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.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Season Massacre, The (2001)

Directed by:
Jeremy Wallace

In Christmastown, California on Christmas Eve, an eyepatch-wearing psycho is on the loose. Tommy "Oneshoe" McGroo was, according to one of his classmates, a "total fucking loser." He was a geek, his family was poor, he smelled bad, he had a weird pirate fetish and he was a "pussy" who wouldn't fight back and cried a lot. One day, some bullies beat him up and stole one of his shoes. Since his family was so poor and couldn't buy him another, Tommy had to go to school for the next eight months wearing only one shoes, prompting his peers to nickname him "Oneshoe" McGroo. He endured the harassment, figuring on Christmas that Santa would bring him another. He'd write letters to the North Pole, made cookies for the elves and bent over backwards to be good, but on Christmas morning he opened his one and only present and all that was inside was a "pussy eyepatch" with a Christmas tree on it. Tommy snapped and, from that day forward, decided he was going to be a bloodthirsty maniac. Every single Christmas since more and more of Tommy's former classmates have disappeared...

Boom Boom (co-writer Eric Stanze), the guy who relayed the above story to us, and his girlfriend Kitty (Julie Farrar) decide to drive out into the woods to where Oneshoe (Michael Hill) is said to lurk. He gets his testicles ripped off while taking a piss and she's attacked but not killed. Next up a man and his girlfriend sit by a Christmas tree. He unloads a suitcase full of junk like vegetable oil and an ice cream scooper, then undresses her, handcuffs her and starts having sex with her while wearing a paper mache watermelon over his head (??) The killer sneaks in, turns the guys head around and then has sex with the woman instead and she comments about he's gotten bigger. Pointless? Yup. Completely.

Dorcus Cunningham (Jason Christ), a hefty, geeky hitchhiker is headed to Camp Lame Dog Hollow to meet up with the only other five survivors from his graduating class; the ones Tommy hasn't yet killed. Ernie Campbell (DJ Vivona) has organized the group, which also includes slutty Abby (Joy Payne), Poison shirt wearing Danny (Chris Belt), musician Isaac (Michael Wallace) and virginal Lana (Melissa Wallace); Isaac's girlfriend who won't put out despite being constantly serenaded for seven years. The six go to a cabin, drink beer, play strip Trivial Pursuit, argue and then die one-by-one in badly staged amateur gore scenes. The killer surprises Isaac and Lana on a canoe, slashes his throat and shoves an ice pick through her head. He chainsaws Dorcus to pieces, ties Abby to a tree and stabs her between the legs, sticks a screwdriver in Ernie's head and then blasts a smoky hole into Danny's chest with a shotgun. The end.

This is just one of thousands of homemade shot-on-video gore-fests released during the 2000s. Almost all of these are awful and this is no exception to the rule. I actually expected a little better since this is from some of the same people who made the effective shocker SCRAPBOOK (2000). Long credits and outtakes aside, this runs less than an hour and wouldn't even make it that far if it weren't for tons of padding. There are lots of long, obviously improvised and awkward dialogue scenes to slog your way through just to get to the amateur gore fx, some of which are decent enough, but not good enough to merit sitting through this. The only other possible redeeming qualities are a shower scene (complete with slow-motion breast scrubbing), lots of obvious nods to the Friday the 13th series and some decent songs on the soundtrack (especially "A Pirate's Christmas" by Hotel Faux Pas).

Wallace also made the backwoods slasher THE UNDERTOW (2003), which is slightly better but still hampered by terrible acting and awkward (seemingly improvised) dialogue scenes. The DVD is through Sub Rosa.



crow said...

I give you a ton of credit, because you go through this shit so I (and other careful horror fans) don't have to. I'm at that point where I'm rather exhausted yet you keep going. I credit your ability to keep pouring out the reviews without missing a beat. The same enthusiasm and energy is visible even during films that don't seem to deserve such attention and work. Keep up the good work; I say this with caution because you seem to suffer through some pretty tough sledding.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

I'll watch anything I've not seen before and it's pretty much a fun little journey. The occasional gem I stumble across makes sitting through junk like this worthwhile. I definitely can and do get burnt out though, and disappear from here for months at a time. There was one point I was gone for an entire year! Hopefully I can keep things up at this pace for awhile longer!

On an unrelated note, I am having some issues posting on other people's blogs. I tried chiming in on your Silent Night, Bloody Night post because we watched it at around the same time and couldn't get the damn thing to post. Hope this problem remedies itself. Going from blog to blog talking movies is fast becoming my new IMDb so I'd hate to lose it now.

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