After School Massacre (2014) – By Baron Craze

When one incorporates the word massacre into their title, it first needs to live up to it standing especially in the horror genre, and fans think of slasher slaughter films like for example Slumber Party Massacre or Music Store Massacre. The gore a requirement, the blood needs to cover everything and everyone, and an overwhelming need for women to wear very little, and a killer with the weakest motive to slay everyone he can (not stereotype but in a massacre the killer usually is a man).  Therefore, director and writer Jared Masters who’s notable for Slink (2013) brings an 80-minute horror film, Brain Damage Films to the small screen, that time limit, shows the film ran out of storyline, because a massacre never runs out of bodies. His creation took five days to write and six to film, and later adapted to a novel by Stephanie Campbell, of his cheesy and at times campy revisit to the 1980s of numerous slasher and blood shedding happiness, all thanks to Frolic Pictures. A classic slasher formula with easy to follow playbook hence watching numerous slashers films for research taking some notes and bring sheer lunacy for the scenes, and women willing strip, yet still balance the hi-jinks and horror to a glitzy gory sleaze-fest.

Jared created a wonderfully original opening sequence using in-call note passing to give the opening credits, and simple plot though, perhaps a tad too simple-minded. It starts with a teacher, Mr. Anderson (Bruce Kadel) who refuses to “friend” two students, Devon (Nikole Howell) and Jess (Savannah Matlow) on social media (cool concept) and when he does, the school officials discover the matter very quickly (on a rumor) and the teacher takes a very, very long vacation. Let the killing beginning a few school officials and then a large amount of students, hence a quick introduction and kill spree, showing the lack of care and understanding of the sub-genre, there must include a caring for the characters, and clearly that never taken into the correct measure. The sleepover for girls who “friend-ed” the teacher, needed to promise to Devon’s mom (Dawna Lee Heising) a serious rule, no one must die, the reason for such an odd request at a previous party friend overdosed and died. The short role of Dawna a neat caveat as she worked in some capacity on 284 horror films and then the cameo appearance of Mindy Robinson as Linda bring a warm happiness to legions of horror fans. However, they quickly respond not to have it happen again the party and that it is on for everyone, which includes the killer to enjoy. The groups includes many teenage girls who appeared to be very sexual active  play a game – truth or dare in skimpy undergarments, and join group shadows. Add for good measure two peeping toms that and extremely horny teenage boys, and one older teen boy, Steve (LeJon) that eagerly needs satisfaction however that seems near impossible for this film.

One of the tiresome aspects relies on the score, almost continuous playing in the entire film, and yet it still works on a b-movie tone. As with most independent productions, locations provide problems, especially in horror films, and this is no different, that lack of them limits the story and hence the avenues to explore with victims and their killer. Much of the cast either worked with Jared before or knew his style and direction, assisting with a smoother production, which ideally words on a small financial package. A side note, actor Steve Crest of adult star fame makes the appearance of a police officer who stars numerous times as one for many movies and advertises equipment for them; too.  

Many critics panned the film and although some enjoyed and questioned where else does a killer use and gory set pieces such as a curling iron and a electric carving knife to kill victims, referencing Anderson unique ability to use all types of weapons to kill and murder as he unleashes his rage. First, Anderson sounds like Jason Voorhees, for his character started that trend, uses what is on hand numerous times it happen from a iron fence post, a party horn, spear gun, pitch-fork and including his bare hands. Secondly, the curling iron used a weapon, occurs in the film Sleepaway Camp (1983) by Angela (Felissa Rose) to exact revenge on Judy (Karen Fields) by shoving it into her private region. Thirdly, the electric carving knife, most recently used in the remake of Evil Dead (2013) to cut off a possessed limb of overtaking Natalie’s body (Elizabeth Blackmore), and also harkening back to Tales from the Darkside: The Movie with Christian Slater using the kitchen tool to cut up a mummy.  Needless to state this film pays homage to many horror films as demonstrate above, and must watch for fans of massacre films, and has very good FX practical effects in place for everyone enjoyment.