When I read a plot summary of this one, I was prepared to hate it. For reasons unknown, I hunted down a copy... and loved it. As a film student, I know about the horrors of film editing. But until now, I didn't think a decent movie could be made about the trials and tribulations of the editing room... Well, this movie isn't exactly decent, but it's certainly entertaining at times.
Ed is a normal film editor who one day, *shudder* gets transferred to the "splatter and gore" department. His new boss, Sam Campbell, explains to him that he must cut some of the more explicit scenes from the "Loose Limbs" series of films so they won't get an x-rating. They've set up shop for him elsewhere, and he packs his bags and starts butchering the films. His wife calls and asks him about his assignment. He tells her she doesn't want to know, and of course she insists that she does. So he tells her it's about a guy who rapes a woman using a beaver, then blows her head off with a bazooka. *chuckle* Nice.
Ed, obviously not a horror fan, begins having disturbing hallucinations. The bread he is cutting becomes a severed arm for an instant, and there's a gremlin-like creature living in the fridge. His boss show up and turns into a demon, which Ed promptly kills. Suddenly he realizes he's killed his boss, and hides the body in the doghouse. At this point he starts enjoying the films, and the hallucinations become more and more frequent. I won't spoil any more of it.
This is a really unique and entertaining film. The first half sort of drags, mainly due to the atrocious acting. The clips of the "Loose Limbs" films Ed is editing are amusing, but not after seeing/hearing the same clips over and over at varying speeds... All the film-clip villains were dubbed by Bill Moseley, and they're some of the funnier parts of the movie. There's a lot of in-jokes here, see below for a list... The special effects are pretty cool, there's demons, severed arms, foot amputation, machine gun fights...
The script could've been tightened up a bit, and there's a few slow spots, but really the only thing keeping this movie from greatness was the acting. And geez, most of it was bad. But overall, I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. The underlying censorship theme is great too, it pokes fun at the censors who think we'll all turn into raving, drooling lunatics if we aren't "protected" from violent films. And most of all, it pokes fun at itself. The characters are completely stereotypical, the "Loose Limbs" segments are totally ludicrous, and it all leads to a fun black comedy with a campy and cartoonish feel.
Allow me to recap in case I lost you there... atrocious acting (I've read that all the actors are soap stars somewhere, go figure...), not-so-great script, decent directing, amusing in jokes, unique social commentary, neat-o special effects.
Some of the references:
- Evil Dead-title rhymes with Evil Ed, boss Sam Campbell, reference to Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, one of the thugs grabs a crowbar out of the trunk, looks at it and says, "Groovy...", Evil Dead 2 poster seen in 3 different places, some camerawork similar to where the Evil is chasing Ash while the boss is chasing Ed, a directly-quoted Ash pose when the film delivery guy is about to shoot Ed, the scene where Ed grabs a saw to cut up his boss
- posters: Evil Dead 2, The Fly, Prince of Darkness, Phantasm, Cape Fear, Critters
- Gremlins-the thing in the fridge
- boss/demon-Tim Curry's character in Legend
- Blue Velvet-quote "Don't you fucking look at me!"
- Night of the Living Dead-Ed's wife is named Barbara, and at one point he says "I'm coming to get you, Barbara!"
- Silence of the Lambs-in the scene in the theatre, the girl says "Who do you think you are, Hannibal the cannibal?"
- Reanimator, Bride of Reanimator-in the psychiatric ward, someone says "Dr. West, paging Dr. West" over the intercom.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre-nothing direct, but it does have Bill Moseley (Chop Top from TCM2) yelling, "Where in the fuck's my chainsaw?"
- Dr. Giggles-the "Loose Limbs 5" clip