Dustin Mill’s The Ballad of Skinless Pete, follows the story of a scientist on the verge of a medical breakthrough. Dr. Pete Peele, believes he has found the cure for cancer in the stomach of a parasitic worm. Desperate to prove his finding to be true in order to save himself from his own skin cancer, Pete pushes forward with human testing enlisting himself as the Guinea pig. Pete injects the “cure” into his body unleashing a nightmare he could have never prepared for in this beautiful return to 80s era sci-fi horror.
If you are one of those types that translate low budget into meaning “bad acting, lazy writing, and bad special fx” this is the perfect film to change your way of thinking. Dustin Mills is an absolute master when it comes to showcasing just how much a filmmaker can achieve on a low budget with creativity and undeniable ability. The Ballad of Skinless Pete is a testament to the level of talent coming out of the indie horror scene. A complete package film that features stellar acting, compelling storytelling, and beautiful practical special effects.
Once again, Brandon Salkil gives an amazing performance. This guy is someone you want to place on your radar because he is going places. I’ve yet to see him give anything below 110% when he takes on a role. Co-star Erin R. Ryan also does a great job as Dr. Alice Cross. I really enjoyed the fact that the film features such a small cast because it makes you that much more attached to the characters you are presented with. I also really appreciated the fact that it doesn’t push for an unneeded large body count, but instead makes each death really count visually.
The specials effects are awesome, and even more impressive given the budget of the film. I can’t even imagine what Mills could pull off with a large budget to work with. Gore hounds are going to fall in love with this film as there are some authentically cringe worthy moments. I honestly caught myself putting my hands on my face in horror. During one of the more graphic scenes, thanks to great use of clear audio to really add that extra layer of gross out to a shot.
It is rare that I ever write a straight up love letter to a film. But, in this case it is very much deserved and I want to go as far as to say that if this film does not gain a wide genre acceptance that I have lost a substantial amount of faith in the industry’s ability to recognize rising talent. I truly hope this film finds its audience because it really does need to be experienced. The Ballad of Skinless Pete is currently a very strong contender for my choice for best of 2013.
If you enjoy films such as The Fly, Slither, The Thing, etc. I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Ballad of Skinless Pete and preparing to add a new favorite to your collection.