Blood Massacre (1991)

VHS Cover (Star)
Don Dohler Don Dohler
George Stover George Stover
Robin London Robin London
James DiAngelo James DiAngelo
Thomas Humes Thomas Humes
Lisa DeFuso Lisa DeFuso

5.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Cannibal Film, Horror
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Review by Chad
Added: March 26, 2007
MvMMDI readers who possess a somewhat-decent memory may recall the Don Dohler documentary entitled Blood, Boobs & Beast that I reviewed a couple of weeks ago, but if not... well, that's the beauty of the Internet: you can simply click right on over to refresh your memory. I simply had to check out some of Dohler's work after watching and enjoying Blood, Boobs & Beast, so that brings us to Blood Massacre: one of his final films as a director.

The story begins with a group of hoodlums led by the ill-tempered Charlie Rizzo (George Stover) who decide to make it a movie night. They stop by their local video store, but instead of picking up a couple of horror films, they decide to rob the place and manage to kill a young lady in the process. On the run from the law, they carjack another young lady and force her to drive them to her home. Upon arriving at the house, the gang discovers that this family - Elizabeth Parker (Robin London) along with her sister and parents (Richard Ruxton and Anne Frith) - are not your typical country folks. They're actually cannibals, and these young whippersnappers are next up on the menu. Will Rizzo, a Vietnam veteran who can make traps out of common household items, be able to get his people out of this mess? Will the cannibals have a four-course meal before the night is through? Are there any other surprises in store? Figure it out for yourself.

Before getting down to business with this review, I should probably remind you fine readers as to how I rate a film. Some critics grade a movie based on its technical merits: camera-work, lighting, editing, that sort of thing. Others may judge it based on the acting performances given by the cast, while still others may focus more on the special effects or gore usage. Me? I simply base my final rating on how much I enjoyed the film at hand, regardless of any other factor. That would probably be the best mindset to have before picking up Blood Massacre, as it'll probably never receive any recommendations based on any factor save for the one that matters: the entertainment value.

Indeed, this isn't a high-quality movie: there's some pacing issues sprinkled throughout (likely to pad it out to feature length), most of the acting is atrocious, and the print used for the Pendulum Pictures DVD release really could have used some cleaning as it looks like a badly-worn VHS copy. However, I was thoroughly satisfied when the credits rolled thanks to the inventive storyline (you won't see the final twist coming!), some surprisingly good effects given the budget, and the acting.

"But wait", you're probably thinking right about now. "You just said the acting was atrocious, but then you turned around and said that you were satisfied with the acting - what gives?" You see, the cast members may not have been award-winning professionals, but it was blatantly obvious that everyone involved was giving it their all for the camera, and that in turn led to more than a couple of scenes which had no right to even be considered 'good' turn into something memorable. Take leading man and Dohler mainstay George Stover, for instance: acting may not be his best asset (if this film was any indication) and some of his lines were so wooden that they should have came with splinter warnings, but casting this man in the leading role was an excellent decision. The man has enthusiasm to spare and he completely threw himself into the role, and the result was a performance that you couldn't help but love.

If you were to read the script to Blood Massacre before watching it, there's a good chance that you'd leave it sitting on the shelf. If you watched a couple of clips without seeing the movie from beginning to end, you'd probably wonder what I was smoking when I wrote this review. However, if you invest the time and the five bucks for the Serial Psychos DVD set, you'll find that it was a surprisingly good film. They just don't make 'em like this anymore. 8/10.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 03/26/2007, 12:03 PM
I wish I could rate a film without taking into consideration horrible acting, terrible script and even worse direction. I wish I could forget all about the really, really bad and just focus on entertainment value. But, for me, entertainment value is comprised by all of those elements. I just can't be entertained when what I am watching is pathetic in every way. I enjoy Don Dohler's work...some of it. I remember watching "Blood Massacre" when I was young and remember hating it even then, back before I had developed any kind of taste as a critic. Every critique you mentioned above should have led to a 2/10. That's mine also.
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