Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Cuban Spine Crusher: Wrestle Massacre (2018)

Wrestle Massacre (2018)
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Richie Acevedo, Tony Atlas, Julio Bana Fernandez

(Special thanks to Jeff for sharing this wonderful trash, intentionally or not! Haha!)

Back in 2006, low budget Rey Mysterio-starring slasher Wrestlemaniac proved to us the stalk n' kill potential of wrestlers. It was fun, silly and cheesy, and I'm gonna piledriver us back to the bloody ring with yet another wrestling themed bodycounter. Cheesier and lower budgeted, yet fun in the best Z-grade way! 

Awkward groundskeeper Randy (pro wrestler Richie Acevedo) just wanted to make a name for himself as a wrestler, but life has other plans for him; not only do most of his coworkers and family get out of their way to belittle him, but he's also constantly put down and alienated by his clients save for one Becky, who showed him at least a shred of kindness. 

After finding out there's a wrestling camp nearby looking for enrollees, Randy tries out but ends up getting humiliated in a test match gone embarrassingly wrong. Making matters worse, he learns the next day that he's being let go due to him skipping work to attend the try-outs, as well as other incidents including peeping on a bathing chesty home owner. Snapped, Randy vows bloody vengeance the only way he knows how: donning nothing but boots, wrestling underwear tights and a mean attitude that somehow grants him the wrestling prowess he lacked before.

Now, there's no covering the fact that Wrestle Massacre is a low budget production judging from its undoubtedly do-it-yourself quality, but its made with a lively and hammy personality in its direction and plotting that you can't help but feel entertained on how much this movie tries, from the uneven the acting to how cartoonish the killings can get for the sake of blood and guts. 

Story-wise, the horror bits is your standard "gone postal" type, with the main antagonist going axe crazy after life pushed him too far and the film really took its sweet time getting to the juicy bits, bulking up this story is a side plot involving Becky and her partner Erwin's little loan problem for the possible purpose of developing a final girl and proposing additional bodies for the eventual kill count. This is all, again, done with feisty cheese that doesn't promise anything else but guaranteed unintentional laughs, but it does hurt the pacing since it lagged the entire movie from what could have been a serviceable seventy minute story to a hundred minute slay-a-thon with a talky first half.

Thankfully, one Randy puts on the stretchy wrestling briefs and masters the art of wise-cracking, Wrestle Massacre doesn't hold out on the messy kills. Granted, it's not the most realistic looking visceral pile and, yes, some murders can get outrageous (ones involving a spine and a scalping via eating utensil got me laughing), but its in it to be fun and I happen to be the kind of guy who can appreciate that, especially if a chunk of it is done ala rock and roll montage and with a small side of sleaze! And to cater to the wrestling theme, a high percent of the kill here are wrestling moves so there's a good share of brawls before the murder blows. 

Then, for that sweet wrestling fan service, there's also the abundance of cameos from other wrestling stars like the late Manny Fernandez, The Sandman and, funnier even, Jimmy Valiant as some sort of satire of himself and his Boogie Wrestling Camp in real life!

Ending with an out-of-nowhere supernatural twist that frankly reeks of sequel baiting, Wrestle Massacre is a fair budget horror and nothing much else. It's too little of a production to make a mark, but it's entertaining enough to worth at least a single night rental. Try it out if you're curious and get ready to rumble with the Cuban Assassin!

1 male had his throat ripped
1 female had her face peeled off, beaten against a tree
1 elderly male strangled 
1 male had his back crushed against killer's knee
1 elderly male had his neck snapped
1 male killed offcamera
1 male had fingers and an ear torn off, killed
1 male bludgeoned to death with barbells
1 male tossed to a live fusebox, electrocuted
1 male killed via headlock move
1 male had his face shredded with a weed-whacker
1 female had her tongue torn out, killed
1 male disemboweled
1 female had her head stomped flat
1 male scalped with an eating utensil, killed
1 male strangled with his own guts 
1 male had his eyes thumbed
1 male had his head torn off
1 male beaten to death with his own severed leg
1 male stabbed on the throat with a garden shear
1 female had her face flattened with a folding chair
1 male had his spine ripped out 
1 male stabbed on the gut with a stake, head crushed in half with a rock
1 female had her head torn apart by the jaw, shot
1 male shot on the head
Total: 25

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