Director – David Hinds (The House on Cuckoo Lane, Tainted Blood)
Starring – Richard Boulton, Tammy Dennis, and Steven Garbett
Release Date – 1997
Rating – 1/5
I respect SRS Cinema a lot. SRS has released some iconic indie horror films over the years and his eye for SOV horror has helped preserve some films that would typically go unnoticed by most genre fans. Just because I don’t like all of the films SRS releases doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what they are doing. I love adding a new title to my SRS collection regardless of how I feel about the film. Not too long ago I went the SRS retro line that featured several previously unreleased Polonia titles.
I enjoyed some of them but there was a few I didn’t care for. Now, I get to check out another previously unreleased SOV horror title. The Garden Tool Massacre is the 1997 SOV horror film from British director David Hinds and was recently put on DVD as part of SRS’ retro line. I reached out to MVD and they were kind enough to send a copy my way. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a group of teenagers who decide to have a little get together. With the booze and inappropriate jokes flowing they don’t expect to run into an escaped mental patient who brutally murdered his wife in that very home seven years prior. **Spoiler Alert**
Garden Tool Massacre is a release that I was really looking forward to. I was unable to snag the blu when they were available but I did not want to miss the opportunity to get the DVD. I’ve been loving these retro releases and this film looked like so much fun. Sadly, it was not. I always enjoy watching a new no-budget indie flick or and SOV horror films I’ve never seen before and this is no exception. However, having fun while watching a movie and actually enjoying the movie is two different things. This movie was not enjoyable at all.
The acting in this one had me laughing. The cast tries to get into their roles but at the end of the day this is just a backyard horror film with some friends. They are extremely goofy and awkward at times which makes a lot of the scenes feel like they are dragging on forever. I’ve watched films with similar plots and budgets where the acting could be taken a lot more seriously than this film.
The story for this one is typical 90s slasher fair that could have been fun but when you mix it with the acting and the poor pacing you are given a movie that is very ineffective even for a slasher. Seeing that David Hinds has worked on other films since this one I would love to see him revisit it with his experience and give fans the movie they truly deserve.
Finally, the deaths have some blood but don’t expect them to be fun or entertaining. They are done quickly with no practical effects. Overall, Garden Tool Massacre could have been a fun and campy no budget slasher but the cast’s lack of dedication makes what could have been a fun story fall way short. This is one I cannot recommend.