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DVD Review: Terror Overload

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Blonde in minidress by the side of the road. Her SUV is out of commission. Some delinquents throw a drink at her and call her a slut, then drive away. As she curses them, a truck pulls up, the door opens, and the driver asks if she’s all right. Her car “just died,” and he “hates when that happens.” He offers her a ride and she’s so grateful—grateful enough to give him a shot of her black panties when she bends over to get her bag.

Terror Overload is a video production (as opposed to film), and Ed Wood would feel vindicated to see exactly how bright the night sky appears. One has the sneaking suspicion, once the film starts, that the credits are the highlight. The acting is…there’s no way to be kind about it. Scenes of the truck driver and his passenger traveling down the road are accompanied by no engine sounds and no vehicle motion (however, it is dark).

Okay, if you want to see breasts, you might not find this movie to be so bad. The truck driver proceeds to tell his passenger three twisted stories. The first, “Dinner Date,” begins with a man preparing a meal and a woman taking a shower—with nothing left to the imagination. Yes, steal yourself, there’s a close-up—of the asparagus! The cook is incredibly cheerful and creepy at the same time. Apparently these two have never met before she shows up at his house for dinner, and every question she asks him makes him extremely uncomfortable. His behavior is a caricature of bizarre which lends an unintended (I think) humor to the story. He drugs her, and she awakes to find herself in an abattoir where humans are the butcher’s specialty. There is such an excess of dismembered bodies and assorted parts in his basement, the effect is comical… well, comically gross to be exact. With all the tools at hand, the butcher uses dull scissors to cut her clothes off. This is a gory tale, but it’s so inexpertly performed and it doesn’t actually go anywhere. Nudity seems to be the only point.

After the driver finishes the story about the cannibal he tells the girl that it is true and they never caught the guy. So how does he know the details? The second story he tells is about “Lot Lizards,” hookers that work truck stops. It starts with two guys talking on the phone without even the slightest attempt at making it look like either one actually has someone on the other end of the line. One of the guys (Dick) goes into a bar that he heard was hot, drinks a couple of beers, goes to the men’s room, and—this is horribly shocking—he didn’t wash his hands.

This place is the farthest thing from hot, it’s more like the neighborhood bar everyone’s father visited on Saturday afternoons in the 1950s. Two “sexy” chicks come in, and DIck thinks he’s picking them up. The two, um, “ladies” take Dick “upstairs” because they like to, well, you know. Oh, look, breasts. And a little girl-on-girl action before the gals put straps on Dick’s wrists and undress him. (The most disgusting thing we’ve seen so far is the truck driver eating Twinkies, and it is really gross). The girls get him trussed, gagged, and masked, and video the fun. He gets paddled and whipped and we get softcore porn (which is actually a whole lot more porn than I wanted to see). The real torture starts when they begin—are you ready for this—dancing. I’ll bet Dick won’t be insulting anymore bartender’s sisters.

Following the dancing, things get rough. The violence and torture depicted in this story are not in the least funny. If it has any redeeming value, it’s that it is so poorly acted and the violence is so fake that the audience is only sickened by the thought that someone would think this was entertaining. (And, sickeningly enough, there’s a lot of people who do.)

Chupacabra is the subject of the third story, “Mongo Chupa!” which allegedly happened in Missouri and is “more f’ed up than the other stories.” This disagreeable mess is not saved by the terrible chupacabras that defy description; they are that ineptly fabricated. The director had one thing in mind with this story—porn. Harder than “Lot Lizards,” but still soft, it disturbingly depicts consensual incest, both brother and sister, and sister and sister. We already know not to expect much from the actors, and the script is clearly meant to be somewhat humorous, but it portrays Southerners as ignorant, in-bred jackasses, and the dialogue and sexual shenanigans are repulsive. Chupacabra should have killed all these folks in the first scene.

Finally the truck driver finishes his stories and attempts to create one of his own, but it’s not to be. There’s a “surprise” ending.

At the start of Terror Overload, the crappy production values and terrible acting had me convinced, “this is gonna be great.” “Great” in the sense of “so laughably bad, it’s hilarious.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The stars of this film are lesbianism-lite, torture, and blood. It’s not hilarious, not funny, not fun. It’s a revolting mix of amateur filmmaking and lousy judgment. Do yourself a favor and skip it. (Don’t look for special features, there are none.)

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