Michael Shershenovich's "Skid Row" is not for the faint of heart. What it offers is a pulse-pounding ride through a story of murder, violence and sex. It's clear from the outset that the story won't give up its secrets easily; there are enough suspects to keep the audience guessing as to who's responsible for all the grisly murders going on. And it ends on a cathartic note that's very satisfying.
Shershenovich was inspired by the real life Gilgo Beach murders. He was also inspired by 1970s Italian murder mysteries, which he considers to be the best movies ever.
When writing the costar Kathy Lynch (Irina Babushkina), Mike wanted to portray a strong woman, not the stereotypical horror girl. Kathy is a young but strong-willed cop who takes no nonsense and dishes out the hurt. Even after surviving a gang rape she comes back swinging, taking her revenge on her tormentors. She is a strong presence throughout the movie, right up until the very last moment.
Her partner, Vincent Ross (Frank Stallone), is something of a father figure to Kathy. He's a good man who plays by the book. The actor wanted to portray him as a vulnerable character, rather than someone who was over the top macho. He succeeded. (Frank Stallone is second cousins with Sylvester Stallone).
The violence is skid row is graphic, sometimes powerfully so. There is nudity of both men and women. But it all serves to tell the story. And the story is a leap ahead of Shershenovich's last offering, "Bloody Christmas," which was itself a wild ride across the boundary of sanity. There is also some rhyme and reason to each of the murders. Each one is a method of capital punishment that has been used by governments (hanging, shooting, and death by the four pains as they once did in Japan). And each shock in the movie is outdone by the next.
I won't say any more for fear of giving away the plot, but it's definitely one worth seeing. 5 Stars.