Tuesday, October 21, 2014

THE NOSTRIL PICKER (1988)

THE NOSTRIL PICKER (1988) 
aka THE CHANGER 
Label: Massacre Video
Region Code: 1
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 76 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital
Video: Full Screen (1:33:1) 
Director: Mark Norwicki
Cast: Carl Zscherino, Edward Tanner, Laura Cummings 

In this Michigan based slice of sleaze we have a guy named Joe, a creepy loser in checkered pants and a paisley shirt, covered in sweat and two days worth of stubble. Women on the street cringe in his presence until one day a homeless man offers him a solution to all his problems if he will just let the man have a sip of booze... seems legit. 

This solution is a form of magic the bum calls “morphosynthesis” which will enable Joe to transform into anyone he pleases just my doing some awkward dance and mumbling a few words. He can revert back to his old ugly self just by whistling "London Bridges", just as simple as that. The bum does warn Joe that excessive use of the process might cause a bit of insanity. Seems a small price to pay, so the schlep gives it a shot and it doesn't seem to work at first, but when hetries to but a dirty mag the store clerk refuses to sell it to him for what he see's is a cute young girl and not the greasy pervert that he really is. 

So what does Joe do next? The filthy pervert makes a beeline for the nearest high school and sets about befriending a group of teenage girls - what a fucking pervert! This guy is paling around with the young cuties and eye-balling them in the shower but things escalate pretty quick. Once he gains their friendship he begins to get each of them alone, where he reveals his true self before murdering and eating them. As the teen bodies start to pile up the authorities try to piece together who the culprit could be.

I must say that with the title THE NOSTRIL PICKER I was not expecting much from this film but it was entertaining to a degree and super sleazy even though there's no nudity and little gore. Originally titled THE CHANGER the distributor took it upon themselves to re title this one for theatrical release. It should be noted that nose picking does not figure prominently into the film other than one scene of Joe digging away for boogers. I love the art work and the tagline "He Chose His Weapons... He Selected His Victims... He Picked His Nose...". If it were not for that title this film would be even more obscure. 

The “morphosynthesis” does take a toll on the already nutty Joe as he begins to have nightmarish visions of his victims in lingerie and drenched in blood. At one point he picks up a hooker only to find out once he has her pack at his place that she's a man - the ensuing squirting-dildo fight is worth the price of admission alone! 

This is a cheapie and the production value is pretty shitty but it's not too hard to watch, there's a lot of sparse set decoration and not much money for gore effects but we do get some fun no-budget gore gags. The synth score is pretty weak but it does the job and gives this no-budget shit-fest a certain charm, and then there's one of the cheesiest 80s rock songs I've ever heard, 'Gonna Get Me Some Schoolin' by Mercury Pine, right up there with the tune from NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR. Not a film for the average horror fan, this is a deep cut and one I could see existing in the same scuzzy universe created in STREET TRASH (1987). 

DVD:
At first glance this looked very much like a Shot on Video (SOV) production and I was surprised to find that it was shot on film according to the director on the extras, it is not pretty to look at. The DVD packaging from Massacre Video looks fantastic in a clear case with a reversible sleeve of artwork featuring the original title THE CHANGER. The design team at Massacre Video rarely disappoint, it's an attractive package.

Onto the extras there's a 25 minute interview with Producer/Cinematographer Patrick J Mathews who provides a ton of info on the making of the film, an alternate title card, stills gallery, DVD-Rom press kit and trailers for a few other Massacre Video titles. 

SPECIAL FEATURES:  
- ‘The Changer’ Reversible Cover
- Alternative Title Card
- Interview With Producer/Cinematographer, Patrick J Mathews
- Extensive Stills Gallery
- DVD-Rom Press Kit
- Trailers: THE NOSTRIL PICKER, MONDO MAGIC, THE CEMETERY 

VERDICT:

Massacre Video do a great job giving these shit films first-rate releases on DVD. It takes a special group of people to rally around a film like THE NOSTRIL PICKER. Your mileage may vary depending on your tolerance for trash cinema but if you enjoy lo-budget SOV movies you're gonna love this one . 2.5 Outta 5 

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