In the 1980s, a film was created that was so visceral and disturbing that all known copies were destroyed under an executive order from US President Ronald Reagan. Thanks to a cable screening on the Midnight Morning Movie, a young fan’s VHS copy has survived the ravages of time. The film can finally be presented to the public, whether they are prepared for it or not.
At least that’s what the opening scrawl of DUDE BRO PARTY MASSACRE III tells us. In reality, it’s the brainchild of the 5 Second Films collective, an online comedy group with millions of viewers. Their feature is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, and it’s a mix of 80s horror tributes, outright parody and the just plain strange. Following previous murders involving the Delta Bis fraternity, survivor Brock is killed by the revived Motherface. Thankfully, his twin brother Brent (Alec Owen) joins the remaining Dude Bros (in a cabin by the lake, of course) to solve this mystery once and for all.
There’s a fine line between parody and just plain bad, and DUDE BRO PARTY MASSACRE III merrily crosses it, stomps on it, and burns it to the ground. Reversing traditional genre gender roles, the titular dudes are dismissive of girls and losing their virginity, and are the first to be picked off by a female killer. Flipping through every horror trope in the book, the film goes one step further by using the same part of the brain pan that cooked up Adult Swim’s Too Many Cooks. We watched that repetitive and bizarre sitcom parody because the archetypes were familiar, but the execution (both literal and figurative) had its movie-literate tongue firmly in cheek. Here the filmmakers don’t simply recreate a horror film from the era, but subvert it with over-the-top surrealism and beautiful non-sequitur moments (“Help! I’m trapped in a basement and forced to write subtitles!”). The train-of-thought approach is almost too much of a good thing, stuck somewhere between a feature-length YouTube skit and the Wet Hot American Summer series.
With constant tracking problems along the bottom of the screen, the movie is designed to mirror the look and feel of 80s video nasties. There’s even snippets of terrible cable infomercials from where the pause button was pressed, a familiar sight to amateur editors of the day. Bad films are usually more fun when the filmmakers aren’t in on the joke, and The Room‘s Greg Sestero stars as if to prove that point. Nevertheless, DUDE BRO PARTY MASSACRE III seems to be an exception to this rule, shamelessly and merrily diving head-first into the kitchen sink of brotastic mayhem.
DUDE BRO PARTY MASSACRE III is playing at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival, 7-19 July 2016.
2015 | US | DIR: Tomm Jacobsen, Michael Rousselet and Jon Salmon | WRITERS: Alec Owen and the cast | CAST: Alec Owen, Patton Oswalt, Paul Prado, Brian Firenzi, Kelsey Gunn | DISTRIBUTOR: Revelation Film Festival | RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes | RATING: ★★★½