Blood Massacre

Saturday is Video Store Day, the holiday where if children are good and put a dead fish in the slot of a Redbox then in the morning they find rare VHS and import Blu-Rays under their pillows. And we adults visit our local independent video stores or write cranky essays.

I know most of you live in a futuristic world of satellites and lasers and vending machines in the 7-11 parking lot, but as you know if you read that column from last year the remaining video stores are very important to my lifestyle and the type of movies I review here. It seems like soon we old timers will not be enough to support this industry and we’ll be forced to lick the boot of the corporate monopoly, or to start reading more books, until they stop making those too. But until that day I want to honor and support what I still feel is a superior way to find, share and learn about movies. So hooray Video Store Day. If you still have a video store in your area and haven’t been there in a while, maybe stop by.

To commemorate the day I wanted to find some October-appropriate viewing that featured a vintage video store as a location. The key word search on IMDb led me to this one, which I rented as part of a 2-disc, 6-movie set of no budget horror crap nobody ever heard of called Serial Psychos. Not lookin positive so far, but I’m an optimist.

BLOOD MASSACRE obviously takes some influence from LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and a little bit THE EVIL DEAD (with some of the camera work). But sometimes – alot of times, almost every time – even if you have the tenacity to get together with your friends and make an entire movie you’re not gonna turn out to have the talent and chemistry and luck that made those other beginning filmatists pull off those movies. And this is definitely not even remotely close in your wildest dreams to being an exception.

The blood massacre begins in a bar, where a Bob-Newhart-looking drifter named Rizzo (George Stover, who it turns out was in several John Waters movies and continues to act in cheapies to this day) gets hit on by (I think) a waitress, then gets thrown out by the manager, then comes back and strangles the manager and stabs the lady to death. So Rizzo is a bad person.

He goes and meets up with his crew, a buddy from ‘Nam, the buddy’s brother, and a woman (gotta have one woman in the gang, see LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT). They’re sort of planning a robbery at a shopping center, but being real indecisive about it, so when they’re in the parking lot staking it out one of the guys gets impatient and decides to go rob the video store.

So they go in there and pretend to browse videos for a while, but then suddenly pull out a gun and a switchblade, throw a bunch of customers on the ground, take their purses, etc. They end up shooting a woman (I couldn’t identify the romantic movie poster her blood was splattered on) and make off with a measly $720, which honestly is more than I would’ve expected from this caper, but they’re not happy about it. It’s like I always tell these thieves in movies, you gotta pick bigger targets and you gotta have less people to split it with, otherwise it’s not worth it. (also crime doesn’t pay)

I think the video store is called Fabulous Flickers, or if not that’s the name of a section that has a large sign seen in some of the shots. It’s pretty crammed with vintage promotional materials. Most of it I couldn’t make out but I was able to recognize posters for ENEMY MINE, SOUL MAN, JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (the Jack Nicholson one), SID AND NANCY, THE KARATE KID PART II, SPACECAMP, a Jack Lemmon/Julie Andrews movie called THAT’S LIFE!, NOBODY’S FOOL (the Eric Roberts one) and THE GOLDEN CHILD. On one of the counters is a cardboard display of Freddy Krueger:

A little research found it to be the entry box for the Nightmare On Elm Street “Be In My Nightmare” Sweepstakes. The grand prize (which was announced on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball) was a walk-on part in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4. I’m not sure where the winner was in the movie, I’d guess maybe the classroom scenes?

IMDb lists BLOOD MASSACRE as a 1991 movie, but almost all of those movies I mentioned came out in 1986, so I’m guessing this was filmed around ’87.

After the robbery the gang seeks refuge at a farmhouse not too far away, taking hostage an old couple, their daughter who they treat like a teen but looks at least 35, and their blond, aerobicizing tenant. Mom cooks dinner, daughter causes gross sexual tension by first making eyes at one guy, then making Rizzo watch her take a shower and seducing him. She bites him, makes him bleed and they make out, getting blood all over each other’s mouths. Hmmm.

I honestly didn’t see the goofy plot twist coming. The thieves find a dead body in their trunk along with a manila folder that explains that this is the daughter’s psychiatrist. Oh shit! She’s a nutcase! In maybe the only piece of good acting in the movie Rizzo tries to hide any sign that he could’ve predicted this. In a worse piece of acting he smiles and says, “We’re back in battle, Jimmy. Just like ‘Nam.”

When they go back into the house the woman from their gang, who was left to watch the family, is now tied up and gagged, and she tells them “They’re crazy! They all are!” From this point on the nice old couple look crazed and they giggle and start killing them for meat. (So now I’m wondering why they sent their daughter to a shrink?)

At one point Rizzo has escaped, he’s home free, but I guess we know from the double murder at the bar in the opening scene that he’s stubborn about these types of things and he always comes back for more. He gathers some things from a shed, goes out into the woods and MacGyvers himself a wooden mechanism that fires a saw blade, plus a couple land mines made from coffee cans, matches, a metal tube, sandpaper, gun powder and nails. Military sounding drums play on the soundtrack as if to say, “You know, ’cause of ‘Nam.”

This is a little off topic, but there’s a pretty good pancake restaurant in Seattle and I noticed recently their reader board says something about their “craft pancakes.” I thought that was funny. Anything these days that’s not shat out by a robot they act like it’s a big deal, “craft beer” and “craft soap” and shit. So I guess Rizzo here has made craft land mines, or artisan land mines. And I guess this is a craft horror movie too. And I’m writing a craft review of it. We’re all craftsmen and artisans here.

BLOOD MASSACRE is very, very home made. Not sure if it’s Super-8 or what but it’s dark, scratchy looking film, I kinda like the look. They’re obviously shooting everything one camera at a time and generally the reaction shots do not match up or give the impression that the people were even talking to each other. But there are definitely some people putting in some effort when it comes to smoke machines, dry ice, stuff like that. There are some pretty-good-for-amateurs uses of lighting in a couple spots. But mostly it looks like shit. The music is mostly library so it jumps between low rent keyboard sounds and full, overblown orchestra music.

All the best stuff is at the end. The old man gets the worst line in the movie (“Armed to the teeth!” as he’s eating an arm) and the best (offering his daughter some food by saying, “You want some of Monica?”). A head gets chopped off on a porch and falls down and lands in a bucket (but knocks it over, so it’s not a perfect shot). And in another complete left turn two of the family tear off their faces and reveal that they’re weird monsters.

Other than the monster thing this is actually a pretty funny concept – psychos taking hostage a family that are way more psycho than them. Maybe Platinum Dunes should buy this one. It is an existing title, after all, that’s what people want. And the family of director Don Dohler (THE ALIEN FACTOR, NIGHTBEAST) would get s a few bucks.

Okay, this is not a movie I can recommend to anybody, but I regret nothing. Let me end by sharing my favorite weird amateur touch:

This dude is one of the main characters, and he’s wearing a Kim Carnes “Mistaken Identity Summer Tour ’81” shirt for the entire movie. There’s a big logo on the back too. It’s a little distracting.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 20th, 2012 at 3:14 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

25 Responses to “Blood Massacre”

  1. So this is the movie that Tarantino totally ripped off the “criminals hole up with monsters” plot for FROM DUSK TILL DAWN from! This discovery now clearly invalidates any of that obviously superior film’s worth. I expect George Clooney to turn in his MTV Movie Award for “Best Breakthrough Performance” by close of business Monday.

    Speaking of Tarantino (I was speaking of Tarantino just now. This is a completely organic [one might say “artisanal”] segue in my opinion), the upcoming issue of SMOOTH Magazine, at which I am quite the muckety-muck, scored a full-page DJANGO UNCHAINED ad. And apparently Tarantino requested it himself. Which means he has read the magazine. Which means he has read my movie reviews, including those of many of his movies. Which means I suddenly feel very self-conscious. Sometimes I forget that the things I type at work while I’m hungover get sent out into the world where anyone can read them.

    In conclusion, I don’t know what you’re talking about, Vern, “Armed to the teeth” is an awesome line.

  2. It is funny how corporate America has started to intentionally misuse the word artisan in a misleading way. The other day I saw a commercial for Domino’s new artisan pizza, and it made me chuckle. Domino’s artisan pizza is an oxymoron.

  3. Oh shit, I’ve seen THE ALIEN FACTOR. Borderline unwatchable in its cheapness and badness.

  4. I always picture Tarantino reading some kind of foot-lover magazine…’Soles’ or maybe ‘Piggy Lover’. If it was purely the feet of black chicks I guess you could call it ‘Sole Sistas’ or something. I kind of admire what ‘Smooth’ is trying to do but then I realize it is merely fat high yellow chicks with the stretch marks photoshopped off and I get a sad. While we’re on the subject has anyone else noticed that usually (not ALWAYS, but usually) when there is a black couple on TV, in a commercial or in a movie the guy can be anywhere on the darkness scale but the woman is always coffee-with-cream colored? I always notice this and it really irritates me. So all black women are redbone/HY in the land of make believe nowadays? Sorry but I enjoy the whole spectrum of melanin-infused women. Am I alone in this?

    (Sorry for the tangent…back to the crappy movie thread)

  5. Betty Davis Eyes is a great record

  6. Cap: Hey, man, don’t blame us. We’re owned by a dark-skinned Jamaican woman who started the magazine in the first place to give women like herself a venue (as well as make money off them). Problem is, every time we put one on the cover, the issue dies on the newsstand. We need revenue to continue operating (I believe this is Rule #1 in Business School) so we have to follow the market. I like getting a paycheck, and if that means putting “high yellow” or Latin girls on the cover, then so be it. (Not that it’s my choice in any case.) We do try to put a dark-skinned girl in every issue, but that’s not always possible. There aren’t as many of these kinds of models out there as you might think. (A case could be made that this is because society has taught them not to think of themselves as worthy of being models.) We often go with first-timers or amateurs for that very reason.

  7. caruso_stalker217

    October 20th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I like me the black women.

    That is all.

  8. Mr.M…I’m not blaming you. I am a white guy but am attracted to the opposite of me (female, dark, curly hair, etc.). Very frustrating for a guy like me to see every model be a stick-thin pale woman with spaghetti-straight hair. Doubly irritating when ‘ethnic’ women try to emphasize the same characteristics (with the giant, gelatinous ass being the sole exception). Can we please get some more women out there that look like, say, Vanity circa 1986? Oh, shit! Speaking of that, VERN you need to review ‘Never Too Young To Die’. Seems like a movie that would be right up your alley…and it features a wet, naked Vanity in it, too.

  9. I can totally get behind Vern reviewing NEVER TOO YOUNG TO DIE, but I’m surprised Vanity doesn’t fall into the redbone category for you.

  10. lol…she does. I mentioned her more for her body type proportionally speaking (ie: normal sized ass) rather than her skin tone. Don’t get me wrong, I find redbone ladies quite attractive but I find full-on black women just as much so.

  11. Stop objectifying about black women and start talking about Don Dohler’s NIGHTBEAST. I’ve seen it. As God Almighty, I was there during the filming, guiding the hand of the director. And lo, it is good enough for Jebusites to watch.

  12. God Almighty…your douchebaggery has just ensured that I will never, ever watch ‘Nightbeast’.

    Good job!

  13. Jesus H. Tittyfucking Christ! (sorry, God Almighty; had to throw that one out there, no offense intended). This talkback’s all over the bloody map. Mr. M’s relentless self-pimping (reel it in, dude), Domino’s Pizza (Artisan or otherwise, it sucks), the personal preference war between black women and “redbones” (casting my vote for chocolate instead of butterscotch, TYVM), and The Maker trying to steer us towards a ragass horror trainwreck called Nightbeast (no thanks). Kinda makes me feel like Keyrock, aka Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer (RIP Phil Hartman). Your native customs frighten & confuse me.

    Nah, not really. Actually, I’m all in favor of articulate chaos. The world would be a better place if there was more of it.

    BTW, Bette Davis Eyes IS a great song (good call, Pacman2.0), but it’s either a blatant ripoff of Little Red Corvette, or LRC is a ripoff of BDE. As Prince Rogers Nelson is still thriving and Kim Carnes is now a footnote… well, it’s axiomatic.

    So, moving right along… a big THANK YOU to the intelligentsia here for steering me in the right direction. I cut my movie geek teeth on horror movies, and *thought* I had a reasonable insight into good horror movies, but no. It turns out I was the Two-Headed Black Dude Monster from the jail cell scene in Trading Places:

    The one Black Dude head (aka Barry White-Lookin’ Muthafucka) who says “Hey… When they brought you in here, and BOOKED you; you was cryin’ like a pussy”. He later emits that time-honored bon mot: “It ain’t too cool being no jive turkey… so close to Thanksgiving”.

    The other Black Dude head punctuates his partner’s [patnah’s] pronunciations with “YEAH!”. Gotta love a man of few words [word].

    1+1=2; hence, Two-Headed Black Dude Monster. And (of course) Eddie Murphy smotes them with “Didn’t I tell you… I couldn’t call my bitches ’cause the phone in the limo was busted?”. BING!/POW!

    What I did not realize at the time, but since have learned, was that the best of y’all have been Eddie Murphy (80’s Eddie Murphy, not Pluto Nash Eddie Murphy) schooling me on the intricacies of busted limo phones (and other stuff).

    So, with that in mind, here are the movies I’ve recently bought (used DVDs) courtesy of (and peripherally related to) your collective acumen:

    House Of Voices
    Silent Rage
    The Baby
    McBain (technically not a horror movie, but Walken’s essentially a spooky dude)
    Some Guy Who Kills People

    Thanks dudes, and here’s one to further the cause: Nadja (1994), starring Martin Donovan, Peter Fonda, Suzy Amis, Galaxy Craze, and Elina Lowensohn. Ostensibly a vampire movie, but unique in its approach vector.

  14. I’m gonna miss video stores.

  15. Larry: Was I self-pimping? I guess I was about the Tarantino thing, but it’s such a pathetic thing to brag about that I hoped there was a self-effacing aspect to it. The other stuff was just me talking about my job, which I’ve been doing far too long to feel like bragging about. If you could see my paycheck, you’d understand why.

    I already miss video stores. The only place to rent a movie near my apartment is the library, and it’s not exactly the kind of place you can get a good conversation going about BLOOD MASSACRE.

  16. The prices for renting movies in a store in my country are not justifiable in anyway. Its much cheaper AND convenient having NetFlix. I never had much affection for video stores anyway.

    The only memorable store in my neck of the woods was one that had basically just b-movies in stock, ninja-movies, Godfrey Ho-movies etc. The guy that owned had a reputation of criminal activity and there was this rumour going that he was also selling samurai swords in the store underthe table kinda thing.

    I would like that rumour to be true, but considering how weird it was of having a store in such a small town like mine to be renting ninja-movies in the 80´s, I guess people assumed the worst of him.

  17. @Mr. M: It behooves you to keep Mr. Weenie (your ego) in the pants. I know you want to show it to the Laker Girls (the rest of us), but you should never show it to the Laker Girls (just sayin’, hoss; we all know you’re a good writer, but let your words speak, not your accomplishments).

    And yes, Vern IS Phil Jackson.

    And yes again, the video store as we know it is all but dead & buried (the power of the Internet, which both broadens & flattens; it has no mercy). Vern may have Scarecrow Video at his disposal (a cool place to rent, but the employees are pricks, at least when I visited), but the remainder of us are consigned to what’s left of Blockbuster, and then Redbox and Netflix. Which sucks.

  18. Larry, when I’m showing off, you’ll know it. That was just me sharing a little thing that happened to me with my friends.

  19. You should watch our documentary about Don Dohler, Blood, Boobs & Beast. It explains the backstory to Dohler’s entire career, as well as, the behind the scenes of BLOOD MASSACRE. You can watch for free on Hulu and YouTube. Check our website for links, or just Google Blood, Boobs & Beast!

  20. John Kinhart is actually correct, even if he sounds kind of like a spambot. “Blood Boobs and Beast” is a pretty interesting documentary about Don Dohler and his small band of collaborators who spent several decades committed to making shitty, bordering-on-unwatchable but somehow sort of loveable scifi/horror cheapies on the East Coast. You can watch the doc online I think if you google it. Kind of a real life ED WOOD.

    And Dan, NIGHTBEAST is closer to a real movie than ALIEN FACTOR, but I would argue FACTOR is more fun due to it’s wider variety of aliens (including that stop-motion one at the end).

  21. Larry…come on, man. I think a website reg who writes for a magazine is a cool thing. I know I sure wish I had a job like that so good for him. Your vitriol comes off sounding like jealousy, dude. Es no bueno…

  22. Majestyk has been “letting his words speak for him” in these comments for years.

  23. Thanks for sticking up for me, fellas, but it was just a little misunderstanding. I can see how what I wrote, especially off-topic as it was, could come off as “I’m so awesome that even Tarantino reads my shit,” when really what I meant was “Holy shit, you guys, through absolutely no effort on my part Tarantino has read my shit, and all of a sudden it occurs to me that my shit needs to get better.” Intent is hard to discern on the internet so I ain’t mad. As far as I know, there are no hard feelings…unless there’s something you want to share with the rest of us, Amazing Larry. (Been waiting FOREVER to use that one!)

  24. I can tell you all from personal, in-person experience that Mr. Majestyk is a huge douchebag with zero redeeming qualities. Whatever you may think of his movietistical opinions on this sight, rest assured he is a walking pile of filth IRL. Hate that guy.

    He never accommodated me, never sold me gray-market dvds at a phenomenal discount, never showed me one of the greatest dive bars on the east coast, never showed me *the* comics hub of NYC on *the* busiest day for comics nerds in NYC, never guided me homeward when I was blackout inebriated, never escorted me through the cool difficult-to-notice commercial parts of upper Manhattan where kung fu movies reign supreme at the cash register, never gave me free copies of SMOOTH magazine, never had an interesting locally relevant (Marcy neighborhood, wut!) in-depth conversation with my stupid friend & me on the history of hip-hop, and certainly never made me feel welcome & glad to be in New York, whether at the office of 50 (fiddy) Cent or at the finest sushi restaurant in Brooklyn.

    Whatever you do, don’t become friends with Mr. Majestyk. I’ll do you all a favor and monopolize his time next time I’m up there in a couple months, so there’s no risk of anyone else discovering what a horrible filthy egotist he is.

  25. I’m also modest. It’s one of my many, many fine qualities.

    Now I feel a little guilty about stealing BLOOD MASSACRE’s moment in the sun. I mean, how many times is this movie ever gonna get discussed anywhere? I think I’m gonna have to watch it now just so at least one of these comments can be on topic.

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