Luther the Geek (1989)
Cast: Edward Terry, Joan Roth, Tom Mills
Director: Carlton J. Albright
Nutshell: Amazing tale of Geek on the rampage biting off chicken heads and worse!
“gore fans should derive satisfaction” Creature Features
“cracking little low budget horror-fest” Uncut
A prologue in one of those typically serious sounding newscasters’ voices begins proceedings in this unheralded Psycho-chicken-geek shocker informing the audience about a unique “American phenomena” known as The Geek. He has been know since men walked the earth for his diabolical deeds and thus acquired the reputation as being the worst sideshow freak of them all – a man who was so down on is luck he would do anything for a drink!
The trick he would perform to the revulsion of his tormentors would be that he would grab a chicken, pop its head (beak and all) into his mouth and then rip the wretched things head off with his craggy teeth, slurping up as much blood as he could in the process. One such occasion kicks off the action as a lynch mob carrying torches and baying “Geek, Geek” over and over menacingly converge on a shack where they proceed to taunt the local Geek into doing what Geeks do.
Significantly there is a wee child in the crowd of gnarled, gruff townies who gets smacked in the milieu and loses a few teeth, much to his irritation. After the men get their kicks by watching the Geek perform, the child lingers on, fascinated by the Geek in the cage, mesmerised by the pitiful creature yet full of wonder at the same time. At that moment a new Geek is born and this time he is going to show the world exactly what Geeks are capable of when they put their minds to it and never say die.
Years pass since the incident with the lynch mob and the Geek is incarcerated in an asylum having gathered a fairly enviable CV of violent crime convictions along the way. A short sighted queen bitch at the asylum manages to secure the Geek parole – and he doesn’t need a second invitation to kick start another, highly awaited killing spree. Luther, The Geek first approaches an elderly woman sitting outside the local shopping mall and benignly offers her an egg to hold which she promptly drops being more than a little alarmed at the man’s strange behaviour, appearance and sounds! Once she drops his egg, Luther goes into a flap and gouges the woman’s neck with his very teeth, ripping chunks of her neck out and wolfing it down before he takes off looking for an avenue of escape. As another shopper drives homewards merrily she doesn’t notice that she is carrying some extra baggage. Once she arrives at her rather crumpled farmhouse the Geek strikes havoc.
The woman’s young daughter arrives with her boyfriend and is confronted by the mad Geek thing making weird clucking and chirping sounds and skipping around like a demented chicken. Now a deadly game of cat and mouse or rather chicken and mouse ensues as the inhabitants of the house must devise a manner of staying alive – and the chicken-Geek-Man must have his feed and unfortunately he seems to have a special weakness for human neck sinews and flesh! The question is will the Geek manage to peck his way to glory or will the beleaguered inhabitants of the farm house survive his beaky-toothy killer deadly onslaught.
Luther the Geek is a truly sublimely bizarre entry into the splatter stakes and definitely suggests that poultry based horror flicks truly deliver their money’s worth when it comes to serious strangeness. Though this doesn’t quite match Blood Freak – the Turkey-Jesus-Anti Drugs classic, on a strangeness scale there are certain scenes that are as bizarre as anything one could ever wish to see. The climactic confrontation scene when the two protagonists break into a full fledged chicken conversation (between two Geeks) is on a level of surreal brilliance rarely witnessed in cinema. Deliciously and insanely ridiculous scene defying belief, but yes it does occur – a scene where two humans have a vigorous argument in chicken talk before the woman squawks something that gets the Geek so wound up he bursts into a chicken dance of most fantastic brilliance. How the lead pair didn’t utterly crack up while enacting this scene – I would be interested in finding out just how many takes were done of the final scene before the director was satisfied with what he had!
What a film this is – shot on a sub-zero budget featuring a cast of unknowns with its quite unhinged plot – it really is a film tottering beyond the realms of any definition of sanity! The acting to be fair isn’t as awful as the production values would suggest and the background music is fair, if uninspired. Most importantly perhaps, some of the gore scenes though crude are enough to make the viewer squirm. Luther the Geek is a quite ludicrous film appealing to the Grind house 42nd street type crowd long after 42nd St ceased to exist as it had in the “glory days”! The film is virtually a lost obscurity – small mercy one might add – but considering some of the drivel that has surfaced as the DVD format has flourished – Luther really ought to be resurrected from the dungeons where he currently resides. Luther the Geek is a film that is strictly for the admirers of the truly weird and obscure or those who have a taste for some seriously dreadful cinema.