4/20 Massacre (2018)

Director: Dylan Reynolds

Writer: Dylan Reynolds (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamie Bernadette, Vanessa Rose Parker, Stacey Danger, Justine Wachsberger, Marissa Pistone, Jim Storm, James Gregory

 

Plot: A group of five women go camping in the woods to celebrate a friend’s birthday over 4/20 weekend. But when they cross the turf of an illegal marijuana grow operation they must struggle to survive the living nightmare.


Tagline – Inhale. Exhale. Scream.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slasher Fans Dream

 

Story: 4/20 Massacre starts as we follow our five friends Jess (Bernadette), Aubrey (Parker), Donna (Danger), Rachel (Wachsberger) and Michelle (Pistone) as they head off for a camping trip for Jess’ birthday on the holiday known as 4/20 (the motivation for this holiday will be revealed in the film, don’t worry I was completely lost on it too to start with).

As the weekend unfolds the girls have a drink, drug induced time in the woods nearly a local illegal marijuana operation, which brings them face to with a killer protecting their investment.

 

Thoughts on 4/20 Massacre

 

Characters – When we get into the characters it would be fair to say each one fits into a horror type for the slasher genre. Jess is the cleaner living of the group, the only one that won’t touch drugs and looks after the rest of the group, while celebrating her own birthday. Aubrey fits in the role of the one that is good at heart that has her own feeling for our lead and wants to use this weekend to show their feelings. Donna the stoner of the group spending more time high stating moments of the obvious, like Marty from Cabin in the Woods. Rachel is the womaniser of the group with her latest project along on the trip with Michelle being that project is the newest member of the group just trying not to say anything she shouldn’t around the friends.

PerformancesJamie Bernadette in a leading role again, this up and coming actress is a very busy lady of late with Killing Joan only just appeared on VOD. In this role she once again shows she can handle combat skills and strength to be the lead role, fingers crossed we will see her many more horror films. Diving into the rest of the cast we have good performances from all with Stacey Danger becoming the character you want to see more off.

StoryThe story isn’t the most difficult for anyone to follow, it follows five friends that are going for a camping trip only to find themselves needing to survive against a ruthless killer. There is on part of the story that sticks out, none of the film is set at night which is something that breaks the generic idea of slasher films. You don’t need anything too deep here, it does everything the story needs to do.

Action/HorrorThe action in the film plays hand in hand with the horror as we see the killer calculate his next kills in full action form, the horror is plenty of blood and gore with the kills, that do feel original even if the moments don’t feel like they have the tension being built in them.

SettingsThe film is set in the woods during the day, which breaks the mould for slasher movies which generally take place in the darkness.

Special EffectsThe effects used when it comes to thee kills are good throughout when it comes to the kills which feel unique in their own way.


Scene of the Movie –
Smoking alone.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many disposable characters.

Final ThoughtsThis movie plays into the slasher movies of old, it hits the marks on every level making us enjoy the film, it has great kills and a strong lead.

 

Overall: Enjoyable slasher movie.

Rating

 

 

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The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

rob challengeThis weeks challenge from Rob iscandudayeDirector: John Frankenheimer

Writer: George Axelrod (Screenplay) Richard Condon (Novel)

Starring: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva, James Gregory

 

Plot: A former Korean War POW is brainwashed by Communists into becoming a political assassin. But another former prisoner may know how to save him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dated & Slow

 

Story: The Manchurian Candidate starts when Raymond Shaw (Harvey) returns from the Korean war as a hero getting one of the few medal of honours. His mother Eleanor (Lansbury) and step father Senator Iselin (Gregory) use his new fame to help the Senator’s campaign for re-election.

We meet Major Marco (Sinatra) who is having nightmares about Raymond Shaw and the rest of his unit and wants to get to the bottom of it all. As Major Marco’s paranoia continues to grow he starts to think he might have been part of a mind control experiment and Shaw isn’t who the world sees.

The Manchurian Candidate is a very low moving story that has been built into a real conspiracy theory being from around. I do feel this is only the stepping stones to the idea and in the modern world it would be a lot easier to cover this up. We are left to basically deal with one man being pushed hypnotised into making the next President by taking out the people who stand in his way. It’s all interesting but this just goes too slowly to pull you right in.

 

Actor Review

 

Frank Sinatra: Major Bennett Marco is the man who lead the unit with Raymond Shaw in, he is plagued by nightmares about what potentially happened with mind control. He tries to investigate what could have happened and what he finds will change American history forever. Frank gives us a good performance but you do feel like there could have been a higher intensity to his character.

Laurence Harvey: Raymond Shaw is the war hero, returning with the Medal of Honour, but he is really just being placed in a position to help the Government to unleash their undercover assassin. Laurence does a good job in this role where he looks the part as the everyday good guy.

Janet Leigh: Eugenie Rose Chaney is the stranger on the train that meets Bennett and seems to understand what he is going through as well as opening the doors for a romantic angle. Janet is in the film but doesn’t get much screen time.

Angela Lansbury: Mrs Eleanor Shaw Iselin is the mother of Raymond who is controlling her husband Senator to uncover the communism going on with in the US government. Angela is the star of the show as the manipulative woman trying to elect the next President.

Henry Silva: Chunjin is the translator that worked with the unit in the past and gets placed with Shaw to protect the asset, he instantly clashes with Bennett. Henry has a good fight scene but is never used enough for my liking.

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Support Cast: The Manchurian Candidate has a supporting cast that includes the other players in the Presidential race but none get the screen time required.

Director Review: John FrankenheimerJohn bought us a good thriller for the time but due to increased use of technology it almost feels dated now.

 

Thriller: The Manchurian Candidate does keep you guessing but never puts you on the edge of your seat.

Settings: The Manchurian Candidate has the settings you would expect to see these characters in which does help with the film but nothing really stands out.

Suggestion: The Manchurian Candidate is one to try and is one if you like the classic film you would enjoy otherwise you will find it slow. (Classic Film Fans)

 

Best Part: The idea.

Worst Part: It has dated.

 

Believability: Depends what you believe in the conspiracy.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars

Budget: $2.2 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

Tagline: Once unbelievable. Now unthinkable.

Trivia: According to Howard W. Koch, the budget was $2,200,000. Of that amount $1,000,000 went for star Frank Sinatra’s salary with another $200,000 for Laurence Harvey, leaving only $1,000,000 for everything else.

 

Overall: A great idea that is a film that could be a brilliant television show now

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