HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
DAHMER VS. GACY
Download Movie
Reviewed by: Pat Torfe

Directed by: Ford Austin

Starring:
Ford Austin
Randal Malone
Harland Williams
Ethan Phillips

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about

Stay with me on this one. A secret government lab holds the X-13 project, which aims to use the DNA of serial killers to clone more serial killers, each time making them more and more dangerous. Once they've isolated these super serial killer genes, the scientists hope to combine them into a single super-serial killer to give the USA the edge on the battlefield. Unfortunately, the clones of Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy escape and start a contest to see who can rack up the most dead bodies. The government sends one of their super serial killers to take them down. Japan also wants in on the project, and sends ninjas to capture the two killers. Finally, a whiskey-swilling redneck with a shotgun is told by the voice of God to go after the killers as well.

Is it good movie?

Quite the story we have here: take two of history's most notorious serial killers, pit them against each other as so many other horror films have done since FREDDY VS. JASON, throw in ninjas, rednecks and genetically-engineered killers and reap the rewards. Honestly, this could only come from a sleepless night of boredom coupled with heavy drinking. Still, there can always be potential in something like this. I mean, there's apparently a tentative sequel in the works (in space, no less!), and it's obviously so tongue-in-cheek that this film has to have something going for it, right? I mean, bad taste be damned! So what if families of the victims of the real-life Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy would be appalled by this, this is meant to be fun!

Yeah, my sarcasm sucks.

Okay, the obvious thing going for the film is the absolutely ludicrous plot, which director Ford Austin (who also plays Dahmer's clone in the film) tries so hard to make it so blatantly tongue-in-cheek that your tongue might as well be grafted to the side of your mouth. It's sort of like POSTAL in its attempts to make you laugh. Except POSTAL wasn't all that funny.

For starters, the film screams 'B-movie', but when you look closely, this is a poseur of a B-movie. You have somewhat familiar faces such as Ethan Phillips from Star Trek: Voyager or Guns Ní Roses guitarist Steven Adler showing up, as well as exhibiting an above-average for a B-movie look that many indie films simply couldn't afford. Plus, with this film there's that whole air of bad taste by playing on real-life murders that didn't exactly happen not too long ago, and giving the murderers a lighthearted comedic feel doesn't make things better. Again, the same could be said for POSTAL, but I already ripped Uwe Boll on that. Speaking of the comedy, it really all amounts to sight gags (Dahmer humping a corpse, for one) and copious amounts of profanity to 'shock' into hilarity. Plus, HARLAND WILLIAMS AS THE VOICE OF GOD IS NOT FUNNY. Ever. As for the kills, we're screwed out of those for the most part, since what does happen onscreen is neither horrific or particularly gory. All this really amounts to is a middle finger directed at the audience while the film cruelly smiles and pisses on their faces.

Yes, the film is intended to be bad. But really, bad films aren't supposed to be so self-aware that they purposely handcuff themselves for the sake of laughs. I've said it before, this is the equivalent of a little kid thinking he has to be funny all the time, but eventually turns from hilarious to horrible by trying so damn hard. If director Ford Austin wanted to produce a funny comedy-horror film, he would've been wise to not use real-life serial killers along with being intentionally bad in almost every aspect of the film, when it's quite obvious that he had the budget to do so much more. If you really must see this film, see it on somebody else's dime.

Video / Audio

Video: The film is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that belies its supposed B-movie roots, though to be honest it still isn't something that will blow you away. That said, colours are nice and bright, with no real problems like compression artifacts to detract from the 'enjoyment'.

Audio: Similarly, the film's two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo don't exude the much-vaunted low-budget film feeling, but aren't going to rattle your fillings and shake your walls, either. Dialogue is clear, with some use of surrounds.

The Extras

Other than the startup option to choose either the surround or stereo audio track (what?!), nothing. I guess it just shows how confident Mr. Austin is in this film.

Last Call

Horrible, and not in a good way. DAHMER VS. GACY tries to be so silly with a ridiculous plot, but ultimately is neither fun as a comedy nor entertaining as a horror film. If the initial bad taste of using real-life serial killers as the basis for hilarity doesn't turn you off, the lame forced comedy bits probably will. Skip this and see something that's really funny.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

Mistress Of The Week

More
Terell, Taryn