IndependentLow-budgetReviews

The Horror Convention Massacre (a movie review)

Let’s be blunt here, OK? The Horror Convention Massacre, the movie I’m gonna review here for your reading pleasure, it’s a low budget movie. Very low budget, to be more precise. Therefore, to bitch about CGI (there’s none), this or that – keep it for the next Star Wars installment, here we’re dealing with a work of love.

And it doesn’t really matter if it’s the love of film-making or the love of money made from film-making, you know, the exploitation way… because it’s modern exploitation, believe it or not.

The Horror Convention Massacre

But enough talking shit, let’s get down to business. The Horror Convention Massacre (THCM) is about murders during the Cleveland’s Cinema Wasteland Horror Convention. And the location is proudly on display here, for which I am grateful, for it’s probably the closest I will get to this famous convention. Well, can’t be everywhere, right? Nevertheless, even in the background, the movie provides a nice look into the look and feel of the convention, this little bazaar of movie stars, starlets, prop masters, publishers and other interesting people, all trying to get you part with your hard earned money. Well, it’ showbiz, baby!

Bryan Jalovec

On the foreground we have a story of a pissed off hotel employee Aaron (Bryan Jalovec, also in Hero Tomorrow and Fanboy, both 2007), who just had to cancel his day off and attend the aforementioned convention, all due to the threats of the hotel manager Paul (Ted Wodoslawsky, starred also in TV movie Caprice from 2010). And it really doesn’t help that he split up with his (cheating) girlfriend Mary (Jon Gomez, who doesn’t even get an IMDB credit). By the way – and I hope nobody will get offended, but Bryan’s and Ted’s performances here are the best in the movie.

Ted Wodoslawsky

Oh, not to forget, all this just after we’ve witnessed the mandatory (for the low/no budget movie it’s kind of a rule) sex-teasing scene with T&A, courtesy of Adam Griffith and Ann Halzechs. And the first two murders. Guess who..yes, Adam Griffith (who was also in 1 episode of TV series Gotham, but also in Afgan Hound (2010) and Amateurs (2013) and Ann Halzechs (also, no IMDB credits). So much for a climax.

So, Aaron comes to work, meeting with a pissed off owner (apparently), played by the legendary Lloyd Kaufman, and apart from him we have the opportunity to meet some of the characters from the convention who, sooner or later, will meet their end from the hands of a crazed killer (Theo Kerg, and absence of his IMDB credits is just laughable, I mean, he’s basically a main person here, isn’t he?). His motive? Heck, what is his motive? Nobody knows and sometimes it’s not a bad thing. He just kills and he’s simply deranged. And missing a tooth or two.

Next on the list is Miss Jezebel (Alicia Kenney, also in It’s My Party and I’ll Die If I Want To from 2007 and Fetish Dolls Die Laughing (2012)), apparently an important movie persona in this movie, followed by her assistant (Samantha Grace, and just the titles of her movies leave nothing to imagination as for the content, check for yourself). Needless to say, the annoying Miss Jezebel will be a goner, however, not before the movie watchers have the opportunity to check her T&A. Hmmm…

Syn Devil (RIP)

And the movie goes on. More T&A, more murders, more shots from the convention. Nice cameos from Lew Temple (Adam Banjo from The Devil’s Rejects) Ari Lehman (the boy Jason from the first Friday the 13th) and late great Syn Devil (R.I.P., with quite a few low budget titles under her belt).

Joe Ostrica, the director of The Horror Convention Massacre

If you wonder when I am gonna talk about a story, well, unfortunately, there is no story. Or there is, if you count the un-connected murders, other than that, nothing. Nada. But I guess this was probably not even planned. I guess THCM was more of a vehicle for Joe Ostrica, the writer/director of the movie, to show his capabilities in the field of low budget film-making. You know, there are people in the world, who don’t have even clue there is such thing as low budget or no buget film-making, but believe me, there is, and it’s quite a big thing!

And I, for one, am quite fond of these independent, amateur, low-budget..call it what you want, movies. I like the efforts and the enthusiasm of those involved (apart from those who’s getting paid for just to be there, but that’s America, you know, everything for the almighty buck). Therefore if you think I’m gonna trash this movie, you’re on the wrong page here. I watch this kind of movies to have a great time and those movies, THCM among them, deliver the fun, the WOW effect, the laughs…so why would I complain?

The Horror Convention Massacre is, what it is. If you need tons of special FX and stuff like that, stay the hell away from this one. But if you want to have a laugh and maybe learn a thing or two – because, you’d be surprised, but these kind of movies might inspire you to pick up that camcorder, or – surprise, surprise, your smartphone, and start shooting. And who knows, maybe one day you’d be a new Kubrick (OK, that’s really stretched beyond belief now).

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Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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