Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tenderloin (1985)

...aka Haven of Horror

Directed by:
Louis Ferriol

College student Beth Landers (Leslie Duncan) wakes up in a hospital bed at a private clinic called Gravesbrook with a broken knee. The last thing she remembered was eating at a diner and then passing out in her car. Dr. Goreman (Dick Biel) eventually shows up, claiming her name is actually Georgann Miller and that she was transferred there from another mental institution. Nurse Olga (Jane De Leeuw) tells her she started a fire that killed her mother, stepfather and siblings, but Beth claims she was an only child and her birth parents were never divorced. Medical examiner Donaldson (Bob Rose) brandishes a picture of Georgann that looks identical to Beth. He also tells her that her stepfather molested her. Before too long, Beth's being doped up and fondled by the doctor, who then ties her to the bed. The nurse slaps her a few times and then force feeds her. Robertson gags her, strokes her leg and then suddenly takes a bite out of it. Next thing Beth knows she's getting shock therapy. Her efforts to get the nurse's high school aged grandson Bryon (R. Craig Eaton) to help her prove futile. She's chloroformed and raped (off screen), and when she wakes up she's tied down to a table in a basement. Then (in slow-motion) she has her tongue pulled out, is sliced open with a scalpel and has her legs roasted over a grill. The end.

The title I saw this under was Tenderloin and it ran just 33 minutes. IMdb lists it as Haven of Horror with a run-time of 48. It's definitely what I'd refer to as a "homemade horror film" and is one of a half-dozen similar films from an obscure company called Vidimax. That company apparently even managed to get their short films into some video stores during the 80s. I've personally never seen one of these things for rent before, but if I had picked this up back in the day I would have been pretty pissed off about it. While my description might make this sound pretty nasty, it's actually very tame considering; there's no nudity and very little gore. The majority of the run-time consists of (very badly recorded) talk with very mediocre actors shot in someone's bedroom. There are about three location changes during the whole film. It also seems to be fetishy when it comes to legs. It opens with slow-motion shots of some blonde woman who has nothing to do with the rest of the film shaving her legs, and throughout there are long close-up shots of the lead actresses legs being rubbed by various characters. Strange.

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