FEBRUARY 3, 2008
This week will make one year of daily horror movie watching. Imagine if, after going 364 days without missing a single day, I just sat on my ass and did absolutely nothing to ensure that magic 365-0 mark would come to pass? Then I’d fit in with my New England brethren!
Anyway, after that heartbreaking, ballstomping clusterfuck of a disappointment, I needed to watch something VIOLENT. I needed release, dammit, and what better way to get it (from the couch anyway) than with a splatter movie about a guy chainsawing some girls up and making a jigsaw puzzle out of their body parts? Thank you, Pieces, for helping to keep my mind off the depressing “it was all for nothing” events of the day.
However, in an ironic coincidence that I had to laugh at, the film begins with a title saying Boston, 1947. Now, no slasher movies are set in Boston, ever, so this was a bit of an eye-opener. But then, they cut to the interior of a house, and on the kid’s wall is a New England Patriots banner!!! The fact that there WERE no Patriots for another 13 years (and they were the Boston Patriots until the 70s) did not escape me, it seemed like it was Lucased into the film just to spite me. Fuck you, anachronistic movie!
But then the chainsawing began and all was well.
While not as violent as I expected (only 4 or 5 deaths), the movie was a blast, and I for one cannot WAIT to see it again in a few weeks at the New Beverly, where it’s showing as part of Eli Roth’s film festival (full lineup HERE). You never want to watch a movie for the first time with that crowd; it’s designed for appreciative fans who will likely be talking and laughing over most of it. And more than any other film I’ve seen there (or plan to), this one is seemingly filmed with that sort of experience in mind. Scenes like the one where a guy comes out of nowhere and begins kung-fuing the heroine for no reason, then complaining about eating bad chop suey, seemingly have no purpose other than to provide a crowd full of slightly drunken horror fans a reason to laugh as soon as the scene begins.
There are plenty of moments like that in the film, from odd dialogue (“The most beautiful thing in the world is smoking pot and fucking on a waterbed.”), killings that don’t make a lick of sense (the killer grabs a guy’s crotch and manages to tear off his genitalia with his bare hand – thru a pair of jeans no less!), and of course, atrocious overdubbing (they seem to be speaking English, but it’s often clearly not the same actor saying the lines). I also like how blasé the police department is about what has to be the most violent campus in the world – at one point a reporter’s question about the possibility of a serial killer is dismissed by the chief, who says “There are maniac rumors at that school every couple of months!”. How many people have died there, exactly???
The gore is also pretty fantastic (read: ridiculous and over the top). Given the nature of the film, there is a lot of dismemberment on hand, but the fact that we actually see a lot of it is pretty impressive. My favorite was when the killer steps into a small elevator, hiding a giant chainsaw behind his back. The victim doesn’t notice, somehow, but then he whips it out and relieves her of her right arm. A+!
One thing that was kind of a bummer was how they automatically remove one of the primary suspects (it’s a whodunit) early on. We see the killer’s legs as he walks around a library, and he’s got blue pants on. Then the guy they want us to think is the killer walks by, and his pants are brown. Granted, if he WAS the killer it could be chalked up to continuity error, but still, I never once suspected him through the rest of the film. Oh well.
The film has a good pedigree – one of the writers was the infamous Joe D’Amato (if you haven’t seen his film Antropophagus, you’re just not living life), and another writer, Dick Randall, was a producer on Slaughter High (Marty!). I don’t recognize any of the actors, but the music is a Goblin ripoff, so there’s something. My DVD is sadly not the special edition, but a cheapo budget pack version on a set called Blood Bath. Kill Baby Kill is also on the set, and I have the special edition of that via the Bava box set. So if the other 2 movies suck I’ll give away Blood Bath on a future contest. Deal?
What say you?