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Cherry Pop

'Brutal Massacre: A Comedy'
(Gerry Bednob, Ken Foree, et al / DVD / R / (2007) 2008 / Starz / Anchor Bay)

Overview: David Naughton of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON stars as famed horror director Harry Penderecki whose career has been plagued by violent mishaps and critics’ attacks. But when Harry decides to shoot his comeback movie, he’ll do it with a crew that includes a stressed assistant director (Brian O’Halloran of CLERKS), his foul-mouthed production manager (Ellen Sandweiss of THE EVIL DEAD), an oddball cinematographer (Gerry Bednob of THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN), his loyal grip (Ken Foree of DAWN OF THE DEAD) a deranged Vietnam vet (Gunnar Hansen of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE) and more!

DVD Verdict: In the tradition of This Is Spinal Tap, Incident At Loch Ness and American Zombie, 'Brutal Massacre: A Comedy' is a spoof about filmmakers, actors, and entertainers doing what they do. In this case, the "documentary film crew" is following washed up B-movie director, Harry Penderecki (David Naughton, of An American Werewolf in London fame), as he vows to make his most popular film to date, entitled Brutal Massacre.

This direct-to-disc offering follows the faux flick from inception to casting to shooting to premiere, and captures all the craziness between. Behind the camera is eager and hopeful, though jaded, Penderecki (who previously directed such cult classics as: I'll Take The Ring Back, And The Finger Too!), his loyal first A.D. Jay (Brian O'Halleran, from Clerks), his temperamental D.P. Hanu (Gerry Bednob, The 40 Year Old Virgin), long-suffering Production Manager Natalie (Ellen Sandweiss, from the first Evil Dead), and earnest grip Carl (Ken Foree, The Devil's Rejects).

In front of the camera are your various bimbos and bad-actors with good-looks stereotypes, and on the fringes is a cast of strange characters who help advance the plot — and burial plots. For instance, Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Gunnar Hansen plays an unhinged local who allows the production to shoot on his farm, much to their later regret.

The story idea is funny, and the actors display a remarkable penchant for comic timing (even the ones who are a bit shaky, or have limited range, manage to deliver some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments). The are some great insider jokes and even better sight-gags (not to mention some admirable restraint in certain ways, considering that some of the most juicy deaths are actually left to the viewer's imagination). Horror fans, especially the die-hards who attend the conventions, buy rare indies, and collect cinema-killers' autographs, will glean even more. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Extended and Deleted Scenes
Behind The Scenes of 'Brutal Massacre: A Comedy'
Trailer

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