Horror, Slasher

The Bible Belt Slasher (2013)

Comments Off on The Bible Belt Slasher (2013) 06 January 2016

Bible Belt Slasher coverStudio: Brain Damage Films

Theatrical Release: April 13th, 2013

DVD Release: December 30th, 2014

Rating: Not Rated

Directed by Bradley Creanzo

Review by Craig Sorensen

Thanks Brain Damage Films for wasting another night of my life.  Bible Belt Slasher is bad.  Bad in all the worst ways that low budget films can be.   If you’ve seen literally any other low budget slasher film Halloween rip-off then there isn’t any reason to see this.  In fact, just watch Halloween.  Hell, watch Halloween 2.  Or 4 or 5.  Or even that one with Busta Rhymes. 

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OK, so what’s wrong with it.  The film is treated like a joke.  So the gimmick is that this is supposed to take place in 1989.  So the filmmaker’s friends all get to wear bad wigs and acid washed jeans and make jokes about the wacky ‘80s.  OK, I guess I can see the appeal of getting everyone together and having fun with your mom’s video camera.  But don’t make everyone else watch it like it’s a real movie.  So the film is a joke.  They don’t take the genre seriously.  I know that it’s a weird thing to say, to take the slasher film genre seriously.  But it makes a difference.  And that’s not to say that you can’t have fun, it should be fun.  Just take what you’re doing seriously.  Don’t half-ass it.  If you’re going to make a film set in ’89 then make a fucking effort to get the details right.  That can mean, make the guy in the video store take off his modern baseball hat or watch the way that your characters talk.  You shouldn’t have characters calling each other ‘bro’.  Maybe ‘dude’ would have worked better.  Also, I know that it can be fun to work with your friends but, cast actors in your film.  Every town has some older people who dream of acting.  Hold auditions or something.  You’re bound to find some weirdos. 

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I had a thought while watching the film (it was hard to become invested in the story so I had to do something).  Maybe if this had been shot like a vintage ‘80s shot-on-video production a lot of the film’s imperfections would be forgivable.  Track down some old video equipment.  Shoot the damned thing on video tape instead of digitally.  Really capture that early VHS tape feel.  It wouldn’t necessarily make the film good but it would make it a hell of a lot more interesting to watch.  As it stands now it’s like watching one of my old films from high school, except I don’t know any of the kids in the video so it’s not any fun.

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So, the film’s one redeeming quality is the performance from Larry Baumer as Jason Fry, The Bible Belt Slasher of the title.  He mugs for the camera and drools like a champ.  Of course he doesn’t have much to work with.  Like most terrible slasher films, the gimmick of the killer is poorly thought out.  So, he’s supposed to be a religious man.  I get that.  There’s two ways that that could be taken that would be interesting.  You could play him as an actual holy man.  Do some research, watch some televangelists.  Go to some crazy churches and do some people watching.  Real religious people aren’t as gleefully nasty and bloodthirsty as they’re portrayed here.  If they’re doing something like this they would probably think that they are doing this for their victims, for their own good.  That’s a damned creepy thought.  Or, you could have your character mask his own bloodlust in a phony religious veneer like a politician.  Neither tract is taken.  It’s easier to just have the killer yell bitch and whore a bunch and throw a bible page at them.

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Also, take it easy with the misogyny.  It gets old real quick and lacks fucking imagination.  I don’t know how many times characters are called bitch in this film but it’s a lot.  And it’s more than just the killer.  It seems like every male character refers to a woman (living and dead) as a bitch.  Work through your problems on you’re own time man.

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Brain Damage Films does as good of a job as one could with this release I guess.  The film was shot on video so it looks like consumer grade video equipment.  Sound is as shitty as you would imagine for such a production.  There’s not much I can say here.  It’s fucking cheap alright.  You do get a few extras.  I was so bored though I didn’t watch any of them.  So, you get a couple of ‘TV spots’ and a couple of music videos for songs from the film.  You also get some bloopers and deleted scenes (they deleted scenes from this!?).  And you get a short video titled ‘Bible Belt Slasher Pt. 1’.  Yeah, this dvd is for the sequel.  It’s on screen title is Bible Belt Slasher Pt. 2.  Lame.

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

- who has written 151 posts on UnRated Film Review Magazine | Movie Reviews, Interviews.

Craig hails from 'Parts Unknown'.

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