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Chainsaw Sally (2004)

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Ranked #5,032
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Connections: Chainsaw Sally

Sally is a young woman living in a small Maryland town who lives two lives: a calmly librarian by day, and a brutal serial killer by night where she randomly targets any man or woman whom even slightly upsets her. Sally lives with her reclusive, transvestite younger brother Rudy whom assists in her with the killings. Both Sally and Ruby were traumatized as youngsters when both of them witnessed three lunatics murder their mother and father before they, with 'Daddy's' help, killed the three murderous psychos. In the meantime, a young businessman, named Steve Kellerman, arrives in town to buy a piece of land which a ruthless land developer, named Harvey Benton, wants to develop condos on which is the land of Sally and Ruby's former house, vacant since the night of their parents murder. Not wanting to have change in their lives, Sally plots to eliminate the interlopers to ensure she continue her killing spree lifestyle. --IMDb
April Monique Burril
April Monique Burril
Mark Redfield
Mark Redfield
Alec Joseph
Alec Joseph
David R. Calhoun
David R. Calhoun
Kristen Hudson
Kristen Hudson
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Review by Chad
Added: December 24, 2006
Sometimes, a movie will be so heavily promoted and talked about that readers grow sick of it before it even reaches the masses. This can be due to a certain line in the movie being used on every message board known to man, a well-edited trailer, or in this case, a cool concept coupled with those responsible for the film having trouble getting it out to store shelves. Now, I don't know what was going on with it and I don't know who was to blame for the delay, but I do know that it took ages for this film to finally get a release, and I also know that it seemed like there was some new update on it at least once a week before it was finally announced that Shock-O-Rama would be releasing it. You have to give the guys some credit for knowing how to get the word out about their film, but did it live up to the hype? I think so, but I'll get into that in a moment.

The titular Sally (April Monique Burril) is a meek little lady who happens to run the local library in a small little town. She appears to be nothing but the definition of normal to most folks, but in the opening moments of the film, we at home get to see that she has a bit of a split personality when she murders a man for being loud and obnoxious in front of the other library patrons. We then see that, when she's not shushing the book-readers, she lives a very different lifestyle than one would expect based on her job. She lives in a run-down house with her cross-dressing and sexually-confused brother Ruby (Alec Joseph), she's obsessed with old horror films, and she also enjoys killing those who she perceives as being the bad guys (such as the lady who forgot to return a book to the library on time, or a guy who berated his girlfriend in front of everyone in a crowded bar). Needless to say, the lady has some issues, and we soon find out that this is a result of her having watched a couple of lunatics murder her parents when she was a child.

When a land-developer (David R. Calhoun) and his slutty assistant (Kristen Hudson) set out to tear down the house that Sally and her parents used to live in so that he can build some condominiums on the land, she sets out to shut these plans down before she loses her childhood home. However, the problem lies in the fact that through an inheritance deal, the land is now owned by a man of considerable wealth in Steve Kellerman (Mark Redfield)... and Sally doesn't know about this minor detail before she starts to fall in love with him. It sort of goes without saying that things get quite interesting when she does find out.

One would think that, given the style of the movie and the above storyline, that this is one of those kill-a-minute affairs where little thought is given to a legit storyline or actual character development, but that couldn't be further from the truth. We spend a fair amount of time learning about Sally, her brother, her upbringing, and her current lifestyle before getting down to business, and we also learn a good deal about the "villains" as well. It's not Shakespeare, but there is much more meat to this story than I initially expected. That's not to say that they slacked on the red stuff though - far from it. There are a good number of kills here, and some of them are pretty damned unique and visually impressive. Director Jimmyo Burril got the balance between story and visceral delights just right with this release, and the result is a film that both gorehounds and the more story-oriented viewers will enjoy.

In the storyline, Sally is a horror junkie, and this results in numerous nods to some of the classic horror films that we grew up on. Now, unlike certain other films where these nods and in-jokes seem to be inserted just to appeal to the horror geeks, the subtle little nods here actually have a sense of purpose aside from "Hey, look at how witty we are!" For example, there's a scene where Sally and her brother are waiting for The Toolbox Murders to come on TV, and with that in mind, they decide to use some ideas from that movie on one of their captives. Of course, there's also the fact that Gunnar Hansen plays the role of Sally's father in the flashback sequences, and as he's attempting to fight off the lunatics who have broken into his home, his weapon of choice just so happens to be a chainsaw. This explains Sally's preferred weapon choice, and of course, we have Gunnar freaking Hansen chopping people up with a chainsaw once again. See how that minor little nod adds to the story while also giving us geeks something to cheer for? More directors should take note of how it worked here, but that's not the end of the cameo appearances as we also get to see Herschell Gordon Lewis as a hardware shop owner in a role that, while not quite as significant as Hansen's, still adds to the overall story.

Overall, the movie was definitely worth the wait and it certainly lived up to the hype. A quote on the DVD cover proclaims that this is "destined to become a cult classic", and while I normally roll my eyes at such claims since they're rarely accurate, I have to agree with it this time. The movie features everything that horror fans have come to expect from the genre, and it's all done in a very entertaining fashion. 9/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 12/27/2006, 05:16 PM
You know, I liked this film. Go figure, right? I don't know -- normally I hate schlock like this, but it entertained the hell out of me. I guess it was because I could tell these filmmakers were horror fans -- they knew their horror very well and their love for the genre is all over the film. It reminded me of John Water's "Serial Mom" in some ways. So, I fully recommend this film. 7/10.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 10/25/2007, 07:00 PM
One of the best parts was the cop who kept babbling on, calling everybody the names of various horror icons and serial murderers. The lovely April is great as Sally, and you can tell that the writer's knew their horror. Great, great movie from the folks over at Shock-O-Rama
bradbunson #3: bradbunson - added 04/29/2008, 11:23 PM
After reading this review I put this in my Blockbuster queue, and damn am I mad that I did. After I watched a painful 50 mins of the movie I had to check how long it was till it ended. I don't see how anyone could give this a 5/10. I am pissed i actually spent around 90 mins watching this. The only positive thing about this film was it gave props to so many better horror films than itself.
Sarcastos #4: Sarcastos - added 07/15/2008, 09:18 PM
I had high hopes for this movie, but it fell short. This movie felt like "Horror Films for Dummies", with a Kevin Smithish scene about how gay tv Batman is thrown in for good measure.
All in all, this will go right next to Doomsday in my collection. On the end with some of the other OK homage films.
Crispy #5: Crispy - added 10/22/2011, 01:23 AM
Was running a really strong six until the ending, which I found really disappointing. Brought it down to a weak five.
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