by Louis Fowler
Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.
Years before Kevin Williamson inflicted the masses with the uber-self-referential horror-comedy Scream, low-budget writer-director Rolfe Kanefsky did it better (and funnier!) in the 1990 horror-spoof There's Nothing Out There! Long an underseen video-store staple, Nothing has been re-released by Troma in a fantastic must-buy two-disc 20th anniversary special edition. A group of horny (yet wholly clean-cut) kids spend the weekend at a secluded house in the forest, only to be offed one-by-one by a slimy green creature hungry for teen flesh. What separates this from other horror flicks is the character of Mike, a horror-film fanatic who tries to school the gang in the rules of monster movies — and, of course, no one listens. His constant one-liners are laugh-out-loud funny and actually pretty smart for the time period. As Scream 4 woefully hits the theaters this year, we can only hope that Kanefsky is prepping a much-needed There's Still Nothing Out There!
The first time Chainsaw Sally appeared was in the 2004 low-budget film of the same name. It wasn't very good, but the makers of it have been doing a great job of keeping Sally's character alive, reaching an apex of sorts with The Chainsaw Sally Show: Season One, although I have no idea what television station originally aired it. Probably an Internet one. It's still not very good, but entertaining enough to keep fans of backyard gore happy. In Season One, we find Sally — librarian by day, middle-aged Suicide Girl-wannabe psycho by night — randomly hacking various walking nuisances in her life to pieces, from Girl Scouts to chubby pervs, all the while bantering with a local picked-on Goth girl and twisted brother Ruby. Its main selling point is that the legendary Herschell Gordon Lewis is listed as executive producer, but really, I'd just rather see a new splatter-fest from him.
I would like to band together all the horror screenwriters, directors and producers in the world and have them sign a document that puts a good 10-year minimum moratorium on fright flicks that feature people going crazy with hallucinations that may or may not be real, only to have a Fight Club-by twist at the end. It's been done to death, and the final nail in the coffin is the British-lensed Psychosis, starring the world's prettiest mannequin, Charisma Carpenter. She's a novelist under pressure to finish her new book, but keeps being terrified by visions of gruesome murders. Meanwhile, her sleazebag husband participates in backstage orgies with The Darkness' Justin Hawkins. Is it all real, is it all in her head? You and I already know the answer because we've seen this movie a hundred times before. Seriously guys, 10 years. That's all I'm asking. Surely there's another premise you could beat to death in that timeframe.