Scream Bloody Murder (2000)

Director: Ralph Portillo

Starring: Jessica Morris, Peter Guillemette, Crystalle Ford

Also known as: Bloody Murder (USA)

“Misery comes in lots of forms… it’s all miserable.”
(Drew, Bloody Murder)

Once in your life you experience a film that is so bad you have to tell the world. This is what happened to me when I saw Scream Bloody Murder for the first time.

Everything about this film made me laugh in a way that I’m sure the director didn’t intend. As a result of this, when I was a younger chap at the sprightly age of 18 I decided to analyse every single second of the film in a 28,500-word essay. Look, it was a lonely time in my life.

The plot is a white hot rollercoaster of emotion. A group of camp counsellors turn up early at Camp Placid Pines to prepare for the children arriving. While there they learn about the legend of Trevor Moorhouse. Soon the counsellors start dying one by one. Surely Trevor can’t be behind the killings? Actually, he isn’t, so it’s up to Julie (one of the counsellors) to find out who’s actually doing it.

From the get-go, Scream Bloody Murder does a great job of highlighting the sheer ineptitude of the director, screenwriter, crew, special effects department (Trevor’s chainsaw isn’t even on so instead of cutting down leaves and branches, he hits them out of the way as if he was using a wooden stick) and actors (the idiot playing Trevor walks like a drunk and the first victim runs in an S-shape through an open field while falling over three times).

Once we meet the counsellors, we realise quickly that they fit into the stereotypes we all know and hate (virgin girl who we know immediately will live, her boyfriend who we know will turn out to be an asshole and die, probably cheating on her in the process, and so on). Ironically, the film can’t even do this properly, because the stereotypically zany teenage boy who happens to be a horror fan and knows all the rules of horror films (a not-so-subtle nod to Scream and every film made after it) has a worryingly poor grasp of horror trivia.

And then there’s Trevor. Without a doubt, Trevor Moorhouse is the single worst slasher movie bad guy of all time. He is an amalgamation of rip-offs from every corner of the horror world: his hockey mask is from Friday The 13th, his boiler suit is from Halloween, his chainsaw is from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, his walk is from Drunken Master. And the name sounds enough like Jason Voorhees to make it lear it’s a rip-off, but different enough to be the least terrifying name in motion picture history. Trevor is not and never will be a scary name (Trevor Jordache from Brookside aside, of course).

The acting is consistently wooden throughout. The lead female walks like she’s got a cactus lodged in her drawers, her friendship with the stereotypical black female best friend is so unconvincing it unwittingly verges on lesbianism, and the boyfriend character is so obviously going to be unfaithful at some point in the movie that he might as well have been played by Ashley Cole.

The story isn’t any better. It’s filled with gaping plot holes that you could drive two tanks through side-by-side without fear of scraping the edges, and once the “killer” is revealed you can’t help but laugh because chances are you thought it was him in the first place but dismissed it because it was too obvious. Finally, the ending is meant to provide a great shock but instead caused me to piss myself laughing for a good few minutes.

I’ve shown Scream Bloody Murder to many of my friends and they more or less all agree that it’s an almighty piece of shit, but an entertaining one at that. If you’re judging it on its technical merits you might as well buy a bag of frozen peas, sit it on a table and watch that for an hour and a half. If you’re judging it on entertainment value though, get a group of mates together and take the piss out of it and you’ll have a great time. If Ed Wood had made this film, he’d have been mortified and burned it. Look, just watch the trailer below (complete with fake Chemical Brothers music) to see what I mean.


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