Director and co-writer Manny Serrano with screenwriter Louie Cortes presents a retro style horror film in excellent entertaining style, which contains a solid script and proper execution of a slasher genre, for genre fans and gore-hounds to enjoy equally. The plot starts with a party and results in massacre, that police, Officers Fincher (Matt W. Cody) and Cobb (Byron M. Howard) discover while investigating a noise complaint, but turns quickly with the murderer escaping a police cover-up to smother all rumors, but rumors vanish as the killer, Ripper returns to carve up the town. The flaws the film contains, are more of an enhancement to the film, a reference to the bad movies of the 1980s and even into the 1990s, with respect to little budgets, tight shooting schedules, and subpar talents. Therefore, the bad acting and technical issues give the film extra qualities that are reminiscent to the past, where theaters had level seating, and creaky chairs, and then became a television set in a bedroom or basement. By the end of the 80s, the slasher genre played all the cards in the deck, the studios exhausted the landscape and the ride of tales got very stale, hence this film makes a return a welcome venture. In addition, the film is not just a tribute to 80s horror, rather sets itself in that decade, a remarkable touch and with incredible risk with no real budget, but acquired many nostalgic items of that era, achieving distribution in 2015 with Wild Eye Releasing.
The film keeps a good and solid steady pace, with just a tinge too long in the ‘back-story’ portion, a hair more editing to make it spot-on, yet the characters have substance and creating a caring from the audience about their individual plight and survival. Manny provides well position scares, drama and mixture of suspense with some of the most brutal killing scenes that have graced the screen. Blood Slaughter Massacre, never chides away from the title in any manner, rather reinforces at every turn with class and style, and contains a legendary scene with a babysitter (Charlotte Pines).
As is customary, the checklist hits every marker for the horror audience, an inverted pentagram, ample T&A with extra helpings of blood, guts, gore, and yes, believable characters with a storyline that fits the title. The concept holds the attention, with drama and tension and mixes in both of Alfred Hitchcock’s staples suspense and surprises with equally doses and correctly executing them on the screen. All the scenarios work perfectly together, nothing forced, just a natural slashing motion of ripping flesh and spilling blood, all in a glorious style celebration to 80s horror. Women of plenty convictions pull the scenes together, wonderfully, and including bumbling police officers, creepy warnings with references from Halloween (1978) to Friday the 13th (1980) and even harkening back to Psycho (1960) that fills a film just a tad over 2-hours. Then the killer, called, Ripper with an odd clown mask on, that mixes its own hemorrhage effect of the scenes, with body count nearly 40 or perhaps even more, on a non-existing budget, but a dedicated and loyal cast and crew, always-positive spin for no or low-budgeted horror films. The slaughtering of masses feels at times like Jason has return to old true form, with an all out buffet of slash, and dismembered body parts continues to give affirming nods to previous horror flicks. Thankfully, the massacre works effectually and accompanied by a good special effects team, headed by Lindsay Serrano, without believable effects, most of this production would need cutaway shots to maintain the loyalty to the genre, title and to the fans.
The past, no matter how hard one tries to bury past mistakes, always creeps back to the surface in some manner, whether encouraged or not, that karma constantly stirring, and that element plays into Manny’s film. That occurs to Cody’s character, which he stars in his first feature horror film, and goes to battle with the Ripper again. No longer a mere officer, but now a detective with multiple personal issues ranging from a failed marriage to excessive drinking and abusive rage outburst all leading back to that one fateful moment, which ripped his life apart. Fincher became a silent victim to the Ripper, and suffers the turmoil daily as the portrayed on screen. The Ripper a silent machine killer, a mindset to avenge a lost one, and revenge on all in his path and brutal destroys bodies in with knives in interesting positions, and comical too.
Director Christian Grillo, who directed The Wish (2007), which played at the Terror Film Festival, in Philadelphia, PA (a nifty short film one should see) has a great cameo appearance, but good tastes prevent the character name for publication, also rising star Genoveva Rossi lends her acting talents to the film too in the role of Angela Baker (Sleepaway Camp ). In addition, Carmela Hayslett does a truthful performance of her character Carla while James Balsamo as Kenny the Cameraman, subtle reference to Wes Craven’s Scream (1996), here again Manny layers horror film references for fans to discover like Easter eggs.
Blood Slaughter Massacre, definitely has the interest of horror fans at the forefront, the passion of bringing an epic tale of slaughterhouse mayhem can easily overlook the elements that have flaws, and there again some flaws intentional occur to fulfill the reference of a incredible decade in the annuals of the horror genre.
This review originally appeared in Rogue Cinema’s May 2014 issue and achieved a view count of 743 views.
IMDb Rating: 3.6/10
Baron’s Rating: 5/10