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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Parts Unknown

August 6, 2020 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Parts Unknown

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #565: Parts Unknown

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never been chased around the ring and to the backstage area with a steel chair, a kendo stick, a sledgehammer, or, really, anything, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number five hundred and sixty-five, I take a look at the pro wrestling themed mega low budget horror flick Parts Unknown, which recently hit DVD and digital on July 7th, 2020.

Parts Unknown

PartsUnknownPoster

I’ve been dreading this review for the last week. I knew, once I finished watching the “movie,” that this wouldn’t be a fun review. At all. It’s going to be a brutal review. A rough one. Because the movie featured in this column is just… ugh.

Well, no point in delaying the proceedings any further. I’ll just get on with it.

Okay. Parts Unknown written and directed by Richard Chandler, is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Ever. It’s both appalling and amazing that the movie was made, deemed finished, and then actually released by a distribution company. I also find it hard to believe that writer/director Chandler considered this some sort of cinematic vision because it’s just so, so bad, unless that was the point, and if it was that’s even worse. Even as some sort of joke Parts Unknown is garbage.

The “movie” stars William DeCoff as Hermann Von Strasser, the patriarch of a famous pro wrestling family that has fallen on hard times. Hermann’s matches don’t draw the crowds that they used to, and the people who do show up barely pay attention to what’s going on in the ring. One night, while wrestling in front of a scant crowd, Hermann kills his opponent in the ring (he actually rips the guy’s throat out with his bare hands). Hermann decides, right then and there, that he’s done with pro wrestling and needs to find something else to do with his time.

Now, as the promoter (Gary Wilkerstein, played by Ralph Regine) tries to figure out how to cover up the murder in his wrestling ring and talks with the “good” and “non-insane” Von Strasser, Karl (Stephen Cwiok), Hermann goes home, where all sorts of debauchery is happening. Kitty Von Strasser (Sarah Michelle), Hermann’s sister, is hanging out with an up and coming female wrestler named Lacey Tormada (Lizzie Havoc) and snorting cocaine and whatnot. There’s also a guy there named Harvey Von Strasser (Alexander Hauck) who, I’m guessing, has some sort of developmental disability (it’s not really clear). Harvey likes to watch old tapes of Hermann doing interviews and trying to play up to the audience. So Hermann freaks out a bit, and then a woman shows up (Mary Price, as played by Alexandra Cipolla) and attempts to, I think, arrest someone for violating parole or some shit. There’s a bit of a scuffle, and Mary is killed. It’s at this point that Karl shows up at the house, there’s more yelling and nonsense, and Karl is shot in the head for some reason.

So Hermann and Harvey take Mary’s body out to the woods to bury, and suddenly they find out that Mary isn’t quite dead. After Mary escapes, Hermann and Harvey are visited by a ghost skeleton thing that is supposed to be ultimate evil or something (the ghost skeleton thing is called The Holiness and is played by Christina Costello and voiced by pro wrestling legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts). Hermann interacts with the Holiness, and Hermann decides that now it’s his job to kill the world (he says “All beauty must die,” which is, I believe, the original title for this “movie”).

Now, as all of that is going on, Mary runs into a house somewhere, breaks a bunch of stuff, electrocutes herself in a bathtub, and becomes the antithesis of the Holiness, Mother of Mercy. She gets a shotgun, and heads back out into the world.

So then Kitty has a “first blood” match with Lacey and, in the process of the match, rips off one of Lacey’s nipples for some reason. Mary pops into the building as Kitty chews on Lacey’s bloody nipple and shoots off Kitty’s left hand. Then Lacey goes back to the Von Strasser house with an oxygen tank in tow. Mary shows up there next and attempts to take out the Von Strasser family. Mary is knocked out, and then Harvey tries to kill her in the backyard but then loses his arm in a wood chipper when she fights back. And while all of that is happening, Karl is decomposing in the kitchen (the lucky bastard). Mary finds some sort of old wrestling outfit, puts it on, and becomes Mother of Mercy with a costume. There’s also a trip to a medium here.

And then Kitty kills Lacey with a dildo covered in razorblades. And Hermann, in a new full freak out mode, decides he wants to kill Gary the promoter. So he goes to do that. A bunch of stuff happens in the woods. And I think I’m done attempting to explain what happens in this movie because it’s just mentally fucking exhausting.

I have no idea what the ultimate point of this “movie” is supposed to be. The stuff that does happen takes forever to happen, and there’s no sense of urgency to anything. Hermann wants to kill the world, but then he just yells profanities at people and then yells some more after that. There’s no sense of time to anything. Stuff just seems to happen. Is this all taking place in a day? A couple of days? A week? I have no fucking clue. The “movie” just progresses at its own snail pace and it’s just a chore to sit through.

Was there a script that Chandler decided to throw out when he started filming? Did Chandler want everyone to “improvise” their lines after giving them a brief sense of what the story was supposed to be? It’s just mind boggling that Chandler or anyone else thought what they were doing was any good. Because what the fuck is happening?

Is this movie meant to be some sort of weird beard “art” film? Do I need to be drunk or high as fuck to understand it? And why is it almost two hours long (two of the longest hours of your life)? Goddamit this movie sucks. What the fuck?

PartsUnknownHermann

Is there anything good about Parts Unknown? There’s a nice sounding synth soundtrack by Andre Ferreira Fernandes and Michael Shiraef (the opening theme is catchy). Some of the special make up effects look decent (Karl’s rotting body in the kitchen is gnarly and looks like a real rotting body). And William DeCoff, who is a real pro wrestler, has a certain on screen appeal that, with some actual direction and a good script, might be worthwhile in a better movie. And Lizzie Havoc could probably also succeed in a better movie because she, too, has a certain appeal. I also wouldn’t mind seeing a proper movie featuring Ralph Regine as an unscrupulous but funny indy pro wrestling promoter. That might be a movie worth doing.

Parts Unknown is a gigantic turd, a “movie” that everyone in the world should avoid like it’s a deadly disease. It’s the kind of “movie” that will make you hate the idea of watching new movies at all because there’s a chance that the new movie might be as bad as Parts Unknown. You just don’t want to put yourself through that kind of pain and misery again. Life is too short.

Avoid Parts Unknown. It’s worth no one’s time. A complete disaster. Why was this released? Why?

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 12 or so. I lost interest in trying to count.

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: Yes. It isn’t the least bit appealing.

Doobage: A low budget indy pro wrestling shoe somewhere, a 2 x 4 wrapped in barbed wire, throat ripping, a cool 1980’s synth opening theme, use of the word “jobber,” a brief “guys working out” montage, a locker room fight, a dilapidated house, scantily clad women dancing in front of an upside down cross for some reason. Serious cocaine snorting, knife to the neck, cop killing, anti-Semitism, judo choke, bullet to the head, hole digging, serious blood barfing, a neon skeleton ghost or some bullshit, shovel to the head, glass breaking, flower smashing, bathtub electrocution, shotgun hooey, attempted mugging, knee capping, as test of strength, kendo stick to the back, a cardboard box filled with empty beer bottles, a bulldog onto the empty beer bottles, steel chair hooey, a camel clutch, boobs, bloody nipple removal, nipple eating, exploding hand, oxygen tank hooey, stuff about a Satanic cult making sacrifices in the woods, a rotting dead body, golf club to the back, multiple knives to the back, gut stabbing (maybe), arm through a wood chipper, a Tinder date that doesn’t go well for the guy, some really bad sex, talk about energy changes or some bullshit, bloody guts, a dildo covered in razorblades, up close removal of a shard of glass, wound stapling, fellatio, a red moon, zombie women in the trees, neck breaking, a beat down with a barbed wire covered baseball bat, attempted chainsaw attack, a lunatic attacking a pregnant woman, a bleeding crotch, ghost fingering, a premature fetus, the end of TV and satellite communications, off screen parent killing, and thank God it’s over.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous:A “grindhouse” feature presentation thing, “Introducing Lizzie Havoc,” “and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts,” a guy using a typewriter, talk of “wellness policy violations,” a verbal assault on sports entertainment, a poster explaining what happens to you if you use anabolic steroids, an intense and disturbing wrestling promo, “All Beauty Must Die,” New England accents, a music box, the voice of Jake “The Snake” Roberts, “dead inside” written on a mirror, shotgun hooey, a “Make America Great Again” hat, sniffing ADHD pills, mention of Chris Benoit, a final confrontation, and an overall unpleasant “movie” watching experience.

Best lines: “Dammit! Dammit! My shoulder is out!,” “Jesus Christ! He’s actually digging this! Fuck!,” “That went well. So what’s next?,” “Someone’s gotta do the job,” “Turn down that fucking music!,” “I never watched your show,” “It’s goddamn real!,” “I shouldn’t do coke with my other meds,” “Harvey, you fucked up hard!,” “There is no salvation for you, Karl,” “People love botches at indy events,” “That better not be who I think it was,” “Do I really have to dig? My asthma is killing me,” “You will deliver more innocence,” “I will gain the power that I seek,” “You want blood? I live for blood,” “Oh shit! Stop this match! Stop this fucking match!,” “Are you not entertained?,” “Your sister cut my fucking nipple off!,” “You always did cut the best promos, Hermann,” “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to kill you the first time! It’s just that you came back to life and we just have to be careful!,” “People like you deserve to die!,” “Fuck you, retard!,” “Why don’t you just be a good girl and just die?,” “Fuck me,” “Sorry, that usually doesn’t happen,” “I can smell the cum on you, whore! What are you up to?,” “She’s hardcore! She’s hardcore! She’s hardcore!,” “Who’s the skank? What skank?,” “I’m not a pharmacist!,” “All I ever wanted was to get back on TV. That’s it,” “Are you quoting your Japanese death match speech?,” “Why are you so cruel? There’s nothing else left to be,” and “Hey, kids, you mind grabbing me a flashlight?”

Rating: 2.0/10.0

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Patriot: A Nation at War: This is some sort of mega low budget action flick that was originally called Eye for an Eye. It’s apparently about an ex-CIA agent played by Alex Sturman who is attacked by a band of mercenaries because she owns a disk or memory stick or something that could lead to big problems around the world (the description for the movie on imdb says that the information on the disk/stick could help thwart or start World War III). I don’t quite get why the name was changed, or why the name was changed to Patriot: A Nation at War, but I’m willing to give this a rental, just to see if it’s as action packed as the trailer suggests. I’m rooting for it to succeed. The world certainly doesn’t need a bad mega low budget action movie.

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Thirteen Ghosts Collector’s Edition: This is a new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from the fine folks at Shout! Factory and its Scream Factory imprint, so you know that the home video presentation is going to be top notch. This is a fairly decent remake of a horror classic, filled with all sorts of cool looking special effects and special makeup. I remember renting this when it originally hit home video and not really expecting much from it and it blew me away. Tony Shaloub is fantastic in it (he did this movie before he became Tony Shaloub), and when is F. Murray Abraham not welcome? Never. I bet the special features rock on this. Definitely want to get this. Any other Thirteen Ghosts remake fans out there?

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Graveyard Shift Collector’s Edition: This is another Collector’s Edition from the fine folks at Shout! Factory and its Scream Factory imprint, so, as I just said above (and always seem to say), even if the movie stinks you know the home video presentation is going to be phenomenal. And I have no idea if this horror flick, based on a story by Stephen King, is any good or not since I’ve never seen it. I’ve seen the trailer several times, and when this movie hit cable I saw a commercial for it a million times (I don’t remember if it was HBO or Cinemax). I always thought that Stephen Macht was Fred Ward and was disturbed by that. I should have seen this by now, though. My God, what the hell have I been doing with myself? Anyway, Brad Dourif and Andrew Divoff are also in this, so that’s awesome. And it looks like Scream Factory has put together some cool sounding special features (mostly interviews with the director Ralph S. Singleton and some other people involved). Another definite must own.

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Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

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Parts Unknown

William DeCoff– Hermann Von Strasser
Alexandria Cipola– Mary Price/Mother of Mercy
Sarah Michelle– Kitty Von Strasser
Lizzie Havoc– Lacey Tormada
Alexander Hauck– Harvey Von Strasser
Ralph Regine– Gary Wilkerstein
Stephen Cwiok– Karl Von Strasser
Christina Costello– The Holiness
Jake “The Snake” Roberts– The Holiness (voice)

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by Richard Chandler
Screenplay by Richard Chandler

Distributed by Wild Eye Releasing

Unrated
Runtime– 114 minutes

https://www.facebook.com/PartsUnknownMovie/

Buy it here (you really shouldn’t, though)