Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness (1986)

I dare you to read this review.


Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness (1986)
Directed By: Tim Ritter (Wicked Game: Truth or Dare? 2)

The Prologue
Some of you may recall in the early days of this web-site, even before seeing the film for myself, I went into a bit of a campaign hoping someone would hear me and finally release the then out of print Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness back on DVD. Finally someone did in the form of MVD. And I am now given the honor to review the brand spanking new DVD that not only has this outrageously gory movie on it, but some cool special features as well.

The Movie
Mike Strauber just wants what everyone wants. He wants to feel accepted and be loved. Mike has a wife he loves dear named, Sharon..but the thing is Sharon has become bored with the relationship. Mike unable to catch the hints walks in on Sharon in bed with another man, but not just any man, his best friend Jerry. Unable to deal with this drastic disappointment Mike snaps, and sets on a blood soaked mission to play a twisted little game of truth or dare?

I’ve used the term so bad it’s good before. However, to me, Truth or Dare? is soo bad it’s awesome. There are moments in this film that will make you question just what the heck you’ve seen. There are moments that will make you roll your eyes and laugh. But somehow it all mixes together to make a very watchable film that is packed with twisted enjoyment. Plus, you got to really hand it to Tim Ritter. He made this film on a very shoestring budget, yet still he makes it a lot of fun.

While the gore isn’t what you’d come to expect from movies with more money placed into them then or today, you get gore that just makes you feel dirty at times watching. That pretty much alone is all you need to turn a film into a cult classic. As the story moves along we see Mike go from a guy obsessed with his game to a man who jacks a car and loads it up with some of the most random murder weapons you could see. Lets see, just what does Mike randomly pull out? There’s a machine gun, a chainsaw, a machete, a pair of nun-chucks, and some other old barbarian type weapon that I have no idea what you’d call it..Good times!!

They also try to get over his copper mask he starts wearing in the film but I just don’t think it catches on a well as Jason’s hockey mask or Michael Myers’ repainted Shatner mask. The key to this film and the selling point is what it’s named after, Truth or Dare? Anyone could just toss on any old mask and try to make a horror icon with it but it doesn’t have the same unique feel of someone randomly asking another person to “Cut their finger off”.

But as I said the film is so awesomely bad it’s crazy. The acting is very spotty. However, I do think John Brace does a great job as Mike. There are some comedic/dark humor moments that sometimes work and sometimes don’t. Also not only do you have to pay close attention to the details of just how Mike ends up with all the weapons he has nearing the end of the film. You better set yourself up for one of the un-logical endings you’re ever going to see. I’m not sure if that’s due to some bad editing or what, but it holds things back a bit. That all being said, I think you should all see this movie at least once.

The Conclusion
The movie would go on to spawn two official sequels from Ritter titled Wicked Games and Screaming for Sanity: Truth or Dare 3. It also has an unofficial sequel called Writer’s Block. Not sure about any of those, but this is a keeper for many uncommon reasons. I also should probably note that playing the role of the young Mike in this film is Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean..I kid you not.

So do yourself a favor and pick this cult classic up for a very good price over at MVD. It’s been a long time coming and finally the new DVD is here.

The Rating (6.5/10)