• Violence Movie, The

    Released by: MVD Rewind
    Released on: May 8th, 2018.
    Director: Eric D. Wilkinson
    Cast: Joseph Shaugnessy, David E. Wilkinson, Eric D. Wilkinson, Michael Kahn
    Year: 1988
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    The Movie:

    Armed with only a camcorder, some Halloween props, a bottle of ketchup and what clearly looked like a distinct lack of adult supervision, Eric Wilkinson and his brother David teamed up with friend Joseph Shaugnessy in the summer of 1988 to bring to the world…. The Violence Movie. Made as a blatant knock off (or homage, if you prefer) of various slasher classics, the picture managed to gain a bit of a name for itself in tape trading circles. And now? MVD releases the film and its sequel on a special edition DVD. This is truly an age of miracles in which we live.

    The Violence Movie:

    This near-plotless fourteen-minute short film opens with a guy named Joey (Shaugnessy) driving home in his car listening to a hot new jam on the radio called ‘Hey Dentist.’ This is interrupted by a news report wherein we learn that a homicidal maniac has recently escaped from a mental hospital and is known to be in the area – he’s to be considered very dangerous.

    Joey goes home and soon enough finds said maniac (David E. Wilkinson) prowling around his house. This fiend is so fiendish that he even kills Joey’s best friend (who enters Joey’s backyard by yelling out ‘Hey Joey, it’s me… your best friend!’). First he puts on a Freddy Kruger mask but after that gets torn off of his face he puts on a Jason mask. Joey and the killer fight, Joey wins. The end.

    There’s no story here, it’s basically a fight scene, but it does feature two teenagers throwing mannequins out the window and getting up to various activities their parents would probably have frowned upon. This was clearly made for no money using only what they had lying around but despite the fact that the killer runs around in Freddy and Jason masks, there’s some inspired moments here. You’ve got to appreciate the enthusiasm that went into getting this goofy little picture made. All involved were clearly having a great time and that does translate to the audience. Is it going to win over those who don’t already have a soft spot for this type of thing? No, it isn’t, but if you appreciate low budget backyard horror pictures, it’s hard not to have a good time with this one. Considering it was shot in twenty-four hours with a rented camcorder and never meant to be seen by the public in the first place, it’s pretty cool that this even exists at all.

    The Violence Movie 2:

    Read the plot description for the first movie, change radio news cast to TV newscast featuring a kid anchor man with a killer mullet, throw in a genuinely dangerous fight on a rooftop and a scene where Joey drags the killer behind his car and you’re more or less good here. This one does run a but longer at roughly nineteen-minutes, but it’s still pretty short.

    Story wise, this is pretty much a repeat of the first movie, but this sequel is actually the better of the two movies. The stunts are kinda-sorta impressive for what they are and the camerawork is a little better too (the opening credits note that they were working with marginally better gear this time around). Any time teenagers put their lives on the line in the name of micro-budget camcorder horror, Polonia Brothers style, it’s hard not to take notice and that happens quite a lot here. It’s also worth pointing out that this time the killer has overalls instead of a football shirt, so he looks maybe a little more intimidating. Oh, and he wears the hockey mask the entire time, there’s no Freddy mask here.

    Both of these pictures give us a glimpse into late eighties horror movie fandom as well. The house (the real like Wilkinson residence) where most of the material was shot features an attic that we can safely assume was the brothers’ rooms slathered in movie posters of the era - not just horror stuff like the Nightmare On Elm Street movies, but there’s also an inordinate amount of Schwarzenegger plastered about. The fashions, the hairstyles, the cars, the décor – it all screams late eighties suburbia, and there’s kind of great nostalgia rush (for some of us of a certain age, at least) that comes from taking in the background details of movies like this.

    It's worth noting that both movies, as they appear on this DVD, have been rescored by none other than Harry Manfredini (which is kind of interesting as the original versions apparently just swiped a lot of his music from the Friday The 13th movies!). They’ve also had new opening and closing credits created.


    The Violence Movie and its sequel were both shot using consumer grade VHS camcorders and comes with this warning from MVD Visual:

    “NOTE: While the filmmakers used original source tapes to make the best picture quality available, this material was originally shot on standard definition VHS. Quality of the image is reflective of the format.”

    And that pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the picture quality here. This looks like a tape because it comes from a tape. It’s watchable enough but expect shifts in color tones, tape rolls, tracking lines – all that fun stuff. You’re not buying this one for the pristine video quality anyway though… are you?

    The audio for both films is handled by English language Dolby Digital Mono tracks. There are no alternate language options or subtitles provided. Audio quality is on par with the video, though the newly added scores sound quite clean. What little dialogue there is in the movies is a bit muffled but you can understand it well enough.

    Both shorts feature audio commentary tracks with actor David Wilkinson and writer/director Eric D. Wilkinson in which they talk up the stunts, the people that the coerced into appearing in the movies, the effects, the locations and lots more. These guys are clearly having a good time strolling down memory lane here, the tracks are both informative and frequently quite amusing.

    There’s quite a bit more material here – the unreleased alternate version of The Violence Movie 2 with optional audio commentary from the brothers is included here and it makes for an interesting variation on the version included as one of the main features. We also get quite a bit of deleted scenes and outtakes from both shorts. In the Violence In 2003 featurette the Wilkinson brothers Wilkinson re-visit the original locations used for the films fifteen years after the fact to do some re-shoots used in the versions of the movies included on this disc.

    On top of that, we get the original opening credit sequences for both movies, a ‘trailer’ for the first film, a still gallery that shows just how rudimentary the original script for the film was, menus and chapter selection. This release also comes packaged in a clear DVD case with some cool reversible sleeve art.

    The Final Word:

    MVD Visual’s release of The Violence Movie and its sequel provides two genuine SOV obscurities with a fun, if unlikely, special edition release. These two shorts are more than a little rough around the edges but what they lack in cinematic polish they make up for with enthusiasm and goofy, gory charm.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. cmeffa's Avatar
      cmeffa -
      I love this kind of stuff. I will have to see this eventually. Thanks for the review.
    1. Darcy Parker's Avatar
      Darcy Parker -
      That IS quite the mullet on the junior newscaster. The killer is wearing coveralls, not overalls in the sequel, just a note.