An Evil Backyard Barbecue in “Garden Party Massacre” review!

Caleb and Addison are having a party with a small gathering of friends, and a few enemies, to enjoy a hotdog cookout in their charming garden backyard. Caleb only has one strict stipulation that all cell phones be prohibited in order for everyone attending to live in the moment. Things seem to be proceeding relative well: the beef and vegan wienies are grilled to perfection, the wine flows freely to and fro, and a love triangle arises for a possible romantic outcome for a pair of singletons. What small party doesn’t expect is a pickaxe wielding manic strolling through their backyard and crashing the festivities. With one person dead and the rest trapped inside the house, a wide range of survival hypotheses begin to kick in, squashing the idyllic soiree into panic frenzy molded by a very tall, very deranged house circling murderer.

Gregory Blair’s “Garden Party Massacre” is the 2017 horror-comedy that takes progressive comedy back a decade when material was simpler, straight forward, and where satire reigns supreme from casual conversation. Blair, who not only directed, but also penned the script, is one of those recognizable names and faces entrenched into the independent film grid with credits like 2013’s “Ooga Booga” and, directing one of Its Bloggin’ Evil’s personal favorites, “Deadly Revisions,” starring Bill Oberst Jr so this will be our second PIX/SEE Productions film coverage. “Garden Party Massacre” has been on this reviewers radar for about three years now and Blair’s sophomore feature film takes a lighter approach to horror that’s more beneficially cliché, designed to be safe in the story, and still able to provide generous humor. Just as quirky as it’s titled, “Garden Party Massacre” won’t be an aggressive avalanche of bodies and blood to consume so the highly squeamish audiences can sit and tolerate the sludge-fast bloodletting to nearly the credits with a steady amount of Gregory Blair etched absurdity to push those horror-intolerants forward.

Caleb and Addison extend beyond a couple’s normal range of quarreling. Their verbally combative relationship breaks hyperbole levels on the most mundane and trivial things couples argue over. Andy Gates (“The Blessed Ones”) and Nichole Bagby hash it out as two estranged lovers at each other’s throat that becomes a candy coated resonation of the very real reality of relationship woes. They’re each joined by a pair of friends that have previously established a relationship with them as part of their character’s background. David Leeper plays Wesley, a gay friend of the couple who also is on the Caleb’s softball team, who is perhaps the most rational character in the pack and brings another teammate to the party, Lincoln, as a possible match to his testosterone desires. Gregory Blair goes full on fool with Lincoln’s thick skull persona and the writer-director is spot on as also co-star in his role. The other established friend is Reena, a role presided by fellow “Dead Revisions” star Lisa Hart who has rash moments of exaggeration, but the timing is good for her character who serves as the odd woman out of the group. Then, “RoboWoman” herself, Dawna Lee Heising, enters the picture as Melanie, the obnoxious friend with a hankering for Lincoln’s man meat, and Heisings brings her delectable indie-horror presence to the folding table and lawn chairs! Other garden partygoers includes Matt Weinglass and Marv Blauvelt (“Snake with a Human Tail”).

“Garden Party Massacre” lampoons traditional genre tropes, highlighting the flaws and exaggerating their characteristics, and director Gregory Blair purposefully intended on constructing this fun and bubbly example of how silly the situational elements can be and, sometimes are, despite the pickaxe psycho lurking around outside and the whole neighborhood turning upside down when the sudden zombie apocalypse comes spilling into their backyard like spilt lemonade. Blair pokes fun in a homaging kind of way and that’s quite endearing. However, the character dynamic became stale faster than day old bread as scene-after-scene was nearly all about bashing the other person. Someone comes up with a plan and judgement rears an ugly head. Someone heeds a warning and, again, ridicule rolls right off the tongue. After one receives their fill of colorful raillery, Lincoln’s blockish guilelessness becomes the drug of choice and a root for character.

SGL Entertainment and MVDVisual layout the picnic for “Garden Party Massacre” onto an all region DVD presented widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. Imagine presentation has all the digital pros and without any night shots, the digital noise has virtually no ground to flicker. Coloring and skin tones looks natural, aside from the obvious blue-ish green makeup of the zombies, and didn’t catch really any distortions to note. The English language stereo 2.0 surround sound favors the dialogue fairly well, upfront and with authority, but the ambience tracks, such as the birds chirping especially, are intrusive at times. There’s faint feedback at times during screaming moments. The runtime clocks in at 70 minutes and includes extras such as a music video to the film’s trashy-punk theme song, which is sung by “Constantine’s” Peter Stormare oddly enough, and trailers. “Garden Party Massacre” is the recipient of 9 film festival awards, including Best Comedy and Best Film, and rightfully so considering being a purposeful caricature mockup of horror well executed by Gregory Blair and crew.

Garden Gnomes and Killer Psychos in “Garden Party Massacre!” Buy at

Evil Lies and Waits Under A Blanket of Amnesia! “Deadly Revisions” review!

Popular horror screenwriter Grafton Torn wakes up screaming in a hospital room and suffering from amnesia, unable to recall how he ended up lying face down at the bottom of his stairs. His special effects friend, Deter, offers Grafton his woodsy cabin, isolated from town, to relax from the extreme nightmares that plague him. Soon Grafton’s nightmares become a blur between dream and reality, constantly causing him to question his sanity when movie prop objects go missing, unexplainable mental blackouts, and visions of people brutally murdered. Grafton must sift through the bitter memories of his separation with his wife Cat and ghastly manifestations of horror to seek the truth of his insanity or he’ll die trying.
I spent my New Years Eve night with Bill Oberst Jr. and his performance in the horror-thriller “Deadly Revisions” was better than gazing at explosively colorful fireworks. While the rest of the drunkard world partied stupidly away, counting down the year’s end, “Deadly Revisions” had been summoning me with a familiar “Evil Dead” cabin in the ominous woods gracing the front cover art. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from the Gregory Blair directed film because of the SGL Entertainment distribution company whom usually acquires and distributes low-end independent horror that’s generally amiss favorably. And even though that ominous front cover cabin in the woods wasn’t exactly ominous in the actual movie, this SGL production deemed to be a diamond in the most dirtiest of roughs; a shining example proving that all is not what is seems.
Just the mere name Grafton Torn sounds like name of a Bill Oberst Jr. character role, but the character seemed even keeled and intelligently acute to his surroundings which doesn’t usually fit the bill of Bill’s unusual characters. Just in recollecting previous films, Oberst played numerous zany characters such as a crazed werewolf in “Werewolf Rising,” a zombie news reporter in “Zombie World,” and a murderous child rapist in “Krampus: The Christmas Devil.” Though Oberst portrays lunacy frighteningly well, he outperformed his other more enthusiastic roles with Grafton Torn by composing himself properly and being more reactive to the possibility of insanity.
Where in the world did Gregory Blair come from? Blair certainly has a talented eye for the horror genre or at least an inspired taste to shape and mold a familiar setting with horror fans. The latter is more likely with minor characters suggestively named after horror icons; such characters are named Nurse Voorhees (Jason Voorhees reference) and Doctor Myers (Michael Myers reference). With no previous directorial credits to his name, “Deadly Revisions” is the freshman film for Blair under the direction and penmanship categories. Well edited, great angles, and quality effects contribute to a well received viewing. The long time actor also had a minor role in the film and helped produce the film in conjunction with PIX/SEE Productions, capturing a few awards during “Deadly Revisions” two-year journey to home video, including a win for Best Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Movie Awards and Best Screenplay at the Terror Film Festival.
The story will keep one guessing and, technically, the ending goes unforeseen. Blair’s puzzling horror-thriller produces bluffs upon bluffs upon bluffs, manufacturing an unpredictable and murky ending. Blair quickly jabs in minor hints to the finale that don’t TKO until the end and his writing scheme and direction puts the unwitting protagonist Grafton, and the unwitting viewer, in a whirlwind state of total confusion and distressing fear that’s highly valuable for a film with restricted independent capacities. Even though “Deadly Revisions” took shape in 2013, the DVD didn’t hit shelves until 2015 and I can frankly state that “Deadly Revisions” has one of the best narratives I’ve seen this past year in independent horror.
“Deadly Revisions” makes the 2015 underrated list for sure. Technically and entertainingly, the Gregory Blair and Bill Oberst Jr. collaboration models a damn good thrilling story. Don’t be fooled by the generically tacky DVD cover art; instead, make the effort go forward with this reviewer’s positive recommendation and be pleasantly surprised and delightfully terrified. If a negative comment had to be made about this film, the DVD quality could use some work with the darker digitally shot scenes. Posterization and noise clout much of the night time scenes, annoying creating a speckled blob effect that briefly causes narrative loss – a familiarity with the likes of SGL Productions.