A Summer of Massacre
January 10, 2012
Joe Castro (Chapter 1-5) and Schroeder (Chapter 1)
Brinke Stevens as Mrs. Williams
Nick Principe as Lori
Cleve Hall as Father Daniel
Lisa M. Garcia as Kimberly Ann
Lauren Boehm as Lisa
Scott Barrows as Boogieman
Tim A. Colley as Chris
A Summer of Massacre is a Collection of Horror Scenarios Sharing a Common Effects Team that has claims of a record-breaking body count, but what else does it bring to the table?
My days as a country music singer/songwriter in Nashville Tennessee taught me the importance of a “hook”. Some of the funnier lines some buddies of mine came up with as their song hooks were “If Patty were mine, she wouldn’t be ‘Loveless’ anymore” (referring the lovely singer Patty Loveless and, aside from the most obvious of not being without love, her name would also change… haha) and one of my favorites “It all came out in the wash”, speaking of how a man’s barroom flirtations were discovered by his wife and resulted in a huge argument where he confessed all the gritty details, and also referring to the way that his transgressions came to light when his wife did his laundry and found a cocktail napkin in his pocket that said “Call Me Anytime! –Ernestine” along with her phone number. The interesting thing about a hook in a Country/Western song, though, is that a clever play on words alone is not enough to make a song great. The song must have a great melody, tell a great story, be performed with passion and conviction, have great musicians, etc. etc. Why all this discussion about “hooks” you ask? Well, A Summer of Massacre has a hook too, and we’ll get to that.
A Summer of Massacre is an anthology film that includes the chapters “Rampage”, “Lump”, “Son of the Boogeyman”, “Burn” and “Final Scene”.
An athletic man goes for a run and is mugged by a group of hooligans, and then beaten, kicked and cut until his face is all mangled, and left for dead. When an unsuspecting good Samaritan comes to see if he is alright he goes on a “rampage” killing her and everybody he comes in contact with. This first offering is pretty random and doesn’t really make sense, but it’s pretty funny when he attacks all of the people looking over junk at a yard sale.
A severely retarded and deformed girl Lori (played by the very male Nick Principe) is injected with an experimental drug that miraculously begins to clear her mind, just in time to be coherent when her sister throws her and her wheelchair over a cliff. Just like in the first chapter, this one results in a rampage.
Son of the Boogeyman
A woman goes into the house in the neighborhood that is presumed to be the dwelling of the boogeyman, and is raped by a grotesque guy. Later this guy strikes out to kill his offspring.
Two gay firemen are burned to death by their fellow firefighters, or at least that’s how the story goes that is told around the campfire by some teens sitting around telling ghost stories. Well, wouldn’t you know it… everyone around that campfire has some connection to the pissed off spirits of the firefighters, and carnage ensues.
This one is confusion, but is meant to be a wrap around to all of the stories somehow, as some escaped convicts tell stories of their past deeds while surrounded by law enforcement. News of this showdown begins the film as well.
Now let’s talk about the “hook”. Reportedly A Summer of Massacre has a Bona fide certificate from Guinness book of World Records as having the highest body count of any horror film. Hard to say if this is true, but they do have an official-looking document posted on their Facebook page. Let’s say it is an absolute fact that this film dwarfs the body count of, say, Braindead when the zombies are taken out with the lawn mower or Ghost Ship when the entire group of dancing passengers are sliced in half by a steel cable… so, now what?
A Summer of Massacre is confusingly written and horribly acted, with a soundtrack that thumps away endlessly and CGI effects that would be more at home in a battle between the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote. The most interesting story of all was “Lump”, but then that girl (guy) is so absolutely gross with this oozing back-sac of goo that it wasn’t fun to watch.
I am a big supporter of Indie horror and certainly respect the time, creativity and money it takes to bring ones vision to the big screen. But in the grand scheme of why we like Indie horror for all of its promise, a cool hook is not enough to make A Summer of Massacre succeed. And Patty – let’s just be friends.