Death Collector (1988)

Death Collector (1988) movie poster

director Tom Garrett
viewed: 05/11/2017

As obscure as it is, the post-apocalyptic thriller Death Collector is almost guaranteed unusual. For a low-budget independently shot movie, it features some quite decent cinematography and design aesthetics, no doubt crafted on the cheap. Only the cheapest aspects seem to be the actors themselves, the most clear case of its humble origins.

Writer John J. McLaughlin and director Tom Garrett were definitely shooting for something a bit more hip and cool and off-beat. One reviewer, Garrett DeNardo, describes it aptly as “if David Lynch fell down the stairs, got a brain injury and tried to direct Buckaroo Banzai from memory?”.  It’s nowhere as patently weird or cool as Lynch or anything. Really, I thought it was kind of like a very poor man’s Richard Stanley kind of picture.

In its post-apocalypse, a barroom singer-guitarist finds himself on the bad side of a small town’s top bad guy. His brother is killed and he winds up in jail, though is eventually released and is driven to some sort of revenge.

Apparently this bit of independent film-making heralded from Connecticut. It has a feel of regionalism to it though also somewhat unspecific.

Very hard to affix a rating because it never quite achieves anything like quality, though it strives high out of its weight class and bears a few elements of unique cult quirkiness that could easily endear itself to the right viewer. Rare films, indeed!

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