17th Jun2020

‘Wrestlemassacre’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Richie Acevedo, Tony Atlas, Julio Bana Fernandez, Jason John Beebe, Renee Dupree, Nikolai Volkoff, Jimmy Valiant, Daniel Brooks, David Curtis, Eric Danger Dionne, James L. Edwards, Cayt Feinics, Manny Fernandez, Jimmy Flame, Jim Fullington, Joseph Gardner, Luba Hansen, Rick Jermain, Brandy Mason, Rosanna Nelson | Written by Brad Twigg, Julio Bana Fernandez, Matthew L. Furman, Rosanna Nelson | Directed by Brad Twigg

When someone says the words “horror” and “wrestling” in one sentence, my ears tend to prick up like a werewolf in a meat-wagon. I, of course, couldn’t resist Wrestlemassacre, based purely on the premise and… that title. I’ve been burned before, but hey, we all suffer for the things we love.

Directed by Brad Twigg (Ghoulish Tales, Killer Campout) who also penned the story, with additional writing from Julio Bana Fernandez, Matthew L. Furman and Rosanna Nelson, this is a tale of a groundskeeper named Randy (not Savage or Orton) who is obsessed with the weird and wonderful world of professional wrestling. His desire to become a wrestling superstar is thwarted when he’s humiliated at a wrestling school, and thus begins Randy’s switch into becoming a homicidal, genocidal, death-dealing maniac who uses his rage to take down those who messed with him. It’s a blood-soaked revenge no-budget horror flick, with blood, guts and gore aplenty. I mean, on paper… what’s not to like? Did it work, though, as a movie?

Well… pretty much, yes. I thought Wrestlemassacre was a blast. The problem I’ve had in the past with horror and pro-wrestling mixing, is that the films haven’t really used the pro-wrestling world to it’s potential in the storyline, but that isn’t the case here. It has a wrestling themed story at it’s heart, a pile of pro-wrestlers making random appearances from time-to-time – including Tony Atlas, Renee Dupree, The Sandman (under his real name Jim Fullington) and Nikolai Volkoff; and there’s even a bit of a love story in here too, just in case you were wondering.

The practical horror effects are on-point here, especially for a film with a micro-budget. I was pleased to see such effort put into that, because I’ve often seen cheap digital effects used in low-budget horror, and it’s often the downfall of things, when blood appears in pixelated spots on someone’s shirt, I go cold inside. Here… you’ll find plenty to lick your horror-loving lips to, because this really is an homage to horror and wrestling, and I was charmed by that very fact. I mean, sure… this isn’t perfect. It suffers from some slow parts, plenty of dodgy acting, and I wanted some more depth to the overall story, but I do feel I’m nitpicking a bit there, because this was a lot better than I’d expected walking in. I mean, did I cringe at some of the dialogue and wooden interactions? Yes… yes I did. But did I also giggle at how much I was enjoying it regardless? Yes.

Richie Acevedo (The Cuban Assassin, to wrestling fans) did a damn good job as Randy, and managed to carry the majority of the film on his broad shoulders. I was pretty surprised at that, but I enjoyed the hell out of him and his story. I did get a kick out of seeing random wrestlers appear, but their parts were generally limited and short. Probably a good idea. Not all wrestlers are The Rock, after all.

A solid and fun slice of gore, with much credit to the special effects team and Twigg himself, Wrestlemassacre delivers a higher quality than most in its very-specific sub-sub-sub-genre. It’s flawed, sure, but if you’re aware of low-budget horror, and a fan of pro-wrestling, then you might be surprised at just how bloody enjoyable this is.

*** 3/5

Wrestlemassacre is out now on digital and DVD from Wild Eye Releasing.

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