Thursday, February 27, 2014

Barbarian In The Big City: Nikos The Impaler (2003)

Nikos The Impaler (Germany, 2003) (AKA "Nikos", "Survival of the Dead")
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Joe Zaso, Felissa Rose, Andreas Schnaas

Dare myself to see another Andrea Schnaas film after my lukewarm experience with Violent Shit and its sequel? Hey, why not? I did enjoyed Anthropophagus 2000 after all!

One night during a museum's exhibit showcasing obscure Roman art, a thousand year old Roman barbarian named Nikos was accidentally brought back to life after his mask got drenched in a burglar's blood during a shootout. Continuing his reign of bloodshed and terror that he was executed for, Nikos worked his way through trapped patrons (which includes a history class visiting for extra credit), slicing and smashing them with typical Schnaas splatter before escaping into the New York streets, killing one random victim to the next.

Plot-wise, this is all Nikos The Impaler had to offer. It may not look much as the movie is something what some people would call "Death Porn", wherein we pay a good renting money to see one guy kill tons of people just for the sake of the numbers and padding, much like the atrocities known as The Final Destination, The Collection or even the horrid The Summer of Massacre (2011). Once the killings starts, it's one sliced body part to the next in a very redundant pattern and will more likely upset those who were expecting more than a kill-a-thon.

Just as any of this kind of films, Nikos' quality is rather questionable; acting is varying in degree but I learned to overlook this seeing most of our casts were set to die a gory death in a matter of minutes or so. Strangely, the movie did try to mold some characters for us to familiarize ourselves with, but none of them really stood up from where I'm sitting so, yes, that was a wasteful effort. There's also some peeves regarding props, sets, lighting and audio, but I rather not get into that since Schnaas appears to be aiming for something else here.

The only thing that sets Nikos The Impaler apart from most Death Porn is that it had a little more charm to its slaying, giving us the juiciest practical effects a B-movie may not even handle, a momentum that can't be stopped by the next half, and an overall so-bad-its-good tone that simply was not meant to be taken seriously.

By the last third of the movie, it finally did what Friday the 13th: Jason Goes to Manhattan was supposed to do, having its killer roam streets, movie houses and gymnasiums, to murder anyone that gets in his way (literally), which includes Troma's Lloyd Kaufman in a brief cameo. Even more outrageous was the last few minutes of the film where, for some reason, the barbarian finally showed his supernatural powers and brought to life a zombie, a vampire seductress, a pair of ninjas, and a fat Hitler (with a bonus Hitler floosie for the kill count) to enlist them in his war against everything that walks on two legs, as well be there to heighten the kill count during his final (and hasty) showdown against what was left of our heroes.

It's a stretch, but the strangeness Nikos The Impaler possesses worked a lot for me; perhaps this is what draws in some of its fans albeit being a terrible movie. I find it quite charming, honestly, so while I am giving this film half of my full ratings, I do recommend it to anybody who just loves a dumb flick. By far, for a Death Porn, this sits proudly next to my other faves, such as Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers and Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever.

1 male had his face torn off
1 female had her throat cut with sword (flashback)
1 male hacked on the back with sword (flashback)
1 male slashed with sword (flashback)
1 male gutted with sword
1 male shot on the chest
1 male dismembered offcamera
1 female decapitated with sword
1 male got his face sliced off with sword
1 male found with throat cut
1 elderly female sliced in half with sword
1 elderly male beaten to death with a camera
1 male beheaded with sword
1 male had his arm torn off, bled to death
1 male ran through with a sword, sliced down between the legs
1 male beheaded by the mouth with a thrown sword
1 male torn in half
1 female skewered with a thrown pipe
1 female had her chest torn open
1 male crushed in two with barbell weights
1 male found with his eye socket crushed open
1 male found with his neck torn open
1 female seen with throat cut
1 male seen murdered
1 female found with throat cut
1 female found with head wound and throat cut
1 female seen nearly beheaded
1 female seen with her face mutilated
1 male torn in half
1 male had his head sliced in half with sword
1 female brained against the wall
1 female had her gut pushed out through her back
1 male hacked with sword
1 male incinerated in car explosion
1 female ran through the mouth with sword
1 male hacked on the head with sword
1 female stabbed on the chest with sword
1 male got his heart torn out
1 male hacked on the neck with sword
1 female hacked on the chest with sword
1 male nearly sliced in half with sword
1 male got his neck bitten open
1 male ran through the gut with sword
1 male had his head blown open
1 female had her neck broken
1 male had his neck torn off
1 female stabbed on the chest with a wooden stake
2 males decapitated with trashcan lid
Total: 49
hehe...Fat Hitler...