11th Jun2019

‘Pool Party Massacre’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Alexis Adams, Sally Burnswello, Nick Byer, Paul Card, Dora Deceuninck, Jimmy Grosse, Mark Justice, Trevor Layne, Drew Marvick, Jenifer Marvick, Kristin Noel McKusick, John Molinaro, Destiny Faith Nelson | Written and Directed by Drew Marvick


So, if a movie opens with a cut throat, followed by an 8-bit video game style opening beneath the screams of punk rock… erm… count me in!

The 80s inspirations of Pool Party Massacre are evident from the outset. It never takes itself too seriously. It’s part comedy and part schlocky horror, and it’s a pile of fun. I’ve heard people mention it being like an 1980s slasher meshed with a Mean Girls type high school flick, and I can see why. It has funny and ridiculous dialogue, practical and over-the-top gore and a plot that doesn’t do anything new yet is paced well and hits the spot. I think many fans of the old-school slasher-horror films, from Sleepaway Camp to Halloween, will find plenty to enjoy about Pool Party Massacre.

Nudity, silly and gross kill-scenes and heavy metal music fills this flick, as we see a pool party of characters get taken down by hammers, saws and a while variety of toolshed items. We have the typical older guy who is comical and overly-sexual, we have the meanest of mean girls, we have the decent-hearted character that we can root for. It has the tropes we’ve seen time and time again throughout the years. If it isn’t broken, why fix it? I guess that would be the point of this movie, as well as it being a sleeve-hearted love-letter to the 1980s period of the horror genre.

The performances are hit and miss. There are some that are so silly and corny, yet they work so well in the setting and tone of the movie. Some are less energetic and feel a tad out of place. It’s just one of those things we’ve come to expect in lower budget horror flicks. It is what it is.

The score works. It’s a mixture of punk and metal along with some electronic sound design reminiscent of 80s thrillers. The repeated mention of the 80s, by the way, would perhaps make you think that the film is set in that decade, but it isn’t. It’s set in modern time, which I feel a little split about. Part of me likes the modern edge with the 80s feel, but a big part of me wishes the whole thing was set in the 80s, with music from the decade, and even a flickering VHS look over the film. But then this wouldn’t be the movie that it is, so I digress.

Director and writer Drew Marvick did a good job here. He has a real sense of humour and a telling love for horror, and it shines in most of the scenes in the movies 80 minute runtime. It will be interesting to see what Marvick does in the future, and if he sticks with his nostalgic and old-school tone. If he does, I will definitely be watching.

If you ever wanted to see a pizza delivery guy get gutted after saying the words “you’re not going to kill me with that thing, are you bro?”. If you ever found yourself wanting to see a scene in which a guy in a Hawaiian shirt is masturbating on the toilet and finds himself being drilled through the chest, well, you found the film for you. Pool Party Massacre is about as unapologetic and sarcastic as you can get, and it works very well. It’s a fun homage to a genre I have great fondness for. If you feel like a little blast of slasher fun, then this is well worth watching.


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