At 11pm on the night of March 28th 2016, Crystal Connor, sat down to watch a slasher film that used a small California town located in the Mojave Desert as a back drop. With the coffee table piled high with popcorn and snacks, with her small dog nestled by her side she picked up her remote and pressed play.
This is the unedited journal chronicling the harrowing experience of her screaming, crying, and expletive outburst that her neighbors were forced to endure as she watched Riley Woods 2011 The Victorville Massacre.
Reader discretion is Advised
Entry 1: Last line of the movie: “Never had a serial killer in this town.” Ummm…
Complaints: I think watching horror movies should be an ‘interactive’ activity (which is why I watch them alone) and the more I yell at the people on the screen the more fun I’m having. I’m a tough customer and I can be pretty unforgiving when it comes to the myopic way in which I prefer to be entertained.
For those of you who follow my reviews, as you can see, I didn’t particularly enjoy this one.
Let’s me just start off by saying that while I was born in the state of Washington, the high deserts of California is where I grew up. I went to Bender (Harold H.) Elementary for the 5th and 6th grades. I spent a significant amount of time serving after school detention at Hook Jr. and ran track, ditched school, spent my Friday nights, and graduated from Victor Valley Senior High. So I was super excited to see a horror movie set in basically my home town, but …
Complaint #1: The lack of research
I am extremely forgiving when it comes to indie movies. I love the low budget, campy, sometimes cheesiness, oftentimes ambitious glorious efforts and labors of love that makes independent films rocks which is what keeps me, you, all of us coming back for more. However that generosity comes to a screeching halt when it becomes apparent that little or no research was done in regards to the subject matter.
I was immediately turned off by the stereotypical Barney and Fife portrayal of cops in small towns. This isn’t the 1960s and a lot has changed since then.
After the killing of the rookie officer, the suggestion is made that this may be the work of a serial killer, an idea that the chief and the surviving cop dismisses out of hand. Smfh, 1st off Victorville is too big a city, a host to complex criminal elements to be policed by small town cops willing to bend the rules and turn the other cheek in the name of retribution. And besides that the stretch of highway between Victorville and Vegas in a basically a dumping ground. Has been for years, they are always digging up remains or finding decomposing bodies discovered by drifting sands and circling carrion. The very last thing that would be ignored is the evidence presenting a serial killer.
Complaint #2: The lack of research
Normally when you have a site specific location the movie is based upon the foundation of that area’s urban legends. With a group of young adults spending the weekend partying in Victorville I was expecting for the house to be located on or off either Jicarilla or El Evado Roads, both of which are haunted. But no. Maybe then, after hours of binge drinking and gratuitous sex they would have the bright idea to break into the abandoned and consumed facilities that used to be George Air Force Base, which is also haunted. But no. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that ties this movie with Victorville or the small surrounding towns that make up what’s known to us desert rats as ‘up the hill.’
Like the title suggests, what happened in the movie was a massacre, yet the law enforcement officers all kept referring to it as a serial killing. Which brings me back to the very first cop who told the chief he thought it was the work of a serial killer. This is something that, in light of how things unfolded, is completely out of the realm of possibilities as there is no reference to a pattern in regards to previous killings that could have tied this crime to an individual who had killed several times before.
Dudes. This movie had so much potential. And this for me was the worst part. Once I saw what going on I was thought the story was a really good idea and I could totally see how someone would be really excited to make this movie. But I couldn’t understand why, besides the complete and total absence of research, Massacre, at times seemed so awkward. I mean to the point of being absurd. One of the tags on IMDb is comedy, which kinda explains things, but the jests fell flat. It was as if they were inside jokes, funny only to the cast and crew.
Again. I am not easy to please, and I can admit that because I was expecting this movie to be about or in my home town, I watched this movie with a sharper critical eye, so I must implore you, if this was a movie that was on your to-watch-list, please do not removed it because this could very well be a its-not-you-its-me situation. And if you’ve seen The Victorville Massacre and liked/loved it … please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top leave the link to your review or tell everyone why you thought this movie rocks in the comments.
Where I watched it: VOD
Washington State native Crystal Connor has been terrorizing readers since before Jr. high School and loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys, rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high heel shoes & unreasonably priced hang bags. She is also considering changing her professional title to ‘dramatization specialist’ because it’s so much more theatrical than being just a mere drama queen. Crystal’s latest projects can be found both on her blog and Facebook fan page at:
Crystal Connor’s Official Blog
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