It’s the 1980’s and the place is Belgium, where the young upcoming filmmaker Johan Vandewoestijne had the rebellious desire to show the government and the strict censor board the middle finger with his slasher film Lucker. It’s the similar premise that the like-minded Jörg Buttgereit and Andreas Schnaas did in Germany some years later. And with that being said, you would already know by now what kind of territory this is. This is also the one and only horror film made in Belgium during the whole 1980s, and it’s a product that shouldn’t even exist after the film’s unnamed producer destroyed all the negatives. The only surviving material was a VHS copy that was bootlegged to shreds in the underground horror circle throughout the years – and the only source for director Vandewoestijne to make a Director’s Cut for the 2007-DVD release by Synapse Films.
In Lucker (also known as Lucker the Necrophagous), or a more fitting title which could’ve been Lucker The Corpse Fucker, we follow the morbid journey of the serial killer John Lucker (Nick Van Suyt) – a middle-aged, bulky guy with a double-chin, thin hairline and overall the perfect look for a deranged homicidal madman. After ending up unconscious in a clinic after a suicide attempt to escape from the police, one of the nurses asks (with a cheesy and stiff, cartoonish dub) while standing over his bed:
– Hmm..? Who is this guy ANYway?
– His name is John Lucker. A few years ago, he murdered eight girls. Raped them afterwards. And when I say afterwards, some of the corpses were decomposing.
– A guy like that should be in a MENTAL institution.
Huh, no shit, Sheri Holmes! Anyways … he wakes up, sneaks out of the clinic, body counts two people on the way, steals a car and heads out to the nearest town. He tails one of the first women that appears on his radar and kills her in some…weird way. The filming is too inept to really see what’s going on, but her entrails get spilled out of her stomach, or maybe a fetus if we use a little morbid imagination. He later hooks up with a young chick from a bar, ties her up in a bed in some apartment and … well, while she gets aggravated and deliver a line such as: Untie me … I hate creeps like you … Untie me … Lucker sits on a rocking chair next to her, swinging back and forth like an old demented doofus, while he gives her the silent treatment, only to drag out the running time. After he finally kills her, we jump four weeks later where her body has been decomposed to a slimy maggot infested corpse and fuckable enough for lucky Lucker to finally give us Jörg Buttgereit’s favorite scene of all time.
So … where do we go from here? To get the run time going forward to at least the 45 minute mark, Lucker gets his eyes on one of his former victims, a walking trophy, that got away from him, and of course he can’t have any of that.
There’s two versions of Lucker, the VHS version and the Director’s Cut version, and both of them are available on the Special Edition DVD from Synapse Films. The VHS version, with its runtime on 74 minutes, is a tedious slog of a chore to sit through. There’s an endless scene with Lucker just walking on an empty road. After he hitchhikes to a town, there’s more walking. And … even more walking. Lucker The Walking Man. There’s zero pace and you’ve already dozed off when something interesting is about to happen.
Then we have the Director’s Cut version presented in 16:9 ratio and cut down to 68 minutes. It’s still trash, but better edited. And I have to give director Vandewoestijne some credit for at least for trying his best to stitch together a barely watchable film from the VHS material. He’s also filmed a new opening title for the occasion. Even though there’s less mindless walking and more pacing, there’s still a lot of drawn-out scenes. There’s especially this shot where Lucker ties up a woman, then sits down and just stares at her while she screams like she’s faking an orgasm, which is copy-pasted to make the running time reach its milestone of 60 minutes.
And yeah, both versions contain the corpse fucking scene, so don’t you worry ’bout that.
Director: Johan Vandewoestijne
Writers: Johan Vandewoestijne, John Kupferschmidt
Also known as: Lucker the Necrophagous
Country & year: Belgium, 1986
Actors: Nick Van Suyt, Helga Vandevelde, Let Jotts, Marie Claes, Martine Scherre, Carry Van Middel, John Edwards, Tony Castillo