The Chainsaw Sally Show – Season One (2009) – By Duane L. Martin

I have been aware of Chainsaw Sally (April Monique Burril) since the film first appeared back in 2004, though I’ll admit, I’ve never seen the film. I have however seen The Chainsaw Sally Show, season one, which is a good thing, since that’s what this review is about, and while it focuses on the same character, it’s apparently a whole different animal.

First off, this is a series rather than a film. From what I can tell, not having seen the film (yes I know, I really need to see it and I just added it to my Netflix queue), the series is less focused on anything serious and more focused on just having fun. It’s done in episodes that both contain random killings (including a special guest victim in many of the episodes) and a running storyline about Sally’s work at the local library, her friendship with her gothy teenage assistant named Poe (Lilly Burril), her adventures with her brother/roommate Ruby (Azman Toy) and the investigator named Cowboy (Bill Price) who’s trying to catch whoever is committing all these killings.

The back story is that Sally and her brother came from this really messed up family, and after witnessing the murder of their parents, Sally got really into horror films and used them as an inspiration in her life as a serial killer. Her brother, aside from his many twisted fetishes and habits, is the family cook. He cooks up some of the bodies that keep piling up, and they eat them. Other bodies they just dispose of. Their relationship in many ways is typical brother / sister, with Sally being the "in charge" big sister. Sally’s relationship with her library assistant Poe is more like a motherly friendship, and she’s always watching out for her, even to the point of torturing and killing a couple of the popular girls at school who’ve been tormenting her.

Season one includes 11 episodes and a special extra 50 or so minute feature. I know my description above sounds rather straight forward and serious, but believe me, this series isn’t all that serious. In fact, it’s one hell of a lot of fun! I went into this thing not really knowing what to expect, and to be honest, I really didn’t expect to enjoy it all that much. What I found though, was that once I started watching it, I actually found that I really enjoyed myself! Some of the random killings felt like filler, but the running story line and the characters all had me eager to see the next episode. The more I watched, the more I got into it, and in the end, I found myself really loving the series. It’s really nice when you go into something expecting to be underwhelmed at best and finding a gem instead, and this series definitely, for me at least, turned out to be a real gem.

The gore used in this series ranges from pretty silly looking to rather cool. It just depends on the scene. What’s really fun is the variety of ways in which they kill people, and the fact that many of the people they kill, actually deserved it. A lot of them didn’t really, but the ones that did…it was fun to see them getting what they deserved.

The show itself looks typically indie, but the set design in Sally and Ruby’s place is great. They really went all out with that. The rest of the sets and locations are pretty simple. It’s all edited together really well, the lighting and the sound are good and everything tends to move along at a perfect pace. The story, while it veers off now and then for random killings, holds the whole series together really well, and is carried out in a very quality way by the entire cast.

Troma’s two disc release of season one has all eleven episodes, the extra special feature "Grindhog Day", two behind the scenes featurettes, a slideshow, a music video for the theme song, a sneak peek at season two, and an introduction by Lloyd Kaufman. Season One is being released on January 11th, so do yourself a favor and grab a copy. It’s surprisingly fun, and clocking in at over four and a half hours worth of goodness (not including the special features), you really can’t go wrong adding this to your collection.

If you’d like to find out more about this series, you can check out the official website at http://www.chainsawsallyshow.com.