Dance with Death 1992 Review
Bailando Con La Muerte 1992
aka Dance With Death
Directed by: Charles Philip Moore
Starring: Jill Pierce, Maxwell Caulfield, Barbara Alyn Woods
Review by Luisjo González
I’m not going to repeat the same stories I’ve told you all before about watching Halloween when I was six-year’s-old and then becoming a slasher addict. However I can tell you an amusing story that relates to this picture. I was obviously hunting through my video rental emporiums for more slasher trash and I came across the cover of Stripped to Kill way back when. The back blurb seemed pretty slasher, but the problem was, my madre wouldn’t let me rent it because of the suggested nudity on the package description. Eventually, I was able to go to Stoke Newington high street with an older kid from my street, and I was able to pay a homeless guy to rent the forbidden movie for me.
Obviously I love the ladies and the eight-year old me was enamoured with what I saw during that runtime. It’s sad to think that we grew up so quick in crime ridden London and sometimes I regret not having a childhood. What does information about Stripped to Kill have to do with Dance with Death you rightly ask? Well, this motion picture is a jazzed-up remake of STK, they even use the same dialogue and it’s from the same author. DWD was one of a number of dance/strip related slasher movies that were released following the success of the 1987 Roger Corman thriller, Stripped To Kill. Some others include: Slash Dance, Deadly Dancer, Last Dance, Strip Club Slasher and The Rain Killer. Whist we’re on that subject, it must be stated that STK was not an authentic movie and was itself a rip off of Lucio Fulci’s Murder-rock from 1984.
A number of killings at a local strip joint give a reporter the chance to go undercover and begin an investigation. Kelly gets a job as a stripper and begins to question the resident dancers. As she gets closer to the truth, more and more people end up dead and she looks to be next on the killer’s list…
I understand that certain people may believe that a slasher movie in a strip bar is going to have zero class and be extremely exploitive. Whilst I admit the setup is tacky, the characterisations are not. The females in the cast are all written as strong women and the heroine is a fiery reporter with a forceful will. This is a slasher movie of course, with a masked killer and all the trimmings, but at times, it’s possible to forget you’re watching a horror film. A couple of the dancers have issues that are covered, we have the journalist backstory due to the final girl’s employment and finally the owner of the club, which is called Bottoms up, is having regular issues with his employees. There are a few slaughters, but they’re not spaced close together, which makes you wonder what tone the production team was aiming for. We go from a strip scene, to a brutal murder, then attempts at humour, something of a romance between the leads and it’s all thrown at us in about five minutes. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel? Was I meant to be scared? In a comic mood? Or involved in the liaison?
The key element of the story of course is the mystery of who’s killing everybody. There’s a number of suspects, but I worked it out by the dialogue. It took me a while and I admit it’s not an easy one to solve, but listen to what they say closely. What’s interesting is that Bottoms Up the bar is always full, but the car park outside is consistently empty. Do they walk home at 2am? Rather them than me, I tell you. I’ve never been to a strip bar in reality, because I am not interested in looking if I can’t touch. Being a handsome guy gives me that luxury (wink wink – joke, I’m handsome but not arrogant!!)). Anyway, If I were to venture to Bottoms Up by chance, I’d demand my money back. The only girl with a decent rack, the stunning Lola (hottie Jill Pierce), is the first killed and the rest of the laydees are flatter than a pancake on my ironing board. If these guy customers are paying to watch these strumpets, they must be desperate. Go to a disco and get yourself a girl you can take home with you after.
One of the striptastic boogie queens is reported to have a drug problem and we see her laughing and then falling in to the crowd. She gets sacked for being a junkie and then if that’s not bad enough, she gets killed (brutal murder btw). It’d be nice if the screenwriters did some research when writing the dire-logue for a movie that’s going to be shown in cinemas. The only drug that makes you laugh is marijuana and it’s not so bad that you’d burst into hysterics on stage whilst working. Cocaine, crack, heroin, PCP are not giggling drugs and she wasn’t on LSD, because no one mentioned hallucinations. Whilst we talking about the script, I bust out laughing when the cop was telling some criminal sales guy that he was interrogating to go away. He said, in Spanish ‘vamos amigo’ and walks off?? Vamos means we go, not go away. What he meant to say was, vete or vaya (go away or you go). I wonder how much these authors got paid for this crapola??? Why use Español and get it wrong. My head was in my hands. 😂
I always disliked Prom Night’s balaclava, because I thought it was lazy from Peter Simpson to go for something so basic. The assassin here also sports a similar black mask, but I thought it worked much better in DWD. I guess it could be because of his height/build. Drew Snyder from Terror Eyes plays the editor, but thankfully they had more sense than casting him as a womaniser as he was in the 1981 slasher classic. I mentioned in my original review, how unrealistic that looked having the balding Snyder as a lady killer. Maxwell Caulfield is the detective and whilst he’s not a horrible actor, the way his career fell apart is a real shame. To go from a huge film like Grease 2 to Dance with Death is really disappointing. He stayed busy, but for a handsome guy, it was a big fall from the top. None of the performances featured stink the place out and all in all it’s an enjoyable runtime.
A slasher movie that allows me to see topless women is always going to be my favourite kind, so expect me to review of the rest of this type before the end of 2022. I had fun with Dance with Death. One or two brutal murders, an interesting plot, a good mystery and the chance to see topless women. If that ticks your boxes, check it out. One last question I’ll answer for the ladies… Is this a motion picture for slasherettes? I still say, yes. They won’t enjoy the female nudity (unless they’re gay), but as I said, the puzzle is good and it’s not tedious. Perhaps the biggest plus of all is the beautiful and breathtakingly stunning Jill Pierce plays the first victim, Lola. I first saw her in Darkroom, but it seems she had a boob job, because since then, she’s gone from a 32A (it looked about that) to a 34DD. That’s some enlargement in three years. She’s up there with Traci Lords, Natti Natasha, Abbie Shapiro, Christine Hendricks and Ariel Winter in the gorgeous stakes. Married and madly in love, I still 1000% would🤣. I wish my Mum moved to USA instead of England all those años ago. I guarantee that if I was working close to that set when they were shooting Dance With Death, I would’ve asked out and dated Jill Pierce. Maybe I’d have another kid with her by now haha. Peace