Thursday, November 26, 2015

Don't Go Dismembering Christmas: Slasher Studios Double Bill Review

Don’t Go to The Reunion (2013)
Rating: **
Starring: Kaleb Shorey, Marla Van Lanen, Johnathon Krautkramer

I always consider myself the supportive type when it comes to slasher fans doing their own slasher movie, especially when the film looks potential.

Horror review website and film workshop Slasher Studios first released an impressive short film titled Teddy, which is a basic run through everything we know and love about slashers. Their next two short film projects, Popularity Killer and Blood Brothers, were fair rides on their own run but not exactly as good (both story and production wise) as Teddy. After a while, we then get Don't Go To The Reunion, their first feature length slasher film that, much like Teddy, tries to cover a classic bodycounter scenario though with a few duds.

Don’t Go To The Reunion focuses on a group of highschoolers who decided to get their outcast classmate Scott Rantzen in trouble by planting a real sickle in his locker. When the principal and the local cops found the weapon, they were quick to believe that Scott was mentally unstable and ships him off to the loony bin where he supposedly remained.

Until now.

Ten years later, the now-adult high schoolers begin receiving Scott’s slasher drawings with a warning written for them. It seems Mr. Rantzen is no longer in captivity and now after their guilty arses one by one.

Clocking around 75 minutes, Don’t Go To The Reunion felt more like a film project than an actual movie but I can overlook this seeing it is an independent work. I can overlook the cheap effects, the amateurish acting, and how tame the sex scene was (I believe the film still could have worked without the latter), what I cannot overlook however is how predictable and pushy the story felt as a self-aware hack-a-thon, how uninspired the kills were, and how the ending felt too rushed. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve seen enough slashers to tell what direction a film of this caliber was going to and usually I can try to bypass this given the movie does something else worth our attention. (especially if the story itself was that near from being a Slaughter High (1986) reboot/reimagining) 

Unfortunately, the murders failed to impressed me as, seeing the killer is a slasher fanatic like us, they decided to tribute cult classic slashers in these killings thus making some of them a little uninspired. I guess the problem was that they were paying homages to murder scenes that were already “re-did” multiple times by other slashers before this, which kinda made the kills in Don’t Go look stale in comparison. One, for example, involves a car hood beheading which was a tribute to Madman (1982). I may have gotten a good laugh out of that if it was the only movie to do the same kill, but with the likes of Shadow Runs Black (1986) and a more humorous variation from Home Sweet Home (1981), the kill was just too plain to impress.

So the kills were, in a lack of better terms, “meh”, Don’t Go also features a mystery of sorts concerning whether Scott is back killing people or not, which would have done better if only they tried using different actors to hide the twist. If you’d seen it, you will know what I meant and though I am sure it was not their intention to insult our intelligence, it kinda looked that way.

And yet, with all of this, I can’t really diss on Don’t Go To The Reunion; it had potential and I can tell that they did try, but the final result was too underwhelming for me after all the hype people were making about this film. I am not going to say I am disappointed, but I will say good luck to Slasher Studios for their next project. Who know? Perhaps they can do better then!

1 female decapitated with a sickle
1 male beheaded with a car hood
1 female stabbed on the mouth with a fire poker
1 male and 1 female skewered with a fire poker
1 male knifed on the back
1 male killed offscreen
2 males skewered with a fire poker, beaten with a stand
Total: 9
Dismembering Christmas (2015)
Rating: 1/2
Starring: Baker Chase Powell, Leah Wiseman, Nina Kova

…Wow. Just.


A group of friends spends Christmas Eve at another friend’s snowbound cabin in the mountains only to fall prey to a masked killer. Apparently this is the plot and perhaps Slasher Studios was aiming to do something simpler for their next project, all the while tackling the ever popular holiday horror trope.

Unfortunately, due to a rocky production, the resulting movie is a messy bore that’s littered with awful audio, incoherent scripting, zero thrills, lackluster kills, and a very lame villain with a standard murder motive. I never knew they will stoop down this low but I guess if you try to stretch a plot with useless fillers and a curious shot of some guy’s buttocks, the overall final product is going to be a tedious run through uninteresting characters being themselves and getting killed for it.

Any pros, though? I honestly can’t find any that would have saved the film but I will say that the hockey stick double-murder was a decent scene. Last decent hockey stick kills I ever saw were by the demon boys from the movie Dogma and Sub-Zero from the Arnold Schwarzenegger action-thriller The Running Man. We need more hockey stick murderers out there!

Ending with a boring quip and a brutal villain dispatch (are the guys at Slasher Studios trying to say something?), Dismembering Christmas is a film worth dismembering and I am starting to feel scared for the production team. Let’s all hope they don’t end up like the Polonia Brothers

1 male stabbed with a buck knife
1 male had his gut sliced with a sharpened hockey stick
1 female hacked with a sharpened hockey stick
1 female stabbed to death with sharpened poles
1 male slides through thin wire, decapitated
1 female bludgeoned with a porcelain tree
1 female decapitated with a razor-lined wreath
1 male hacked to death with a hatchet
1 male found murdered
1 female had her head crushed with an ice auger
Total: 10


  1. "We need more hockey stick murderers out there!"

    I'd enjoy a hockey-themed slasher.

    ... And not just because I'm Canadian.

    Call it something like "Blood on the Ice" and include some kind of over-the-top Zamboni-related death.

    1. I'll pay good money to FUND it, actually!...If I have good money.

      Zamboni-related death. For some reason, I pictured that steamroller death scene from the very first Austin Powers movie