REVIEW: Turn Heel (2016)

Wrestling and horror seem to go hand-in-hand, at least as far as fans go. I’m not saying every horror movie fan loves wrestling, of vice-versa, but there is an influx of people to whom both are near and dear to their hearts. Turn Heel is a love letter to both, following a Lucha-masked killer who stalks a group of campers in the woods.

Clocking in at only 20 minutes, I do wish that Heel had a bit more time to flesh out the story. Shot and edited as if we’re watching an old, grainy VHS tape, the movie opens on the masked killer in a room, staring intently at a TV that plays wrestling clips and gore, while a voice-over is heard, reminding him to never let “them” pin you down. Fast forward 20 years, and the killer is on the hunt, preying on three bros who are camping in what looks to me like the wettest, dampest forest there is.
The kills are fun, and ramp up in brutality through each. I was extremely happy, as a lifelong wrestling fan, to see one of the characters killed off with an actual wrestling hold, and it made me laugh out loud. The effects are cheesy in a fun way, and not at all lacking.

What the crew didn’t have in budget, they made up for in spades with creativity and insanity – I can honestly say this is the only film where I’ve seen a head ripped from a body and the killer drinks the spewing blood like he’s sipping from a water fountain.

Overall, I’d be really happy to see a feature based on this character, with a more fleshed out story and development. The creative aspect of a man in a Lucha mask being a violent killer isn’t 100% original, as it was also the basis for the 2006 film El Mascarado Massacre (aka Wrestlemaniac), but even still, they made the concept feel fresh and original, and to be quite honest, the kills in Turn Heel are way better.

If you’re looking for a quick horror bite to fill your horror and wrestling needs, Turn Heel will easily stun your senses with a superkick to the face. Woooooo!

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