Directed by: Rick Slone
Actors: Mary Woronov, Jenny Cunningham, Jonathan Blakely, Andrew Cofrin, Joanna Foxx, Stephanie Dillard, Rob-Roy Fletcher, Daniel Schafer, David Millbern, Lynne Darcy, Cynthia Hartline, Lisa Lindsley, Joni Barnes
Also known as: Movie House Massacre, Teatro de Sangue
More often than not, explanation is sought for life’s conundrums. More often than not, these puzzles can be solved with a shrug of the shoulders and a “Boy, people are funny sometimes.” They sure are.
Ticket sales are down. Dumb looks are through the roof. Welcome to Spotlite Theatres!
Movie House Massacre, the debut film from director Rick Sloane (Hobgoblins; Vice Academy), fills 75 minutes with a whole lot of nothing. It’s a zero budget, goof-off slasher that prefers the horror-comedy company of Student Bodies (a success) over Doom Asylum (a failure). Yet, it remains a loner at heart.
A theater usher burns a film canister, then murders the ticket teller. Soon after, a sign reads, “$25,000 Reward To Anyone Willing To Open This Theatre.” Dean Murdoch, head of Spotlite Theatres (he has white face make-up, even though he’s white), enlists the help of his secretary (Mary Woronov from Rock ’n’ Roll High School) to reopen the theater. What follows will cut you like a knife. And you’ll love it. A grandpa slasher. The one-man Casiotone soundtrack. Vacuuming scenes. The world’s worst cheerleaders. Gore effects that could pass for cherry yogurt with fruit at the bottom. A sound effect of a Roman candle exploding appearing at random throughout the movie. A magnificent fake trailer titled The Clown Whores Of Hollywood. And finally, the most horribly inept fight scene since Peter Goldson swept the beach with Greg Rainmaker’s ass in The Stabilizer.
Movie House Massacre may put you to sleep, but that’s irrelevant. Nonsense equals entertainment, thanks to the nostalgia of independent early 80s theaters, a self-assured dedication to nonsense, and tons of garage-project charm. The jokes don’t work, but the people delivering them do. Then again, are they even “jokes”? Phones exploding into piles of butter. A pair of spandex jeans. Breasts flopping in the dark. Are these things actually comedic? Is this what an afternoon in Rick Sloane’s home would feel like? Dare to dream.
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