DUDE BRO PARTY MASSACRE III (UK CERT: N/A)
Director: Tomm Jacobsen, Michael Rousselet, Jon Salmon
Music: Tyler Burton
Starring: Alec Owen, Patton Oswalt, Brian Firenzi
REVIEW AUTHOR: Rob Stoakes
Yes, horror movie junkies, I can smell your rage. I can feel every hair on your body stand up on edge. I can taste your hatred and it tastes good.
Note that I did not say the films aren’t entertaining, but if we’re being honest, Freddy Krueger has never ever been scary. He talks to the audience, he cracks jokes… he’s just silly. Besides, even if he was frightening, you don’t watch those films for the horror; you watch them for the ridiculous kills, the jokes and for the gallons and gallons of blood and guts. Freddy’s Dead threw everything out that got in the way of that, and that’s why it is the best Freddy film. A true reboot of the franchise shouldn’t even attempt horror in my opinion; just pile on the guts and the giggles and you’d have a film much tighter and better than anything in the series proper.
I bring this up because Dude Bro Party Massacre III, the first feature film by sketch comedy troupe 5 Second Films, feels like that film. At first glance, it seems to be a slasher spoof in the vein of the highly overrated Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer, but as you’re steeling yourself for yet another round of tired observations such as “Hey, guys, isn’t it weird that it’s always the sluts who die first?” you’ll find that DBPM3 is a far smarter and far more loving parody than that. The humour doesn’t come at the expense at the genre, which makes it a unique entry in the otherwise tired sub-genre of horror parodies. Instead, the humour feels like it came out of Freddy’s Dead, combining South Park level gore with jokes blacker than a tar-coated crow in a coal cellar at a Slayer concert. The jokes come fast and furious, so if you’re not laughing at one, the next one will be on you immediately, and very few miss their mark.
Please be aware, the following trailer is inappropriate for children:
This film swims in its slasher movie aesthetic, and this is right down to the framing device. In a brilliant twist on the formula, DBPM3 is presented as a lost film recorded on VHS, and directors Jacobsen, Rousselet and Salmon use this gimmick for all its worth; the film itself has glitches and adverts randomly pop up, making for some of the best jokes in the film. It’s also paced much like how a film of the slasher era would be, and it rarely resorts to anything besides practical effects, making for a homemade low-budget vibe.
The actors are all long-time pros of comedy, with 5 Second Films having made sketches for Youtube for years now, and the experience shows. Alec Owen as Brett is the closest the film has to a stand out performer, alternating between manic energy and deadpan wit, but he doesn’t carry this film alone. In particular, watch out for Brian Firenzi’s darkly brilliant Officer Schminkle or Kelsey Gunn as the pathetic Samantha.
There are some issues the film has, such as a lacklustre soundtrack and some jokes which repeat themselves, but the only thing that really matters for a comedy is whether or not it’s funny. Luckily, Dude Bro Party Massacre 3 has hilarity in abundance. It is pitch black gallows humour, make no mistake, but I haven’t laughed harder at a film all year, and as a bonus it is a tribute to slasher films that shows genuine affection and stands head and shoulders above other spoofs of its kind. Scream, this is how it is done.
Truly, it is the Freddy’s Dead of slasher parodies, and really, is there a better accolade one can give?
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