity could be a major boon to your golden years Mr. Tankersley, and we're willing to offer you $2 a head for every patron who sets foot on your land," he went on, obviously impressed with his "generosity."
"Oh boy! $40 a week to have a buncha office jockeys an their dead-eyed broods of iPhone glued zomblings scatter Zima bottles an granola wrappers all over your digs, think of it Silas!" I clarified. That got Silas' brow to furrowin' an laid the foundation for a powerful stink-eye, an I was about to go on but Saul was ready for me.
"Of course we would compensate you for any... litter that might remain after the tour," Saul reassured, in a piss-poor attempt to hide his contempt for Silas' landscaping.
"Let's get real here Saul, I want you to stand here in broad daylight an tell me there's no way some unhinged, disgraced Sasquatch hunter don't join one of your tours with a concealed carry permit an pop Silas or one of his kids with a 9mm tryin' to get his name into the Zoology books."
He obviously wasn't prepared for that possibility, but managed to stutter: "w-well, yes, no question, the safety of Mr. Tankersley and his family are of the utmost importance, and we would be certain to have everyone patted down before embarking the RV," he managed.
Silas was gettin' pretty P.O.'d by that point... that or constipated, it's kinda hard to make out an expression through all that hair, so I pressed the attack - "Yeah? An suppose the first trip's just a recon mission an the lunatic comes back later with an elephant gun under the cover of nightfall?" I prodded.
"I have no doubt Mr. Tankersley has a great deal of experience protecting his family and could handle any such incursions," he recovered, sufficiently stroking Silas' ego to regain some lost ground.
Arguing that point was a losing proposition, so I switched tactics - "You remember Economics 101 in high school Saul?" I asked, tryin' to look as non-sarcastic as possible until he gave a suspicious nod. "How about supply an demand?", but by the time he saw where I was goin' it was too late. "Know many other guys with hypertrichosis in these parts? Not too many are there? Oh sure, maybe you could import those wolf boys from Mexico, good luck gettin' visas for 'em these days though, an they sure's heck ain't comin' cheap, so how's about you get serious an offer Silas somethin' a little north of what a sleazebag farmer offers an illegal alien that's terrified of bein' deported."
"Yeah, how 'bout it?" Silas added, at which point I pounced again while Saul was crunchin' the numbers in his head.
"First of all, forget this 'by the head' crapola, if you expect Silas to dance to the organ grinder he gets a $100 flat fee whether you've got 5 or 50 people - that's time he could be watchin' the Oh What a Ceiling construction crew put up that new duplex on Bunker Street, or sleepin' in front of the TV.
"Damn right," Silas grunted.
"You've prolly got a whole line of Sasquatch themed souvenirs lined up to sell in The Rural Mural gift shop too, haven't ya Saul?" I pressed, an by that time I could see his jaw clenchin' like the president's sphincter anytime the press mentions Stormy Daniels cause he knew I had his number.
"Silas gets 15% of those sales too, an you're gonna give the financials to Merle Wilcox to audit just in case you come down with a case of alligator arm when you go reachin' into your pockets," I added.
"Who the hell're you?! His lawyer?!" Saul finally screamed.
"Nah, I just don't like you!" I smirked back at 'im with a grin the size of Mr. Sardonicus'.
So Saul goes stompin' back to his rig to call his reasonable brother Blaine, an after a lotta dust kickin' an Yiddish cursin', he finally came back an agreed to the terms. Bastard must have one *hell* of a markup planned for those poor suckers, but what the heck, they can afford it.
"Shoulda just asked your friend back there, he's *almost* hairy enough to pass as Bigfoot," Saul muttered glancin' up towards Billy, who'd mostly been silent up to that point.
"I'ow fow 'ou a haiwy fituation!" he roared, an tore the latch clean offa Silas' goat corral.
Saul got *thiiiiiiis* close to the safety of his Beamer, but ole Neidhart's pretty fleet for a goat of 15, an he butted Saul's hinder so hard it sent 'im rollin' head-first into the passenger floorboard an took three bites outta the driver's seat before Saul finally got the door shut. Now how's that for The Art of the Deal? Somebody oughta pay me a jillion dollars to write that bullstuff, don'tcha think?
Hopefully Silas won't forget us little people when he's up to his elbows in name brand pop cans an Chester's chicken boxes, but as for Billy an me, we headed back to the house to celebrate Saul's misfortune an indulge in some serious drive-in decadence. That's right, I'm finally goin' there. You've waited long enough, an it's time for that overlooked classic of regional no-budget filmmaking - the astounding, the mind-boggling, the destitute, Weasels Rip My Flesh. No foolin' - this here's the only flick ever made with the guts to answer the question: what happens when the director's age an the number of dollars spent don't add up to 30? That's all I'm gonna say cause I don't wanna spoil it for ya, but I will give ya a few twisted tidbits gleaned from within; guaranteed to prove your life incomplete until you've experienced this wonder of modern movie making, an here they are. First, when browsing designs for your underground bunker, be sure to consider the two story model. Oh sure, it costs more, an your survivalist friends might think you a bit eccentric, but you'll be the toast of the post-apocalypse an the envy of every basement dwellin' Morlock in town when they feast their eyes on your stylish wood paneling an shag carpet decor. Just trust me on this - Pre-Armageddon architecture will be totally retro an undeniably trendy. Second, only a savage conducts medical procedures in plaid. An third, it's a durn tricky business keepin' a No. 2 pencil from burnin' up on re-entry.
The movie begins with this openin' narration recorded in somebody's bathroom that sounds like the prologue from Texas Chainsaw Massacre if it'd been written by a high school jock named Beef who's sleepin' with the English teacher to keep from gettin' kicked off the wrestlin' team. Next thing we're at an apartment complex where a coupla bimbi with drunk in their trunks go stumblin' upstairs an end up gettin' turned into a co-ed casserole by some lunatic who's been scoopin' bird stuff outta the rain gutter barehanded. Then a space ship made outta pencils blasts off an flies to Venus so this erector set Armitron thing can scoop up Venusian snot samples with an alligator hair clip an bring 'em back to Earth, only the steerin' column ends up goin' out on the way back, an Ticonderoga No. 2 crash lands in New Yawk Harbor an leaks all its nebular nose drippins into the water an royally screws the local clam shucker's union. Normally Scott Pruitt'd be all over this except he got trapped inside the Cone of Silence that day, so these two kids end up findin' the thermo-nuclear thermos fulla gruel-aid an dump it down a rodent hole til it slops all over this weasel an makes 'im look like a bowl of nacho cheese that got left out in the rain. Musta been some of that stuff that's made in New York City too, cause pretty quick our furry friend starts bubblin' like a pot fulla fondue til he busts open like the Admiral Ackbar baby in Eraserhead an sprouts eyeballs on his ass an basically turns into the world's most P.O.'d Mr. Potato Head before swellin' up like a diabetic's ankles at Thanksgivin' dinner an chompin' his pre-teen creators. Then it runs out into traffic like a depressed park squirrel an gets its arm chopped off by some dude who must sharpen his fenders every mornin' (Fred), an he ends up takin' the severed limb home so he can slice it up into Arm-r hotdogs. First he wants to show off his disgustin' discovery to his buddy though, so he calls him (Jake) over to inspect the putrefyin' appendage, only by the time Jake makes it over there the arm's gotten itchy palms an crawled under the kitchen table to avoid bein' turned into pizza toppins by the two paizanos. That ain't the worst of it though, cause this particular necrotic nub's armed with a nasty strain of weasel rabies, an once the coast is clear it crawls out into the livin' room an claws up Jake's leg til he looks like a veterinarian on kitty castration day, starts burpin' up Alka Seltzer foam, chops Fred's arm off, an shambles away to besiege a shoppin' mall.
Next thing you know eight months've passed an a coupla tough guys (Cameron an Anderson) who use their walk like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever decide to hustle their hinders on out to where all the mutant mameluke murders've been goin' on, only they end up gettin' ambushed by some basement dwellin' dork (Dr. Sendam) who makes 'em climb into his underground Cold War bunker an into this room that looks like the hidden camera footage from every drug bust video that aired on 48 Hours so he can show 'em an extremely groggy hamster he claims is responsible for all the murders. Alls I can say is - whatever's in that salt lick must be some real scary shit. Apparently Sendam caused the rocket to crash by shinin' a laser pointer in the astronauts' eyes or somethin' so he could loot the curdled cargo, but some Iranian cabbie rear-ended 'im on the Jersey Turnpike an he ended up gettin' there too late an hadda capture the monster instead. So why'n the hell would anybody wanna capture a giant radioactive ferret? Well, turns out the monster's immortal, but also rabid, so Sendam needs Cameron an Anderson's blood to filter out all the contaminants so that when he injects 'imself later he won't grow a little drill in his armpit like Marilyn Chambers. Then Cameron an Anderson pass out from drinkin' spiked hooch an Sendam ends up turnin' Anderson into Weasel Zappa while Cameron escapes bondage by burnin' his bindings with a cigar. Take THAT Surgeon General. Cameron's P.O.'d, so he dumps a gas can all over Sendam's table of cloche covered dinner platters containin' sentient squirrel shrapnel an roasts the lot of 'em until the place smells like Furry Mountain Stuffing after Cleave Furguson lights the incinerator. Then Cam finds a gun an shoots Sendam in the back an sends 'im scurryin' for the security of his lab, but by that time Gopher Pyle's broken loose an ends up smashin' Sendam's head into the wall like Gus Frerotte an chews his arm off, while Cam flees to tell Chuck E Cheese about the damage his redneck cousins're doin' to his brand. Unfortunately, Pukesatawney Phil comes burrowin' up outta the ground an starts goin' for Cam's Brazil'd nuts until he gets rescued by Bob Vole who wrestles the beast into submission an tears it into gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts. I wouldn't dream of spoilin' the endin' to this even though you wouldn't believe me if I told ya, but I will say this: Sendam's brain was more or less cushioned by his fantastic perm, so he's still alive, kickin', an more'n a little P.O.'d about the prospect of always bein' picked last for city league baseball.
Alrighty; now, I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but this flick here is the reason I get so P.O.'d when people talk about wishin' the IMDB had a zero rating so they could slap it on flicks like The Killer Shrews or The Giant Gila Monster. I got no beef with folks sayin' those flicks are bad, cause they *are* bad - but what'n the heck would you give a title like Weasels Rip My Flesh if you've already deemed Giant Gila Monster the worst movie ever made? The 0% - 10% rating is not the kinda designation one whips out willy-nilly, cause once you start doin' that nobody takes your ratings or your expertise seriously. Nuh uh - these particular scores are reserved for titles that're essentially weapons grade boredom (see: The Devil's Daughter), or so thoroughly botched that Ed Wood would disavow any involvement. Dennis Ray Steckler and Andy Milligan would be *horrified* at the idea of somethin' like this goin' out with their names on it - that's how bad this flick is. Now, I feel like a little perspective is in order for a title like this one, because even though I fully intend to bring down the hammer, this movie has two utterly bulletproof reasons for being as bad as it is: 1) the guy who made it was a 16-year-old kid, and 2) the budget was $400. You pretty much hafta add that disclaimer to the *end* of the movie because if you told people up front they wouldn't even watch it, and while it's one of the worst flicks I've ever seen (if nothing else, it's better than Red Zone Cuba), you still can't help but be a little impressed once you understand the facts surrounding its production. Yeah, it's abysmal, but ask yourself this question: could I have made a (mostly) feature length film, *by myself*, at age 16? No, you couldn't have. I couldn't have. 99.94% of the population couldn't have, but this guy did, and he deserves some respect for that. He literally handled every single aspect of the movie (except the acting) on his own - he directed, produced, wrote, shot, edited, and built the special effects completely by himself, and while that comes through pretty clearly in every scene, it's still an accomplishment that a guy should be proud of, under the circumstances. Of course, this knowledge is likely to give the kinda person who'd give a flick like Laserblast a rating of zero the ammunition they need to feel justified in their position, because when confronted with a title like Weasels, they'd probably claim that it doesn't even constitute a real movie. That attitude is, of course, little more than a means to double-down, because no matter how bad something is, as long as it meets a certain length and features some semblance of a story - it is in fact, a movie. Unfortunately for Mr. Schiff, because it is in fact a real movie, it is now my sad duty to treat it like one.
I feel like I'm about to go down to the park and tell all the five year olds there's no such thing as Santa Claus, but I guess it's 39 years too late to cry over spilled ravioli. The plot is loaded with bad movie science akin to your poverty stricken 1950s Sci-Fi flicks, severely flawed reasoning, and events that are literally and demonstrably impossible - like the sequence where the two inspectors climb through a window into an underground laboratory beneath a barren field and proceed to climb a staircase into what should be the structure's ground-level floor. A little Ritalin prolly wouldn't have hurt either, given that the kid continually wipes out every character in the movie and starts over from scratch with a new set every ten minutes or so until about 40 minutes in. I can forgive the Venusian snot samples transforming animals into monsters, because he's not doing anything Roger Corman wouldn't have done in that respect, but the production lacks an experienced individual who could have suggested more plausible plot devices to get the story from point A to point B. The acting is terrible, there's just no sugar coating it, but honestly, the fact that this kid was able to convince adults to take him seriously and act in his movie at all is still impressive. Needless to say, the folks appearing in the film were all friends and family members who'd probably never acted outside community theater (if they'd ever acted at all) working for free, and for that reason I see no reason to bludgeon them with derogatory adjectives for the grave sin of helping a kid with something he obviously cared a great deal about.
Here's who matters and why: John Smihula (They Don't Cut the Grass Anymore, The Long Island Cannibal Massacre), Fred Borges (The Long Island Cannibal Massacre), Edward Schiff (They Don't Cut the Grass Anymore), Karen Khazzam (The Long Island Cannibal Massacre). I'll give ya one guess as to who directed those two flicks.
The special effects make Octaman look like The Thing, but again, they were made by a 16-year-old kid using household props and whatever he could sneak outta the kitchen cabinet when his mama wasn't lookin'. The giant weasel and the weasel-man are barely recognizable as what they're supposed to be, and given that access to materials was so limited, I can't even begin to guess what they were made of. Definitely used felt for the mouths, but beyond that I have no idea. Anytime a scene called for guts Chef Boyardee was called in to lend a hand, but you can hardly knock the kid for that, cause I've seen flicks with 500x his budget tryin' to pass off spaghetti sauce as blood in exactly the same manner. We've also got some severed limbs - one of which is completely laughable, and another that's just bad, and despite the fact that you can always see the guy's arm tucked down inside his shirt, there's generally a healthy supply of meaty crud dribblin' outta the stump. So it's basically arts and crafts day at a home for the criminally insane, but there was one effect that genuinely looked pretty good, and that was the gunshot entering the mad doctor's back. Not sure how they did it, maybe a firecracker and some paint, but you can definitely see fabric tear and juice splatter, so I'm gonna give him a point for that.
The shooting locations are pretty bad too, although I'd imagine being 16 meant your parents probably wanted to keep you within a couple miles of home, which would tend to limit your options. The early scenes with the two kids who find the canister are surrounded by thick grass that's as tall as one of the kids, the three residences are standard fare and don't really add anything, and it goes without saying that the laboratory is pretty pitiful, although I love the part where the mad scientist changes out of one button-up shirt and into another before proceeding on to his medical work. Didn't have a lab coat, so it's literally a guy changing from a plaid button-up shirt into a striped button-up shirt, but what the heck - the guy knows it'd be *unprofessional* to just walk in there and go to work without scrubbin' up first. The soundtrack, I assume, is a hodgepodge of public domain music, as there was no money to produce an original score. Again, I'll give the kid some credit for even bothering with a soundtrack, because I can see that being the kinda thing you just leave out when you don't have any money, but he certainly chose some weird tracks. There's one that sounds like a guy snorin' out his ass with accompaniment from a wobblin' ripsaw, some cheezy '70s porno music, a dramatic violin solo for the close-up of the deadly sleep-deprived hamster, and some extremely curmudgeonous Perry Mason-esque stuff. Some of it's really choppy and unbalanced, and much of it features weird sound effects akin to dying power tools and metal scraping across asphalt. None of it does a thing for the atmosphere, but then, there's really not any atmosphere to speak of anyway. Still, in 1979 you needed a soundtrack unless you were makin' somethin' for an artsy fartsy film festival, and the flick does at least have one. Overall, this thing's unwatchable, and I highly recommend it to anyone that believes The Touch of Satan belongs on the IMDB's list of the 100 worst movies in the history of cinema. For everyone else, I think Doug Bradley put it best when he said: "this isn't for your eyes."