“The back door’s always open for Jesus!!” The lengthy 1977-set prologue of Vito Trabucco’s enthusiastic and deliciously bad-taste American slasher movie homage packs in more entertainment value than most straight to DVD horror pictures can manage in 80 minutes. It’s a riot of pre-AIDS fucking, comedy shitting, premature ejaculation, eyeball poking, castration, references to the recently dead Elvis, Shelley Duvall (“Nasty!”) and Sly Stallone’s winkle…plus a sublime moment in which a guy continues fucking his girl from behind even after her head has been chopped off, apparently convinced that he’s so good, the head has dropped off of its own accord.
This is all to set up the origins of legendary axe-wielding killer “Sister Mary Chopper”, though the film’s title emerges from a close-up of a 70’s bush, so it’s not too serious about exposition. The main movie unfolds in 1984, where Reggie Bannister leads a group of ill-fated campers at “The Happy Day Bible Camp”, including a hilarious Matthew Aidan (channelling Crispin Glover in FRIDAY THE 13TH THE FINAL CHAPTER) as the kind of twitchy, horny college dude who high-fives thin air. Splashy, deliberately hokey murders – fashioned after Herschell Gordon Lewis – alternate with splendidly anti-PC humour, a priest named “Father Cummings” and a show-stopping moment in which cute virgin Jessica Sonneborn is sodomised with a crucifix…and loves it(!). Tim Sullivan, a Lewis devotee himself, is hilarious in drag as the “Jesus Loves Me”-singing killer, while Ron Jeremy turns up as Jesus, providing the punchline before “The Smoking Vaginas” play us out with a great take on When The Saints Go Marching In. Consistently funny, engagingly tasteless and never obnoxious, this is the best Troma movie that Troma never made.
Review by Steven West