Summer of the Massacre, The (2008)
Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Michael Baughan, Jeannette James, Ben O'Brien, Amanda Forman, Chris Jarratt, Emma Horsley
Written & Directed by Bryn Curt James Hammond
The Summer of the Massacre is a slasher flick about a bunch of twenty-something's that go for a trip in their van, take a wrong turn into the desolate countryside, and get killed by a maniac with a hammer. Sounds original, doesn't it? They even manage to work in an abandoned gas station and a crazy guy who offers dire warnings about what horrible fate awaits them. The writer/director actually wants us to believe this film is based on true events.
The film actually opens with what is probably the longest amount of scrolling text since Alone in the Dark all designed to convince us that this film is in some way based on "factual occurrences" of a malevolent cannibal monster known as Hammer Head.
Let me tell you something. This Hammer Head is quite possibly the least threatening movie slasher I've ever seen. Some short, thin guy in a ripped up, bloodstained suit and tie combination (minus the jacket) with a mask on his head that looks like something you could pick-up at a Halloween sale sponsored by the Salvation Army; he looks like he should be the lead singer of a Slipknot-inspired ska band. Ah, hell, I was never even sure if the mask he was wearing was supposed to be a mask or if he was supposed to be hideously deformed but the facial appliance was just an obvious cheap mask. His weapon of choice is more a tiny mallet than a hammer. "Mallet Head" must not have had a good ring to it. I’m telling you right now if I saw this gimp charging towards me with that tiny mallet I'd stand my ground rather than run away and I'm willing to bet I could take him too.
The Summer of the Massacre is also British. That means that even when the characters say and do stupid things they'll at least sound smart doing so. At least when I could understand them; there were times when I couldn't figure out what they were saying through their thick accents; that might just be me. Not that it much mattered what they were saying.
Even the filmmaker didn't care about such things as dialogue. I'd reckon 75% of this film is just interminable amounts of people running through the woods screaming while being chased by Hammer Head who makes constant grunting and squealing sounds like a deranged retard. All fast forwarding could do was make everyone run faster and that's just no fun without some Yakety Sax playing.
Plotting is practically non-existent.
Character development is even more non-existent.
I think the point was to make a horror movie of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre variety; the kind with a rawness to it, a visceral terror that works on the most basic primitive level. It's just not happening though. It's so not happening there was more than one occasion when I wasn't even sure if the writer/director was striving for horror or parody or both. Hammer Head is chasing some guy in a cornfield and gets temporarily thwarted when the potential victim stabs him in the eye with an ear of corn, for goodness sake.
I fully realize this is practically an amateur movie with production values even lower than that a lot of homemade YouTube videos I've watched but as I've always said in the past, it doesn't matter if your movie cost $300 or $300 million, it doesn't matter if your movie grossed one dollar or one billion, good is good and bad is bad. The Summer of the Massacre is bad - very, very bad.
0 out of 5
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