Keith Collins With Geri Reischl, Brandon Ruckdashel And Daniela Rivera

The Meat Puppet movie had its world premiere at the 2012 Downbeach Film Festival Atlantic City Cinefest in Atlantic City, NJ. I was blown away as the film erupted into a suspenseful, edge of your seat, psychological thriller. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of scare-the- pants-off -you moments, but The Meat Puppet is more than just the violent gore-fest that passes for today’s sub par horror films.

Directed, by Joe Valenti (Echelon 8), The Meat Puppet has a very sophisticated, crisp, big budget look that gives it an advantage over other independent horror movies.

Keith Collins (Stuck in the Middle, BIdentity Crisis) stars as Andrew Shelton, a playboy who stalks beautiful women, kills them and turns them into delicious meals. Collins is a tour de force in this role as the handsome, renaissance man with a very dark side. A cross between Norman Bates and Hannibal Lector, Collins’ expressions and emotions keep the audience thinking that this madman can snap at a moments notice. He is both suave and maniacal, a combination that he jumps back and forth between with ease. He is key in this role and his performance is impeccable. His eerie encounter with a young girl (Abigail Summa) selling candy is Collins at some of his frightening best.

Other standout performances in the film are Brandon Ruckdashel, (Co-Ed Confidential) the eager detective obsessed with bringing “Drew” down. The chemistry between Collins and Ruckdashel is intense as they try to one up each other in this deadly game.

Television buffs will welcome Geri Reischl (aka “Fake Jan”-The Brady Bunch Variety Hour) back to the screen as she gives a spine tingling performance as Andrew’s “mother” who’s controlling ways contribute to his insanity.

And new-comer Daniela Rivera holds her own as the object of Andrew’s infatuation. Rivera, in her first major role had the difficult task of going up against Collins, but she does an admirable job and I believe we will be hearing from her again.

And keep your hands away from your eyes long enough to catch an array of reality stars and pop culture icons including Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, current guitarist of Guns and Roses who is a natural on camera and offers an amusing nod to his famous band’s lead singer.

Former New York Yankee Billy Sample and “The Man Whose Arms Exploded,” bodybuilding legend Gregg Valentino have substantial roles and deliver like pros.

The Meat Puppet is written by indie outlaws Joseph and Billy Pepitone, whose last film was the controversial religious parody Stuck in the Middle, which won Best Comedy Feature at the Downbeach Film Festival last year. They have put together a very tight script with convincing dialogue and a very Hitchcockian twist ending. 

Overall the Meat Puppet is hopefully a new wave of horror film that is driven by a charismatic lead actor, has a great look and strong script that will keep you guessing to the closing credits. 

The Meat Puppet – Directed by Joe Valenti. Produced by Joe Valenti, Blaze Coyle & Keith Collins. Written by Joseph and Billy Pepitone. Starring Keith Collins, Brandon Ruckdashel, Geri Reischl & Daniela Rivera.

Photo Courtesy Of: Steve Mack/SD Mack Pictures