Heavy Metal Massacre 1989 Review
Posted by Luisito Joaquín González
Heavy Metal Massacre 1989
Directed by: David De Falco
Starring: David De Falco,Sami Plotkin, Americo Carrocio
Review by Luisito Joaquín González
Some guys have all the luck. Yes, indeed. And so do some movies too. Let’s take for example Nail Gun Massacre from 1985. Shot on the tiniest of budgets, it could be packaged and shipped globally to film schools as a lesson on how not to produce a feature. It’s terrible. Despite the fact that it is totally devoid of talent or professionalism, it is one of the most popular slasher movies out there. Why? Well because it’s so damn bad that it transcends criticism and flies into a new arena that makes you kind of appreciate it. It’s like when you sleep so much that you make yourself tired or eat so much that you become more hungry, NGM leaps beyond the borders of rubbish and straight into being a surreal kind of praiseworthy. I’m not aware of the budget that was spent on Terry Lofton’s slasher, but you can rest assured that it made a reasonable profit after the success it achieved on both VHS and DVD. Blue Ray to come next and a long standing reputation as an extremely popular movie. So bad that it’s good? Well yes, exactly.
What I want to explore today is what separates a title that is abysmal but likeable from one that is just plain awful. What is the magic that NGM, Don’t Go In The Woods or Houseboat Horror possess that allows them to rise above titles like Day of the Ax or Blood Lake? Heavy Metal Massacre was released in 1989 and I picked it up for next to nothing in the mid-nineties. For reasons that I’m unable to describe, I never have managed to sit through it to the end, despite trying numerous times. It is yet another a SLASH above exclusive and therefore a complete obscurity that has become very hard to find. Browsing online I noticed that I’m only the second author to post a review of it and the first slasher critic. It is pure back garden filmmaking in every sense of the word, but very collectible because a) it’s a rare slasher film and b) it is a Heavy Metal Horror. The mix of the two means that it should have been tracked down more times than many similarly unknown pictures that popped up and then disappeared during that decade.
On the IMDB, it has an impressive 1.8 rating. That makes it one of the worst films on a site that boasts listing over 2.2 million titles. It was written, produced, financed, edited, acted, marketed, sponsored, decorated and most likely sold door to door by David De Falco who some of you may recognise as the director of The Backlot Murders. He also notched up an awful classless torture porn feature called Chaos and has proven himself to be an interesting person throughout his career. Promoting the aforementioned Chaos from 2005, he is reported to have begun arguing with his audience at a screening of the film and spouted lines like, “I am the king of violence” and “I am the demon!” The former pro-wrestler went on to launch a scathing attack on Roger Ebert, who zero starred his movie, and threw threats at attendees. Later I read that he also verbally abused a fellow blog author and wanted to fight him in a wrestling bout. After hearing this, I began to panic. I mean, should I give Heavy Metal Massacre the full 5 stars in order to prevent myself from getting suplexed by Mr De Falco? Well, I am not much of a wrestler to be fair.
Anyway, moving on. There’s not a great deal in terms of story with this one actually. De Falco plays Bobby Young, a sleaze metal dude who hangs out at The Dungeon, which is a club that caters for sex drugs and rock and roll the eighties way. What he likes doing is picking up hookers or sluts, taking them back to his impressive warehouse sized flat and killing them with a sledge hammer. The friend of one of his victims goes out to try and track him down…
Being that I’m a big fan of slasher movies, I will always go out of my way to try and defend them as an entertainment form. At first, I was hoping that I could say something along the lines that Heavy Metal Massacre is not a million times worse than Bits and Pieces. In fact, they’re even quite similar. But then I began reading about David De Falco’s antics and narcism and I started to dislike the idea of giving his movie any credit.
You see, I don’t enjoy watching some unknown wannabe massage their ego on celluloid, but if it is done in an entertaining way, then I guess that I can live with it. The film starts with a collection of still photos that show ‘Bobby Young’ in various poses. Looking like the not so pretty fifth member of glam metal idols Pretty Boy Floyd, the camera lingers on each picture for at least two minutes before cutting to another from his collection. After a stream that feels like a Picasa slideshow, we eventually get going with our horror film.
HMM is one of those movies that is best watched in parts. It’s poorly paced and has countless moments of nothingness. In fact, I swear 15% of the runtime was just out of focus shots panning the walls of Bobby’s apartment, with some wacky strobe effects and the crunch of a heavy metal six string in the background. Still, somehow though, I wanted to watch it through to the end. It’s from the antagonist as protagonist school of slasher, so the other faces that appear are only included to move the plot from A to B with as little fuss as possible. Oh or to die. I counted a body count of four, which is not too bad, but it kind of felt like a gore film that was missing all the gore. There was one killing that I think was meant to be the money shot. Our Bogeyman ties a (surprisingly hot) chica to a crate and then puts a pair of pliers in her mouth. I was thinking that he was going to pull out her tongue, but in the end it looked like he removed a hair (?). Seriously, I have no idea. Watch the video above and let me know what you think? It’s one hell of a weird special effect.
Perhaps the biggest drawback with the film’s synopsis is that it’s impossible to believe that De Falco’s character is a serial killer at all. He comes across like a mummy’s boy and in all honesty, a bit of a geek. He lacks any kind of screen presence and seems shy, so frankly I couldn’t buy in to the whole insane lunatic thing. The threadbare plot attempts to incorporate a couple of cops that are on the case of the cocaine snorting killer, but it’s written unrealistically and clearly by someone who has no idea of police procedure. For example they’re hunting a mad man that has slaughtered various people (one with a chainsaw) and when a witness calls up and says that she may have him in her home, they say, “Ok try and stall him and we’ll be there soon”. Really? Stall a maniacal killer? Isn’t that a tad dangerous? It does soon become very clear that the whole picture is just a vanity showcase for a guy with a few dollars who thinks that he has star potential.
In a twisted way, we should all aspire to be like David De Falco. The guy is so confident that he has been a wrestler, director and has never given up on his (and only his) belief that he has something to offer the world as a celebrity. He’s also on Twitter where he updates his 81 followers about what he gets up to on a daily basis. The songs for the movie were performed by a group called The Electric Afterburner band. I would bet you my last dollar that our friend De Falco was involved with them too. To have that much self belief is impressive, but sadly in his place it’s slightly delusional.
So what I learned from my experiment was that not every movie can be so bad that it’s good. Some of them are just plain bad. Heavy Metal Massacre is one of those. It’s not inadvertently funny, it’s not cool, It’s just absolute tosh. Don’t bother with it…
Posted on February 2, 2013, in Pure Eighties Cheese, Slasher and tagged 1989, a SLASH above exclusive, cheesy wotsit, Heavy Metal Massacre, heavy metal slasher, Rare Slasher. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.