Rock star Meatloaf stars as a fur trader looking to make a big deal in order to to win the love of a most unpleasant stripper. John Saxon is a trapper who has a pile of beautiful raccoons for sale. However, it turns out that the racoons are mystical and guard something supernatural, and anyone who comes into contact with the pelts from these raccoons can expect to meet with a little nastiness.
From the second season of Showtime's Masters of Horror series comes the next Dario Argento offering, Pelts
, which is far creepier than his last attempted made-for-TV thrillers (Do You Like Hitchcock
). Meatloaf stars as Jake, a sleazy furrier whose obsession for a lesbian stripper named Shannon results in his attempting to make the finest fur ever for her to wear at an upcoming fur trade show. John Saxon (Tenebre
) plays a trapper who comes through for Jake by setting traps in sacred raccoon territory to capture the most beautiful animals imaginable. However, as these raccoons are magical guardians of a lost raccoon city, they curse all associated with the deaths of their brethren with the desire to commit gory suicides using techniques employed in the manufacturing of fur coats. Quite disgusting are scenes of a seamstress sewing her eyes and nose shut with thread, or of a man cutting his belly open with shears to gut himself. One can only infer what Jake's fate might be. The film's disturbing ambience is amplified when suicides occur in the skinning and tanning rooms of Jake's fur factory. Close-ups of the raccoons' faces and shots of their ancient city, which boasts raccoon-carved sculptures, remind one of the absurdity of magical raccoons as crime instigators. But simultaneously the message of Pelts
is made clear. Pelts
would make any PETA member proud, if not nauseous. --Trinie Dalton