Music Store Massacre is not for the timid. Like the title implies, the film is excessively brutal right from the start when we witness some kind of demonic ritual as a man dismembers himself while transferring his soul into the most grotesque guitar that I have ever seen. Clearly made by and for the most hardcore gore-horror and heavy metal fans, this film delivers greatly to both, while giving very little to the common film-goer.
The story plays out like the worst Jason film in the franchise, where eating hearts causes people to be possessed by the evil that is Jason. In this film though, instead of biting into someone else’s heart, characters need only to play a few riffs on a demonic guitar before they become enraged and compelled to slaughter everyone in sight. Meanwhile, Detective Young (Meadows) is hot on the trail, but, with good reason, no one believes him when he says that the guitar is the one behind the carnage. Without any explanation for anything in the film, the generic possession storyline lost me pretty quickly, and as the film continued, I found myself uninterested in any character that comes into contact with the guitar.
The film is erratic in the most dramatically gory ways possible; honestly, it feels like the filmmakers tried to make a brutal film just for the sake of being brutal. Characters are cut up, raped, impaled, disfigured, tortured and shot, but none of it matters because, besides the cop, you don’t know which characters you should and shouldn’t care for. Then, to add to the film's odd nature, it has random cut points where a voice reads words off the screen like “control through fear", “age of the ego", and “you want to play, you got to pay”, then the story continues on while occasionally giving meaning to these random phrases.
The presentation of the film is unique in that it is black and white with red showing up every time someone is killed. The actors are what you would expect from the subject material and the budget. Not being a huge metal head, I cannot accurately say if the music is great, but I would say it is at least decent to the point that a couple of song's riffs caught my attention.
As I said before, the film is made for a very specific audience, and if you are not in that target audience who loves waves of blood, irrational hatred, heavy metal music, and low budget death effects, then this is not the film for you. For myself, it takes more than the meaningless slaughter of flat characters to keep me interested and wanting more.
Review by Andy Comer
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