POOL PARTY MASSACRE * USA 2017 Dir: Drew Marvick. 81 mins
George Romero spent much of his career struggling to find funding for his thoughtful, wildly ambitious scripts. In 2018, pretty much anyone can get their movie into Asda, even if (as in this case) the script appears to have been written by a frantically wanking 13-year-old boy in between torturing the neighbourhood cats with firelighters.
Embarrassingly self-conscious in its attempts to pay “homage” to 80’s and 90’s slashers, its big-boobed, shallow female characters fit a certain immature fantasy niche of spending their days dicking around on their phones, talking about sex (or Botox), calling each other “bitch” and “ho” and, at their wittiest, saying things like “get those lips around that rich dick and hold on tight”. The valley girls are depleted by a mystery killer working his way through a tool shed, with the murders usually represented by blood splatter on the walls and blood pouring down cleavage. One woman is killed while cuffed topless to the bed with a ball-gag in her mouth. The male characters are goofily horny and lame, the goofiest participating in a frenzied wanking session juxtaposed with a disembowelling. It tries hard to be funny, roping in gratuitous pop culture debate (a discussion of the parallels between FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF and FIGHT CLUB) but it’s obnoxious and misogynistic in a fashion that was alien to most 80’s slashers. The multi-twist finale riffs desperately on the annoying climactic scenes of assorted post-SCREAM slashers, including a killer who commentates on the action: “Who does that apart from every killer in an 80’s horror movie?” Message for the director : that was 1998 on the phone, it wants its (still-shit) joke back….
Review by Steven West