This is why I have sympathy for the DOGS! At least in some cases. You see, there's a certain arrogance that some people bring into making a bad, independent film. The thought that "I'm so good, my movie will RULE!" trumps all considerations of sound, color, lighting and the difficulties in editing.
Yeah, making bad movies isn't easy. Reviewing bad movies... that's even harder. Which of the two bad buckets does Delirium fall into? The hard working cast and crew whose movie turned out to suck or the arrogant know-it-alls who didn't think hard enough about how to make a movie?
I don't know. I do know, though, that any way you slice it, Delirium sucks gross eggs. Low rent, all the way. By the time our story (written by Eddie Krell, Jim Loew, Richard Yalem and Peter Maris, who also directed) actually gets going, everything in the plot is already completely FUBAR.
That's depressing, really, because Delirium had a pretty interesting idea beneath the surface. Beneath the surface of St. Louis, that is. That's where a secret society meets to pass vigilante justice on the wayward souls in Missouri. Because, you know... Missouri is the waywardest place on Earth! If any state in the union needs vigilante justice, I challenge anybody to think of one more in need than wayward Missouri. Who knows what evil lurks just below that arch?
Everybody's having a good old non-Constitutionally sanctioned right wing time (Four years and two months before The Star Chamber was even released) until the bald douche who runs the group decides to hire his old Vietnam War buddy. The bald douche in question is a stern guy whose name is actually Stern and is played by a guy named Barron Winchester. If ever there was a made-up name, that's it, kids. It turns out Barron Winchester's REAL name was Duane L. Jones. That sort of makes me wonder why the hell he wanted to change it. I mean, Duane L. Jones isn't a bad name at all, dude! Hell, you've got the same name as the lead from Night of the Living Dead! I'd be all over that, man! Why change it to something so obviously made up? That's him on the cover, look... He doesn't look like a "Barron Winchester", does he? He doesn't look like the guy from Night of the Living Dead either. He sort of looks like... like Mister Clean.
So who did Mister Clean have with him when he was fighting "Charlie"? A guy named Charlie. Man, that Peter Maris is really one for the obvious character names, isn't he? Anyway, Charlie (played by Nick Panouzis) has more Flashbacks of Nam than Magnum P.I., so he ends up extending the reach of his vigilantism to offing innocent people. It all starts when he's in the heat of battle with a nice looking woman and he fails to get his soldier to salute. I'm sure that sucks bacon strips and all, but it's not worth killing somebody over. Hell, play for a few minutes, ask for oral... that works! (I mean I... I've heard!)
The Bßnh mý kep thit really hits the fan when the dead girl's roommate comes home. Luckily, Susan Norcross (Debi Chaney) is a really hot (and briefly naked) blonde, so the police pay very special attention to her case. Polyester cop Paul Dollinger (Turk Cekovsky) is most certainly interested in following the slim lead that Susan offers to help them catch Charlie but his younger partner Larry Mead (Terry TenBroek) is much more interested in following Susan herself... anywhere.
Meanwhile, Charlie shows what a dumbass he is by doing what just about every delirious lunatic on the whole damned Video Nasty List does: he kills beautiful, oft-naked women. Quick word on how I feel about that. You remember that time when that young boy from the black mining hills of Dakota named Rocky Raccoon's girlfriend Lill "Nancy" McGill ran off with that new guy Dan and one of them hit young Rocky in the eye? I like guys who kill beautiful, oft-naked women even less than Rocky liked that. I'm serious! Ask McCartney! I also hate lunatics that kill clothed women... and less than beautiful chicks! You know, the whole violence against women thing in general just pisses off!
Here's a case in point. Charlie picks up another really hot woman, hitchhiking on the side of the road (also on the cover). He's weird as hell and she's logically freaked out, but when they get to the beach, instead of shouting "HEAVENS TO MERGATROID" and exiting stage right, she decides to take off all of her clothes and skinny dip in front of him. Hey, Charlie, you've got a beautiful, naked woman skinny dipping in front of you and she doesn't even seem to mind that you're only a quarter as stable as Lizzie Borden. Where I come from (the South), we call that "THE JACKPOT".
Charlie... kills her. Then goes on a total spree, mostly focusing on women, most of whom are beautiful and oft-naked.
Thank all you ladies, by the way. I'd like to thank you all by crediting you here, but sadly IMDB lists Debi Chaney as the only female cast member. Here's where I realize the wonders and the joys of DVD. I managed to procure a near-mint condition VHS copy of Delirium and the closing credits are still completely illegible. You ladies braved pitchforks, freezing beach water, long bathtub scenes until your skin pruned up and Daisy Dukes so tight you had trouble running in them and you don't even get credited. Maybe it's not Charlie who has a problem with women, maybe it's Maris.
But back to the cops and their hunt for Charlie. The trail starts with Susan's boss Donald Andrews (Bob Winters) who not only is a member of that underground round table but also won't even tell them that Charlie's last name is Gunther. And it is. Where does the trail end? Could be Charlie. Could be Stern. Or maybe you find out that his real name wasn't Gunther, but Charlie Stern and Stern's like "Charlie, I am your FATHER!" and he's all "THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!" and Stern's like "And my first name is Howard!" and then Charlie's like "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Okay, I won't ruin the ending, but I will tell you it's not that. Though my idea is funnier.
The plot just plods on. The funniest parts are the flashbacks to "Nam", which we can't seem to get a reprieve from. For the easternmost country on the French-Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, this sure looks a lot like rural Missouri. During his flashbacks, Charlie actually seems to be walking through the same places he's running through while on the lam! This makes me wonder if maybe he never was in Vietnam in the first place. Maybe these are all flashbacks to when Stern and Charlie were on a paintball team together... or, as it was known then "Paint Gun War Games"! I'm thinking that's it. Stern was probably like "Okay, dude, we'll hire you and all, but remember, when you get shot with a red ball, you're out, okay? NO, CHARLIE, NO, NO REAL BULLETS! OH, THE HUMANITY! This is like the Kansas City NXL Woodsball experience all over again. You idiot, we're not really at war! Look at these telephone poles... oh, you... you IDIOT!!!"
Okay, I'll stop. This isn't even a real review anymore. I just keep making up ways this movie could have been better. This could've sucked less, that's for sure. Holy... what a Dog! Sympathy or not, I'm running out of excuses for this movie. I guess it could be worse. There could've been Cannibals. Or... Or Nazis. Or Nazi Cannibals. Yeah, good! There, that's something nice I can say about Delirium... it was way better than Gestapo's Last Orgy. Yuck, man. Okay Five Stars out of Five for Delirium! But that's only compared to Gestapo's Last Orgy! Taking that one off the table... that one and Corpses Are Forever... Delirium gets a Dog! Now, if you'll excuse me, I kind of have a weird urge to play Paintball. Not really. See you in the next reel.
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But what ever you do... don't take a ride from a creepy stranger
and then skinny dip in front of him.
What're ya nutz?