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Succeeds or fails, depending on your view of schlock
Craig McPherson19 July 2009
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.
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Fantastic B Movie!
mayhembegins12 February 2010
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!
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kosmasp20 October 2009
Watched this one at the Fright Fest in London. I enjoy David Hess and his performance. Unfortunately the movie itself is just way too silly. And even though it is quite likable, in it's low budget way, most jokes just don't work (for me). I appreciate the effort (look out for gazillion posters hanging around, with awesome movie titles, that haven't been used yet), but on the other hand, you really have to set your expectations low with this one.

Another revelation, but unfortunately of the bad kind, is the actress Sasha Grey. Although famous for her adult roles, she came (no pun intended) to the attention of the mainstream public audience, with her landing the role in the new Soderbergh movie (Girlfriend Experiment). While I haven't watched that movie yet, her performance in "Smash Cut" is really bad! While it isn't a movie to really judge someones acting abilities, she has a major role here and does disappoint. But I'm still curious of the Soderbergh movie, so I'm looking out for that. This movie can only be enjoyed, if you are in a really good/silly mood
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Smash Cut from beyondthegore
beyondthegore27 March 2012
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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I thought all the prints were destroyed, and yet here it is!
Paul Magne Haakonsen16 February 2010
Well, at least they made an attempt.

This movie has a stupid storyline, and doesn't provide any thrills or scares. Throughout the movie you will be laughing at the effects and the characters.

The movie is a mix of mediocre and bad acting, and none really shines through in a great way. But despite this, the goofiness (whether intended or not) makes the movie watchable, because you will be laughing at them.

The costumes were hilarious, and makes you wonder "what were they thinking?". Some of the sets were alright though, not everything was bad here.

There was a 70's feeling to the movie somehow.

At least an attempt was made at this movie, but it is not a very good movie in overall. But at least some of the ways people were killed were inventive and funny, that counts for something.

This is not a movie that I would recommend you pick up, unless you have too much time on your hands and want to kill off an hour and a half with a low budget movie that really isn't worth the effort. There are lots of other low budget movies out there far better than this one!
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So bad it could have been made by the protagonist.
Rich Wright1 February 2014
Warning: 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
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zetes11 October 2014
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.
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don't take it seriously
trashgang13 August 2010
Just before the movie starts Herschell Gordon Lewis pops up on the screen to warn you about you will see. For me that was the moment to not take the movie seriously. I guess a lot have done that by reading their reviews! The score is what made me remind of Blood Feast. The script is so seventies low budget style, man, this is just back to memory lane. Do not to attempt this flick with a feeling of nowadays. That it is an ode to Herschell becomes clear with a headline in a newspaper, Gruesome Twosome is written, do I need to say more. Due the fact that they made it exploitation style the acting is total crap, but still okay if you know what I mean. It's nice to see David Hess again and Berryman. I guess they had a lot of fun while filming. Of course the effects used are also old school seventies style which means, cheap but effective. You can see clearly that it is a manikin's arm used or whatsoever but the blood flows on a regularly base and a bit of gore is added. The only thing it lacks from is nudity, especially with the scene's in a strip joint and the appearance of Sasha Grey, know for her nudity activities and hard core flicks. Still, if you are into a good joke and an ode to the pre old school horrors than watch it, if you are into the torture porn or slashers, leave it.
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Very bad - in a funny way
Nick Damian13 May 2010
How bad can a low budget movie be? Well it can be bad and very bad and then it can just be simply retarded.

This is very bad - but still has some silliness to be classified as funny in some manner.

It's not really a horror and never could be considered one.

It's simply too stupid to be one.

The opening scene in the movie theater is great - along with the sexy psychiatrist and the stuffed doll is really cool.

The over the top acting and effects were just too absurd to be stupid and yet they were not great either.

Just like this review, it keeps you watching for some reason or other and it's not because it's any good really.
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Underrated tribute to The Godfather of Gore
Cody Rapp (biscutbuu69)29 November 2014
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
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pikulis429 October 2013
Worst movie i ever seen. Makeup was awful and more than unrealistic. I could do it in dark and two minutes. Situation too unrealistic and too stupid, people, even those who live in cellar all life are more educated and could do things better. Stupid, unrealistic, unfunny, not scary, really awful movie. What? why i should write ten lines? Where's the logic? If i have nothing more to say about that? I have said everything already. Worst movie i ever seen. Makeup was awful and more than unrealistic. I could do it in dark and two minutes. Situation too unrealistic and too stupid, people, even those who live in cellar all life are more educated and could do things better. Stupid, unrealistic, unfunny, not scary, really awful movie. What? why i should write ten lines? Where's the logic? If i have nothing more to say about that? I have said everything already.
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Entertaining low-budget horror splatter trash
Woodyanders16 December 2010
Warning: 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.
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Smash Cut
Scarecrow-884 May 2010
Warning: 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.
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moray-jones22 December 2009
Not sure how I'm going to take this review up to 10 lines, which is the minimum I'm allowed to write, but saw this on a shelf again recently and felt obliged to warn others not to bother with it. I had assumed that, by now, it had been swallowed into a dark abyss and nobody would be at any risk of parting with money for it.

Mercifully, I only rented it and don't think that I even finished it. It was awful. One of those films where someone tries to make a 'so bad it's good' film'. Well, that didn't work. It was so bad it was painful. At a glance I expected it to be biographical, but it was just using that in the blurb to get noticed. A total nonsense, dragging painfully on and on.

Take your money and give it to a wino - it will be better spent.
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Smash Cut
Jackson Booth-Millard29 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I will be completely honest, the main reason I wanted to see this film was because it starred a very well-known former XXX hardcore porn star, I knew she professionally acted later in the Steven Soderbergh film The Girlfriend Experience, so I was keen to see what she was like, and I guess I was up for a cheesy scary movie. Basically the latest film from director Able Whitman (David Hess) has had many negative comments from cinema goers, poor reviews from critics and very low box office takings, and frustrated his only entertainment and distraction comes when he goes into a strip club. There he meets and takes home stripper Georgina Carson aka Gigi Spot (Jennilee Murray), and he is most interested in her that he may like to cast her in his next film, a sequel to the one recently getting the negativity, but they end up in a road accident killing Gigi, and he has to do something with the body. In a moment of madness he remembers cinema goers saying that all his gore effects look fake, so he decides in convenience to use parts of the dead body he has and "disguise" them as set pieces and props to use in his new horror film. Meanwhile television news celebrity April Carson (former porn star Sasha Grey), Gigi's sister, joins forces with private investigator Isaac Beaumonde (Jesse Buck) to help find her sister, and with Whitman being the last person to have apparently seen her she pretends to be a wannabe actress and get a part in his latest film being made. The new set design and the new "more realistic" props are met with praise by the crew members and studio heads, and when more "props" are needed the madman resorts to going on a killing spree murdering crew members for their blood and body parts, and he even drains some of his own blood. Whitman gets going on a return to good form for the film industry, finding a long lost film to open the audiences to before his brand new film is presented, but obviously his evil plans are discovered, and not long before he can finish and premiere his "masterpiece" he is killed. Also starring The Hills Have Eyes' Michael Berryman as Philip Farmsworth Jr., Herschell Gordon Lewis as Fred Sandy / Radio Announcer, Ray Sager as Reverend Roscoe Boone, Michael Dubue as Alan Dackman and Barry Blake as Armand Parys. Hess is alright as the psychopathic filmmaker, Grey at least shows she can act a little – but I'd have to see more of her (in acting, and flesh terms technically, LOL), the rest of the cast are hardly worth mentioning, especially Buck who was dreadful, well, actually it was the whole film that was dreadful, the plot and story are pointless and not all that imaginative, it is predictable and most of the time tiresome, no body parts and blood spattering can rescue it, I would not waste my time watching it because it is an awful horror comedy. Pretty poor!
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More badly made low budget horror junk.
Paul Andrews2 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Smash Cut is set in Ottawa in Canada where hack horror film director Able Whitman (David Hess) attends the world premiere of his latest film Terror Toy to disastrous audience reaction who scream for his blood & their money back. Dejected & down Able heads on over to a strip club & meets up with stripper Gigi Spot (Jennilee Murray) & hires her for the night, however while driving home with Gigi in his car Able has a crash & Gigi is killed. Having looked for inspiration for his next film Able suddenly finds it in the corpse of Gigi, Able realises that this is what modern audiences want. They want real death & real blood & thanks to Gigi's death he now understands, at first he drains some of his own blood but it's not enough to make a gore soaked horror film so goes even further by murdering people such as critics, rival director's & even his own crew. However Gigi's sister April (Sasha Grey) hires the famous private detective Isaac Beaumonde (Jesse Buck) to find out what happened to her sister & they are soon come to suspect Able...

This Canadian production was directed by Lee Demarbre & is the worst kind of low budget, poorly made crap that thinks itself is clever & funny & paying homage to classics of the genre of but is in fact a real pain to sit through & offers next to nothing in terms of entertainment value. Judging by the silly nature of Smash Cut I assume it was meant as some sort of horror comedy but fails miserably in both regards, not once did I find the one-liners funny or was convinced by the story. Smash Cut is very predictable, Smash Cut actually reminded me of the film Color Me Blood Red (1965) directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis who Smash Cut is 'dedicated to' (I'm sure he's flattered, not!) & actually has a small cameo (although I think even Gordon may have been slightly embarrassed to put his name next to this) with the only difference being that in Color Me Blood Red an obsessed artist killed people & used blood to paint pictures rather than an obsessed director making horror films. There are supposed to be plenty of film related puns & gags but as I mentioned they fall totally flat, at only 80 minutes long you would wonder how Smash Cut could end up being boring but it is, the story which is obviously light hearted sucks & I couldn't get into it at all or like it. What else can I say? I really didn't like it, I thought it was a chore to sit through & it's badly made as well.

Smash Cut has a strange look, although set in contemporary times some of the clothes & props (just check that radio out in the waiting room) are obviously 60's inspired which gives it an uneven look & feel I didn't like at all. It's almost as if the makers wanted to make a period horror film yet could only afford a few outfits & the odd prop. Despite featuring several porn stars there is no nudity here at all. The blood & gore is fake looking & not that impressive, a guy has his hands chopped off, a woman has her fingers & head cut off, there are a few dead bodies, some severed limbs are seen & there are a few stabbings (including one by harpoon) but little else besides some terrible special effects work as a guy has his eyeballs poked out with a scalpel but none of it looks any good or is filmed with any degree of suspense or style. Forget about any scares or tension or atmosphere or genuine laughs as there aren't any.

Apparently shot in just twenty days on location in Ottawa in Canada this looks cheap from start to finish, the production values, special effects & grating music are less than impressive. Having made loads of porn films (she made her debut in Tight Teen Twats 2 (2006), it's on my 'to watch' list) the gorgeous Sasha Grey is easily the best thing about Smash Cut, genre regular David Hess is terrible & plays it so over the top at times he becomes laughable rather than menacing, Michael Berryman turns up in a small role while the original The Wizard of Gore (1970) Ray Sager turns up as well.

Smash Cut is a really terrible film with only a short run time & the lovely Sasha Grey to recommend it which ain't enough. Even the title is complete crap, I mean what the hell is Smash Cut meant to mean anyway? Do yourself a favour & avoid this one.
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