Friday, October 7, 2016

Movie Review: The Majorettes (1987)

The Majorettes (1987) - USA - Horror - Rated R
Directed by Bill Hinzman
Starring Kevin Kindlin, Terrie Godfrey, Mark V. Jevicky, Denise Huot, Carl Hetrick, Russell Streiner

Starts off as a standard slasher flick but plot twists make it a more interesting movie, unfortunately marred by poor production.

The pretty, baton twirling majorettes for a high school marching band are being stalked and killed by someone in a camouflage hood and fatigues, a nurse caregiver has sinister plans for the elderly woman in her charge while a drug dealing gang has a score to settle with a quarterback. All of these stories are connected.

The Majorettes is based on the novel of the same name written by John Russo, who also wrote the screenplay, produced this movie, and even has a bit part in it as a coroner. Russo was co-writer of the original Night of the Living Dead and has been a successful independent filmmaker, writer and influence on other filmmakers since. Others from the original Pittsburgh zombies associated with this movie include Bill Hinzman, the first zombie seen in Night of the Living Dead, and Russel Streiner, Johnny in Night of the Living Dead. Bill Hinzman both directed and edited The Majorettes.

The Majorettes is a different kind of slasher movie. It starts off in the same vein as others of the subgenre, a masked killer stalks and kills people, in this case the majorettes of the high school marching band, but then it goes off on its own into an interesting twist that changes the direction of the movie, and to some degree turns it into an action/revenge movie. Overall this would be a good thing, and interesting, but it is brought down by poor production.

Audio in this movie is its biggest downfall. Too many scenes are using obvious omnidirectional mikes, or a poor audio tech, which not only pick up the foreground audio intended but also every bit of background noise. Even if the background noise is not distinct, there is still hiss and hum mixed in with the audio. This is not consistent throughout the movie as there are scenes with excellent audio, but just too many scenes where it is either difficult to make out what someone is saying or distracting, and often both.

Bill Hinzman directed and edited this movie. Both are its strong points, the story as well. Hinzman keeps the storline moving in a coherent arc. There are well done scenes, such as the first appearance of the killer which is impressive, that keep the tension up. 

Unfortunately other than the direction and editing there is little consistency to the production. Poor audio, dim night scenes on some occasions, and amateurish acting all hurt the movie overall. With better production this could have been something to recommend, but it's too much work on the viewer's part to enjoy the movie rather than where the work should have been done, on the production part rather than going on the cheap.

My Rating: 2 Fingers

You can find the full movie on YouTube

Toxic Fletch

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