Brutal Massacre: A Comedy



by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The incongruous title of this B-movie actually makes sense because it is a comical mockumentary about the making of a very bad horror film named Brutal Massacre.

Harry Pendrecki is a horror auteur who once had a major hit and followed that with a few cult successes, but has now fallen on hard times with a steady string of failures. The film follows his travails as he gets the financing for the picture and drags his crew out to the wilds to make it.

The script offers a double dose of insider knowledge, in that it not only riffs on the problems involved in filming indie/guerilla films in general, but it also looks at the special nature of horror films and their fan base. The latter provides some of the film's best laughs when Harry interacts with the horror film community and answers questions about his past masterpieces, including Sasquatch at the Mall and Killer Koala, a unique horror film targeted at very young children. According to Harry and his A.D., Killer Koala was a very moral film which taught values to youngsters, because the evil koala never killed children who ate their vitamins and brushed their teeth.

Since this film is a comedy about horror films, the cast combines comic actors like David Naughton, Brian O'Halloran, and Gerry Bednob with horror vets like Gunnar "Leatherface" Hansen, and director Mick Farris ("Masters of Horror"). Now that I think about it, David Naughton belongs in both groups, since he starred in An American Werewolf in London. As director Pendrecki, Naughton is barely recognizable from his Dr. Pepper days. His hair now makes him look like Dr Salt and Pepper, and he's added substantial girth to his belly, but all of that works quite well with his laid-back personality to give the film an anchor. Harry tries with reasonable diligence to complete his film but around him is chaos: sound and F/X guys who have no idea how to do sound and F/X, locals who steal from the set and/or deliberately ruin the shots, crew members who do nothing but take cigarette breaks, other crew members who die during the shoot, non-actors pressed into service reading lines, real actors who quit in the middle of the film, actresses who balk at nudity, investors who insist on nudity, and so forth.

If you're seeking a slick, subtle comedy filled with realistic characters, this ain't it, but if you would like a lot of broad laughs in the context of a wildly exaggerated view of the problems involved in making an indie horror film, you might just enjoy this. The laughs are obvious, but the writer created the film out of his own experiences in the genre, so it's a way to pass some time getting acquainted with an insider's view of his own industry. I found that it made the time pass quickly.

The Official Site has lots of goodies: including a press kit with high-res digital photos



* widescreen

* the ultimate post-modernist feature: a faux "making of" featurette about a faux making-of movie. It's like a Russian Matryoshka doll.

* 17 extended/deleted scenes.




No major reviews online. The IMDb page links to several reviews from genre-oriented sites. (Horror genre, not comedy genre.)


5.5 IMDB summary (of 10)


Festivals and conventions, then straight to DVD.



Laura Bozzone is topless as a too-eager auditioner.

Michelle Benedetti shows breasts and thonged buns as an actress in Harry's horror film.

As another actress in the film-within-the-film, Emily Brownell reluctantly shows one breast very briefly.

Penelope Lea shows breasts and thonged buns as a hooker servicing Gerry Bednob. (Bednob is that crazy old Indian guy from The 40-Year-Old Virgin.)

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a: