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DIRECTOR’S CUT (director/writer/producer/editor: Eric Stacey; screenwriter: Brennon Jones; cinematographer: Chris Butler; music: Thom Sharp; cast: Kathleen Taylor (Brittany), Molly Michelle (Courtney), David Hunter (Mark), Joe Jeffrey (Cole Wilder), Evan McNamara (Meth); Cradeaux Alexander (Twiggy), Marianne Zappico (Katrina), Jennifer Sommerfield (Ashley), Frank Mercuri (Troy), Mark Hawkins (Morris), Ike Gingrich (Uncle Ed); Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: NR; Landfall Productions; 2003)
“Had a professional look worthy of the films it was spoofing.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An El Cheapo horror film that parodies the horror B-movie films of the 70’s, especially The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and reality TV. Eric G. Stacey is editor/producer/director/co-writer. He shoots it more for comedy than gore, but the bloody scenes are what remain etched in my mind. It is co-scripted by Brennon Jones.

The opening scene got my attention. It has a psychopath rant against a shrink and his wife while they are bound and gagged sitting by an elaborately set dining table. Their two small boys are forced to watch, as they are slashed to death with a straight razor (the murders take place away from the camera). The slasher then cooks their body parts. The brothers survived these long ago murders, but the question lingers as to how this affected them.

In Bakersfield, California, a psycho killer is on the loose. But this does not deter aspiring blonde actress Brittany (Taylor) to take her mom’s car without permission to go to Hollywood and seek possible stardom. The ambitious Brittanny takes along for company her rock ‘n’ roll boyfriend Mark, airhead best friend Courtney (Michelle) and her boyfriend Twiggy. All four are vain, self-absorbed, obnoxious, and packed with sawdust in their cranium. The comedy is in how they interact without feelings and brains, and are oblivious about all the danger signs that are right under their noses. Brittany, the former cheerleader, is excited that after sending in a tape, she has been given a part in no-budget director Cole Wilder’s latest slasher flick about a serial killer who wears a metal mask. Courtney tells them, in the Valley girl way she talks, that Cole was one of the boys who witnessed his parents’ grizzly murder.

On the road to Hollywood, the four feel sorry for a loony looking guy sitting by the side of the road (Evan McNamara). He’s also heading for Hollywood and they give him a ride on the urgings of Brittany. But toss him out after discovering he’s a psycho, who tells them he’s written a script with a bizarre way of murdering boys. There was some entertainment in watching the ditzy blondes and their annoying boyfriends talk nonsense with the raving psycho, who was carrying dead body parts in his bag.

The plot centers around the making of the slasher film in a vacant house with the four Bakersfield hams and the other cast members invited for a party scene. The Bakersfield four do not realize that they are being filmed and that the director is a psychopath, planning to do real harm to them. Cole set up video cameras all over the house to catch their spontaneous actions. Fake blood and crude acting seem to be the film’s main staple, as the comedy part never kicked in nor was the horror part that scary. But I’ll cut Mr. Stacey some slack for working under the constraint of no-budget, as the film nevertheless had a professional look worthy of the films it was spoofing. Director’s Cut was supposedly financed by credit cards. Mr. Stacey has talent, and the potential to make a better film with a bigger budget and, perhaps, a storyline more tightly drawn. The future could be just campy for Mr. Stacey.

The character who appealed to me most, was Molly Michelle. She had the best blonde ditzy lines, as she sought fame any way she could and was ravishing in her dumbness.

Director’s Cut has gone straight to video.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”