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4/20 MASSACRE (2018)
Directed by Dylan Reynolds
Written by Dylan Reynolds
Starring Jamie Bernadette, Vanessa Rose Parker, Stacey Danger, Justine Wachsberger, Marissa Pistone, Jim Storm, Mark Schroeder, Drew Talbert, Jim Round, & James Gregory as the Shape!
Find out more about the film here!
Most films about pot, that isn’t some kind of don’t do drugs message, spend so much time thinking how cool drugs are that they forget to make the story entertaining. I love a good Cheech and Chong flick like the next guy, but try to find a decent story in between all of that smoke and it’s bound to sober up even the most dedicated pothead. My issue with many horror films with drugs as their focus is that they often times are just horribly written or just show and say the drug expecting those watching bong in hand will giggle. For me, you gotta work a little harder than that and thankfully 4/20 MASSACRE does just that.
Five gals get together for an all-girl camping weekend in the California woodlands and happen upon the secret crop of a local pot farmer. Attaining a backpack full of stolen pot, the campers are now the targets of a psychopath in a gunny suit with a penchant for edged weaponry and ultra-violence. While the girls imbibe in the stolen stash and get to some female bonding, the psycho gets closer to the camp.
One of the things that stands out about 4/20 MASSACRE is that is actually has a story and it’s not a bad one. Sure most of the folks in this film are more than happy to get high on the weed they stumble upon, but the focus of this film is not about that. It’s about a killer in the woods staking trespassers on his land and getting back what’s his. These women just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time smoking the wrong stash. It’s a simple story, but it never gets distracted or drifts off into some kind of haze. It definitely is a pro-pot film, but it never loses focuses that it is a horror film and delivers on that promise over and over.
There are some pretty solid kills and moments of gore in this film, all edged with a dark sense of humor. One woman has a bong shoved through her head as she is starting a toke. After killing her, with her head still impaled by the bong, the killer takes a hit from the bong and blows out a big puff of smoke. It’s full of blood and gore and also gets that dark chuckle and that’s what this whole film does very well. Over and again, the mix of horror and humor work.
For the most part, the acting is decent throughout this film. It’s a low budget slasher, so this isn’t going to be the place to go for rock solid acting. But the gals in peril are decent all around (especially the lead Jamie Bernadette who has been making the rounds in quite a few horror films lately with roles in ALL GIRLS WEEKEND, AMERICAN SATAN, and LET’S BE EVIL). I also want to comment on the music, which I rarely do, but I rather liked the primal drums, grunts, howls, screams, and chants that went with all of this woodland mayhem.
The main problem here is that there might be a little too many extraneous scenes like an extended scene where one woman professes her love to another only to have it not work out the way they planned and another where a budding lesbian romance is forming. These scenes just feel like stuff that could have been edited a bit tighter in order to keep the forward momentum of the story going. But really, I was surprised and impressed with 4/20 MASSACRE. Even if you aren’t a pro-pot enthusiast, it’s a decent little slasher yarn worth seeking out.