Director – Steve Rudzinski (Captain Z)
Starring – Haley Madison (Headless), Se Marie (The Survivors), and Chris Proud
Release Date – 2016
There is just a few directors who can announce a movie and make me flip my shit. One of those few directors is Steve Rudzinski. This young filmmaker has similar tastes in film as me. He grew up watching and loving the same television shows and movies as me and that shows in his work. I may not always dig some of the cast in his films or how he handles some of the characters but his films are always a fun experience.
Sometime ago he announced his newest film, a horror comedy titled CarousHELL. The second I read over the synopsis I was hooked. The film sounded like everything I love about indie horror. It had a fun story, a comedic angle, and was set to star some of my favorite indie actors. I’ve followed the film pretty closely since it was announced and was surprised when Steve reached out to me to check it out. Thanks Steve for allowing me the opportunity to review the film!
**Spoiler Alert**The film begins with a young boy who is forced to go with his sister to the local amusement park. His sister is dating one of the employees and sneaks off to get a little action while he rides the carousel. He picks a unicorn to ride and abuses it during the ride. What he does not know is that the unicorn is actually alive and will stop at nothing to kill the little brat for disrespecting him.**Spoiler Alert**
Steve Rudzinski has made some of my favorite indie films. His films are always funny and full of enjoyable characters. Sadly, both of the films I am referring to can be argued if they are horror or not. They may not be horror but they are heavily influenced by the genre. With CarousHELL, Rudzinkski has given the horror community another horror comedy hit.
The acting in this one is fantastic and easily the best acted Rudzinski film to date. The film’s lead, Se Marie, was great. She was a stereotypical teenage girl in a society driven by likes and follows. Her character did get on my nerves a few times but that was how she was written. She perfectly portrayed her character and knocked it out of the park. Director Steve Rudzinski is no stranger to being in front of the camera and once again shows some serious acting chops. He made his scenes funny and then switched it up when he became the film’s hero. We also get some fun performances from horror hottie Haley Madison and Josh Miller.
The story for this one is fun. The film is a slasher flick at heart but offers up some sharp laughs and the kills we don’t see anymore with indie slashers. The film follows the classic slasher formula pretty closely where we see someone that was wronged, be it human or plastic unicorn, as they stalk and kill those that did them wrong. Some of the slasher greats like Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm St, My Bloody Valentine, Prom Night, and so on used this infamous story line. It is only fitting that this horror comedy, that flows almost like a parody, would use it.
The original slasher formula aside, the film tosses in a ton of humor. Some is witty and very clever while the rest is punny and off beat. I loved that. The humor always finds it mark and in some of the scenes it helps move the story along. One such scene is the unicorn sex scene with Haley Madison. It had me in stitches.
Finally, those of you looking for blood will find it by the bucket here. The film has several impressive on screen kills. Most fit the theme of the film which takes me back to a time when slashers ruled the cinema. The kills usually fit whatever theme the slasher was using and this one was no exception. The effects look great for the most part.
There was a few kills that looked way bigger than the budget would normally allow. My hat is off to the effects team for those but there was a few that threw me off. A different camera angle should have been used. Overall, CarousHELL is exactly what the horror community needs. It has laughs, blood, unicorn sex, and one hell of a cast. If you ever have the chance to check this film out then do it!