|Thou Shalt Not Kill… Except (1985)|
|Writers:||Josh Becker, Bruce Campbell, Sheldon Lettich, and Scott Spiegel|
|Starring:||Brian Schulz, Robert Rickman, John Manfredi, Timothy Patrick Quill, and Sam Raimi|
|The Plot: Our story begins in the Vietnam war. After being battered several times while approaching a captured enemy territory, John Stryker finds himself as the highest ranking soldier in a platoon full of decent men. Stryker soon finds himself at odds with his new commander, who is relatively green when it comes to the battlefield. Not knowing the dangers of the area, this latest commanding officer sends Stryker and his team on a death march into enemy territory. Due to this erroneous mistake, Stryker is shot in the leg, but he is quickly carried off to safety by a fellow soldier. Stryker is then sent home, where he finds it difficult adjusting to normal life. He rekindles a relationship with his highschool sweetheart, and things do seem to be heading in a positive direction. Unfortunately, in this same rural area that Stryker now calls his home, a series of murderous home invasions have been committed. The perpetrators are part of a homicidal cult that are stationed within the woods, and it isn’t long before they target Stryker’s girlfriend. This proves to be a mistake by the cult, and that mistake is amplified when Stryker’s former squadmates come down to visit. With guns and ammo loaded up, Stryker is prepared to launch his own personal war against these lunatics.|
Similar to Crimewave, and other various Sam Raimi related projects during the eighties, there was most certainly an aura around this movie that drew the attention of horror fans. The mix of broad comedy and excessive violence was something that felt fresh at the time. Sam Raimi was the “new guy” on the block, and anything associated with his cast or crew immediately became of importance to horror fans. Thou Shalt Not Kill… may not be as technically astonishing as Raimi’s own work, but it does still have that innovative feeling that Raimi’s work once did. The naive nature of these movies play a big part in their ability to still feel fresh. Audiences who are just now being introduced to the Evil Dead series, they can still look at Thou Shalt Not Kill… and inside of it find something that is wholly unlike anything else on the market. Thou Shal Not Kill… harkens back to that same sense of innovative goofiness that made the eighties such an important decade for horror cinema. It may be a movie that falters at times, but as the plot progresses, it turns into certifiable b-movie greatness. Similar to the low budget blitzkrieg of energy that was found in Deadbeat at Dawn, Thou Shalt Not Kill… is goofy fun that engages its audience within the first minute, and then never dares relent. There are brief escapades into the cutesy little love affair that Stryker finds himself focused on, but there is still a decent amount of wit to be found during these scenes. When the final thirty minutes takes hold, however, we move far away from anything remotely cutesy. Hell, we move far away from wit! The only things left are related to pure action and insanity. We have mayhem, shotgun blasts, stabbings, and wild hippie cult massacres galore! This is the way to end a movie!