Bad Movie Club: The Final Sacrifice

1990 action drama

Bad Movie Rating: 4/5 (Josh: 4/5; Fred: 5/5)

Rating: 5/20

Plot: Some kid with a red sweater has a run-in with a bunch of ski-masked cult members but meets a new pal with a mullet and denim who helps him out.

Bad movie action has a new name, and that new name is Zap Rowsdower. Behold!

That picture of action incarnate is Bruce J. Mitchell in his only role. It's not because Mitchell is a bad actor or doesn't belong on the screen. No, this is clearly a case where Mitchell came on the scene, changed cinematic action heroism forever, and then rode off into the sunset without anything else to say. From the moment he introduces himself--"I'm Rowsdower. Zap Rowsdower," natch--to the moment when he put beer in his truck to his final moment when he and the movie's other hero, young Troy, ride off together to their next series of adventures which unfortunately did not turn into a television series or a bunch of sequels.

It's not just Rowsdower who carries this thriller on his denim-clad shoulders though. A horde of ski-masked cultists led by a guy in a trench coat with a comically-modulated voice will almost make you want to grab your own ski mask and either find yourself a cult to join or start one yourself. And then there's the character Mike Pipper, some sort of shaggy recluse who talks a little like Tom Waits after a swift kick to the nut sack. Troy comes in and eats a sandwich off his floor in what winds up being one of the best action scenes of the movie. Just when The Final Sacrifice starts to feel redundant, Mike Pipper comes along to growl new life into the thing.

Truth be told, this isn't a complete disaster despite a lame story, superfluous foot chases through the woods, inexplicable ski masks, and bad acting. Tjardus Greidanus, a Dutch-Canadian filmmaker, has some idea what to do with a camera at least. The music also isn't terrible. As you'd expect with a first-time filmmaker, however, Tjardus has pacing issues and his movie never really gets going. But for fans of bad action B-movies, it's worth the time.

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