4/20 Massacre – USA, 2017

‘Inhale. Exhale. Scream.’

4/20 Massacre is a 2017 American stoner survival horror film written and directed by Dylan Reynolds; it stars Jamie Bernadette, Justine Wachsberger, and Jim Storm.

A group of five women goes camping in the woods to celebrate a friend’s birthday over 4/20 weekend. However, when the female campers cross the turf of an illegal marijuana growing operation they must struggle to survive the living nightmare…

Buy DVD: Amazon.com

4/20 Massacre is released on DVD in the United States on April 3, 2018, by Film Choice with the following extras:

  • Cast Interviews
  • Commentary Track
  • Closed Captioning

Review One [may contain spoilers]:

4/20 Massacre is a passable take on backwoods terror tropes, although it’s a somewhat slow burn (after an hour in there has only been two murders). The action gears up in the final third, however, it’s too late to save the lethargic build up; that said, at least one offing contains some satisfying entrails a go-go for gorehounds.

The five lead female characters’ dialogue brims with clichés: “Oh, ye of little faith”, speak now, or forever hold your peace” “famous last words”, “I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse”, etc., yet this is how people genuinely talk and there’s perhaps nothing wrong with observing that. And thankfully, the young women depicted here aren’t the usual airheads – aside from one stoner – that are trotted out for onscreen slaughter.

Director of photography Kyle Stryker’s slightly washed out colour scheme shamefully wastes the natural beauty of the forest settings. A scene in which the female protagonists’ encounter a right-wing hunter looks like it will build into a decent confrontation, yet it is unconvincingly thrown away. Elsewhere, Jim Storm is good as a seemingly nonchalant ranger, blaming the U.S. services for creating a “remorseless killing machine.”

The use of background rock and hip-hop songs is perhaps more appropriate for an indie film audience and hardcore horror fans may feel they have been shortchanged by the lack of intensity in 4/20 Massacre. This reviewer did, alas.

Adrian J Smith, HORRORPEDIA

Review Two:

There are clear influences in 4/20 Massacre, not to say that is a negative. The Hills Have EyesI Spit on Your Grave (remake), and even a little bit of Lake Eden are seen in tidbits here and there. Although the plot is basic – don’t shit where you eat, or err….smoke? – it’s delicious campy fun.

Reynolds cultivates his characters well, based on circumstantial situations. And breakout star Jess, the only non-pot smoker, is true to form when finding her survival skills to defend the group against harmful antagonists.

4/20 Massacre may not change your life, but it’ll certainly generate a smile for the time being. Especially if you light one up before opening credits begin to roll.”

Meredith Brown, HORRORPEDIA

 

Other reviews:

…4/20 Massacre exists in a weird state of cinematic limbo, as it’s not especially funny or scary, but it’s still somehow charming enough to recommend if you’re a fan of stoner humor and/or classic slasher flicks. The pacing is rather off and the horror elements could have used some more polish, but the script is just clever enough to make it all work.” Luiz H.C., Bloody Disgusting

” …though the film revolves around a killer being driven by his motivation to recover his stolen weed, there are films in the genre which unintentionally include more use of the plant in their plot than this flick. That in mind, offering too many unresolved subplots, the makers of 4/20 Massacre seemed a bit too eager to force a label on it to give it a frame.” Tobias Hildenbrand, Cryptic Rock

 

“Unfolding entirely in daylight and punctuated with above-average splatter FX, it amusingly side-lines the male characters (who exist to be the brunt of the girls’ sarcasm or just to be swiftly offed), has fun with horror tropes and gives us a final girl truly worth rooting for.” Steven West, Horrorscreams Videovault

” …somewhat detracting from the experience is an odd color grading that hampers an otherwise well-shot film.  Overall, while 4/20 Massacre is a bit of a mixed bag, it succeeds in the areas where a slasher must, and delivers a positive experience for stoner horror fans just looking for a fun flick.” Finley Ash, Modern Horrors

“Though the deaths are diverse and fairly gory (Brennan Jones designed the special makeup f/x), 4/20 Massacre isn’t very scary. It is, however, lively and well-enough crafted, with decent performances. The lesbian angle is taken for granted, and it’s nice that these actors neither look nor are asked to embody anything stereotypical…” Dennis Harvey, Variety

Interview:

Director Dylan Reynolds talks to Mike Haberfelner for Search My Trash

Choice dialogue:

“Wow, you share a birthday with Hitler!? Really?”

“One thing I really detest is phonies, liars, and people of questionable integrity!”

Main cast:

  • Jamie Bernadette … Jess – Grizzled!American SatanI Spit on Your Grave: Déjà Vu; The 6th Friend; All Girl’s Weekend; The Bunnyman Massacre
  • Vanessa Rose Parker … Aubrey
  • Justine Wachsberger – Monolith; Teen Wolf; The Twilight Saga: New Moon
  • Stacey Danger … Donna – The Neon Demon; Teen Wolf
  • Marissa Pistone … Michelle – Cruel WillRaze
  • Jim Storm … Rick – The Monster Project; Bone Eater; Venomous; It Happened at Lakewood ManorTrilogy of Terror; Dark Shadows (TV series)
  • Mark Schroeder … Buddy
  • Jim Round … Roy
  • Drew Talbert … Dug
  • James Gregory – The Crow: Wicked Prayer

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Categories: 2017

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