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For a porn actress seeking to cross over to the mainstream, taking a
role in a B-(or less)-movie might seem like a heaven-sent opportunity,
but if your name's Sasha Grey (real name Marina Ann Hantzis), you might
want to think twice about appearing in a Lee Demarbre flick.
For the uninitiated, Demarbre is a Canadian film maker whose credits include the cult film Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, which was shot on a budget of $45,000.
His latest offering, Smash Cut, which made its world debut at Montreal's 2009 edition of the Fantasia Film Festival, is an equally low budget nod to schlock impresario Herschell Gordon Lewis (Two Thousand Maniacs, The Wizard of Gore). While such a film would seem like a natural opportunity for someone from the adult film realm to use as a segue into the mainstream, a later production Steven Soderbergh's "The Girlfriend Experience" also starring Grey - was released well before Smash Cut, making this look like her second mass market role, when, in fact, the reverse is true. All of which is too bad for Grey, who is the only member of the cast who displays anything remotely approaching acting talent.
The story, such as it is, is thin, and one can suppose that Demarbre was merely looking for a vehicle for tongue-in-cheek humor and gore. A down on his luck director by the name of Able Whitman (played by veteran shock horror actor David Hess of original Last House on the Left fame), dismayed by the critical reception to his cheap films special effects, decides to use real human body parts to impart realism. His first victim turns out to be a relative of April Carson (Grey), a reporter for a local television station. With the backing of her station manager (H.G. Lewis) she sets out to infiltrate Whitman's production by responding to a casting call.
None of this really matters, though, as the film's true mission is to emulate the low budget schlock of Lewis' films, which it does admirably and is about the only critical compliment I can give this film.
Overall the story is poorly executed trash. In keeping with the Lewis factor, everyone involved with the exception of Grey seems to be trying to outdo each other on the bad acting scale. Lines appear to be not merely improved, but takes are used that show actors struggling on the fly to think them up.
Grey, whose acting is wildly uneven, is the only cast member who shows any potential of being able to believably take on a role, whether or not this was by choice or accident, given the atrocious performances turned in by the rest of the cast, is a matter for further debate.
What's unfortunate, however, is that this movie will be released after Grey's performance in Soderbergh's "The Girlfriend Experience", and look like a step down from a promising debut.
What's not in question here is Grey's acting ability, but the projects she chooses to appear in from here on in. Some of this may not be within her control, given her ongoing career in the adult realm, but choosing to appearing a mainstream film that has all the look, feel, and production values of a porn film (minus the sex) can hardly be taken as a wise career move.
If you love low budget films, this is an absolute must-see. I loved
every minute of it, every bad line of dialogue, every bad joke, every
predictable plot device, even the ridiculous costumes.
On the "B" movie scale I give it 8 out of 10.
The cast and director are (mostly) very experienced, if you think for a minute that the camp and cheese is accidental, you should probably rent a Van Damme flick next time.
Incidentally, it was filmed in my hometown, so I enjoyed seeing familiar landmarks. Most notably the famous Bytown Theater is featured in several scenes.
I read the other reviews on here and really, if you don't like "B" movies, don't write reviews on them... If you know what to expect from this film, you will love it.
OK, actual critical stuff... The opening and closing credits were both absolutely first rate. The score is brilliant, really ties the film together very nicely. The cast is full of familiar faces for horror buffs, which is a real treat. Sasha Grey performs excellently, and I love that the director never sexualizes her (except for a cute nurse outfit).
Watch this movie in the right frame of mind and you will have a blast!
I was surprised with just how much fun I had with this one. Now the plotting and writing isn't the best and there seemed to be at least one blatant plot hole, plus the film did have the odd more general issue with it but once it really got geared up it was a blast for me. It opens with some very stylish credits and a cast to really get the mouth watering, then swiftly gets down to business. It tells of horror hack director Able Whitman (David Hess) who is most upset by the bad reviews and general disdain for his work. After an unfortunate accident he sees the light though and decides to start using genuine body parts for the gore in his movies, something which of course requires killing. The film is something of an in joke for old school trash fans, as well as The Hess there are also appearances for Herschell Gordon Lewis, Michael Berryman and Ray (Montag The Magnificent) Sager. And also chic porno hottie Sasha Grey as a young journalist who gets an acting role on Whitman's latest film in order to investigate the disappearance of her sister. The chief sticking point is that there is a good deal less gore than one might expect, its there and there's some amusing bloodshed as well, but things take a while to hot up and there are really only three scenes of proper old school fake yet queasy gore of the HG Lewis variety. Fortunately the film is largely driven by The Hess, who lets go in an immensely entertaining performance, moving between passion, pathos, humour and derangement in always entertaining fashion. Sasha Grey isn't much of an actress but is watchable enough and the cameos are ace, especially Berryman. Barry Blake is also pretty fine as a classy and decent cinematographer, really the only role that I didn't like was Jesse Buck as a flamboyant private investigator, though I guess he was written irritating. Director Lee Demarbre conjures a suitably trashy feel whilst injecting random moments of neato style and while the film is certainly indulgent keeps it fast and fun. Also there's a really ripping score from Michael Dubue, perfectly suited to the film. The film isn't some great classic of cinema, or even a serious gore film and some will likely find it weak, irritating or both but after negotiating a shaky first half or so I thought it was a pretty sweet time. Worth a look for fans of the cast and trash aficionados.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT'S (1972) own David HESS stars as ABEL WHITMAN, a
schlocky, bad B movie director, who's films are constantly booed by
horror fans & film critics (& if you see one of his movies, that plays
during the beginning of the film, in the theatre, you'll see why), all
of whom complain about the bad acting, directing, writing & cheap gore
effects, in fact he makes EDWARD D. WOOD JR. look like ORSON WELLS. One
night, he snaps after a car accident that kills his girlfriend. Instead
of going to the police, he keeps her corpse around for "inspiration" &
then goes on a killing spree, using real body parts as props & wracking
up the body count as he kills a lecherous studio head, his
screenwriter, his special effects artist, his D.P., his producer & best
of all, a snooty female critic! From there a reporter goes undercover
as an actress in the hopes that it will lead to some answers to her
sisters disappearance, that she feels Abel may be a part of. Will she &
a private detective she has hired be able to stop Abel? or will they
too wind up as "props" for his new horror spectacle KILLER TOY 2? SMASH
CUT, is a loving tribute to several things, bad B movie cinema & the
people who make it, the kinds of people in the industry who are only in
it for profit & not the love of the films they are presenting, gore
films, horror hits of the 70's & 80's & H.G. LEWIS films. The latter
more so, since it's obvious H.G. was a clear inspiration for the
filmmaker, SMASH CUT, is very bloody, filled with horrible acting & the
directing is similar to that of H.G. himself. Still while this could
have turned out to be a bad thing, SMASH CUT actually is enjoyable,
it's not scary or suspenseful, certainly not, but it's cheesy B movie
fun, that pokes fun at the conventions of horror cinema & has a cheap,
grainy feel similar to porn films of the 70's & Grindhouse Cinema, in
fact this should have been played along with Robert Rodriguez's PLANET
TERROR instead of Quentin Tarintino's really bad DEATHPROOF (in fact
this film felt more like a Grindhouse feature than DEATHPROOF).
Definitely recommended to only die hard horror fans, since they will be
the only ones to catch the films many jokes & fully appreciate what the
filmmakers were trying to do here.
A Comedy horror splatter film from the director of 'Jesus Christ
Vampire Hunter' and tonight's movie is 'Smash Cut'
So this film is about a director, after his film gets bad reviews he kills people for his next film.
The reason this is being covered is because A. I bought it today for $3 and B. It stars Sasha Grey the porn-star and Hershell Gordon Lewis the director of 'Blood Feast', '2000 maniacs', 'Color me blood Red' and 'The Wizard of Gore' and finally C. Sasha Grey is attempting to pull a Connie Mason, who was Miss June in 1963, and then started her actual film career by staring in 'Blood Feast' and '2000 Maniacs'. So yea this is like some kind of history repeating itself kind of stuff also the plot sounds like something H.G.L. would make.
'Smash Cut' is a pretty good film, definitely over looked and underrated the characters are either flat or fun and goofy the acting isn't half bad. It feels like a film completely inspired by the earliest splatter films. A fun schlocky splatter horror comedy and it really holds up. Its a well shot movie and the lighting is good. The writing is decent it's actually funny not too funny but it still has the gore and low budget feel to keep it entertaining. It also kinda feels like a Ryan Nicholson film. It's not a masterpiece but its still cool and a great flick!
on the gore meter from one to ten one being something like 'The Corpse Grinders' ten being something like 'Braindead' Smash Cut is a 5 I guess
I got this at FYE for $3 and It was definitely worth it, hell I'd pay up to $6 for it. It's that good a 4/5
A horror film director (David Hess) is depressed that audiences find his gore effects too fake-looking. After he accidentally kills a stripper in a car accident, he uses her corpse to make better gore effects. Driven to make more realistic horror movies, he becomes a murderer. Meanwhile, the stripper's sister (porn star Sasha Grey), hires a private detective (Jesse Buck) to investigate her sister's disappearance. This is cheap, lame-ass stuff. It tries to be funny, but it's severely unsuccessful. Its worst crime is there's almost no nudity! You hire a porn actress as your star, you gotta have some boobs! This'd be completely bottom of the barrel stuff if not for the groovy, '70s porn-influenced score and the fairly decent look of it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Part 2 of how NOT to do a horror/comedy. See also 'Killer Clown'.
People, we truly have reached the dregs. NOTHING is worse than a movie where the main gag is not shared by the audience. NOTHING. And Smash Cut is about as bad as it gets.
It's all about a cheapo film director who makes flop horror pictures (Much like this one, coincidence?). The strange thing is, when we see an extract of one of his works at the start, it is dreadful... but still around 100 times better than the flick that frames it. After realising no-one likes his rubbish, the director then gets the bright idea of killing his worse critics and film crew, and using their bodily functions to make his work more authentic. Considering the amount of fingerprints and DNA he leaves behind, I was amazed he was never intercepted by the police. I KNOW you're not supposed to contemplate such thoughts in a tongue-in-cheek movie, but c'mon... this is such a dead zone of quality, that's there's nowt else to ponder on.
The overacting is abysmal. The pop culture references are designed for the mentally impaired. The poster is also misleading... what I thought was going to be a film about a killer nurse, turns out to be something much less appealing. Bait and switch, folks. And never before have I seen so many tiresome characters reciting what I suppose it meant to be witty dialogue. It isn't. It's just nonsensical garbage in service to a imbecilic plot, so at least the two go well together. A match made in Hell, if you like.
Hopefully, in the sequel, we the audience can get our own back on the cast and crew of this dreck. Now, THAT would be worth seeing. Can you pass me the nutcrackers, pls? 1/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bitter and deranged hack horror director Able Whitman (marvelously essayed with trademark rip-snorting gusto by the always reliable David Hess) gets slammed by critics for the hokey quality of his hopelessly cheesy movies. So Able decides to start killing his enemies and using their body parts as props in his latest schlock opus. It's up to spunky reporter April Carson (a solid and appealing performance by adorable hardcore porn starlet Sasha Grey) and suave private investigator Isaac Beaumonde (smoothly played by Jesse Buck) to stop the lethal lunatic. Director Lee Gordon Demarbre and writer Ian Driscoll lovingly craft a bright, witty, and energetic ode to blithely low-grade horror exploitation cinema that makes the grade thanks to an engaging tongue-in-cheek tone, nifty homages to the grisly work of legendary goremeister Herschell Gordon Lewis (who has a neat small part as April's boss Fred Sandy and does a spot-on introduction warning folks about the graphic nature of this picture), outrageously excessive gore set pieces that really hit the splattery spot (a snobby film critic getting bagged with a clapper board rates as the definite wonderfully ridiculous highlight), and a wild climax set at a movie theater. As usual, it's a total blast to see Hess go gloriously bonkers and bump off various folks in inventively gruesome ways. Popping up in nifty supporting roles are Michael Berryman as shyster producer Philip Farnsworth Jr., Ray Sager as flamboyant hypocritical preacherman Reverend Roscoe Boone, and Jennilee Murray as doomed stripper Georgia Carson. Jean-Dennis Menard's gaudy cinematography gives the film an appropriately garish look and boasts several impressively intricate tracking shots. Michael Dubue's funky, lively, syncopated score does the right-on groovy trick. Enjoyable junk.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"I need inspiration." Poor Able Whitman(David Hess)is a filmmaker whose
horror movies are rejected as worthless tripe(is this loosely based on
Uwe Bol?)and he drowns his sorrow away in alcoholic pity at the local
strip club(where he often finds his actresses!). A tragic event
yielding a dead stripper's body may just be the inspiration Whitman
needs to bring more authenticity to his work! The lingering shot of the
dead body at his disposal creates an enthusiasm in his producers
demanding product just as presented to them. Desperate for recognition
after being long criticized, Whitman is so willing to present real,
he'll draw his own blood for a "blood shower" set up written on script.
Anyway, the dead stripper's sister and a detective join forces to find
her whereabouts, following all the leads which will inevitably lead to
Whitman. Meanwhile, Whitman descends into madness, killing those in his
crew in order to further add realism to his bloody horror movie.
Someone has done it! Maybe this means little to nothing if you are not an admirer of Herschell Gordon Lewis, but for those who love the guy, "Smash Cut" could be worthwhile. I imagine that this movie will be of special interest to the David Hess fan club because he is the star headlining the movie along with gorgeous porn star Sasha Grey . Seeing Hess in clownface alone will be enough I think for his faithful to check this out. That or when he pulls the arm accidentally off a stripper who is killed in a car crash, Hess completely distraught. The scene where Hess collapses after the incident where he drew blood is a howler! Oh, and Hess even gets so worked up while gathering up his bits and pieces for his movie(from the car crash victim!)that he uses the severed arm's shirt sleeve to wipe his sweaty brow! Jesse's detective Beaumonde is a character of the HGL grand tradition..he's obviously modeled after Frank Kress from The Gore Gore Girls(he even carries a cane and is sure in love with himself). I have to say that this may be the first time, the avid horror fan that I am, I've actually seen a victim held captive in a film vault. Oh, and how Hess' director goes into hysterics regarding how Hamlet is in essence a horror film when this is challenged by April(Grey as a woman seeking a part in Whitman's new movie so she can follow him more closely)is quite a hoot. Or, the macabre scene involving April unknowingly holding her dead sister's decapitated head while quoting a line from Hamlet. Hess has a lot of kill scenes where he follows up his grisly antics with some goofy line("It's gut check time!" "I always knew you had a good eye" "I have final cut!")to cement each demented act of violence. Lots of black humor on display. Is there anything more cool than HGL opening the film?! To have the godfather of gore a part of your splatter movie must've been a great honor for both sides, the one for which the film is dedicated to and for the director to have his hero present and part of "Smash Cut." Michael Berryman, in a ridiculous wig, is Hess' not-so-bright producer, pairing together two memorable exploitation icons in scenes where they can send up their image. Ray Sager is a reverend who enlists boycotts of Whitman's movies and gets caught with his pants down by Beaumonde during the investigation. The violence is purposely low-tech, particularly an absurd scene where canons of blood gusher after Whitman chops off the hands of a screenplay writer with a cleaver. I'm a little kind to this movie because it was such a pleasure seeing Hess having such fun in quite a wacky role..and, nope, he doesn't rape anybody. While I think the image of Sasha Grey in a nurse uniform covered in blood is an attractive one, I found her lacking in personality. Still, she's mighty easy on the eyes, and I imagine there's a place in the horror genre for her if she ever decides to leave pornography behind.
Two things might attract you to this movie; if you're like C, it's the
prospect of seeing adult film actress Sasha Grey doing something other
than swallowing massive meat (although why you would want to see her
doing anything but that is a mystery to me), or you're like myself, and
want to see a movie that is a tribute to the life and works of the God
Father of gore H.G. Lewis.
The gore, or lack of it, is another disappointment. The effects aren't really the problem, I realised that they were obviously fake to mimic some of the questionable gore props used in the 60s and 70s however I distinctly remember most of Lewis' gore being quite revolting and of bad taste. In 'Smash Cut' they are all played for a laugh which was a bit of a shame. In addition to this, and contrary to much of Lewis' ethos, many of the gore scenes are remarkably weak, nothing much is shown. On occasion the gore is there with some guts and plenty of blood, but certainly nothing which sticks in your head like in Lewis' movies.
'Smash Cut' delivers an experience which is occasionally close to the great Lewis movies of old, too often though it forces the formula too far, with the 'bad acting' coming off a little to camp, and many of the jokes coming too close to seeming like a bit of a micky take. There are many aspects of the movie which fall short, but overall, the main problem remains that for a movie attempting to pay homage to the God Father of gore, it's not anyway near gory enough.
Read the full review at: beyondthegore
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