Plot: Johnny (Randy Wayne) has some serious issues with water, scared to even get wet in the shower or down a bottle of cold water. This is due to incidents in his childhood, when a sadistic babysitter would force him into the swimming pool, then torture him in various ways. He manages to scrape through life, but the damage to his psyche is clear and his fear has essentially crippled him in many aspects. But desperate for cash and with nowhere else to turn, he takes a job cleaning pools, as his friend has connections he can use to get them both work. He confronts his fears and finishes the job, but then he puts that newfound boldness into action and goes back to the pool, drowning a young woman before he leaves once again. The murder makes him feel better than ever, as if he was getting the ultimate revenge on the babysitter who tormented him. But was this a one time crime of emotional passion or has a new serial killer been born and if so, can he be stopped?
Entertainment Value: While more of a thriller than traditional horror, Death Pool is a solid serial killer adventure. The story provides a believable serial killer origin story and has some fun twists, especially once the Valley Drowner becomes well known. I liked how the movie explored the concept of serial killer branding, as well as the fame that the killers often find. The dynamics between Johnny and his friend add a lot to the movie, as we don’t often see this type of relationship in serial killer cinema. Death Pool takes a mostly grounded approach as well, so this isn’t a wild, blood soaked and off the rails kind of serial killer flick. I don’t mind that kind of movie, but I also appreciated this more realistic style, since serial killers are pretty terrifying as is. Randy Wayne is great here as the murderer, letting his sadistic side shine and making the Valley Drowner into a killer that is never one dimensional. The cast overall is good, but a small role from Shawn Phillips seemed out of place and borderline cringe. Aside from that small scene however, I think Death Pool boasts some capable performances. Death Pool is a well made, fun to watch serial killer movie that understands the importance of branding, even if you’re a murderer. I think anyone who appreciates serial killer cinema should check this out, its well worth a watch.
This one has a good amount of naked flesh, with nude scenes sprinkled throughout the duration. A handful of topless scenes, some bare ass, and even some full frontal, including a quick flash of the cookie from behind a bent over starlet. You can also see the serial killer’s man ass in a shower scene, if that’s more your taste. Just a tinge of blood, but not enough to warrant a point in the blood score. The lack of blood makes sense, as the killer drowns his victims and that method doesn’t produce a flood of crimson. The dialogue is well written, especially the way it explores serial killer fame and branding, but not a lot of memorable or quotable lines. A few barbs sneak through however, usually from the killer, of course. As far as craziness, Wayne’s performance is pretty out there, but otherwise this one stays fairly grounded. But the movie does put some fresh blood into the serial killer genre, so just because it is mostly grounded, don’t assume its formulaic at all.
Overall Insanity: 2/10