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By Dan Fienberg | September 26, 2002

In its opening, “Death Factory” features a hilarious credit that reads “Based on an original idea by Jeff Leroy and David Sterling.” This raises two important questions: If “Death Factory” was based on such a darned original idea, why didn’t either Sterling or Leroy write the script? And, perhaps more importantly, if it was based on such a darned original idea, why can’t I remember a single original second in the entire movie?
“Death Factory” relies on one of the hoariest premises going: A group of young kids go to a secluded location to party and copulate and they get picked off one after another by a mysterious killer whose true motives the audience only learns in a final reel twist. In this film, the secluded location is an old abandoned factory on the outskirts of town (sounds likely enough, eh?). The group of young kids features the bad-girl brunette (Karla Zamudio), the pretty blonde virgin (Lisa Jay), the bland jock whose willing to wait for the virgin (Jeff Ryan), the lusty black couple (David Kalamus and Rhoda Jordan), and the geek who seems to be around only to provide random exposition before dying (Jason Flowers). Stop me when I get to the original idea, OK? Once they get inside the old abandoned factory they party a little, split up for nookie, and keep saying “I’ll be right back” only to get mauled by our killer. We’re told the killer was a former employee of the chemical factory who became a mutant somehow. The kind of mutant with clear eyes, wires sticking out everywhere, and metallic teeth and nails. If the creature had a creative killing strategy, that would be a reason to keep watching, but she mostly just munches on her victims in repetitive and bloody killing scenes.
With a film like this, there are only a few things that need to be revealed. Firstly, Ron Jeremy’s name appears above the title on the DVD. What’s up with that? Folks who fear the Hedgehog will be relieved to know that Jeremy only appears in one scene, remains fully clothed, doesn’t say anything, and gets swiftly murdered. And Troma fans will probably wonder about the presence of Tiffany Shepis, who plays the creature. Shepis is an extremely sexy actress and so seeing her badly made up, accentuating none of her greatest virtues will probably disappoint some (read: all) viewers.
“Death Factory” is predictable, badly written, and the factory itself looks hilariously inappropriate, more like an overlit warehouse porn set than anything truly abandoned. The gore effects show some proficiency, but not a lick of creativity. So with nothing in the narrative to satisfy, viewers are stuck looking to the cast for action. The male actors are a wash, as none of them show an iota of personality. The film does, however, feature three lead actresses, all of whom are shapely and attractive, but nobody would accuse any of them of being talented actresses (the material is certainly somewhat to blame). And yet, the film totally cheats its viewers. Only Rhonda Jordan gets topless, while her costars stay resolutely and frustratingly fully clothed.
So with no thrills, no chills, no comedy, and only one and a half scenes of uninspired sex, it’s tough to know who would want to bother with “Death Factory.”

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