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Friday, September 26, 2014

My Review Of “After School Massacre”


asm“After School Massacre” is a modern throwback to the classic slasher film. The film is directed by Jared Masters and stars Nikole Howell, Savannah Matlow, Danika Galindo, Lindsay Lamb, Courtney Rood, Yasmine Soofi, Simone Wasserman, Art Roberts, Dawna Lee Heising, and fun cameo by Mindy Robinson. The story is a simple slice ’n’ dice, hot young girls meet the psycho killer that focus more on tits and ass soaked in blood than actual story.

In the film, a teacher who walks the line between perv prone to inappropriate behavior and educator becomes obsessed with a student, flips out and goes on a killing spree after being suspended/fired (it depends what part of the story mentions that point), and one by one slaughters the group of teen girls. “After School Massacre” doesn't hold up to the classic 80’s slashers that it desperately tries to imitate. Jared Masters creates - a decent enough concept, young girls at a slumber party face the masked killer- yet in executing this vision focuses more on Spice channel shenanigans that substance. The characters are so far removed from any authenticity that fantasy characters seem realistic in comparison.

“After School Massacre” is a low budget slasher so production value is on the cheap-which doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing-a lot of cheap films have had quality product emerge as a result. However with this film there was too much attention spent in asinine character relationship dynamics and not enough time spent on building a strong story, or recognizable characters. The acting is amateurish and two dimensional. It sucks because a few moments in the film show real promise of what this film could have been with more care taken to bring this story to life.

The special effects and soundtrack are the saving grace and only proof that is had a horror ancestor attached at some point. Again it is a low budget film so we aren’t talking award winning stuff here, but Masters and the FX department use classic stylizing, and practical measures to give us gore and blood that isn’t CGI and actually work. In those moments “After School Massacre” rises up to more than mimic the classic slasher. The soundtrack is hip, relevant, with creepy VHS era sound effects balancing out the atmosphere and at times elevating the scene to real horror status. So kudos on that front!

Overall “After School Massacre” disappointed me. It felt more like a project contrived to get young girls to take their clothes off on camera without being softcore porn. The story is weak, looses continuity throughout, and filled with fluff but no reward. This film works more toward the fetish crowd than the true slasher fan base with ridiculous dialog that goes no where, adds no value, and only serves to prove that most guys are pervs hoping to see girl-on-girl action. Still the deaths scenes are worth a scan through-although the word “blood spatter” should have been thrown out there in kill scene discussions for the actual scenes that needed it. And there are a few in here that needed it. The film ends on a weird note that doesn’t really finish the film but doesn’t actually herald in a reason for a sequel either. Check “After School Massacre” out if you really want to but don’t expect much.
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