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BUZZ SAW (V) (director/writer: David Burnett/Robin Garrels; cinematographer: Michael Lowhorn; editor: Scott Dorough; music: Greg Braun/David Burnett/Robin Garrels; cast: Stephen J. Heffernan (Pete Shepherd), Jason Allen Wolfe (Cass), Lisa Anne Harness (Fuchsia), Chris Grega (Joe, Police Officer), Dennis Garrels (Grant Shepherd), Richard C. Mintzlaff (Ellis), Michael Malorin (Franklin), Sara Ann Rutherford (Nova), Daniel Byington (Sonny, Retard), Alidjah Young (Buzzy, little boy of waitress), Jodi Wurm (Alien Girl), Lindsay Roufa (Goody Goody Waitress), Jeffery McCoy (Alien Boy), Schmack Virgin (Tadpole), Rachel Lewis (Allison); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: David Burnett/Robin Garrels; Sub Rosa Studios; 2005)
“Enough mutilated bodies to appease even a Dahmer type of viewer.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A straight-to-video overwrought cheapie cultish horror/slasher film directed and written by David Burnett and Robin Garrels. She’s the filmmaker of “Insaniac”/”China White Serpentine.” Buzz Saw has aliens, dopers, retards, lowlifes, evil spirits, depressives, and enough mutilated bodies to appease even a Dahmer type of viewer. It’s the kind of outrageous gory screamer that makes Jack Nicholson’s role in the 1980 “The Shining” look subdued in comparison.

Set at Pea Tree Apartments, where Pete and Cass are the maintenance men for the building. There’s a series of bloody murders and mutilations in the apartment complex. The maintenance men clean up the messes in a blood filled bathtub and in a cockroach infested apartment, where a retarded young man living with his yahoo dad (Richard C. Mintzlaff) has been fatally stabbed with a screw driver 27 times. It’s astonishingly (and I mean astonishingly!) discovered that the murders are being committed with Pete’s tools. Who–or what–is committing the murders is fuzzy, as the policeman on the case is clueless. Clues all lead to dead ends. When the wacko paranoid Cass is released after being questioned by the police, they have run out of human suspects and the mysterious evil seems to be coming from two alien children residing in a tree-top. The evil spirit is in a feeding frenzy over the ill-nature of some of the lowlife residents in this spooky apartment building, and goes on a terror-ridden killing spree.

One misfit in a wheelchair wears a T-shirt that says “Jesus did this to me.” Pete’s good-natured but depressive slow-witted father Grant wears a T-shirt that says “Happy Halloween.” The T-shirts impressed me; the film gave me the wrong kind of buzz. Maybe there was one twisted character too many and one too many scream coming from the darkened hallways. In any case, this strange, unsettling bloodbath of a horror story is played with a comedic deadpan expression that failed to titillate my dark side.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”