Luther the Geek (1989)


(director: Carlton J. Albright; screenwriter: Whitney Styles; cinematographer: David Knox; editor: Rick Smigielski; music: Vern Carlson; cast: Edward Terry (The Freak, Luther Watts), Joan Roth (Hilary Lawson), Stacy Haiduk (Beth Lawson), Thomas Mills (Rob), J. Jerome Clark (Trooper Edwards), Tom Brittingham (Geek), Gil Rogers (Walsh), Karen Maurise (Mrs. Butler); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: David Platt; A Troma Team; 1990)
“This gory splatter flick is strictly for fans of the cultish exploitation genre.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The geek in this film is referred to as a carnival sideshow performer so desperate he is willing to do anything to get a drink, such as the bizarre act of biting off the head of a chicken. This gory splatter flick is strictly for fans of the cultish exploitation genre, others beware: it’s grim and hardly funny. It’s directed by Carlton J. Albright and written by Whitney Styles. It’s a thoroughly awful film that just might have an appeal to those who find the freak (Edward Terry) intriguing and don’t care about the sloppy plot, terrible acting, or of how dumb it is even for the usual exploitation film.

In rural Illinois, in 1938, a child witnesses a “geek” bite the head off a live chicken and devour it, in front of a taunting audience consisting of farmers. This haunts him, as it leads to Luther going on an eventual lunatic homicidal spree where he clucks like a chicken and bites into the neck of his victim with a pair of razor-sharp metal dentures. Imprisoned for 20 years for three such murders, a parole board releases him because he’s a model prisoner despite the warnings of one member that they are setting a killer free.

After his prison release, Luther enters a supermarket and steals a pair of sunglasses and maniacally gulps down eggs in the dairy section. The store manager calls police, but not before Luther puts the bite on an old lady waiting for a bus. Luther then hides in the back of a shopper’s car, Mrs. Hilary Lawson (Joan Roth), and holds her hostage in her isolated farmhouse, tying her up in her bed. Only able to communicate through chicken noises, Luther terrorizes the widowed Hilary, and then her visiting well-stacked college daughter Beth and her biker boyfriend Rob. When a dumb-assed trooper comes by, he also becomes a victim of Luther’s rampage. It leads to a gory ending, where the only communication is through the clucking sounds of chicken speak. I guess to thoroughly enjoy this flick it’s essential to get into the clucking sounds and think chicken.