THE WEED WHACKER MASSACRE **** USA 2017 Dir: Benjamin R. Dover. 12 mins
Grae Swansom is a lot of fun as the typical American suburban “Damn kids” misery guts Mr Thurman in this engaging short, which sets out to emulate the look, sound and humour of the best of 1980’s shot-on-video splatter comedies. Stressed out by a call with the Home Owners Association about his lawn, the angry white man gives a finger to his neighbour and vents a lot (“Tell me how to cut my damn grass…”) before his embittered soul possesses his weed whacker. What follows is a delightful rampage courtesy of a weed whacker powered by the world’s longest extension cord, goring picnicking couples, beer-guzzling, henpecked couch potatoes and nagging, vodka-quaffing wives. Director Dover, who also puppeteered (!) the weed whacker and did the music (including a wonderful end credits faux country song about grass cutting), relishes lining up a collection of godawful American country stereotypes for the slaughter and delivers bravura splashy, bloody attack scenes. It works well in this short format, thought the climactic scene of a resentful mail man picking a fight with the weed whacker genuinely leaves you wanting more.
Review by Steven West