Trash Or Terror Tuesday: Deadly Scavengers (2001)

It’s time for #TrashOrTerrorTuesday

…when I examine a film that’s been languishing in my personal library to determine if it is #Trash or #Terror

– or more importantly, if it deserves to stay in my collection.

And so, out from the dusty shelves of #VHS tapes & DVDs comes…

DVD cover for Deadly Scavengers (2001)Deadly Scavengers (2001) by #RonFord

w/#JohnFallon #HeatherBranch #VinnieBilancio

After a scientist is killed and his daughter disappears from their secret lab in the desert, it’s up to an elite mercenary team to find her–and what they discover is a giant man-sized cockroach that’s been hunting humans in the area.

#Horror #Comedy


I bought the DVD of Deadly Scavengers (2001) at a pawn shop in Grand Forks, North Dakota. It jumped off the shelf at me because I’d never seen or heard of it before – and it looked like it could be very cheap, and very bad.

It was.

But apparently I enjoyed it enough to put it in my permanent collection. Looking at the box 15 years later, I had no idea what it was really like. So, I decided that it was time to put it to the #TrashOrTerrorTuesday test.

The director, Ron Ford, has apparently made 36 movies (so far), He has also acted in 76 movies, including Addicted to Murder (1995), which I wrote about in this very category just a few months ago. He wrote and directed Witchcraft XI: Sisters in Blood (2000). I’ve been slowly working my way through all of those Witchcraft movies, but I haven’t made it that far yet. In fact, I think the last one I saw was part six, so I have a long way to go…

One doesn’t have to study Ron Ford’s list of movies very closely to see that he is an auteur of bad movies. This is no criticism, as I am a connoisseur of bad movies. I’m trying to watch the entire Witchcraft series, for crap’s sake! That’s a series that started off bad, got marginally better, then a whole lot worse. And yet, for some reason, I can’t resist looking at the next one, and the next one, and the next one…

I bought Deadly Scavengers knowing, nay, wanting it to be bad. And the first time I watched it I was convinced that it was the good kind of bad – with plenty of over-the-top cheapass gore and gratuitous nudity. Watching it again now, I found there to be more gratuitous conversations, ridiculous character conflicts, and obligatory plot twists than anything else.

Yes, there is some gore and violence – and there are even a couple of scenes of gratuitous nudity. But not really enough to carry the film for almost 90 minutes. Some critics have declared Deadly Scavengers to be the worst movie ever made. If it was, I would have enjoyed it more. It’s not really bad enough to be a camp classic (although it has a few moments). Needless to say, it’s not good enough to be another Aliens (1986) or Predator (1987) – which Ron Ford may have been going for. Or maybe he was thinking of Tremors (1990), with its sense of humour. Or maybe he was paying homage to classic monster movies from the 1950s. Alas, Deadly Scavengers is none of those things.

So, what’s the verdict?

Deadly Scavengers is Trash. It feels sort of like a very late entry into the 1980’s shot-on-video horror boom. And most of those movies were Trash. The best of them were good Trash. A few may have even been trashterpieces of bad cinema. Deadly Scavengers doesn’t quite make it that far. It’s neither the best, nor the worst, of it’s kind. It’s simply an acceptable time waster for those who have a high tolerance for bad movies. If a connoisseur is in just the right mood, it might even be an acceptable addition to a marathon of bad movies. Having watched it twice in less than twenty years, I think I’ve seen it enough. But it certainly doesn’t dissuade me from seeking out and watching other movies by Ron Ford.

I may have a problem…

Trash Or Terror Tuesday: Addicted to Murder (1995)

It’s time for Trash Or Terror Tuesday

…when I examine a film that’s been languishing in my personal library to determine if it is Trash or Terror

– or more importantly, if it deserves to stay in my collection.

And so, out from the dusty shelves of VHS tapes comes…

Trash Or Terror Tuesday - VHS box cover art for Kevin J Lindenmuth's Addicted to Murder (1995)Addicted to Murder (1995) by Kevin J Lindenmuth

w/ Mick McCleery & Laura McLauchlin

What happens when a serial killer encounters someTHING far worse than himself…? What makes Joel different is his special childhood friend… a #VAMPIRE named Rachel.

“Time To Feed The FEAR”

#Slasher #Horror



Trash Or Terror Tuesday, or Trash Or Treasure Tuesday, is something that I’ve been tweeting about for about a year and a half now. It’s basically just an excuse for me to watch one of the old VHS tapes that’s been sitting on my shelf for years, untouched. In most cases, these are movies that I bought, or was given, as much as twenty-five years ago. I watched them once, back then, and then put them into my personal library – which at the time was much smaller and had space for such things. For whatever reason I have never revisited these films and, in many cases, I cannot remember anything about them. I no longer have space to add new blu-rays and DVDs – unless they are directly replacing an older copy of the same film. Looking at some of the forgotten films sitting on my shelves, I can’t help but wonder if some of them might be ready to move on out of my collection and into some else’s. Perhaps some of them never even deserved to be there in the first place. On the other hand, maybe some of them are true gems waiting for rediscovery. Whatever the case, last January I decided that it was time for me to find out. I figured that if I forced myself to look at one a week (every Tuesday) the project would slowly, but surely, get done.

Some of my Trash Or Terror Tuesday tweets have sparked discussion among my Twitter friends. Occasionally someone will ask me, “Was it trash – or treasure?” So, I’ll try to answer as best I can in a brief tweet, but it often feels like I could do better. I must admit that I often think I should be following the initial tweet with one that says “And the verdict is…”, but so far I haven’t tried it. So, starting today, I am going to attempt to answer that burning question in a brief (ish) blog post. Briefer than this first one, I hope. And with that in mind…

Last week, I took a look at Kevin J Lindenmuth’s Addicted to Murder (1995). I was somewhat hesitant to include it in this project, as I’ve always been quite pleased to have it sitting on my shelf. I had read about it in an obscure horror magazine in the 1990s. It looked like a pretty cool low budget, SOV, horror movie. But like many such films in those days, it was really hard to come by. A few years later, I found a copy in a bargain bin and immediately snapped it up. I have never seen another copy for sale anywhere.

I know that I watched the movie back then, but my memory of it is hazy, to say the least. I think I thought it was pretty good, but maybe not as good as I had hoped it would be. Still, it was a unique and rare VHS tape, so I knew that I had to keep it. Over the years I have enjoyed looking at it on my shelf, but I have never had the urge to watch it again. This, it seemed to me, was a bit wrong. Movies are meant to to be watched, after all. If I never wanted to watch this one, why was it in my collection?

So, last Tuesday I put Addicted to Murder to the test and the results were… mixed. I was actually fairly impressed by the look of it – the style, the cinematography, the editing. It was a very low budget movie, but Lindenmuth managed to put a lot of interesting shots and sequences up on the (home video) screen. To borrow a quote from my friend and fellow bad movie aficionado, Den, Addicted to Murder did not look like “assholes with camcorders” had made it. On the contrary, someone with a strong understanding of filmmaking made this movie (check out Lindenmuth’s company website). The story was fairly unique (serial killer meets vampire), so it gets points for that. However, it did not movie forward at a lightning pace, and was actually fairly repetitive at times. 

In terms of delivering the goods, or “bringing home the groceries” as Den might say, Addicted to Murder did a pretty good job with the gore, but was a little light on the sleaze factor. The article that I had read back the ’90s had mentioned it alongside films like Gore Whore (1994) and Gorgasm (1990), Hugh Gallagher’s SOV masterpieces of sleaze horror. Compared to movies like that, Addicted to Murder is pretty tame (although probably better made). 

So, what’s the verdict? Is this movie #Trash or #Terror? 

I would have to conclude that Kevin J Lindenmuth’s Addicted to Murder (1995) is a mild #Terror. It’s worth watching once (or once every twenty years in my case). Some people may find even more to like about it than I did, but speaking for myself, I’m not sure if I will live long enough to get back to it a third time. This is one of the strange realities of getting older. I no longer ask myself “DId I enjoy this movie enough to put in in my personal library?” I now ask myself “Am I likely to watch this movie again before I die?” – and if the answer is no, I put it aside to sell, or give away, to someone who might get some enjoyment out of it. Movies are meant to be watched, after all. Not just stared at on a shelf…