Chainsaw Sally Movie Review
Written by Steve Pattee
DVD released by Shock-O-Rama Cinema
What the fuck is wrong with you, girly girl? – Sally
Written and directed by Jimmyo Burril
2004, Region 1 (NTSC), 83 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on February 27th, 2007
April Monique Burril as Sally
Mark Redfield as Steve Kellerman
Alec Joseph as Ruby
David R. Calhoun as Harvey Benton
Kristen Hudson as Cynthia Prescott
Gunnar Hansen as Daddy
Herschell Gordon Lewis as Mr. Gordon
By day, Sally (April Monique Burril) is a mild-mannered librarian, quick to hush those who get a little too loud in her quiet library.
But at night, Sally turns into a chainsaw-wielding vixen, quick to permanently quiet those who have wronged her, or her library.
When Sally finds out the new stranger in town, Steve (Mark Redfield – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), owns the property where she and her brother are living, she gets a little concerned.
Things even get more complicated when she finds out Steve's been offered a large sum of money for the place she calls home.
Whatever will Sally do?
In 2003, at the local horror convention, HorrorFind, I saw this hot little number walking around. She was wearing a feather boa, a tight shirt that was more cleavage than cloth, shorty short shorts and a combination of striped socks and torn stockings covering her legs.
She was hot to trot, and I first thought she was just a random fan of horror.
Oh, no. She was promoting her upcoming movie, Chainsaw Sally. I was sold. I was ready to buy a copy.
I was ready to buy a copy when I saw her at Chiller Theater Expo 2003. And HorrorFind 2004. And 2005. And 2006.
It seemed the movie was never coming out.
But, finally, on February 27th, Chainsaw Sally hit the shelves.
So, was it worth the wait? Well, yeah. Yeah, it was.
The first thing that struck me about Sally is how incredibly likeable April Monique Burril is. So likeable, sometimes it's really hard to buy her as an evil chainsaw-wielder because some of her best scenes in the movie take place when she's not slicing and dicing. For example, there's a really great scene with Sally and Steve walking along in a park, having a discussion about Batman. Oddly, for a horror film, this is one of the best scenes in the entire movie, as both Burril and Mark Redfield, who plays Steve, are completely natural in it. She is shy, bookish, mischievous and even a little sexy all in this scene, and it impressed the hell out of me. And don't get me wrong, April Monique Burril is sexy, no matter what, but the park scene didn't call for it, so she had to tone it down.
But if there were no Chainsaw Sally, and only Bookish Betty, there would be a lot of great lines from Sally lost in the film, lines she delivers so well that you can't help but laugh out loud. Granted, some are on the corny side, but that's okay because Sally is very much tongue-in-cheek schlock. But there are more than a few times when I laughed in spite of myself, having as much of a good time with the film as the filmmakers surely intended.
If there's one thing that hurt the movie, it's the character Ruby, Sally's brother. A budding transvestite, the character is completely over the top and more than annoying. The script has enough moments of humor in it that the forced humor of Ruby's character is completely unneeded. I don't blame Alec Joseph, the actor, as it wasn't him. The entire character was just not funny.
Yet. Ruby didn't bring the movie completely down. Especially with some cool cameos by horror icons Herschell Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast) and Gunnar Hansen (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre). Don't let the box cover fool you, kids, Hansen has just a cameo. But what a nice cameo it is.
As mentioned, Sally is meant to be fun. If you go into it looking for a serious horror movie, you are going to be disappointed. There are some very well executed scenes, mind you — such as a two fantastic parts at the end, one involving a hotel room blood bath and one involving a guy in a basement with a nail gun, and a guy on the first floor avoiding the nails. Considering the tone of most of the movie, these two scenes almost seemed out of place. Almost. They worked with the film, though, because obviously writer/director Jimmyo Burril was saving us the best for last.
Audio, video and special features will not be graded, as this is a screener.
An outstanding performance by newcomer April Monique Burril and a fun time all around makes Chainsaw Sally a great purchase for fans of B-movie schlock.
(Equipment includes a Mitsubishi WS-48613 48” HDTV, Sony DVP-CX875P DVD player and Onkyo HTS-770 Home Theater System and, in some cases, a Sony 27” WEGA TV and a Sony DVP-NS50P DVD player.)
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