SF, fantasy, horror, mystery website
illustrated SF and general satire
music reviews
action movie heroines
helicopters in movies and TV
VideoVista is published by PIGASUS Press
January 2007 SITE MAP   SEARCH

Woodchipper Massacre
cast: Jon McBride, Denice Edeal, Tom Casiello, Patricia McBride, and Kim Bailey

writer, producer, and director: Jon McBride
81 minutes (n/r) 1989
Camp Motion Pictures DVD Region 1 retail
[released 16 January]

RATING: 1/10
reviewed by Gary McMahon
The pre-credit sequence of Woodchipper Massacre says all anyone really needs to know about the film. We see a series of shots showing someone sawing wood and feeding it into the titular piece of apparatus. The prowling cameraman can frequently be seen reflected in the machine's glossy paintwork, the accompanying music track is as cheesy as the worst lift muzak you've ever heard and keeps dipping in and out of audibility, our hearts sink with despair at the prospect of another clueless B-movie...

Shot on video, this film is obviously labouring under a rock-bottom budget. Director Jon McBride obviously knows how shots and scenes in a film are supposed to string together to make a cohesive whole, but one senses that absolutely everything is against him here - including terrible amateurish acting, a hideous sound design, that awful flat look associated with direct-to-video productions.

Awful Aunt Tess (Patricia McBride) arrives to look after her niece Denise (Denise Edeal) and two nephews Jon (Jon McBride) and Tom (Tom Casiello) for the weekend. After about 25 minutes of yelled dialogue and the ridiculous sub-pantomime gurning that seems to pass for acting in this film, Aunt Tess is killed in an accident as brainless and ill thought out as everything that follows.

The kids panic and decide to cut up her body, freeze the dismembered pieces, and fed them into a handy woodchipper. But when cousin Kim (Kim Bailey) turns up, things go awry, and the viewer begins to realise that the character's names match those of the actors in case they can't remember their lines from the script.

I can honestly think of nothing to recommend this film. The lame 'comedy' isn't funny, the ugly actors spend the entire 81 minutes shouting inanely, and the creaky production values betray the film's non-existent budget in every shot. Indeed, Woodchipper Massacre is so bad on so many levels that it made me reassess my definition of the term 'bad movie' - and I can usually find something of value in the poorest of productions.

What's worse is the fact that the garish cover advertises the film as an "outrageous cult horror" that is "served up fresh, bloody..." when in fact what's presented is a rather tame and bloodless affair. Also, blatantly photo-shopped into one of the stills on the back cover, there is a strange white monster face, seemingly put there to suggest that the monster appears in the film!

Still the DVD packaging is quite nice, and if anyone is convinced to part with hard-earned cash for this title, it does come with plenty of extras (including commentary, interviews with the cast and an interview with the director).

Did you find this review helpful? Any comments are always welcome!
Please support VideoVista, buy stuff online using these links - | | Send it | W.H. Smith

copyright © 2001 - 2007 VideoVista