How Sharper or The Kids Aren’t Alright

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Before Leif Garrett became a Tiger Beat coverboy he was a half-pint psychopath in The Devil Times Five…He and four other seriously disturbed little kids escape a mental institution when their bus crashes and they wander over to a nearby ski lodge. The folks there (including Sorrell “Boss Hogg” Booke) take them in and care for them…when they’re not busy bickering amongst themselves like they’re in an Edward Albee play. The kids repay this kindness by viciously killing their hosts one by one with any available dangerous implement…and in one scene…piranhas in the bathtub. Is it possible the kids saw Russ Meyer’s Up!? These li’l bastards are nasty…and some scenes are pretty disturbing when they’re not derailed by bad acting or overused slow motion. There’s one scene shot entirely in super slo-mo that seems to go on for eons…it becomes funny, then irritating, then exasperating…and then funny again…and they even leave the soundtrack running in slo-mo, so everyone sounds like constipated Hulks. It left me wondering if it was an aesthetic choice or if they just had to pad out the running time. Sometimes bad choices, sloppiness and cost-cutting measures create mindboggling effects onscreen and are often what makes low budget films so memorable and endearing. I recommend watching this back-to-back with Bloody Birthday for a double feature brat attack…

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