The Backlot Murders (2002 Video)
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As for "The Back Lot Murders", for the comical stylings of Charles Fleischer alone, this movie is well worth the 4 dollars. Playing gay video director (how's that for progressive?) Henry, Fleisher is a riot as he's forced to deal with one moron after another. The scene where he critiques the band for lackadaisical effort during a play along sequence is comic genius, and was rewarded at the the Goldwyn premiere with wild, spontaneous applause. Meanwhile, Priscilla Barnes, cast in a role most opposite the Terry chick from 3s Company, displayed an easy chemistry and perfect timing with even some of the first timers hired to appear. All the band members were perfect playing dumb asses, and the girls are gorgeous. Newcomer Jamie Anstead deserves special plaudits for displaying not just a perfect body, but some excellent comedic touches, with fleischer, Barnes and even vet soaper Tom Hallick.
As for the "stupid plot" contention, well, even a film hobbyist ought to see how much better the plot is when compared to drek that gets released in theatres. For one thing, it makes total sense. How often does that happen in a splatter movie? Secondly, the third act is riveting, with unpredictable twists. Finally, there is a kill towards the end which the special effects company said was completely original, as in, never before seen in any splatter movie, despite it being one of the most notorious murder techniques ever reported on real life crime pages. It's disgusting in a way which ought to clue a viewer into the fact the the producers and writers are in complete control of the material.
As one of the creative principals, I have seen Back Lot many times. Over repeated viewings of any project, one can become numb to its charms and virtues. But, that night last fall in Beverly Hills, (which, incidentally raised over $100,000 for Animals Anonymous) when the 1,000 plus attendees cheered wildly at its conclusion, we all knew that something good had happened. Something certainly worth 4 dollars.
This falls into the so bad it's good genre, but barely. Charles Fleischer was a riot as a gay music video director struggling with the fact that he is a flash in the pan. Brian Gaskill handled the role of demanding arrogant lead singer perfectly, and Priscilla Barnes did an okay job as snobbish band manager. Corey really didn't have a role. He was basically chewing scenery, playing second fiddle to Gaskill.
The main draw for this film is the braindead Playboy bunnies trying to act. Granted, Carrie Stevens and Angela Little are gorgeous, but they have no business uttering dialogue. They make Shannon Tweed and Kelly Monaco seem like the Hepburns.
The best eye-candy in this film was Jaime Anstead and Heather Tindell. Heather was outshined by Jaime however, and I quickly subscribed to the Anstead Fan Club afterwards. She was perfect in her role as the spoiled naive producer's daughter who Gaskill was using to get a record deal. Jaime redefines sexy, and I recommend this film to see her alone.
P.s. Pricsilla Barnes acting was not very good,so don't watch it just because shes in it.
First, the good points. Barnes is EXCELLENT in an over-the-top performance. What made her characterization of Stephanie so appealing is that she was the only performer in the film to not take this mess seriously. It's obvious she's having fun, and that she knows what a stinker this film really is. I can't go into much detail on her role without giving the, uh, plot away so I'll move on.
This film plays out like a nightmare version of Baywatch. Big-breasted women and only moderately attractive fellows run around and scream. Okay, we've seen that before.
The funniest part, however, is in the doco included on the DVD where the director calls this a "thinking man's slasher film." Actually, the direction is just fine, he's just let down by his actors. I've enjoyed the director's other work and will not hesitate to see more of it...providing he is given a bigger budget for better talent. The idea was great, the sets amazing, but something just misses in the execution.
Good job Priscilla Barnes, shame on you everyone else.
This movie definetely has its moments--Priscilla Barnes is quite good and funny as a bitchy agent, there's a few good in jokes for horror fans (like me) and some of the murders are good and bloody. But that's about it.
Most of the murders are not shown or bloodless and dull; I wasn't scared once; the acting (except for Barnes) is horrible (Brian Gaskell is the worst offender--I don't care how cute he is!); there's sick, homophobic jokes; cheap, needless nudity and an endless stalking sequence at the end. Really not worth seeing.
If you do see it, there are some funny outtakes during the closing credits.
As soon as I hit the play movie icon and the credits started to roll my expectations did drop somewhat dramatically as the cheesy title dripping with blood looked very low budget. I realised then that this film is not meant to be taken seriously but is purely a "stab" at very low budget horror/comedy.
May contain spoilers......................
Opening scene and characters had some merits apart from the jackass songwriter who was abruptly fired and "fake beaten". 6 months later and the premise is of the band on the verge of superstardom filming a video at a famous studio, I thought was very good.
It was great to see a couple of famous sets and I was also trying to mentally picture some of the others in movies (sadly I could not work out anymore of these).
The bands manager wants them to be cutting edge and the video to put them "on the map" but sadly the direction isn't quite working out as the band are pretty much run of the mill. The lead singer is dating a record producers daughter purely for notoriety and has no real feeling for her.
I enjoyed the campness and insufferable elements from the cast but the rest of the supporting roles were your typical inane players who are literally forthcoming fodder to the killer. Gradually everyone starts to wander onto the backlot, where lots of riotous nudity and over the top fake stalk and slash takes place. Comical as each contained some silly one liner or rip-off of another slasher type movie.
The killer was very un-original and it was so obvious who was behind the mask. The so-called twist at the end again was very that again was predictable.
If you decide to watch this movie then please don't switch it on with great expectations. It is what is expected a very mundane B movie which does not stand out from the masses. If your looking for 90 minutes of horror or hilarity then you will be disappointed. Worth viewing at least for Corey's small part and for a giggle if your having a night in consuming alcohol with friends.
I'll be honest: This really wasn't THAT bad. It's cheesy and stupid, but it's damn fun. The comedic writing was actually funny, even though any time it got serious, it was just laughable. The acting was, well, not the best. But Haimster, who only played a bit role as the guitarist in the lame rock band, played his part well enough to satisfy Corey fans. He's not just a cameo, but he's not very integral to the story. The gore/violence is pretty well done, but the film is essentially a mockery of itself. It repeatedly makes fun of the horror genre as a whole, making fun of splatter films that rely on 'special effects' instead of real fear (and even put themselves on location at the 'Psycho' house to try to place themselves at the suspense level). . . but end up just doing the same (probably when they realize the film would be nothing if they didn't). Overall, it's a pretty fun horror-comedy that can be good with a couple beers and a couple friends. Don't expect much, though.
Final verdict: 4/10.
A rock band (so-called) get a break in the form of the girlfriend of one of their number whose father is a big shot in the industry. They are contracted to (or wrangle) a music video on a set once used by Steven Spielberg.
The first victim is a special effects technician who is dispatched with one blow of an axe. His co-worker follows in quick succession, impaled on a piece of wood. And on it goes.
The one redeeming feature of this truly awful film is Charles Fleischer who excels as the temperamental Director. Him and maybe the classic line at about 37 minutes on the reality of female power.
If you think you've seen "The Backlot Murders" before, it's because you have, it's a remake of "Friday 13th" or "A Nightmare On Elm Street" but without even the semblance of a plot, evidently someone else realised this because the two films are referenced in one of the weightier moments of this shapeless monstrosity. The other cultural references are equally forgettable.
There is a bit of a twist towards the end, but a glass of water with a twist of lemon is still basically a glass of water, and rubbish with a twist is still rubbish.
Months after a meltdown, band-members Tony, (Corey Haim) Dez, (Brian Gaskill) Sal, (Alejandro Escos) and Frankie, (David Solomini) meet up with director Henry, (Charles Fleischer) to shoot a new music video. When their manager Stephanie, (Priscilla Barnes) shows up to get it done right, they start to shoot the video. As the time wears on and shoot goes on, they start to encounter a series of problems that result in a delay in filming. Taking it upon themselves to take up the time, the band takes it upon themselves to kill time their own ways. When time goes on and nothing is accomplished, they start to get worried and go out into the sets to find what's happened, and soon realize that a maniacal killer is loose and killing everyone they come across. Desperate to get out alive, the remaining members try to stop the killer before it's too late.
The Good News: This here is a pretty good slasher entry. One of the biggest assets is the very big body count on display. This one here knocks off a pretty impressive overall number of victims, easily into the double digits and comes in a little over a dozen. That's a pretty high number for a slasher of any kind, and that allows for plenty of great kills in here. We get a slit throat, a stabbing in the back, impaled on spiked wooden poles, slashed across the face, an axe in the stomach, buzz-saw blades thrown into the chest and a spear impaled through two simultaneously, which is the film's single most impressive kill. There's plenty more here, and they're all quite fun. Probably could've used a little more blood and gore in them, but they're fine the way they are. There's even a great sense of humor from this, as it tries to provide jokes in with the slaughter. They work wonderfully, as this manages to include some really hysterical work at times. Anything involving the agent and the director barking back and forth at each other is gold, and the very fact that the killer is wearing such a glorious disguise brings some good laughs as well. This does get off some good lines, and a couple gags work as well. It even has some really great stalking scenes, as anything in the back-lot shown is solid. The use of actual sets from previous movies, which are actually used in the film, are mined to great effect, and there's some really great moves inside. Even individual scenes, as the killer appearing and disappearing before a couple who are high on drugs and forcing them to think about what's going on, or the chasing of the model in their underwear or of the killer strolling down a fog-lined street in all it's glory give this one some much needed suspense. Coupled with a really frantic, never dull pace, fine nudity and a real sense of fun, this is a top-notch slasher.
The Bad News: There isn't a whole lot really wrong with this one. The biggest issue with this one is that there's really no blood in this one. None of the deaths in here get really graphic or showcase a ton of blood in them, which is a pretty big disappointment. The kills would require some pretty bloody thrills, yet this one doesn't have a whole lot of that involved. Had there been some more involved, it would've helped this one out considerably. The only other flaw with the film is that there's way too cheesy an atmosphere here, with the fact that the choice of costume to the location to the mild sleaze found inside. Those are the film's real problems.
The Final Verdict: This is one of the better slashers around with a lot to like and very few problems with it. Hardcore slasher fans will have a lot of fun with this one, as should most genre fans as well, while non-slasher fans should heed caution.
Rated R: Graphic Language, Nudity, Graphic Violence and drug use
Once again, the IMDb page is filled with people who reviewed this, not even being a fan of this type of film. Personally, I am absolutely ecstatic that films like this still exists at all. This movie is more like the horror films of the 80's, never taking itself too seriously. Yes, this still has the self-referential bug that has bitten almost every horror film since Scream. I cringe whenever I hear a character go, "FREDDY KREUGER! WHAT A GREAT DRESSER!" Even though, in this case, that line was mutterred by a gay guy. So, it was all good.
This is a movie about a rock band going to Hollywood and filming their music video. At the beginning of the film, they have a fight and kick out their old drummer. During the night of the video shoot, the production crew and band mates and their girlfriends get killed in exceedingly bloody ways.
Really, what's not to like here? You have an extremely attractive female cast, a fast pace, a high body count, actual interesting (though two-dimensional) characters, good humor, good lighting, good writing, good directing, etc. If you're into B-Movies, this is gold. This movie is noteworthy in my mind for two major reasons: It's the first Colombian necktie I've ever seen performed in a film. Also, the killer's mask is of a Satanic Elvis. Great great great.
Deifnitely worth checking out.
A rock band is filming their video on the "Back Lot" of a certain famous movie studio. I see the "Psycho" House and the set from the "Lost World", (mentioned twice), hmmm...I wonder which studio it could be? It turns out that someone is stalking this "Back Lot" and is looking to commit "Murders". Hence the title "The Back Lot Murders". This is all sponsored by the makers of little brown cigarettes which are smoked constantly throughout the flick.
First, let me say how disappointed I was that the hottest girl in the cast was the first to get killed. We are introduced to a redhead in the first 15 minutes and then she is promptly killed in the next ten minutes. This made me very sad. While the other women had larger breasts and got naked, I felt the redhead was the most interesting (and hottest). I think her name was LoriDawn Messuri although I can't be certain. She's listed as "Wendy" on the IMDb but she'll always be the Redheaded Fog Girl to me. Sorry to see her go. Oh well.
I enjoyed "The Back Lot Murders" but not because I thought it was a well made movie. Let me point out two obvious goofs. When one of the dancing girls gets strangled by the killer with her own bra, you can clearly see she is wearing some sort of white emergency strap underneath. We had already seen a two second glimpse of her naked breasts in one shot and in the next her breasts are reined in by this evil white strap. The other goof has the killer using an ax and hitting a victim in the stomach. The next scene has the ax in the killer's hands again but it's supposed to still be wedged in the victim's stomach! That ax is all over the place. These goofs can probably be overlooked though.
"The Back Lot Murders" was a fun movie. As a horror movie, it's pretty weak. But I did enjoy watching the rock star manager and the director of the video. They were amusing, especially the director. The manager was kind of a turn-on too, (Priscilla Barnes). The blue streak in her hair was working for me. I'm not sure why. Also, there were two short topless scenes with the dancing girls. These scenes never fail to bring a smile to my face. "The Back Lot Murders" works a lot better as a comedic take on Hollywood egos than as a horror flick.
One last thing, speaking of egos, check out the documentary at the end of the movie. The director has the nerve to say this is an intellectual movie (!!!). Now that's comedy. I laughed. He also says that if you look really hard at his flick, you'll see what they were trying to do. Of course, he doesn't bother to tell you what they were trying to do. You'll just have to look hard. Real hard.
The plot involves a hard-rock group and their crew who are filming a rock video on the back lots of a film studio where many famous horror movie sets exist. Low and behold, a masked killer (in an Elvis mask, nonetheless) shows up and begins butchering the crew in gruesome ways. This film somewhat works for me on several levels. First, the production value is pretty decent and the sets are refreshing; we even get the "Psycho" house! Secondly, the performances for the most part, are decent for this type of film. Priscilla Barnes steals the movie and should definitely do more work in the genre. The gore level is sufficient and there are some really brutal scenes. The film also has a comedic aspect, that unlike some more popular slasher films, actually help this one a bit. Lastly, the ending is very unconventional and avoids the clichéd ending that many of these films employ.
However, I can see where some of the negative feelings towards this film come from. The dialogue, at times, is laughingly bad and there just something not scary about a killer in an Elvis mask. And despite its non-clichéd ending, most of the rest of the film is pretty predictable and lacks any intensity or scares. But I have seen worse---much worse---and this film was able to keep me interested. I'd recommend it, but remember, I never claimed it was the next Halloween, just a pretty entertaining direct-to-video flick.
I think the concept of using the Universal Studios back lot was a cute & creative idea. So, chalk up one good idea to the writer. The dialog was lacking on the most part and was high on the cheese. Charles Fleisher was actually quite funny in this film... I imagine that he did a fair share of improv!
If you are in the mood for goofy, bloody fun... rent this one!
Rated R; Nudity, Sexual Situations, Profanity and Violence.
The have also gotten some rather hunky cast members who are as dumb and stupid as possible. And then there is the veteran cast members who chew as much scenery as possible. As a result of this, the film certainly does bore, but that doesn't make it any good!
Rated R for Violence, Sexual Situations, Nudity and Profanity.