Thursday, February 6, 2014

Woodchipper Massacre - Home Alone Hack 'Em Up

Woodchipper Massacre
Directed by Jon McBride
Written by Jon McBride (idea by Glen Skaggs)
Starring Jon McBride, Denice Edeale & Tom Casiello

Not Rated - Runtime Approx 80 Min

- How much flesh could a woodchipper chip, if a woodchipper could chip flesh?

Alternate Titles:

"Aunt Tess was right...once you start working with meat, it's not that bad!"
                                                                                                                      - Denice

There is nothing that I don't love about this!

Woodchipper Massacre is a fun little SOV horror flick that's played more for laughs than anything.  It starts with a little text scroll telling us about the amount of unsolved murders and disappearances in the U.S. and then kindly informs us that this is such a story.

Tom and Denice in all their 80's glory.  Rock that sweater Denice!

I really had a good time with this one.  It's got all the hallmarks of a great SOV horror flick.  The acting is absolutely horrendous;  the special effects are pretty wonky, yet still fun (though they are quite minimal for a film with MASSACRE in the title!); and there is a lot of regional charm shining through.

Dad shares some expository dialog with Jon

He must be going to an Ugly Sweater Party....

Jon (played by McBride) and his two younger siblings Denice and Tom are left in the care of their militant Aunt Tess for the weekend because their father is going on a business trip.  Right off the bat things are bad when Aunt Tess arrives.  She's a self righteous old pip who you would expect to see yelling at kids to get off of her lawn.  She completely takes over the house and regardless of whatever rules their father had in place, Aunt Tess had her own set of rules that will be obeyed at all times.....or else!

Ngyaaah!  RUN!  It's Aunt Tess!!!!!!!!!

Things continue on with Aunt Tess insulting and berating the kids, calling them stupid, ignorant, slobs and any number of other things.  Jon isn't allowed to go on a date with his girlfriend.  The kids aren't allowed to watch a horror movie on TV, forced to clean and do ridiculous chores, etc.  When Tom finally receives his official Rambo Survival Knife that he's been waiting to get for six weeks, Aunt Tess tries to take it away from him.  He defies her and in the struggle, Aunt Tess gets the business end of the knife and dies.

Looks like all work and no play is what Aunt Tess has in store for Jon.

Aunt Tess wags a knife at Denice as she shows her how to prepare meat.  Ironic, isn't it?

Aunt Tess show have just let Tom keep his knife.

Rather than telling anyone what happened, the kids decide to dispose of Aunt Tess in the woodchipper and tell their Dad that she left early before he came home.  This is where things start getting fun.  They decide that it might not work just throwing her in whole.  After all, she's all soft and the woodchipper is designed to chip up hard material like wood.  So what do they do?  Hack her up and put her in the freezer for a few hours, that's what!  With Aunt Tess freshly frozen solid, the three then proceed to toss her body parts in the chipper one by one.

"Oh no!  Aunt Tess is dead!  What do we do?"
 "To the woodchipper!"

"First we'll have to do some trimming...."

The last of Aunt Tess gets dropped in the chipper.....

Thinking that they've cleaned up their mess the kids go about their weekend.  Things are going fine until Aunt Tess' delinquent, druggy son shows up demanding money.  Well, clearly he can't stay around, so it's back to the woodchipper for another round of chew 'em up.

The fact that the whole thing is presented more as a straight out comedy is what makes the whole thing work.  The only thing missing is a canned sitcom laugh track.  Though the subject matter would be extremely dark in someone else's hands, Jon McBride infuses a real sense of fun into the film.  Watching the kids try to clean everything up and "beat the clock" before their father comes home brings to mind any number of teen comedies from the 80's.

Cousin Kim stops by for an unscheduled visit

I guess we'll see on the chipper handles soft flesh now!

Pretty darn well, apparently!

Woodchipper Massacre was shot on a SUPER VHS camcorder on a budget of $400 in Connecticut, with most of that budget going into the woodchipper rental.  The fact that a film literally shot in Jon's backyard with a consumer grade camcorder and some local theater folks found worldwide distribution is pretty amazing.  Films like this paved the way for others in the SOV field and to this day many a backyard filmmaker owes a debt to Jon McBride.

Midnight Cinephile Tally

Death Toll:  Two!  Not exactly a massacre.....but hey who am I to nitpick?

Nude O Meter:  Not even the slightest bit of skin.

Things That Go Bump In The Night:  I think Aunt Tess would fall into this category.  Good God that woman was a miserable clam!

Final Thoughts
As I said before, I had a lot of fun with this film.  Sure there's only two deaths and the story may run a bit slow at time, but you'll be see busy laughing at the scene chewing that is running rampant you won't notice.  Oh, I almost forget to mention, Aunt Tess is played by non other than Jon McBride's Mom!  How awesome is that?  If you've yet to see this one, do so immediately!

Final Rating
Four out of Five Pizza Rolls

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