Massacre Up North (15th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EDITION) (2001) (DVD Review)
Directed By: Shivers Entertainment
Starring: Paul Stoichevesk, Kieran Hart, Lorn Eisen
Rated: UR/Region: 1/1:33/Number of disc: 1
Available From Shivers Entertainment
After a camping accident leaves him disfigured and tormented by classmates thereafter, Leslie Rejick only has one thing on his mind: TIME TO EVEN THE SCORE! With a hardware store chock-full of deadly tools at his disposal, he leaves behind a merciless path of death and destruction in a small Canadian town. A pair of inept city detectives, determined to track down the killer, enlist the help of eccentric local forensic specialist Patrick. But Patrick holds a secret of his own, and ultimately leads the detectives head-on into a bizarre, bloody battle with the psychotic killer. Shivers Entertainment is proud to present this gory Canadian shot-on-video slasher for the first time ever on DVD! Rarely seen, lost and buried for the past 15 years, MASSACRE UP NORTH is now presented remastered and uncut in all its face-drilling, head-banging glory!
Massacre Up North is a shot on video horror film from 2001 that was made in Canada. The movie might be a low budget affair but it doesn’t let a thing like a budget or logic get in the way of telling one of the most elaborate shot on video stories you’ve ever seen. Now, I’m not going to sit here and say it’s ALL good, but I will admit that the movie has its moments and catches your attention really early on. How does it do that? Well, for starters our leading maniac, Leslie, is involved in a nasty cookout accident with his family that ends with him being burned in a tent and being scarred for life. I admit that is all done in a rather silly way but it is at least extremely entertaining as well. From there we follow the aftermath of him being made fun of at school and how he finally snaps, but nobody knows he has snapped. The bodies then add up as we jump from his high school years to college years and then finally as an adult when he is then played by the movie’s director/writer Paul Stoichevesk. When things settle here he’s still randomly killing people but on the case is some detectives and a lab guy who is none other than his brother. You got to really hand it to the movie for trying to go all out regardless of what it probably had to work with.
We’re a long way from Maniac here but the movie does manage to do some gore scene really well and I have to admit I was really impressed by the effects work here as a result. The opening is great and I do sorta wish we had kept more of that style and tone for most the movie but what we do get is interesting more times than it isn’t. The worst mistake Massacre Up North makes is the running time. The thing tends to drag a lot, especially in the middle. I think had some of the stuff got cut and reeled this one in a bit more we’d then have a much more solid film that would be an easier watch for most. That is the frustrating thing about the movie. They didn’t seem to want to cut anything and the length does seem to water down a lot of the things the movie does do right. Shot on video horror takes a special kind of horror fan and I find myself digging them overall regardless of how bad they are. Canadian label Shivers Entertainment gives us a great release for a movie that isn’t what I’d call “great” but fun none the less. This is their first release and they are selling it on DVD or VHS for anyone who REALLY wants to enjoy this one in its natural habitat. It gets me excited to see what else Shivers might have coming along the way and any fan of shot on video horror should give this one a chance. I think the good moments in Massacre Up North and the pure wildness of a lot of it overall make-up for any of the movie’s faults.
– Collectible booklet with liner notes
– Director’s Introduction
– Director Promo Reel
– Photo Gallery