Monday, October 4, 2010

Spring Break Massacre

I have to say, I feel like this movie let me down personally. Sure, I’m hardly the only person that loves the old Slumber Party Massacre and Sorority House Massacre films, and so feels the need to buy any new movie that makes an effort to copy those old classics, but quite frankly those other people aren’t me and I for one feel they suffer for it. That’s why I take it surprisingly personally when someone (in this case, Michael Hoffman Jr., who directed and co-wrote) comes along claiming to give us a similar film and then gives us this garbage instead.

The film starts in scratched-up flashback as two guys bust in on a girl who’s having a party with her female friends later, and when she tries to force them to leave, on of the guys kills her and leaves her to be found by the pizza delivery man, who is promptly arrested and sentenced to fifteen years for her murder. We then cut ahead ten years to the present day, where a college-or-something age girl and her girlfriends go to stay at her dad’s summer cabin, just in time for the news to come out that the pizza boy has just broken out of prison. Now someone is stalking the girls and killing them and their boyfriends, but is it the pizza boy, or someone else?

It’s theoretically a serviceable enough plot for a film like this, though any such movie requires three things to overcome such a weak story: it needs a good amount of violence, a good amount of humor, and quite a lot of nudity. This movie fails on all three counts. The majority of the kills occur off-camera, and while the bodies are always shown afterwards Friday the 13th-style, the blood is all pretty bland and uninspired (though to be fair it’s not as bloodless as a few of the MPAA-butchered late 80s slashers were). The humor is also pretty lame, with only two real points of humor for the entire film: a not-very-discreet lesbian girl whose solution to every situation is to try to convince all the girls to shower together (sadly, lesbian girl is the very first girl killed, and before she ever has a chance to molest any of the other girls, which is a terrible mistake), and a creepy neighbor who is trying so very hard to imitate the success of Sorority House Massacre 2’s Orville Ketchum, but completely lacks the charisma and good writing.

Then there’s the nudity. I hope I’m not painting myself as a creep when I reveal that naked girls are the primary reason to watch any of these films, but come on. When the cover of the DVD is just girls in lingerie being menaced by a guy with a knife, you should have some idea of what you’re getting into here. With that in mind, the nudity in this film is pretty damned sparse, I must say. While most of them do show their tits in the film, it’s a pretty brief effort, and the poor Digital Video leaves what we do get a bit blurry. Yes, like the joke Woody Allen tells at the start of Annie Hall, the food here is terrible, and the portions are too small! No, we get two brief nude scenes, and if we want more we can damn well go somewhere else, by gum! It leaves one wondering what the whole point of the film was.

Hoffman does his best to try to lure in the cult horror fans too, even beyond just trying to evoke the image of the old Massacre movies. He brings in two horror veterans, Reggie Bannister (from the Phantasm series) and Linnea Quigley (from Return of the Living Dead, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, and a whole bunch of others) to try to get some known names on the box, but he doesn’t really give them much to do. Bannister plays the town sheriff, who we keep cutting to in order to try to pad the film’s length out a bit more (at 74 minutes, it still felt a bit long), and Quigley, as one of his deputies, gets even less screen time, being killed off-camera pretty early on.

This is a film that should have been an amazing movie, and instead is a dull, lifeless mess. I hope Hoffman’s film Reunion of Terror is somewhat better than this, as I unwittingly bought both not realizing they were by the same guy. I suppose that can be a review for another day, however.

Rating: *

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