Everyone Must Die!
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Starring: Nick Lamantia, Nicole Beattie, Seth Gontkovic, Aleen Isley
Director: Steve Rudzinski
Duration: 71 mins
The brother of a serial killer victim learns that his sister is only a small part of a vast wave of slasher murders sweeping across the country. Also in the middle of the relentless carnage are two stereotypical groups of inevitable casualties: the campers, featuring a white rapper named MC Pink, a hippie, a nerd, and a sourpuss; and the party-goers, made up of a jock, a rich girl, a preppy, a golfer, an egg fan, and other fun characters. No matter how hard the prey try to fight back, there appears to be no stopping the hooded executioner. Everyone. Must. Die.
Everyone Must Die! starts where director Steve Rudzinski’s first film, Basic Slaughter (previously reviewed here), leaves off. Thankfully, EMD! is exponentially better in almost every department (editing, writing, photography, etc… all improved upon). Whereas Basic Slaughter is just that, random groups of teens being stalked and disposed of without any rhyme or reason; this film tries to add to its predecessor’s “mythology” by giving the story some much needed exposition. Okay, maybe not “much needed” exposition. After all, this IS a slasher movie. But it helps with the film’s watchability and keeps it from being overly repetitive. In addition, this film’s lot of sufferers aren’t simply a collection of unremarkable dumbasses, but each character contributes to the film’s self-acknowledged playfulness with tired slasher movie clichés.
While most hardcore horror fans are sick to death by now of said slasher movie clichés, with his third film (following last year’s Slasher Hunter, also previously reviewed here), Rudzinski has made it his trademark to see what these typically safe and contrived occurrences (killer in the backseat, have sex = die, “uh oh, he’s not reeeally dead!” -- don’t worry, not spoilers) are capable of. Even though this technique still manages to plunge this movie amidst ALL the other indie slasher-comedies, it still brings something fresh to the cell phone-adorned table, which helps in its favor. Blood and boobs also help a lot. And there’s some of that, too (I don’t think THOSE clichés will ever die!). Lastly, and relating to the director’s style, I didn’t think it was going to happen, but at exactly halfway through we get the video game humor. Score.
This all sounds pretty awesome, but Nick, why did you administer this a grade of 2.5? The answer is simple, and almost a compliment: the filmmaker’s first two films were in the homemade cinema ballpark. Everyone Must Die!, however, operates at a more professional level, consequently elevating it into a whole other realm of independent horror filmmaking. With some technicality holdovers from his amateur days still making appearances in this film (actors partially hidden off-screen, inconsistent audio,… hearing a crewmember say “cut” -- yeah, that was a big one), EMD! must be put into perspective. And there are a few other things that make my peeve list, such as the extended argument scenes (I’ve written about those before, bleeeargh!) and the wigger character MC Pink (which rivals “Rodney” of Splatter Beach), that I won’t go into any more detail about. Furthermore, the acting is rather inconsistent as well; the “serious” acting in some parts often terribly clashes with the character humor that livens up most of the film. I will admit that the acting is better than Basic Slaughter, but I don’t know if anyone really gave a deuce in THAT movie.
Everything considered, this was a very fun movie. Maybe I’m just too nice, but I couldn’t leave Everyone Must Die! without doing a little fist pump (Tony the Tiger style, or Tiger Woods?). I’m already thinking about which movies to recommend having double-feature with… Porkchop perhaps? Bloodlust Zombies? I wouldn’t recommend it to discriminating horror snobs, but anyone in the mood for a self-aware slasher quickie, give it a look-see. Oh, and stay tuned after the credits for a surprise!