I am a big fan of Tim Ritter’s films, in particular his ‘masterpiece’, Killing Spree. It’s one of the movies that has inspired me more than any other, and these are also pretty famous, as far as his filmography is concerned. I was able to track down some copies for the first two films in the series, and I have to say I found them surprisingly interesting, in more ways than one.
The first Truth Or Dare deals with a man named Mike Strauber (John Brace), a mentally disturbed man who goes over the edge when he finds out his wife is having an affair with another man. He reverts to his youth where he would play perverted games in truth or dare, and so he becomes a cold-blooded insane psycho killer who ends up in an insane asylum. There he scars his face (again, playing truth or dare) and escapes with a gold mask, and starts killing people again.
This is essentially a slasher film, but I have to give it some credit for being more ambitious than most. It takes it’s time to be very psychological, really letting us get into the psyche of our character and showing how rejection can turn a normal man into a monster. The deaths are very original as well, although on a very small budget. John Brace is really good in the role, and I actually ended up giving a crap about the guy, even if he was something of a psycho.
A few years later, Ritter made the sequel, Truth Or Dare 2: Wicked Games, or as my copy says, simply Wicked Games. Again, the film explores the theme of rejection as it’s main driving force, this time featuring three different characters: a guy with a badass mullet who loses his wife, a policeman, and a doctor. People around them, including random sex workers, get themselves violently murdered by a psychopath wearing a modified gold mask, similar to the one worn by the original killer. Is it the original Mike Strauber, back to kill some more, or is there something more sinister going on?
The movie’s death scenes are sadly more disappointing and generic compared to those of the original, with the exception of the sprinkler death scene. Yes, the sprinkler death scene, something so ridiculous I give credit to Ritter for having the balls to film it in something that takes itself so seriously. The women look like skanky porn stars, which isn’t a bad thing in my book, but their acting talents are not very interesting. Neither is the acting talent of our three leads, who don’t shine nowhere as much as John Brace.
There is a third film in the series, but I haven’t seen it yet. In the end, however, both movies are very good, very interesting and very original slasher films. Sure, they have some faults, but most of these are budgetary, not in it’s imagination, and they come highly recommended.