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BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Microwave Massacre (1978) - Blu-ray Review

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Microwave Massacre - Blu-ray Review

3 beersMicrowave Massacre is the type of low budget horror-comedy that few have patience for.  It’s slapped together from long first takes (because the producers had no money to waste) and, as the opening credits spell out (complete with chikka-wah-wah porn-styled tunes and jiggling breasts), goes right for the jugular with its intentions.   Sex and violence reign supreme as one poor schlep murders his wife because he hates her cooking.

Within minutes, a blonde beauty is taken from behind and screwed by a random stranger as her bare breasts are repeatedly pressed up against a fence with two perfectly-placed holes in it.  The construction workers on the other side don’t come to her rescue.  They are enjoying the peep show on the other side of the fence.  Did I mention that the movie – directed by Wayne Berwick and written by Thomas Singer – is completely tasteless?  Ironies abound in this food-minded massacre. 

Comedian Jackie Vernon is one of the construction workers.  He’s enjoying a lunch break when, all of a sudden, he reaches into his lunch box and pulls out a crab sandwich.  It’s an actual crab, mind you.  And his dated reaction is exactly why the producers went after Rodney Dangerfield.  Only he could pull off that eye-roll, but this is Vernon’s movie and he was all the producers could afford.  Dangerfield wanted too much money, it seems. 

Anyway, Vernon plays Donald and Donald can’t stand his wife.   He’s drawn a line in the middle of their table and refuses to try her exotic dishes anymore.  She cooks for herself.  And he’s about to snap.  Played by Claire Ginsberg, Donald’s nagging wife is about to find herself inside her most prized possession, the microwave where she does her cooking.  Turns out, once Donald acquires the taste for microwaved human flesh, something within him takes pride in his microwaved creations. 

He’s a better cook than she ever was and his co-workers start to notice that Donald is eating better and laughing more.  They take bites of his lunches, never once realizing that they are eating his wife, and are soon over at his house, wanting more and more of the good stuff he’s making.  They like the taste but all agree the meat is too old, so Donald – who hasn’t been single for very long – sets his sights on younger females.  And, lo and behold, a new serial killer is created.  His murderous art is brought to life through solid practical effects and jokey situations with body parts.

That’s the comedic tale inside Microwave Massacre.  While largely unfunny, there are certain beats that really do work and had me chuckling.  Whether from the cast – which includes cameos from Paul “Pee Wee” Ruebens and Robert Burns, art director for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and many others – or from Vernon’s tired stand-up shtick, there’s not much in the way of consistency but it is amusing and will only disappoint those looking for malicious intent.  This is a likable tale about the increasing role of technology in domestic situations and the hapless guy who falls victim to it.  It was probably meant to be a bit more gory and ugly but it all comes across in an innocent spirit.  It is just waiting to be rediscovered. 

With Arrow Video’s handling of Microwave Massacre, murder gets reheated.

Microwave Massacre - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
76 mins
Director
: Wayne Berwick
Writer:
Thomas Singer
Cast:
Jackie Vernon, Loren Schein, Al Troupe
Genre
: Comedy | Horror
Tagline:
They Came For Dinner ... To Find They Were It!!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Well, the only problem is, I can't make love to a woman, unless I eat her"
Distributor:
Arrow
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 31, 1983
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 16, 2016
Synopsis: Fed up of his wife's bad cooking, Donald kills her and turns to cannibalism to satisfy his appetite.

Microwave Massacre - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - August 16, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-50, 1 DVD); DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

Arrow Video’s brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative is a glorious thing indeed.  The low-budget affair looks a bit snazzy on 1080p and, as it was filmed within Mickey Dolenz’ home, gives a great detailed-looked at the decorating style of the late 70s.  Colors are warm and black levels are solid.  The restoration work was carried out at Deluxe Restoration, London.  The original 35mm camera negative was scanned in 2K and the soundtrack was transferred and conformed from the original tape masters and is presented in 1.0.  According to the booklet included with the release, “Thousands of instances of dirt, debris and light scratches were removed through a combination of digital restoration tools. Overall image stability and instances of density fluctuation were also improved.”

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The brand new audio commentary with writer-producer Craig Muckler, moderated by Mike Tristano will please the film’s growing following.

Special Features:

The brand new making-of featurette includes interviews with Muckler, director Wayne Berwick and actor Loren Schein. It will please fans of this silliness. There is the original treatment and 8-page digital copy of the movie included with the purchase via DVD-ROM content. A trailer and reversible sleeve art, newly commissioned by Wes Benscoter, are also included.

  • My Microwave Massacre Memoirs (21 min)
  • Image Gallery
  • Trailer

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