Sunday, May 29, 2011

Slime City Massacre and Campy Fun?: A Movie Review

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*full disclosure: a screener of this film was provided by director Greg Lamberson.

Director/writer: Greg Lamberson.

The Slime City Massacre is a follow-up to another independent horror feature titled Slime City (1988). This earlier film has developed a cult following, with this reviewer having no knowledge of director Greg Lamberson's previous work. Now, twenty-two years later, B-movie fans can find out what happened to cultist Zachary (Richard C. Sabin), after he transformed his essence into ectoplasm! This latest film, is full of low budget make-up effects, dilapatated sets and fluorescent bathed prop devices. There is a subtle charm here - somewhere. Slime City Massacre only rarely rises above the film's inherent campiness and this reviewer found the film mostly entertaining.

The film provides a dual timeline, with events occurring on-screen in 1959, with a prostitute (Brooke Lewis) being lured into a cult and in present day, plus seven years. A dirty bomb has decimated Slime City and a war rages north of the United States, in a little known country called Canada. The post-apocalyptic vibe is created early, with CGI effects and shots of Lloyd Kaufman being blown to bits. Extras are given the appropriate dirty rundown look, while central characters Alex (Jennifer Bihl) and Cory (Kealan Patrick Burke) stand out, with their clean pressed outfits. An abandoned warehouse is the only set used in the film and this flick will likely appeal mostly to sci-fi fans.

In the warehouse, Alex and Cory meet up with Alice (Debbie Rochon) and Mason (Lee Perkins). Together they find a common bond in a Homebrew Elixir and Himalayan Yogurt, which eases each of their hungry bellies. Before you know what is happening, all four of these characters are covered in a greasy slime, which incites them to murder. Now, local vagrants are missing, while a side bar, involving a greedy real estate developer, is moving the film to a suitable climax. Violence ensues between the developer and the occupants of the warehouse, with several shots of bloody gore setting the horror stage. Bottles get jammed into eyes, heads explode and strangely, characters degenerate into pools of liquid slime.

There is some charm here in all the buckets of blood, but you might have to dig deep to find the cinematic gold. Lamberson does not set unrealistic expectations for this production, so this effort is not over-reaching. Instead, Slime City Massacre is an understandably small film, which shows its best in the cast performances. The actors are on cue, with only a few missteps from minor characters and this film is for those who seek out something creative, or outside of the Hollywood-play-it-safe box. If you the viewer go in with low expectations, then your reward will be an enjoyable, yet subdued time through a campy futuristic tale of supernatural possession and rogue mercenaries.

Slime City Massacre is for those with a taste for the bizarre and Lamberson already has a huge following, so there will likely be lots of horror fans jumping on board this latest production. For this reviewer, the film created a few laughs and the viewing was not too hard on the frontal lobes. However, here is one vote for Lamberson getting the budget he deserves for the next film, to complete the trilogy.

Overall: 6.5 out of 10 (there are no apparent plot holes, camera and sound are used effectively, performances are good, overly campy and the film is only targeted to a small portion of B-movie fans out there).

This title moved to DVD May 10th:

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