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Brutal Massacre: A Comedy

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What has the world comes to when the director of Sasquatch at the Mall can't get a gig? That's what horror auteur Harry Penderecki (David Naughton of An American Werewolf In London) is wondering. Once considered a horror legend, with a string of hits like Bowel Movement, People Pesticide and I'll Take the Ring Back and the Finger Too, he now finds himself on the outside looking in at Hollywood. Determined to make his comeback, Penderecki returns to direct what he believes will be his ultimate masterpiece, Brutal Massacre. Follow along with the documentary crew to discover whether Harry will reassert his genius, or remain a relic of the '80s. Brian O'Halloran (Clerks), Gerry Bednob (The 40 Year Old Virgin), Gunnar Hansen (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Ellen Sandweiss (The Evil Dead) and Ken Foree (Dawn Of The Dead) co-star in this wild 'mockumentary' that is sure to make you laugh so hard, you'll beg for mercy.

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Amazon.com: 20 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An All Star Horror Star and Comedian Cast For The Best Mockumentary In The History Of Mockumentaries Aug. 20 2009
By Daniel A. Foster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
David Naughton (AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON) as Harry Penderecki, Brian O'Halloran (CLERKS) as Jay, Gerry Bednob (THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN) as Hanu, Ken Foree (DAWN OF THE DEAD) as Carl, Ellen Sandweiss (THE EVIL DEAD) as Natalie, Vincent Butta as Bert Campbell and Gunnar Hansen (THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 1974) as Krenshaw stars in BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY. Also starring: Billy Lake as Shanksmith, Emily Brownell as Amy, M.J. Dibennedetti as Tanya, Bill Sorice as Oscar and Hiro Masuda as Honda. This movie has funny gags including funny moments like when Jay walks out of the basement & the spider is on his back and he screams. I also love the scene when the crew is trying to film BRUTAL MASSACRE but the shooting range is on the other side of the filming location and everyone runs in total panic. One last scene I love to death, it's in the deleted scenes though. Carl and Hanu fight each other when they have to share a hotel bedroom. Some funny quotes in the scene include when Hanu says; "I'm gonna "F" with you now!" Then Carl says; "You're gonna "F" with me? What's wrong with you? WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?! POLICE! POLICE! POLICE!" These scenes are hysterical and this is the first movie I watched all the way through when I got it in the mail. In at least 3 years, this is the first movie I saw all the way through. I give this film a 5 out of 5 star rating!
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Mark Turner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
There are two types of movie fans. The first is the fan who goes to the movies at least once a month, enjoys the film and perhaps has a favorite actor or director. Then there are the die hard film fans. The type of fan who must have every movie in a series, bad or not. The type of fan who sees almost any and everything out. The type of fan who watches something like horror films whether they're bad ones or not. Unfortunately, I am in the second group.

And with that in mind, I just sat down to watch a movie made for fans, about fans and more importantly about the film makers who make movies for those fans. The movie is BRUTAL MASSACRE and it is hilarious. Perhaps not to everyone but to film fans, definitely.

The story revolves around a low budget horror director named Harry Penderecki (David Naughton), a director noted for his terrible horror films. His credits include films like BOWEL MOVEMENT, THE READING DEAD, PEOPLE PESTICIDE and the infamous I'LL TAKE THE RING BACK...AND THE FINGER TOO. Yes, Harry was a one hit wonder who somehow has managed to continue working. And we are now privy to a behind the scenes look at his latest feature being made, BRUTAL MASSACRE.

The film has problems from day one as Harry travels to different potential investors trying to get money just to make the movie. The end result is a wealthy cowboy who feels that the biggest thing needed to make a successful horror film is breasts. With no one else to turn to, Harry accepts his terms and the production begins.

Troubles never cease to end on Harry's films. As the documentary of the film continues, we learn about the different deaths on the sets of Harry's previous efforts. We also become acquainted with the rest of the cast and crew in various interviews from loyal production coordinator Natalie (Ellen Sandweiss) to his stalwart assistant director Jason (Brian O'Halloran), the star of an ex-children's TV show.

Each day is fraught with new problems and each day we get to see more and more people affected by the film including the owner of the house they intend to shoot as the killer's house, Krenshaw (Gunnar Hansen). Props fail, cameras go out of focus, actors refuse to do nude scenes, actors quit with one day of shooting to go, kids from town drive by and ruin shots...all of this happens at one time or another and yet the film still gets made. Now if only someone will pick it up for distribution.

The film has been called, and rightfully so, the SPINAL TAP of horror films. Like that fake documentary, this film is a behind the scenes look at what goes on. There is little doubt that the problems found in this film have not happened at one time or another to a budding horror film director. And while we may find humor in it, chances are they didn't as it happened.

The cast is fantastic and filled with notable horror film icons. Naughton was the star of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON while Sandweiss was one of the female leads in the original EVIL DEAD. Hansen will forever be known as Leatherface from the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and Ken Foree as grip Carl has starred in both the original DAWN OF THE DEAD and recently in THE DEVIL'S REJECTS. The pedigree for this film is tops.

The degree of acting found by these stars past and present is fantastic. The frustrations of Harry are believable as portrayed by Naughton. Sandweiss does great as a bitchy production head who tolerates no bull from anyone. O'Halloran (Dante in both CLERKS films) does a great job as the enthusiastic aide to Harry. And the rest of the cast? All do a fantastic job as well, playing their parts seriously straight which makes them even funnier.

The laughs in this film start big and taper off to more subtle ones. My favorite was a clip from Harry's film RETIREMENT HOME where a mad aide dresses as the Grim Reaper and hides in closets waiting to surprise elderly residents. This movie is a must for film fans. To tell all of the jokes would be to ruin it for you. If you love horror films or low budget flicks then by all means find this one. If not, well give it a chance anyway. As with a Penderecki film, the budget might be low but the laughs are not.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Better than the sum of it's parts July 26 2008
By N. Durham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Brutal Massacre is basically what you would get if Christopher Guest attempted to make a satiric look at the horror movie industry, only the chances are he would have much better success. Despite it's flaws though, Brutal Massacre is better than the sum of it's parts, and delivers a fair amount of laughs regardless. The film revolves around a documentary being shot around hack horror director Harry Penderecki (David Naughton of An American Werewolf in London) as he attempts to make a slasher flick that will put him back on top of the horror world. Sadly, things don't go as planned, resulting in a series of backfires, accidents, mishaps, and hijinks. Along for the ride are Penderecki's long suffering crew, which features Clerks' Brian O'Halloran and Evil Dead vet Ellen Sandweiss. Horror vets Ken Foree (from the original Dawn of the Dead) and Gunnar "Leatherface" Hansen are here as well, and while there are some nice odes to the horror flicks of yesteryear, the film as a whole just doesn't take off the way it should. It isn't nearly as funny or clever as it thinks it is, but for what it is, Brutal Massacre is worth a look at the very least for horror fans that don't mind having their tongue planted firmly in cheek.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Brutal Massacre July 12 2010
By Carl Manes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
BRUTAL MASSACRE is Stevan Mena's ode to the Horror genre, its filmmakers, and its fans. Coming off of the underground success of his Slasher hit MALEVOLENCE, Mena decided to move on to Comedy, using the "Mockumentary" shooting style made popular in The Office to deliver his story. This film-within-a-film finds Horror director Harry Penderecki on the shoot of his comeback picture, BRUTAL MASSACRE, where anything that can go wrong, does go wrong. With no money, less talent, and limited time, this rag-tag team of filmmakers must come together to finish the project and save their careers! BRUTAL MASSACRE boasts an impressive line-up of familiar genre faces and an incredibly witty script that falls just short of genius. David Naughton (AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON) leads as the inspired but utterly helpless Harry Penderecki, and is joined by Ellen Sandweiss and Besty Baker (THE EVIL DEAD), Gunnar Hansen (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE), Ken Foree (DAWN OF THE DEAD), and many others. Mena uses the light tone to make clever strikes at the film industry, commenting on many of the toughest issues facing filmmakers that are forced to compromise their integrity and vision in order to earn financial backing. At the same time, he also pokes fun at directors' overwhelming sense of self-importance and pretentious attitudes towards their films, which is best shown when Harry is found deflecting accusations of misogyny and gratuitous violence with meaningless psychobabble. Though the writing is very smart, the timing and dry deliveries often undermine the humor, but genre fans will enjoy seeing their idols in sillier performances. While it may not be perfect, BRUTAL MASSACRE is an entertaining reflection on the genre that is sure to appeal to the Horror audiences that it was intended for.

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The "Return" of Harry Penderecki Nov. 20 2008
By Michael R Gates - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY is a mocumentary that lovingly pokes fun at the horror-film industry. Low-budget horror director Harry Penderecki (David Naughton), whose last few films really tanked at the box office, is attempting a comeback with his latest effort BRUTAL MASSACRE. Come along for an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek as documentarian Bert Campbell (Vincent Butta) follows the making of the Penderecki's new film from pre-production to opening night.

In addition to taking light-hearted jabs at the good and the bad of the low-budget horror-movie industry, this hilarious mockumentary also brings together a host of genre icons: David Naughton (1981's AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON); Ellen Sandweiss and Betsy Baker (1981's THE EVIL DEAD); Gunnar Hansen (1974's original THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE); Ken Foree (1978's original DAWN OF THE DEAD and 2005's THE DEVIL'S REJECTS); and even famed genre writer, director, and producer Mick Garris (Showtime's MASTERS OF HORROR series). To be sure, these genre insiders are here to attract die-hard horror fans, but they are also knowledgeable enough to tickle the genre in all the right places and elicit some great laughs. Naughton is especially delightful as Harry Penderecki, an Ed Wood-like director who seems totally unaware of just how egregious his films really are.

The only fault with BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY is that there is no actual horror. Being a hard-core horror fan myself, I kept expecting (and hoping!) that a "real" killer would pop up at any moment to add to the numerous setbacks that plague Penderecki and his film crew. But alas, no such horror occurs. For that reason, I think that 2006's mockumentary BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON, in which a group of aspiring filmmakers "document" the career of a serial killer, is a more successful and satisfying parody of the horror genre. Still, in spite of its minor flaws, BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY is a funny, wholly enjoyable film.

Anchor Bay's DVD edition of BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY presents the film in anamorphic widescreen at its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The picture quality is crisp and clear, and the clarity of the soundtrack is exceptional. Bonus features on the disc include some hilarious extended and deleted scenes, as well as a mock featurette about the making of the "documentary" in which cast members are "interviewed" in character. All in all, this DVD is a must-have for hard-core fans of horror cinema...well, for those with a good sense of humor, at least.