CANNIBAL CAMPOUT review, the shot-on-video projects are really the wild west of the horror genre – anything goes and it is usually going to get real ugly, real quick. One of the most legendary and sought after SOV nightmares is a film called 555. Its notoriety is thanks mostly to its rareness and an eye-catching cover. I can remember first catching a glimpse of that decapitation in an quarter page ad inside an issue of Slaughterhouse magazine back in 1988 (posted at the end of the review). It was burned into my brain and (foolishly) I knew I had to see this film.
Of course, elusiveness and superiority are two things that rarely meet in the SOV horror subgenre. I was finally able to track down a copy in 2007 at a video store going out of business. This place had an odd policy in that they didn’t have a set price and instead set the sale price based on the film’s rental history. So I got up with my stack of videos, palms sweating at the prospect of hearing, “That’ll be $90 for 555.” I tensed up when told the MCA VHS of DEATH VALLEY (1982) would be $22. Surely 555 is going to cost me big time. The girl at the register looks at that cover, probably judges me and types it in. “555 will be $8,” she says. Obviously not a big renter, but I am giddy knowing I will be getting such a rare title for cheap. As you might know already from this blog, I'm dumb. One man’s garbage is another man’s gold as they say.
Meanwhile, more murders happen as another couple is killed in their van; a fornicating pair is killed in a warehouse; and aesthetically unpleasing lovers in a bedroom are murdered by this dirty hippie. Our detectives – through no work of their own – find out this series of murders has happened before. Twenty years ago in Springfield, Massachusetts. Fifteen years ago in Buffalo, New York. Ten years ago in St. Louis, Missouri. Five years ago in Baltimore, Maryland. Every five years as series of five attacks spread over five nights. Five...Five...Five!!! Hey, this is also the fifth time it happens so shouldn’t the movie be called 5555? Now what that all means or why the killer dresses as a hippie is anybody's guess.
This “film” is the handiwork of one Wally Koz. His IMDb bio says he was a gold prospector and he probably had a better chance of striking it rich that way than making a good movie. You'll guess the killer in about 10 minutes because, frankly, the "film" only has five characters. Two are the detectives, one is the suspect, one is the reporter and the last one is never shown outside of his intro. Gee, I wonder who it could be. You have to love that the film is basically telling you the lead detective is also an idiot because he is completely wrong about everything. Koz spends 80% of the time shooting in the police office as Conner rages about his top suspect. He even reuses the distinctive bile green office set over for a victim’s bedroom. And it is all captured in gross, porn-level videography.