Wrestling and horror pretty much go hand-in-hand, from some of the dark characters such as the iconic The Undertaker and more recently to the handful of films that have mixed the two together such as Wrestlemaniac, From Parts Unknown: Fight Like a Girl, Monster Brawl, and Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies. Some hit the mark and some didn’t but, still, I had some fun with each of them. So, when word came that Richard Chandler (Gilgamesh, Witch Hunt) was working on a wrestling horror movie titled Parts Unknown, we jumped at the chance to take a peek.
The film follows the Von Strasser family who at one point where well-known in the wrestling world but, due to some of their violent antics and drug addiction, they’ve fallen on hard times and withered away from the spotlight. One of the most notable references to their demise was Hermann Von Strasser (William DeCoff) who noticed that the fans simply weren’t invested in the match but rather glued to their smartphones (cell phones), so he goes one step further and outright kills his opponent in the ring to get them to take notice. If you watch pro-wrestling today it’s pretty much a sign of the times, granted, not the “killing someone in the ring”, but some of the fans are more interested in throwing beach balls around.
So, yeah, Hermann kills this dude and then this leads him on his path to darkness, although, I’m pretty sure he’s been on this path for quite some time already. And then if things couldn’t get any worse Harvey Von Strasser ( Alexander Hauck) accidentally kills a cop, Karl Von Strasser ( Stephen Cwiok) blows his brains out, and Kitty Von Strasser (Sarah Michelle) is so wired out on drugs that she’s just going with the flow. And we’re not even half-way through yet.
Things then take a turn for the strange, as when Hermann and Harvey go to bury the deceased cop in the woods, Hermann makes a deal with a swamp demon which involves blood sacrifices and then the cop emerges from her death and goes on her path of revenge.
During all this a seedy wrestling promoter looks to take advantage of the situation as he books a match between Kitty and her best friend/enemy Lacey Tormada (Lizzie Havoc) in a first blood match and from here on out it goes from strange to the outer regions, pretty much into Parts Unknown as the title suggests. It goes a little off the rails but I think that was the intended purpose, it’s bat-shit crazy!
The film features some truly awesome practical effects from mutilation scenes to bodies dissolving into a pool of sludge, and then there’s some killer synth tunes being played while a lot of the insanity is playing out.
One of my negatives is that I felt that the film could have been trimmed down a bit as it comes in at just under 2-hours and some of the scenes appeared to have overstayed their welcome with so much going on at one time, but then again, this is probably just me nit-picking.
Parts Unknown also features a slew of cameos such as Melantha Blackthorne, Jake “The Snake” Roberts (who lends his voice), The Devil’s Doormen (Brandon Webb & Franky Vain), Brian Zane (Wrestling With Wregret) and many others. I think you’ll have fun scoping some of these out.
If you love wrestling and horror I’m sure you’re going to dig this. It’s got some spectacular effects, a bad-ass score, some killer acting from William DeCoff, Sarah Michelle, and Lizzie Havoc and it’s just balls-to-the-wall insanity. And what about that poster artwork? I’d say it’s just too sweet!