Director(s) – William Hellfire (The Duct Tape Killer, An Erotic Werewolf in London) and Joey Smack (Sour Milk)
Starring – William Hellfire, Joey Smack, and Erin Brown (Dickshark, The Screaming Dead)
Release Date – 1999
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 4/5
I graduated high school in 2005 so that put me in high school from around 2001 to 2005. School shootings and other acts of terrorism wasn’t uncommon then but they were not as common as they are now. During my high school years Columbine was still fresh in everyone’s mind but I lived in a small town in West Virginia where EVERYONE carried guns so none of us really batted an eye when we saw someone with one. A friend of mine, who I have not spoke with in years, was obsessed with the Columbine massacre. This obsession introduced me to William Hellfire, and in turn, Erin Brown.
One day, during the heat of the summer, we watched Hellfire and Joey Smack’s 1999 satirical horror film Duck! The Carbine High Massacre. The movie was rough around the edges but I really enjoyed it and this initial viewing sparked an interest in adding the films of Hellfire and Misty Mundae. When I saw that Saturn’s Core was releasing it on blu I had to jump on it. I never owned the film on physical media and I was looking forward to revisiting it.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows neo-punks Derwin (Hellfire) and Derick (Smack) who are constantly harassed by many of their classmates. They suffer through verbal abuse on a daily manner but after a physical altercation they set in motion a plan to shoot up the school before turning the weapons on themselves. **Spoiler Alert**
Duck! is not the best film you will see. In fact, it’s rough in a lot of ways in regards of cinematography and production quality but I feel that it is an important film in regards to subject matter and how it was approached. The film is so controversial that it landed both filmmakers in jail where they made national headlines at the time. It could be a difficult watch for some cinema fans but I think it should be required for genre fans.
The acting in this one is extremely amateur but it’s not bad. It was cool seeing Hellfire in front of the camera instead of behind it and Smack was solid in his role. The part of the cast that continued acting has grown so much since this film and that includes Erin Brown. It’s cool to see such an indie horror icon like Erin Brown here at such an early stage in her career.
The story for this one is a comedic approach to the events that unfortunately unfolded at Columbine a year or two prior to the film. Two bullied teens attacked and killed their fellow students before turning their guns on themselves. However, the film’s attempt at humor does seem to fall on death ears but the plot itself still rings true to this day with many kids and teenagers who suffer from abuse at home and at school continue to inflict so much damage to other students. It is a sensitive subject for many and many would rather turn a blind eye on the subject of gun violence and school shootings unless you were to make a film about it. Then you will find yourself coming under attack and prosecuted.
Finally, the film has plenty of blood. The practical effects are minimal but the film has so much blood for you sick fucks to enjoy. Overall, Duck! The Carbine High Massacre is not an easy watch for some people but I thoroughly enjoy it. It not the best looking or shot film but I find the story to be extremely important especially in today’s political climate. The blu release is a must own for genre fans and I can’t recommend it enough.
Region Free Blu-ray
A collection of short 16mm films from co-director Joey Smack.
New Commentary with producer Pete Jacelone and Director William Hellfire
Deleted scenes from the original 1999 VHS release
New Documentary AFTER SHOCK including Archive footage of news broadcasts (court tv, ch.12 and Extra.)
Behind the scenes court TV interview at CBGBs theatrical screening
Original William Hellfire interview 2004
Extended Today is the Day live footage
Isolated soundtrack featuring: Bob Bert (Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore), Hide (Ultra Bide) and Today is The Day
Original trailer 1999
Original Shriek Show trailer 2004
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles