You are here[LAFF] Review: Saturday Morning Massacre
[LAFF] Review: Saturday Morning Massacre
At the Los Angeles Film Festival, there's a series of movies every year that are categorized as "The Beyond." Shown at these screenings are sometimes bad movies, sometimes good ones, but always the more bizarre or quirky. Films like The History of Future Folk and Saturday Morning Massacre. I always make sure to attend these screenings, and Saturday Morning Massacre didn't disappoint.
Based on the official plot synopsis of the film, the closest I could come to describing the plot was "like an adult version of Scooby Doo;" which, is accurate in a certain sense.
The film revolves around four paranormal investigators (all of whom fit the various roles of Daphne, Velma, Fred and Shaggy), and their dog, who are forced to take a job investigating a haunted mansion to make ends meet. What starts out as another typical investigation for the gang however, slowly turns into something far worse.
That "slowly turns into," is where I have my first complaint, because the audience can sense the plot escalating almost from the outset, but it still takes a quite a bit of time before heads start rolling (quite literally – hey, the movie is called Saturday Morning Massacre). There are a lot of tense scenes scattered throughout the middle of the film, but it isn’t really until the climax that anything of weight really happens in the plot.
Of course, once the proverbial shit does hit the fan, the movie doesn't hold back any punches. There's plenty of blood, plenty of gore and, honestly, some fairly disturbing scenes of mutilation and death; a far cry from the goofy, tongue-in-cheek tone the movie starts out with.
That brings me to my second complaint with the film: it feels somewhat disjointed. The movie overall is a mix of comedy, gore-driven horror, a tense thriller, and at certain points, slick music video choreography (that one sounds strange, but there are honest-to-goodness sequences within the film that could pass as really cool music videos). It's certainly a scattershot of genres to say the least.
Which isn't to say that it does any of these things poorly. When the movie wants to be funny, it’s funny, and when it wants to be slick, it's quite slick, and when it wants to be tense, god damn it, is it tense. It's just that the transition between these tones can be abrupt at times, and I could easily see those who wanted a tense experience bored with the first thirty minutes, and those who wanted a comedy terrified by the last thirty.
This movie is definitely not for everyone; in fact I would say that there are very few who would really appreciate every aspect of it. Luckily, I did enjoy the film overall, despite my complaints. Saturday Morning really is a sort of mashup of different styles and tones, and while the pacing could be a little better, the movie still delivers on a wide range of experiences. For anyone looking for something like that, I can more than recommend this movie.