Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bloody Murder (1999)

... aka: Massacre, The
... aka: Scream Bloody Murder

Directed by:
Ralph E. Portillo

If the scenario of aspiring camp counselors at a woodsy, secluded retreat being killed off by a hockey-masked psycho doesn't sound familiar then you don't watch very many horror movies, now do you? At Camp Placid Pines (?) young folks show up to prepare the camp for summer and are killed off one by one by a mysterious killer. Could it be that notorious mass murderer Trevor Moorehouse, a local urban legend, is responsible? Or is it one of the counselors gone mad? The plot is strictly FRIDAY THE 13TH territory, but this somehow manages to reach new depths of awfulness. First off, this is so derivate and unoriginal that the only thing that could possibly save it would be ample doses of sex and violence. Many slasher fans simply demand good old-fashioned exploitation. They want gory make-up effects for shock value... and these tame, ketchup-smeared murders don't cut it. They want nudity...and girls in swimsuits don't count. And they want a scary killer... and a short, scrawny guy running around in a blue jumpsuit and a cheap, plastic mask just isn't scary. To make matters worse, the acting is awful, most of the violence is offscreen, it's full of annoying false scares and Portillo even stoops low enough to plug his own equallly lame FEVER LAKE (1996), passing it off as "Sleepover Camp Massacre 14;" an evening's entertainment at the camp. Bottom of the barrel, folks.

This received better distribution than usual for a low-budget film so it was followed by a sequel: BLOODY MURDER 2: CLOSING CAMP (2003). It too sucked, but at least got the gore and sex parts right so it's better by default.


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