JUNE 4, 2007
I like to operate a week behind schedule. Please join me on July 11th for Uncle Sam!
I feared the worst when I looked at the credits for Memorial Valley Massacre and saw Cameron Mitchell’s name. Unless it’s an Italian film from the 60s, no Mitchell film is any good. Well lucky for us all, he disappears after the first five minutes.
That’s not to say the film is good, however. But at least it’s not Mitchell’s fault, the poor sod. It’s more the fault of whoever wrote it, and whoever directed it, and whoever cast it. Then again, it’s precisely these things that save it from “Crap”, as it instead falls squarely in the "SBIG" (that’s ‘So Bad It’s Good’, to you and me. Or just me.) category. And unlike the other films on this particular disc from the 50 Chilling Classics Pack, it’s actually a horror film. Two of the others are about mob hitmen! Then again, last week’s god awful House of the Dead also shows up on the “50 Nightmare Worlds Pack” set under the (nonsensical and totally bullshit) title “Alien Zone”, so clearly they aren’t the most discerning folks when it comes to putting these things together.
Anyway, this movie. Where to begin? Well the star of the film is John Kerry. It’s not the real one (well, it IS a real John Kerry, just not the one people give a shit about), which is a damn shame. I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait for the day when a presidential candidate has a bad slasher movie on his résumé. But we’ll just have to settle for this guy, who looks like the long lost brother of Paulie Walnuts and Captain Murphy from the Lethal Weapon movies (they are brothers, apparently). He has the film’s best line too:
Some other guy: “This is a nice little bash."
Not-John Kerry: “Yeah… if you like ‘people’.”
He literally says ‘people’ like it’s some sort of insult he invented. Adding to the hilarity is the fact that the ‘bash’ amounts to about a dozen people standing around a picnic table. There’s also another guy who’s supposed to be some sort of punk but he has the most feminine voice in the film (including those belonging to the female cast members). There are also some assorted folks who you’d never want to talk to in real life, like an environmentalist.
The death scenes are even funnier. One guy falls onto a sort of bed made of spikes. The spikes are evenly placed on the bed, but after he falls, we see other, smaller spikes sticking out at random all over his body (and they move around with his dying motions). Later, the killer gets a truck to tumble over a cliff (just go with it). At the bottom of the cliff are three people. Rather than, I dunno, MOVE, they just stand there and scream. Then they disappear entirely as the truck finishes its fall, only to reappear under the wheels. This, by the way, is the only scene that takes place at night. Strange for a slasher, the rest of the movie is entirely daytime set. Perhaps it was a limitation of their video camera (I can’t remember back that far – could those giant VHS cameras tape at night?).
And is it just me, or do all these people (a.k.a. the blurry things in the middle) look totally nude? Sadly (or thankfully), they’re not. But I got a laugh out of it, and that’s all that matters.
The other highlight of this film is the soundtrack. Every single musical cue sounds like it was directly lifted from a Final Fantasy game. Kerry’s watch even plays a little theme when it opens, one that sounds a lot like the music that plays in a FF game whenever the magical female girl goes back to her home village and has 4 hrs of text based memories. Later, a fat kid drives around on his motorbike and the music sounds exactly like “Boss” music. It’s fucking bizarre. Seriously, watch the movie and then play Final Fantasy IX (that’s nine, for those who only know roman numerals up to VIII because that’s where the Friday the 13th title ceased production and the series became known as “Jason ___”). Or just download the soundtrack. You’ll see what I mean. Or not, I dunno.
What say you?