Directed by: Don Dohler
Written by: Don Dohler, Barry Gold and Dan Buehl
Starring: George Stover, Robin London and Richard Luxton
Reviewed by: Josh G.
The Hunters Become The Hunted ...
What a name! “Blood” plus “Massacre” equals Blood Massacre, a low budget horror film that, although very poorly put together, manages to keep up with films of a slightly higher level. George Stover, an actor from many other low budget terribles, stars as a crazed villain named Charlie Rizzo, who misses the good old days of shooting up people in Vietnam. Morals; he doesn’t need them. The movie, with a cannibal/survival quirkiness, had little at its disposal in terms of advertising. But really — doesn’t the name sell itself? You know you’re going to need to hold on to your hats (and heads) when jumping into a film as ridiculously non-centered as this one. The plot is focussed, yes, but what exactly is it trying to accomplish?
Charlie Rizzo murders two people at a bar and moves on to see his friends Jimmy, Pauly and Monica. They need money, and fast! Meanwhile, at the Parker’s farmhouse, a woman named Bonnie decides to rent out a room. The place seems nice enough. Mr. Howard Parker and his wife Frances are a good old couple; their adult daughters Liz and Chrissy are laid back and easy to talk to. That night, Rizzo and his greasy gang rob a video store, where an employee is shot to death. And all for little over seven hundred bucks! The crew’s car breaks down and they pick up Liz who is on the side of the road. They force her to tell them where she lives, which leads everybody to the Parker place. An attempt at robbery and a hostage situation goes wonky when the seemingly traditional family turns out to be cannibalistic psychopaths, searching for stew ingredients! Now the question that remains is...who do we root for?
A dark film in more ways than one, you can find this trashy delight on a Star III Releasing video, or perhaps in a DVD package created by the king of ‘El Cheapo’, Mill Creek. Either way, presentation is a mudslide out of good taste. Too black to see in some spots and the definition of poor quality, I suppose we will have to cross our fingers for someone else to release a fine version. The movie, without the hairstyles and music, would fool many into believing that it was made before its actual production. Yes, the transfer is that bad. On the bright side, for some people, this works to an advantage. But God, what a whack job on that transfer! Oh, and perhaps I should mention more about this 80s obscurity’s nod to other films. Like, did you notice that ‘Freddy Krueger’ standee on the desk in the video store? Hell, the video store itself has so many movies, I’d die to start listing them all. Video Violence indeed; it’s a massacre, fittingly.
We’ve all seen it before: the crazy family that poses as a regular townie one. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre kind of added in the cuckoo southern clan, American Gothic loved to get under your skin with overruling values of an early 1900s’ household, and in the later House of 1,000 Corpses...well, they were always assumed to be screwed up. Elizabeth Parker is the best loon of the family. Robin London certainly did a terrific job, and if she wasn’t so dedicated to being weird, Blood Massacre might be creeping up the line of unwatchable. Though we clearly see this is a quickie, we are nonetheless sucked into its atmosphere. Acting could not be closer to below average, but this is all part of its charm. It’s trash, cheese, pleasurable and senseless, which I’m still speculating about whether that was part of the original intent.
No breasts, bush, or even a tush scene, yet Blood Massacre leaps in barrels filled with sleaze. Tell me how that works again? Maybe it has to do with the leads being trailer park smut, thieves and murderers. Maybe it’s the way Liz licks blood off of her man after madly kissing him. Maybe the whole film being shot in Maryland was the key to its gritty outcome. Ha ha! Take that, Maryland. Oh, but the goo really flows halfway in. The first three deaths are nothing to rave about, but if you make it far enough, nonstop homicide occurs. There goes the sickle again, making another appearance in Blood Massacre in a quick but satisfying decapitation. Drawing out that group stabbing couldn’t hurt, and did we forget all about Bonnie, the new house mate? Bonnie is probably the only person with some speaking roles that isn’t guilty of participating in illegal activities. Exceptions include Detective McGuire, someone searching for the villains who robbed the video store.
Two songs isn’t bad. “She Rocks” and “Danger”, performed by Linck-Jackson, rocks my dangerous socks off, and are diabolically catchy. Well, the film moves on, and after the family has devoured a couple visitors, Rizzo must keep himself alert so as not to be hunted. He’s a creative weapon maker, but will that be enough? There’s a twist ending that is so nutty, it fits right in, and adds another sub-genre to Blood Massacre. The fun has just begun! Although at this point, hasn’t it actually almost ended? True, but you leave knowing that you enjoyed (somewhat) a mediocre (slight stretch of the truth) shit-fest of fromage (basically correct). The best part is that once you are done, you don’t have to look back, because this thing is without a doubt a Rent it!
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