Director(s) – Angelica De Alba (Streets of Vengeance, Slashlorette Party) and Paul Ragsdale (Cince de Mayo, Slashlorette Party)
Starring – Kansas Bowling (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, B.C. Butcher), Nina Lanee Kent (Nite Time Creatures, Slashlorette Party), and Jessa Flux (Space Babes from Outer Space, Voorhees Night of the Beast)
Release Date – 2023
Rating – 4/5
Around 15 or 20 years ago we saw a big trend in indie cinema where filmmakers tried to capture the look and feel of horror films from yesteryear. Filmmakers tried to capture the tone and grittiness of classic exploitation films, the style and trends of the 80s horror, and the classic S.O.V. horror films of the 90s. Honestly, I’m all for filmmakers recapturing the look and feel of films I grew up with but for every film that does it successfully we have another handful who failed miserably.
Several years ago I met filmmaker Paul Ragsdale who is one half of the filmmaker duo behind A and P Films. Paul had just released his slasher film Cinco de Mayo through Slasher//Video and added me on Facebook to discuss the release. I was lucky enough to review it and the rest has been history. He is one of my favorite indie filmmakers in the game along with his partner Angie. The pair has released some beautifully shot homages to 80s and 90s cinema while delivering some top notch horror for fans to ingest.
Since Cinco de Mayo, they have been responsible for the indie horror hits Streets of Vengeance, Slashlorette Party, and their newest title Murdercise. Sometime back Paul reached out to review Murdercise and I quickly accepted the offer but work and family life stopped me from getting the review up in a timely manner. I want to apologize to Paul and Angie for the delay.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a movie producer who is filming an aerobics video with funds from someone deep in organized crime. He hires a group of beautiful young ladies who are using this shoot as a stepping stone to get their acting career off the ground. However, one of them in a true red blooded American who believes in Good, Regan, and fitness. When the producer is away she is left in control of the shoot but she doesn’t like the sleazy way the film is being shot with her idea of the film being more on fitness. Things take a bloody turn when she finds one of the actresses trying to fuck one of the film crew. She decides to take the morality of the shoot into her own hands and the bodies start piling up. **Spoiler Alert**
A and P Films has some pretty big shoes to fill after their Streets of Vengeance and Slashlorette Party releases. Both of those films are phenomenal indie films that have huge followings. I knew Murdercise was going to be another hit but I was not expecting to love it as much as I did. It’s easily one of their best films to date and they did one hell of a job at taking movie fans back to a time when the video store was a huge piece of our lives and scream queens were teaming with distribution companies to release various horror workouts. I loved this one and really look forward to their next film.
The acting in this one is fantastic. We see some familiar faces with some A and P regulars along with some other indie genre favorites. We see another A and P collaboration with adult cinema star Ginger Lynn, Pool Party Massacre director Drew Marvick, and the gorgeous Nina Lanee Kent and Krystal Shay. Also appearing in the film is indie filmmaker and actress Kansas Bowling who has appeared in the films Psycho Ape, Tales from the Grave: The Movie and The Third Saturday in October Part V along with indie scream queen Jessa Flux who is known for films Shingles: The Movie, Debbie Does Demons. The Secret of Cuck Island and many more. This is a very enjoyable cast and the characters they brought to life made the film what it is.
The story for this one is not a traditional slasher in a sense but does borrow heavily from the sub-genre. What we have is a loving tribute to direct to video horror and late night television with a good mix of memorable characters and murder. It works and is the kind of film genre fans can watch on repeat without getting tired of it. There is a few scenes that felt a little out of place or was maybe over my head but they do not take away from the overall film.
Finally, the film has some fun deaths. The practical effects are nothing elaborate but they do fit the style of the film and story. We get a lot of blood but if you are looking for a gore soaked flick then you will be very disappointed. Overall, Murdercise is exactly what I was wanting. This movie made me miss shows like USA’s Up All Night and direct to video slashers. It’s a lot of fun and something I thing not only indie horror fans but pop horror fans will love. Check it out.