Harry Penderecki, a once heralded horror auteur, finds himself on the outside looking in at Hollywood. He hasn't had a hit film in years, and most in the industry, including his close ... See full summary »
Harry Penderecki, a once heralded horror auteur, finds himself on the outside looking in at Hollywood. He hasn't had a hit film in years, and most in the industry, including his close friends, think he's washed up. Harry is given one last chance to redeem himself with what could be his best or last picture. Brutal Massacre becomes just that, as the cast and crew find themselves battling one mishap after another as Harry struggles to keep his sanity against overwhelming resistance to finish the picture and find himself at the top once again. Written by
A Decent Film, But Not Particularly Funny or Interesting
Harry Pandarecki has made some good films... well, maybe one. And a slew of really, really bad ones. With funding getting more difficult to procure, we follow him on his one last chance for greatness. This mockumentary, following the film "Brutal Massacre" from scouting to filming to completion, is somewhere between horror and comedy, really missing the point of either.
Fangoria magazine called this the "Spinal Tap" of horror films. And, sure, there are some parallels. But "Spinal Tap" was witty and just plain funny, whereas this film strains to get a good joke across. With Fangoria's Tony Timpone featured in the film, as well as the magazine, it's no surprise they'd endorse this one. There's even a 40% coupon for a subscription in the box. Thanks, Tony, but you keep shilling for failures and what little credibility you have left will be lost.
I saw a twenty minute preview of this film presented by Ellen Sandweiss and Brian O'Halloran. I spoke with both of them later that night while drinking some tasty beers, and they're some very friendly cats. But, sadly, the only part of the preview that was funny was Gunnar Hansen, and this is an accurate description of the movie. Five minutes of laughs, ninety minutes of boredom. If it weren't for all the topless scenes, I don't know if I would have made it through the film on my first try without intestinal distress.
I look forward to meeting O'Halloran again. As I say, he's a cool cat and has made some great films. This is not one of them. Even the lines he ad-libbed (the Amazon jungle rant, for example) just weren't all that clever (and I don't blame him for this... he shouldn't have to pick up the slack of the actual writers) and his talents were wasted on this production. It was great to see Sandweiss, Hansen, Ken Foree... Mick Garris shows up briefly. So they knew what sort of genre people to get the attention of horror fans. Unfortunately, the writer and director (Stevan Mena, "Malevolence") just didn't have the skills to make this what it could have been. For a horror mockumentary, see "Behind the Mask" and leave this one for a last resort.
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