Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
Starring Brooke McCarter, Nevada Caldwell, Joel Wynkoop and Krista Grotte
A game show that penalizes its contestants by faking gruesome dismemberments is investigated by a television reporter who is certain the “fake” deaths aren’t all that fake.
H. G. Lewis is a horror legend who is largely known for creating the splatter film sub genre of horror films which earned him the nickname “the Godfather of Gore.” HIs earlier, and most well known, works like “Blood Feast,” “Two Thousand Maniacs” and “Wizard of Gore” pushed the envelope for showing large amounts of blood and entrails on screen in the late 1960s and early 70s. And to be honest, those films aren’t that bad after so many years. Lewis had retired from filmmaking in 1972 but came back to do a sequel to Blood Feast in 2002. I haven’t seen that one yet, but I have seen his most recent film and I have to say it’s pretty awful.
Hosted by the always smiling Jackie (McCarter) who is joined by his two lovely assistants Champagne and Coco, the “Uh-Oh Show” is the latest game show sensation on late night television. Tickets are sold out for the next several years because the prizes are impossible to resist. Contestants can win trips, cars, even millions of dollars! It’s just a trivia show but with a gruesome twist: you get brutally dismembered in front of the camera if you get questions wrong. But it’s all just fun and games, it’s just an act and people keep the prizes they win and live happily ever after even though no one ever sees them again. Aroo?
A television reporter named Jill loses her brother after he appears on the show and gets decapitated. The executives claim he’s totally fine and enjoying the spoils he won but she is concerned about the increasing number of missing contestants. Meanwhile, the executives are approached by some Arab investors to do a primetime special which makes the creator of the show, who is the most evil slime ball in the known universe, orgasmically ecstatic. Jackie is hesitant to do more of the show because he hates what the show does even though he makes a lot of money. He joins with Jill to take the show and evil executive down after the primetime special is revealed to be based off fairy tales. …whut?
On paper, it sounds like it’d be a fun movie to watch (except that last part) but it falls apart on screen. Lewis’ previous films were laced with dark humour that just clicked with the subject matter. A splatter flick combined with a gameshow sounds like it’s right up Lewis’ alley but the humour was all over the place and just didn’t work for me. Comedy is relative and others may find it hilarious but I was not enjoying the film and was groaning at what the film was pitching as “funny.” There’s an underlying tone of satire throughout the film that I felt killed a lot of the potential humour the movie could’ve delivered.
Easily the only real reason to watch the film is to see what the “Godfather of Gore” brings to the table and he hasn’t lost step from what I’ve last seen from him. People get dismembered by a buff black guy named Radial Saw Rex who uses a large concrete cutter saw as his primary tool to cut off limbs. Lots of red stuff flows as the limbs come off with bits of flesh and nerves showing from the wounds. Pretty cool but it is odd that these people still talk while getting disfigured, which is super weird, but I guess that was also supposed to be funny.
Overall, I wasn’t terribly fond of the Uh Oh Show. It delivered the buckets of blood I expected but neither I nor my friend found the movie to be funny at all, at least not intentionally. Even the few legitimate laughs were few and far between. Lots of groaning and eye rolling made this film a chore to get through.
Story: 3 – The main story is perfectly acceptable, it’s just not that funny.
Blood: 7 – Lewis has been outdone many times over the years (examples being the Hatchet series, Laid to Rest, I Spit on Your Grave, etc.) but he still delivers the goods. It’s just not enough to save the movie.
Nudity: 7 – Big points for Krista Grotte running around topless towards the end of the film, I was getting worried I wouldn’t see anything.
Overall: 3 – It’s a bizarre film that fails to mix satire and splatter in an entertaining fashion. I really wanted to like it but if it’s main goal was to be a comedy, it went splat.
-Low budget film legend, Troma president, Lloyd Kaufman makes a cameo appearance as a pimp.
-The film took almost two years to get released after filming had finished.
-Not to be confused with the children’s game show, Uh Oh! that aired on YTV in Canada.