Friday, May 24, 2013

Woodchipper Massacre (1989)

When their father goes on a business trip, Aunt Tess comes to stay with Jon, Tom, and Denise.  Tess is an unpleasant woman and the kids are not happy to be stuck with her.  When Tess is accidentally stabbed and killed, the kids panic and instead of calling for help, they decide the best option is to make use of the rented wood chipper.

This is a shot on VHS movie. According to the extras (which you need to watch), the movie cost $400 (rental of the wood chipper and some post-production editing), plus the cost of the camera, which was a consumer grade video camera.  The soundtrack appears to have been done on a Casio, the background noise is often louder than the dialogue, and there is some ambient noise/hiss which I assume is from using the on camera mic.

The acting is right out of community theater, which funnily enough is confirmed in an interview in the extras.  Denise screams every single one of her lines, and Tom is just as bad.  They are definitely projecting to the back of the theater. Normally subtle actions are much bigger than life, such as eye rolls.

The interviews in the Extras are really interesting.  Tom actually went on to write for television and won a daytime Emmy.  Denise is able to laugh about how horrible she was, and about how she agonized to pick out just the right outfits to wear, which now she thinks are ridiculous.  The actor who plays the father states the film was one of the most amateur things he's ever done because it seemed like they decided to make a movie since they had a camera.  He's "surprised it's still getting attention. I'm sure it's not all positive."

But the cool thing about it is that everyone talks about how much fun they had.  Plus surprisingly, the movie actually managed to get distribution and end up in Mom and Pop video stores across the country.

I liked this.  It's laughably funny.  Also, massacre is an over statement as only two people actually end up in the woodchipper.

Playing to the back row? They forgot it wasn't Community Theater.
Damn, look at that horrible haircut.  Geek or
Bruce Foxton from The Jam?
Yup, it's a woodchipper.
Basic comedy
Never look at the camera.

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