• Babysitter Massacre



    Released by: Independent Entertainment
    Released on: October 15, 2013.
    Director: Henrique Couto
    Cast: Erin R. Ryan, Marylee Osborne, Haley Madison
    Year: 2013
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    The Movie:

    Written and directed by Henrique Couto, 2012’s Babysitter Massacre is pretty much EXACTLY what it looks like, at least on a surface level. The storyline follows a young woman named Angela (Erin R. Ryan) who is hosting a Halloween party. Her nice friend Cassandra (Haley Madison) shows up followed up her bitchy friend Arlene (Tara Clark), who can’t wait for her boyfriend to show up. Others are supposedly en route, but hitting a big party downtown first so these three are just going to hang out and wait for a while until they get the text message giving them the go ahead to come pick them up. In the interim, someone has dropped off a box of lingerie and the girls are goofing around trying it on, much to the delight of Mr. Walker (Geoff Burkman), the kindly older man with ties to the girls’ past who lives across the street and keeps tabs on them.

    And they do get some text messages, mostly with gory photos of their friends attached. Of course, they figure these girls are just showing off their impressively gory Halloween makeup and goofing around but then tough girl Bianca (Marylee Osborne) shows up. You see, all of these girls and a few others were part of a babysitters club about ten years or so back. One of their own was killed while out trick or treating with Bianca and now it she’s seen that same killer, a man in green overalls and white cloth covering his face, stalking the streets of their otherwise quiet Ohio town. Maybe those camera phone pictures weren’t Halloween costumes after all…

    Babysitter Massacres drinks deep from the well of slashers past, conjuring up familiar memories of movies like Slumber Party Massacre and The House On Sorority Row and even going so far as to name checking Sorority House Massacre II. At the same time, it does a decent job of updating this ridiculously contrite and clichéd premise and bringing it into the modern day, the use of the camera phone as a framing device for many of the murder set pieces being the main way that’s accomplished. Of course, that’s not the reason you go into a movie like this but it’s worth mentioning in that it turns out to be a fairly clever way to incorporate modern technology into what is more or less an eighties era throwback.

    Why you turn to a movie like his, for the most part, is the nudity and the gore. On that level, the movie delivers. Right in the opening scene we get a curvy cutie out of her clothes and into the bath before taking her out… and we’re off and running from there. Nudity is plentiful and wanton and the gore scenes are nasty enough to work. The movie shifts from fairly playful to decidedly malicious in the last twenty minutes, and the fairly drastic change in tone might take some by surprise but that’s how it goes regardless. The acting is fairly average for a low budget movie, though Marylee Osborne manages to show some range taking a stereotypical tough girl character and giving her a bit of believable emotion. The rest of the characters are fairly standard, though not unlikeable. Ultimately there isn’t a whole lot of suspense here and as a horror movie, this isn’t going to blow you away. As a leering, trashy exploitation with some random moments of humor contrasting in strange ways with the more serious murder set pieces, however, it’s interesting and entertaining enough.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen presentation offers good black levels and nice, lifelike color reproduction. The shot on digital video movie is nice and clean, and the disc is well authored so there aren’t any serious compression issues. Some light banding and minor shimmer pops up here and there but otherwise, this looks good.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, the only option, is fine. Dialogue is generally easy to understand and while there are a couple of spots where the levels jump, these are rare exceptions. Overall the movie sounds pretty good, music is used well and the sound effects come through with appropriate gooiness. There are no subtitles or closed captioning options provided.

    Extras are ridiculously plentiful on this disc, beginning with the audio commentary from Henrique Couto and a few of the actresses whose talents he employs in the feature. This is a busy talk with Couto leading the charge, the ladies more or less following his lead and filling the blanks. They cover pretty much all the basics here – casting, effects, locations, and of course, nude scenes. This is well paced and fun to listen to.

    Also on the disc is a "Behind the Massacre” featurette that brings us on set and shows off the making of the movie. Couto keeps things local and also gives us some footage from the movie’s premiere, a ‘Director’s Talk’ and two short films: Completely Defective and Best Part of Dayton.
    Rounding out the extras are a selection of deleted scenes, some outtakes and bloopers and a load of trailers for other IE releases. Menus and chapter stops are included as well.

    The Final Word:

    This was, unexpectedly, a lot more fun than it probably should have been. It offers up all the required elements of the ‘girls in lingerie getting killed’ style slasher film – gore and big time nudity being the most obvious ones – and effectively transports a movie that, ideologically speaking at least, belongs in the eighties and brings it into the modern day. It’s sleazy, it’s occasionally nasty, but so too is it sometimes strangely comedic. The DVD offers up this low budget movie in surprisingly good shape and with some solid extra features as well.