June 13th, 2009

MICROWAVE MASSACRE (1983) ** ½

Microwave Massacre has been self-dubbed “The Worst Horror Film of All Time” by its creators.  I’m not sure I’d go that far, as I thought it was kinda enjoyable.  On the other hand, it’s not very good either because any time you set out to make a campy movie on purpose, it rarely works.  (See:  The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra.)  There is a bunch of stuff that flat out sucks about Microwave Massacre, but then again there is a lot of stuff that’s downright funny too.

 

The plot has a henpecked husband (Jackie Vernon) getting tired of his wife’s gourmet cooking.  (He won’t eat anything he can’t pronounce.)  She pushes him to the breaking point and he finally snaps and kills her.  He then cuts her up and cooks her body parts in the microwave and eats them.  Eventually he takes to fucking then killing then cooking then eating hookers to satisfy his lust for killing (and eating).

 

Director Wayne Berwick may have thought he was making a parody, but some parts of Microwave Massacre are actually effective.  The flick has a grimy grindhouse look to it and the copious amount of nudity was pretty awesome.  Although the movie does fail miserably in several areas (lethargic pacing, stupid jokes, hammy supporting performances, etc.), I didn’t mind too much because of Vernon.  If you didn’t already know, Jackie Vernon was the voice of Frosty the Snowman.  Just hearing his familiar kindly voice saying demented one-liners like, “I’m so hungry I could eat a whore!” definitely adds a ½ * or so to this flick.

FRONTIER(S) (2008) ***

<Special Note>  I don’t know why the heck Frontier(s) has that little (s) on the end of the title but since it was pretty cool flick, I won’t press the issue.  

 

Frontier(s) is basically a French version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  A quartet of people run(s) afoul of a demented cannibal family who intend to eat them for dinner.   As with Chainsaw, there is a disgusting family dinner table scene (except instead of a Grandpa, there’s a Grandma), a scene where someone is hung up on a meathook (except the victim is hung upside down with the hook through his ankle), a Final Girl who escape(s) the house only to be picked up hitchhiking by another member of “the family”, and a similar scene where said Final Girl finally leaves the house at the end of the movie covered in blood and screaming at the top of her lung(s).  What makes Frontier(s) different from Chainsaw is that the family is a bunch of degenerate Nazi(s) that live in France.  That’s about it really.

 

Frontier(s) ain’t no Chainsaw however.  Director Xavier (Hitman) Gen(s) set(s) up the flick in a weird alternate reality where the French government is collapsing and the country is engulfed in riot(s).  This shit take(s) up about 20 minute(s) of screen time that doesn’t add anything to the overall film.  The only thing that this shit does is add to the film’s already whopping 109 minute running time.

 

Luckily, Gen(s) deliver(s) the gory good(s).  Despite its pokey paced set-up, Frontier(s) is positively dripping with over-the-top death sequence(s).  There’s trach ring spewing, bolt cutters to the Achille(s), a guy getting steamed alive like a crab, and a gnarly exploding head too.  If Gen(s) didn’t take so damn long in between the gore set piece(s), Frontier(s) might have been a classic.  As it is, Frontier(s) is still the Best French Horror Movie Featuring Gratuitous Violence Against a Pregnant Woman I’ve seen since Inside.

 

The best line of the flick comes after a guy get(s) shot and his buddy says, “He look(s) like a tampon!”