Dustin Mills. That is a name that any of you loyal readers should be familiar with. Since my first chance encounter with Dustin at Cinema Wasteland, I’ve been a fan of his work. I will admit that some of his movies are quite ambitious for the small amount of cash that he has to work with, but he has so far been pretty consistent with his output. That brings us to today’s look at his newest movie, THE BALLAD OF SKINLESS PETE.
Dr. Peter Peel is a brilliant oncologist. With the help of his good friend they have been working tirelessly to try and find a cure for skin cancer. When they finally make a huge breakthrough, their financial backing gets a little hesitant and Dr. Peel is told the he’ll have to wait before he can test his potential cure. Little do Dr. Peel’s friends know that he is also fighting skin cancer, and he decides to test on himself. At first the experiment appears to be working, but once things begin to change for the worst Dr. Peel’s life begins to flip upside down.
Once again Dustin has done what so few can, he took a miniscule budget and put out a damn fine movie! Unlike most of his earlier releases, THE BALLAD OF SKINLESS PETE leaves the comedy at home and let’s Dustin show off a different side to his movie making talent. SKINLESS PETE is really more of a science fiction tale than horror (reminded me a lot of THE THING or THE FLY to give you a better idea). That is a tough genre to work with when you have little to no money, but Dustin succeeds by not working outside his means. Locations and the number of characters is left to a minimum, but that lets the story stand out as the main attraction. The story is held together with some strong writing both with the dialog as well as the character development. Also helping the strong story is fantastic acting by leads Brandon Salkil and Erin R. Ryan. These two have been in a handful of independent films throughout the Buckeye state, and as always they bring the goods. SKINLESS PETE also brings the goods when it comes to effects and gore. CGI is kept to a minimum, and the practical effects ooze off the screen in all their gory glory. Like any good Dustin Mills Production, the film is littered with nudity, including more of Brandon than I’d ever seen before. Finally, the music in the movie really stood out to me (something I honestly don’t recall happening in any of Dustin’s previous films) and helped to set the mood and keep this dark, twisted tale on track. Bravo all around!
Usually this is where I would give you the flip side of the coin, but I honestly have nothing to complain about.
Do yourselves a favor and check out THE BALLAD OF SKINLESS PETE. You can buy or rent a digital copy of the flick right here for as low as a dollar (seriously, one fucking dollar). Or if you’re old school like me and want the DVD or Blu-ray you can pick them up right here. Regardless, if you are a fan of independent horror movies do yourself a solid and find a way to see THE BALLAD OF SKINLESS PETE now!