Pool Party Massacre Blu-ray Review
Written by ZigZag
Blu-ray released by Floating Eye Films
Written and directed by Drew Marvick
2016, 80 minutes, Not Rated
Blu-ray released on April 20th, 2017
Kristin Noel McKusick as Blair Winthorpe
Margaux Némé as Nancy
Alexis Adams as Tiffany
Jennifer Marvick as Kelly
Destiny Faith Nelson as Jasmine
Crystal Stoney as Britney
Leanna Vamp as Mrs. Stevens
Trevor Layne as Chet
Mark Justice as Troy
It’s summertime and the only thing hotter out there than the weather are the babes chillin’ poolside. Blair has invited her friends over for a killer pool party, loaded with music and alcohol and best of all – No Boys! Unfortunately, two things stand in the way of this gathering being righteous; Tiffany has invited her boyfriend Troy, who in turn has invited his brother, Chet. Even worse, there is a homicidal maniac on the loose in Blair’s house, making anyone who ventures inside instantly regret it. Using a wide array of garden tools (pronounced murder weapons) the unseen killer cuts, stabs, slices, dices, and whacks his way from one bitchy bimbo to the next until he is face to face with someone who may be his ultimate match – a Final Girl.
Writer/ director Drew Marvick makes his feature debut with Pool Party Massacre, a fast-paced throwback to the slasher films of days gone by. He knows how to stage a clever twist on an old game and yet manage to include virtually every cliché in the book. His familiarity with the genre works in an “everything wrong is right” homage manner of speaking. The inclusion of the bitchy friends, the red-herrings, the inventive killer and the nosy neighbor are all here and their actions are set to a rocking soundtrack. The makeup effects are a bit spotty at times when it comes to something as basic as blood, in that it frequently runs very thin or is closer in color to orange than red. The real star of this picture is the location; the house is insane and the pool is badass.
The characters are as thin as cardboard archetypes, the cast is challenged by words running more than one sentence - and yet the kills are plentiful and certain to get a reaction from audiences when viewed in groups. Where the picture really shines is Brian Mills’ cinematography and Marvick would be wise to keep him close for all future ventures. Pool Party Massacre never aspires to be a deep message movie; rather it embraces the very nature of being an ode to slasher films and runs the material to the max. It’s the charm and simplistic sincerity that carries it through its brisk eighty-minute running time. I can beat up on the lousy acting, the bloated dialogue, the lack of any sense of friendship among the characters and yet still kind of be okay with recommending the title. I will admit that the when I watched the film by myself it received a few smiles, but a few days later I shared it with a room full of friends and there was much laughter.
Video and Audio:
Presented in the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio, this film looks terrific. Colors are strong and there is a nice level of detail, particularly in close-ups that offer surprising clarity. The transfer is strong and this works at times against the make-up effects but otherwise shines.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 presentation is well balanced with strong dialogue tracks and equally impressive music and effects mix. Everything is clear and never distorted, though the center channel gets the biggest workout of all.
English subtitles are included for anyone in need.
There are two audio commentaries on this disc. The first features assorted members of the cast discussing their work on the picture and feeling pretty good about the end product. The second track is much stronger and easily recommended, as the director is joined by his mother for some informative discussions on the making of this picture.
Drew Marvick hosts a behind the scenes featurette (7 minutes) that reveals everyone having a good time on set. He has a great sense of humor and seems like a genuinely nice guy you could have a beer with. One telling moment in his intro comes when he refers to the title as Pool Party Massacre Part 1.
The best segment on this disc is the Location Tour (10 minutes) in which Marvick again displays his comic talent with an informative and entertaining room-by-room tour of the house. This piece is a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out.
A gag reel (5 minutes) offers a dose of flubbed lines and cast members cracking up for your viewing pleasure.
Sadly, the trailer has not been included.