Inside Pulse 12

Blu-ray Review: Microwave Massacre

Microwave-Massacre-Jackie-Vernon


Whatever you do when watching Microwave Massacre, do not close your eyes. The darkness will only shock you further. If a scene becomes too horrific, do not close your eyes. If a murder becomes too gruesome, do not close your eyes. If you feel the least bit tired, do not close your eyes. You won’t be able to unsee what you don’t see with shut eyelids. What can be so disturbing about this movie when you blink too long? Sure you think you can handle a movie about a cannibal who dines on hookers, but can you handle the hard fact that the hooker eating cannibal is part of your warmest Christmas TV memories? There will be no spoiler as to what beloved holiday icon’s voice was provided by Jackie Vernon. But it’s a special that has been on TV for decades. Microwave Massacre is the perfect film to share after your holiday feast with twisted friends and family.

Donald (The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight‘s Jackie Vernon) is a simple guy who spends his day at the construction site and his evening at a dive bar. He just wants to come home for a good meal and a chance to relax. That won’t be happening anytime soon. His irritating wife has decided they need to elevate their way of life by gourmet cooking. He has no idea how to eat anything that she cooks in her mega-sized microwave oven. Luckily most of the entrees are uneatable. It’s driving him nuts. He comes home drunk, gives up on her cooking and loses it with a giant pepper shaker. He wakes up and finds his wife in the roomy microwave. He’s not sure what to do, but gets a tip that he needs to completely dispose of the body so he won’t sent to the electric chair for a grilling. Instead of just burying the remains, Donald slices her up, She becomes lunch for himself and the guys at work. He gets so into the taste that he finds himself prowling the streets looking for his next rump roast. How far can he take the “eat local” mantra?

Microwave Massacre plays like a faster version of Eating Raoul. The film is rather tacky, slightly amateur and rather shaggy in production. It plays like a really long sketch for a Showtime comedy series in 1983. There’s plenty of gratuitous nudity including a woman who wants to get dirty at the construction site. What makes the film special is Vernon’s voice. This is the best stunt casting since the voice of Ma Bell played the world’s greatest obscene phone caller in The Telephone Book. The minute you close your eyes and hear Vernon, your mouth is going open wide and you’ll shout out, “Oh my God, it’s (deleted)!” That little freakish joy makes this film essential viewing that you’ll want to break out with the egg nog.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the rough and cheap nature of the production. The audio is LPCM 1.0 mono track. You’ll quickly guess where you’ve heard Vernon’s voice. The movie is subtitled.

DVD has all features on the Blu-ray.

Audio Commentary has director Wayne Berwick and writer and producer Craig Muckler revealing tales to Mike Tristano. Vernon wasn’t their first choice. They wanted Rodney Dangerfield. I guess this would have ruined fans of Rover Dangerfield instead of (deleted). They also admit Donald’s House belonged to a member of the Monkees.

My Microwave Massacre Memoirs (21:05) brings back Berwick and Muckler with actor Loren Schein. Muckler had hired Berwick’s dad to direct Malibu High. Schein says Vernon was more saavy than imagined on the set.

Image Gallery are photos from the production.

Trailer (1:24) tempts you into the forbidden meal.

Treatment is a pdf of the 18 pages that set the production in motion. This is DVD-ROM accessible.

Arrow Video presents Midnight Massacre. Directed by: Wayne Berwick. Screenplay by: Thomas Singer. Starring: Jackie Vernon, Claire Ginsberg, Loren Schein & Al Troupe. Running Time: 76 minutes. Rated: R. Released: August 16, 2016.

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