It’s time for #TrashOrTerrorTuesday
…when I examine a film that’s been languishing in my personal library to determine if it is #Trash or #Terror
– or more importantly, if it deserves to stay in my collection.
And so, out from the dusty shelves of #VHS tapes & DVDs comes…
Deadly Scavengers (2001) by #RonFord
After a scientist is killed and his daughter disappears from their secret lab in the desert, it’s up to an elite mercenary team to find her–and what they discover is a giant man-sized cockroach that’s been hunting humans in the area.
I bought the DVD of Deadly Scavengers (2001) at a pawn shop in Grand Forks, North Dakota. It jumped off the shelf at me because I’d never seen or heard of it before – and it looked like it could be very cheap, and very bad.
But apparently I enjoyed it enough to put it in my permanent collection. Looking at the box 15 years later, I had no idea what it was really like. So, I decided that it was time to put it to the #TrashOrTerrorTuesday test.
The director, Ron Ford, has apparently made 36 movies (so far), He has also acted in 76 movies, including Addicted to Murder (1995), which I wrote about in this very category just a few months ago. He wrote and directed Witchcraft XI: Sisters in Blood (2000). I’ve been slowly working my way through all of those Witchcraft movies, but I haven’t made it that far yet. In fact, I think the last one I saw was part six, so I have a long way to go…
One doesn’t have to study Ron Ford’s list of movies very closely to see that he is an auteur of bad movies. This is no criticism, as I am a connoisseur of bad movies. I’m trying to watch the entire Witchcraft series, for crap’s sake! That’s a series that started off bad, got marginally better, then a whole lot worse. And yet, for some reason, I can’t resist looking at the next one, and the next one, and the next one…
I bought Deadly Scavengers knowing, nay, wanting it to be bad. And the first time I watched it I was convinced that it was the good kind of bad – with plenty of over-the-top cheapass gore and gratuitous nudity. Watching it again now, I found there to be more gratuitous conversations, ridiculous character conflicts, and obligatory plot twists than anything else.
Yes, there is some gore and violence – and there are even a couple of scenes of gratuitous nudity. But not really enough to carry the film for almost 90 minutes. Some critics have declared Deadly Scavengers to be the worst movie ever made. If it was, I would have enjoyed it more. It’s not really bad enough to be a camp classic (although it has a few moments). Needless to say, it’s not good enough to be another Aliens (1986) or Predator (1987) – which Ron Ford may have been going for. Or maybe he was thinking of Tremors (1990), with its sense of humour. Or maybe he was paying homage to classic monster movies from the 1950s. Alas, Deadly Scavengers is none of those things.
So, what’s the verdict?
Deadly Scavengers is Trash. It feels sort of like a very late entry into the 1980’s shot-on-video horror boom. And most of those movies were Trash. The best of them were good Trash. A few may have even been trashterpieces of bad cinema. Deadly Scavengers doesn’t quite make it that far. It’s neither the best, nor the worst, of it’s kind. It’s simply an acceptable time waster for those who have a high tolerance for bad movies. If a connoisseur is in just the right mood, it might even be an acceptable addition to a marathon of bad movies. Having watched it twice in less than twenty years, I think I’ve seen it enough. But it certainly doesn’t dissuade me from seeking out and watching other movies by Ron Ford.
I may have a problem…
A scientist is killed in his secret lab, his daughter disappears, & an elite mercenary team discovers a giant man-sized cockroach hunting humans in the area.#Horror #Comedy#TrashOrTerrorTuesday pic.twitter.com/Q18lSLoXN1
— Angus Kohm (@AngusKohm) November 3, 2021