New Horror Releases: Pool Party Massacre (2017) - Reviewed

Available to order on DVD, VHS, and Blu-ray is the micro budget horror film Pool Party Massacre, written and directed by Drew Marvick on a budget of roughly $6,000. Despite minimal funding, it succeeds in paying tribute to the 80’s VHS slasher era while being placed into a more modern setting, dishing out a blend of blood, babes, sex, and humor that is reminiscent of Slumber Party Massacre meets Clueless. In it, a new type of killer emerges that has to be considered one of the most unique ones in slasher lore, creating a Frankenstein-like creation that combines characteristics of Zach Galifianakis and Freddy Krueger together.

Socialite Blaire Winthrop’s parents go on vacation and she decides to have a pool party with her rich and very spoiled friends. An unknown slasher shows up and ruins the party, picking them off one by one. It pretty much follows the standard tropes of the slasher subgenre, except the third act is slightly different. It would be labeled as more horror-comedy than a straight horror movie, as it is built more for laughs than scares. The dialogue and situations are chock full of sexual content, pop culture references, and rich girl attitude that the viewers will either love or hate. 

As with most indie productions, the acting is a mixed bag. The good thing is that none of the actors were required to deliver any dramatic sequences, thus hiding any potential weaknesses in their acting. Nick Byer takes on the bulk of the comedic moments and stands out as a bright spot in the performances, delivering several funny scenes as a mustachioed horn dog. Drew Marvick steals the show and is absolutely hilarious in his role, unfortunately his dialogue and on screen time is minimal. He should have been in there more, but it would have most likely added to the length of the picture and overall structure. 

The events in the movie take place during the day in sunny Nevada, making use of the natural light during the day time. The picture quality also looks excellent, giving the impression of high quality on a minimal budget. The location is outstanding and instantly ups the production value, taking place in a large immaculate house that features a beautiful pool in the backyard. The score is a mixture of modern music that ranges from 80s style rock, to hip-hop, to the typical slasher type of score. The two highlights include the opening song from Horse the Band and the end credits song from the musical comedy duo Sam & Bill. Horse the Band’s sound is inspired by 1980’s 8-bit video games and the opening titles for the film are an 8-bit video game created for the picture. Combined they work brilliantly. Sam & Bill’s end credits song is “Pool Party” and is simply a wonderful theme song for Pool Party Massacre

That cocktail looks very refreshing!

There is more than enough gore to satiate hardcore gore fans. The body count is high and the kills are all creative, with most of them occurring on screen. The effects all look decent for the budget that they had. There are issues with the effects that will ultimately bother some viewers, such as the color and thickness of the blood, and how realistic the kill scenes actually look. But overall, they are actually quite respectable for the amount of money that they had to work with. 

Due to be released on Amazon digital in early May and iTunes in early June, fans of 80’s horror and homage films should fall in love with Pool Party Massacre. It has all of the required parts; there is a high kill count, creative deaths, nudity, and the added bit of humor. Let’s hope that it does well enough to convince Marvick to revisit the character, so we can get Pool Party Massacre 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Invite your friends to the pool party!

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