Shock Chamber

Film review by Thomas M. Sipos




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Shock Chamber (1985, Canada, aka Greedy Terror, dir: Steve DiMarco; cast: Doug Stone, Jaqueline Samuda as Jackie Samuda, Russell Ferrier, George T. Cunningham, Karen Cannata, Andy Andoch, Frank McAnulty, Bill Zagot, Bill Boyle, Sue Miner, Victor P. Farkas, Eileen Williams)





I taped Shock Chamber off of the USA Network cable TV channel -- was it in the 1980s?

This is a Canadian TV movie. Pretty low production values. Obviously shot on videotape.

Back in the 1980s, videotape had a distinctive "TV look." Today it's harder to tell whether a project was shot on film or video, but Shock Chamber has that cheapish video "quality."

I taped Shock Chamber because it sounded like a horror anthology, but it wasn't. More of a crime & suspense anthology.

Here are the three tales:

1.  "Symbol of Victory" -- A Chunky Femme Fatale (Jackie Samuda) and her Tough Guy lover plot to swindle a Naive Rich Boy.

Here's how. The Tough Guy sells fake love potions to the Naive Rich Boy, and the Chunky Femme Fatale pretends to fall in love with him.

But the potion only "lasts" a week, so the Naive Rich Boy keeps having to buy another $1,000 vial of this fake stuff. Naturally, there's a surprise twist ending.

2.  "Country Hospitality" -- A criminal with $300,000 in kidnap loot stops at a tourist trap, run by four criminals (including an Aging Femme Fatale diner waitress). The four criminals kill the first criminal, steal his loot, then proceed to betray each other. But in the end, there's another surprise twist ending.


3.  "The Injection" -- Two brothers, a loser doctor and a loser ex-con, plot to defraud an insurance company. The doctor will drug his ex-con brother so that he appears dead. He will then certify his brother as dead, and bury him. Then he will unbury him, and they'll collect on the life insurance. But there's a surprise twist ending.

Aside from the low production values, the actors range from mediocre to not so good.

Despite it all, I kinda liked this oddball crime/suspense anthology. It's not very good, and no horror content. Yet it's interesting to see these old, obscure oddities, largely because they are obscure and odd.



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