Luther the Geek (1990) – By Jordan Garren

 Before I actually get into this film, I’d just like to state for the record that Luther the Geek is f*#@ing awesome! It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually seen a splatter flick that pulled me in and kept me on the edge of my seat almost from start to finish. If you’ve missed out on this film (which I’m sure many of you have) then you best get out there and snap up a copy of it on DVD, you surely won’t be disappointed. Luther the Geek is the tale of Luther Watts, a paroled murderer that’s getting a second chance at life. As a child, Luther witnessed a true geek in action (for those that don’t know, geeks were guys that bit the head off of chickens and were actually pretty popular, though gruesome, attractions at many carnivals in the past) and it sort of scarred him for life.

The event had such a drastic effect on Luther’s life that he has the mannerisms of a chicken, and clucks and bocks like one to communicate. I know that sounds goofy as all hell, but let me tell you, a chicken cluck has never sounded so menacing! Anyway, now that Luther is on parole and free to restart his life anew, the first thing he does is commit a few petty thefts. He follows this up by ripping out an old woman’s throat with his teeth, or rather, his pointy, metal dentures! Now on the run from the authorities, Luther sneaks into the back seat of a car and ends up hitching a ride with an unsuspecting woman named Hilary. Once she arrives at home, Luther sneaks out of her car and hides in Hilary’s barn, biting off chicken heads until he decides to charge into the house and attack.

Though Hilary gets the best of Luther a few times, he finally manages to incapacitate her and tie her to a bed. Before he can do anything else, Hilary’s daughter Beth arrives with her boyfriend Rob. Despite the fact that they notice a broken window and a few things that are out of place, the two young lovers ignore the warning signs. They shower together for a bit, then move the festivities into Beth’s bedroom, but their fun is ruined when Rob hears someone trying to start his motorcycle outside. He quickly pulls out of his girlfriend (personally I would’ve stayed and finished), throws on his clothes and gives chance. He eventually catches up to the culprit (it’s Luther!) and ends up getting smacked in the face with his own motorcycle helmet.

To cut this horror story short, Luther ends up murdering Beth and Rob in cold blood. (Admittedly I was glad to see Beth kick the bucket because she would’ve probably ruined any escape attempts and seemed to prefer scrunching into a ball and crying over fighting back to survive.) Hilary however manages to lock Luther in the master bedroom, just as a state trooper swings by to check on things. Luther escapes out a window and hides in the nearby barn, with the brave trooper in hot pursuit. He nearly captures the clucking convict, but the tide of the battle swiftly turns after Luther bites off one of the cop’s fingers. Screaming in agony, the trooper is caught off guard and soon has a hole chewed in his throat. At the end of the film, Hilary has one final showdown with Luther. As Luther closes in for the kill, Hilary starts bocking and clucking, and carries on a nonsensical conversation with her would-be murderer.

Luther believes that she understands him and starts going crazy with joy, but his celebration is cut short when he hears a loud click and turns to see Hilary armed with a Winchester. She blasts Luther in the chest and kills him, then starts crying with relief, while eliciting the occasional bock or cluck. (I guess it’s safe to assume that she’s traumatized for life?) Luther the Geek is the masterwork of a one Carlton J. Albright who also wrote and produced another Troma DVD title that you may have heard of: The Children! Sadly, this is the first and last film that Carlton ever directed, but hopefully in the future, he’ll find it in his heart to give us another horror classic. The cast in this film is terrific with Edward Terry stealing the show as Luther. As I said earlier, Luther "talks" by clucking and bocking like a chicken, and still manages to look and act extremely threatening! (Side Note: Edward Terry helped write and also starred in The Children! See that flick too, it’s pretty damned cool!)

The gore effects in this film brought a tear to my eye, because quite honestly, there’s no school like the old school. When Luther chomps a hole in someone’s throat, we get to see a few spurts of blood erupt out of the victim’s neck, and also get to see Luther pull away with a big ole chunk of meat in his mouth. In a world of watered-down PG-13 schlock, it’s nice to watch a movie that isn’t afraid to show gratuitous violence. I love this movie, and I think you will too if you’re an afficionado or even a casual fan of obscure horror films. Luther the Geek recently had the honor of being in Fangoria’s "101 Best Horror Movies That You’ve Never Seen" so hopefully that’s helped get the word out about this fantastic flick! The Director’s Cut of Luther the Geek is available for purchase on DVD (from those magnificent bastards at Troma) and comes with the usual assortment of Troma extras as well as: An introduction to the film by Troma President Lloyd Kaufman, an Interview with director Carlton J. Albright, and a "Freak of the Week" segment from Troma’s "EDGE TV." So get off your butts, and go rent or buy this movie immediately, or else I’ll bite you in the neck!