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I decided to give this one a try from the pretty positive reviews,
silly me, I thought this tale of a mild mannered librarian turned
psycho killer had some potential. But the sad truth was that everything
about this mess of a film is simply awful. From the porn-caliber acting
to the lame ass comedy. The special effects (aka. Gore) was all right,
but the rest of the movie was so bad that mere words can't convey how
utterly disastrous it is. I thought that having the legendary Gunner
Hansen AND legend H G Lewis would be a good sign and I'd find a diamond
in the rough. Alas, no I couldn't have been more wrong. Avoid this film
at all costs as it can only bring you misery. I consider myself a huge
B-movie horror fan and even I loathed this film. That should tell you
My Grade: D-
DVD Extras: Commentary by Director/writer Jimmyo Burril, actress April Burril, and actor Shawn Jones: 30 minute documentary on the film; an interview with Gunnar Hansen; Story boards; a music video; promotional trailer; and trailers for "Skin Crawl", "Bacterium", "Creature from the hillbilly lagoon", "Chantel", "Sinful", "Shock-O-Rama", "Feeding the Masses", "Prison a go go", "Bite me!", "Screaming Dead", Suburben Nightmare", "Slime City", "Women's prison massacre", "Criminally Insane", "Satan's Black Wedding", & "Nurse Sherry"
Eye Candy: Lesley Vermot got topless
"Chainsaw Sally" is one of those movies that has a premise to die for.
All I needed to know about this was that it was about a librarian by
day and a chainsaw-wielding murderess by night. I can more than
identify with that basic plot, so when "Chainsaw Sally" finally got its
DVD release, I jumped on it immediately. Unfortunately, "Chainsaw
Sally" comes across as a bad inside joke.
The film follows Sally (April Monique Burril), a small-town librarian who likes to keep things in order. Everyone in town considers her the local frigid spinster. However, Sally and her irritating drag queen little brother form quite a macabre little pair who use their spare time at home to reenact chase scenes from horror movies. And when someone rubs Sally the wrong way, she trades in her stereotypical librarian garb for a mall-punk outfit (which has her looking like a sad Switchblade Symphony reject) and goes ballistic with her chainsaw. A stranger who inherits a house in town starts snooping around for information on the house's history, and turns to Sally for her librarian skills and perhaps a bit of wooing. Will he get too close and uncover her secret? Who cares? There's so much wrong with "Chainsaw Sally" that I don't know where to begin. Sally's victims never recognize her as the dorky local librarian, even though the only thing that's different about her is a costume downgrade. One of the local snots who makes fun of her is later wooed by her at a "goth" club, and they engage in a quick sapphic smooch--yet she never notices it's the same chick. What's more is no one seems to be concerned that so many people in such a small town are constantly disappearing or being murdered. The amateur actors, especially the lead, all come across as unenthusiastic. Burril seems to attempt channeling Pamela Sprinsteen's "Angela" from the "Sleepaway Camp" sequels, with her absurd moralizing before each kill. "DO YOU KNOW THAT LIBRARY BOOK WAS THREE WEEKS LATE?!" While this dialogue can be amusing at times, Burril is clueless as how do give a proper comedic delivery. She just sounds bored. The supporting cast doesn't fare much better and mostly sleepwalk through their roles. The genre vets are in this only to give the movie some cred: the original Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) pops up for a few seconds in a flashback, and gore-god HG Lewis has a throwaway role as the hardware store employee where Sally buys her weapons.
What's just as distracting as the bad writing and acting is the awful editing. This completely unscary horror movie is filmed and edited like a daytime soap opera. Often a scene will end with characters talking and another scene will pickup with a different set of characters talking about something unrelated. Repeat. I will say that there are some interesting and inventive murder ideas here, but the execution of these scenes is very poor, usually not showing enough to satisfy even the slightest of gorehounds. Often the scene will cut to Sally's dopey mug instead of showing what she's doing to her victim, which just makes it all the more irritating.
The most frustrating thing about the film for me (nerd alert! nerd alert!) is that the filmmakers obviously know nothing about libraries. The small town public library in "Chainsaw Sally" consists of a small room with a bunch of books strewn loosely about on shelving units against the walls. They don't even have call numbers on them! Sure, this is probably due to budget constraints, but they could have at least tried! To quote Parker Posey's character in "Party Girl," "We'll just put the books any damn place we please! We don't care!" That classic outburst pretty much sums up "Chainsaw Sally"--a poorly thrown together movie that leaves the viewer with a big mess and a headache.
I was really looking forward to this one, and I'm sorry to say I do not recommend it.
Now, here's one that I went waaaaay to long without seeing. And might I add, an experience more than worth-the-wait. Chainsaw Sally, to me, comes off, simply as a love letter to real Horror flicks, as well as real Horror fans. A perfect example of why low-budget Horror is far superior to the big-budget mainstream bores that will forever clog the studio-owned theaters and TV stations. Played by the gorgeous April Monique Burrill, Sally, a soft-spoken librarian, first appears to be a reasonable enough person. Although, it's probably a good idea to keep a low profile, considering Sally goes out at night and slaughters semi-innocent people. Kind of a rip-off-ish story of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. When Sally was a child, she witnessed the murder of her father, played by Gunnar Hansen. So, now, Sally is Convinced that it's her job to defend her home, and her brother, and to to slaughter anyone who she considers "bad". So, basically, Sally is crazy, and she's right in the middle of a killing spree. Aside from that, Sally is reasonable enough. And if a totally entertaining storyline, hilarious script, and hot lead actress isn't enough reason to check this one out, just keep in mind, that our pal, that's right, good ol' H.G. Lewis got himself a role in this 21st century cult classic. For truly one of the sweetest double features I could possibly think of, pair this one with up with Sick Girl. And if you end up liking this movie I speak so highly of, you'll be pleased to know that Chainsaw Sally: The Series (season one) will be released on DVD, this month, from the good people at Troma. I guess we missed the original airing on NBC. Oh well, It's gonna be rad. I guess it's supposed to serve as a sequel, in TV show format.As for the original, we're talking'pure entertainment, lots of laughs, two very appropriate cameos, and not a dull moment, with the beauty of April Monique Burril being the highlight. In my opinion, the only thing stopping Chainsaw Sally from achieving B-perfection is an obvious and unfortunate lack of extreme gore. But by all means, don't let that stop you from enjoying this quality independent Horror flick. Gore or no gore, Chainsaw Sally is a rare bright spot in modern Exploitation. Passionately recommended to Horror enthusiasts... I mean real Horror enthusiasts. If you like The Sixth Sense, and you've never heard of Two Thousand Maniacs, You just won't get it, and it is my privilege to inform you that reading this review has been a complete and utter waste of time. 8/10
This is one of those films that make me like independent horror films over mainstream Hollywood ones. Chainsaw Sally has a very simple premise. A young girl and her brother witness the brutal murder of their parents but their father (played by the great Gunnar Hansen) hands out his own brand of justice prior to dying courtesy of his trusty chainsaw. So the very young older sister raises her younger brother away from the eyes of society. Jump forward to the present and we see the grown up Sally, by day a normal librarian but by night a one woman avenging angel. Her brother is a stay home dress up kind of guy (he is neither gay nor a cross dressing person but a guy who was raised by a young girl who didn't know any other way to dress him). He keeps the house pretty while Sally saves them from evil developers, cops, and the occasional moron who didn't shut up in the library. The movies boasts great cameos from Gunnar and HG Lewis who plays the hardware store owner Mr. Gordon(take a wild guess who is his best customer for power tools). I heard about this film at least 2 years prior to it's release and have to say that it lived up to the hype. Shot and acted very well, it is a model for other independent film makers to follow. Don't over due it. Stay true to your story and let the characters take you on a great journey. I can't wait to see what Forbidden Films comes up with next.
This movie is really bad. I don't mean cheap or amateurish, as I understand low budget independent film making has many obstacles. My problem is that it is written terribly, acted even worse and is just a massive rip off of John Waters brilliant, Serial Mom. The title character ( played by the fleshy and comatose April Burrill ) kills those who offend her sensibilities by acting in ways she feels are unacceptable. Bad manners, talking in the library, not recycling ( whoops, that's from Serial Mom, sorry )... well, u get the picture. Basically the writer has taken Beverly Sutphin, Waters's domestic maniac, and put her in some punk rock ( read: I bought this cool gear at Hot Topic ) clothes. I could let the ripping off slide if the damn movie was even a little entertaining but it's not. I gave this one star. I do like to find one positive in any movie I hate, and in this, it's the actress Kristen Hudsen. She is beautiful, sexy and the only person who appears on screen that can act. Why isn't she Chainsaw Sally????
This flick was only released as a zone 1 DVD which means that Europeans
couldn't catch a copy or you need a zone free player. On the other hand
it was sold out rather soon and it even became a bit of a cult flick in
the US which resulted in some kind of series know as The Chainsaw Sally
Show released in 2010.
I just tracked down the original flick because it contained two famous names, Herschell Gordon Lewis and Gunnar Hansen. I think that I don't have to make any introduction to those both names. Herschell the godfather of gore and Gunnar being Leatherface.
For most of the other actors it was their first real attempt, except Silver Scream (2003) which came out straight on video. And you surely doesn't want to watch it for the acting. There are a lot of problems with this flick. The acting is sometimes really wooden. Okay, maybe Jimmyo Burril (the director) didn't knew his stuff back then except for Silver Scream and it shows. The editing was really bad and the sound was sometimes worse. You couldn't understand what they were saying when there was a conversation going on. The comedy added was for me so typical American and for me that's mostly not laughable as it shows again here. The story on the other hand is okay but didn't really work out on the screen. There's red stuff on the screen but most of Sally's torturing is done off-camera. There's a big ode towards The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, just watch the poster and Sally's swirling with the chainsaw just like Leatherface did at the end of TCM. Or when Sally is playing TCM with her brother. Nevertheless it wasn't really my cup of tea. Some parts I did enjoy others I didn't like. It's clear that gorehounds hate this, it had so much to offer but I blame it on the extreme low budget and being the first attempt of Jimmyo to make a full feature.
Still, the series that was made in 2010 had more gore which is normal, it was made 6 years later. Even that became a bit of a cult series and is already OOP.
Gore 2/5 Nudity 0,5/5 Effects 2/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0,5/5
Despite an engaging central performance from April Monique Burril as
sexy schizophrenic Sally, the goth girl with a penchant for power-tool
mayhem, this low budget trash horror didn't quite cut it for me, never
attempting the true horror one might expect from a film that frequently
references The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, nor delivering the gruesome
graphic splatter from one that features a cameo from none other than
the 'godfather of gore' himself, Herschell Gordon Lewis.
Director Jimmyo Burril, lucky spouse of leading lady April, clearly has a great love of the genre, and his script throws up plenty of suitably warped and offensive situations, but the full potential of his delightfully deviant material is often left unrealised: Sally's early murders are frustratingly gore-free, her severing of a guy's tally-whacker remains strictly out of frame (although the addition of the sparkler to the wound was a nice touch), the splattery demise of a woman forced to consume acid is regrettably brief, and some nail-gun action towards the end really could have been much nastier.
Whilst the absence of in-your-face, gross-out effects can probably be put down to budgetary restraints, no such excuse can be applied to the low standard of acting from all but its attractive star or the weak stabs at dark humour.
4.5 out of 10, rounded up to 5 for IMDb (although I was tempted to round it down to 4 to counterbalance the suspiciously high proportion of over-enthusiastic reviews here on IMDb).
Chainsaw Sally is an homage to The Texas chainsaw Massacre (even the original Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen, is here with his chainsaw) and to horror classics in general (some Halloween explicit references for example). Its done in black comedy fashion, with a shy, nerd chick that at nights becomes a chainsaw sadistic killer and his drag-queen brother. This indie low budget flick is far from great, it have a couple of good killing scenes and some moments of good photography but the movie itself is a little slow paced. Overall, its a good effort and its worth a look if you don't have huge speculations. A plus is the stunning Kristen Hudson...a really hot chick. Ultra-tippergore rate this movie: 6/10
OK - I know it is not a great movie (not really even a good one) but I have to admit that I LOVED this flick! There is something charming about a mild mannered librarian with an almost super-hero, goth, chainsaw wielding alter ego with a transvestite little brother. My friends and I laughed throughout the entire thing - and kept making comments like, "...if she were our local librarian - we'd totally hang out!" I also really enjoyed the music. We were all ready to absolutely hate (love/hate relationship) this movie, but by the end - we all had to admit that we liked it. I think I'm planning on a purchase so I can see it again!
All horror fans must see this. It is one of the best low budget horror films I have seen. I have just came from seeing the east coast premier in Baltimore. It had a pretty good story. and had some great bloody gory kill scenes(my personal favorite in horror films) Sally's brother Rudy was my favorite in the movie.He was a crazy drag queen in little skirts and high heel shoes.Gunner Hansen had a small role in the movie. It was great to see him return to the big screen. Let me just say the quite ones are the ones you have to watch for. I can't wait till it comes out on DVD. It is a must have. I wish this movie and all the people in it the best of luck.
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