03 January 2012

The Summer of Massacre 2011 - REVIEW

Hold onto your barf bag. You might need it by the end of the film as you view the slicing, tearing, ripping, gashing, stabbing, impaling, beating, squishing, choking, burning, staking, cutting, hacking, dismembering, decapitating, hanging, bashing, dicing, chopping, crushing, pounding, spearing, scalping, suffocating, deaths the psychotic serial killers hand out to anyone that is in their path of vengeance. Since there are five separate stories in this anthology, I feel it only fair to split them up and review them all separately.

Chapter 1 - Rampage Chris is just an average guy, living an average life until he's attacked during a late night run, severely beaten and left for dead. He's found alive the next morning but something has changed inside him. All he can see is red and he takes out his revenge on any and everyone that gets in his way, including the woman who finds and tries to help him. Things happen so quickly in this short and there's no real character development or explanation of why Chris is doing what he does. I get it that he's mad as hell about being left for dead (I would be too!) but I didn't really get why he just took aim at everyone, killing them with whatever tool is around, including a skateboard and a remote control :/ I got the feeling that Chris was written to kill just for the sake of killing and that's not really my bag. (Yes, I am the Gore Whore but I like my gore with a little plot... sorry!) I was also expecting a gore fest like none other and I got that BUT, it was in splatters and whacks of CGI. Practical effects have always been an important part of horror to me and the ones that ARE done here, are done extremely well. It was so full of CGI that at times it was like watching my son play a video game and it was very distracting for me.

Chapter 2 - Lump Lori (Nick Principe) is a paraplegic hermaphrodite who's body has been devastated by spina bifeda. Throw in a caring mother who's not willing to give up on her sick "daughter", a beautiful, spiteful yet very jealous sister and a step brother that's... well... I'll just say a little slow and you've got your plot. The difference between this chapter and the first is that it actually has some substance. I was extremely surprised by Principe's performance. I've only ever seen him as the "tough guy" type so I was pleased to see that he brought a softness to his character that not only made you like her but made you root for her to come out on top.

Chapter 3 - Son of the Boogieman 36 years ago, Jesse's mother was raped by his biological father. They've spent that time running and hiding in fear thinking he would come back. Now he has and he wants what it his. This was the shortest film of the bunch with a run time of 11 minutes or so, luckily it's only 11 minutes. For me, this was one of the worst and I ended up feeling the same about this one as the first one. There's absolutely no character development, way too much CGI and really no obvious plot.

Chapter 4 - Burn This one is based on the legend of two firefighters who were lovers. When the rest of the guys in the station found out, they trapped them during a forest fire and left them to burn to death. Now they haunt the woods that became their graves seeking revenge on anyone who lights a fire without saying a prayer for them first... mkay. We learn all this through the campfire tales of a church youth group who have unwittingly stumbled into the wrong part of the woods. There were a lot of practical effects in this one and they were good, damn good but again, it was riddled with so much bad CGI that it was distracting. I'm not sure I really get the whole plot of this one either... I mean I get it, I just don't think it made that much sense.

Chapter 5 took place in between the four shorts with three serial killers giving some dialogue about why they enjoy killing so much. The last scene is a stand off between them and the police after they've escaped and gone on a killing spree together. This one is where I had the most "I must be watching a video game" thoughts. It was just pointless and bad.

I know that director Joe Castro doesn't really care what bloggers have to say about his film and that's cool, I'll still give them an A for effort because I can appreciate that they were trying to bring something new to the table but it didn't quite work out for me. I don't know if it all the CGI work was done due to budget limitations or if that's what it took to get the kill quota high enough to break a record but it was just way over the top. I know I'm in the minority here, I've seen some rave reviews for TSOM, it just wasn't my thing and I'm not prepared to say I liked it when I didn't.

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