After the events of the short film ‘Leaf Blower Massacre,’ Shavar, a college psychology professor with a habit of dating his students, discovers his fiancé has been brutally murdered. When the police investigation stalls and even points to him as a possible suspect, he seeks revenge against the masked killer with a penchant for yard work weaponry.
Back in the 80’s, before VOD and streaming channels and even before the old Blockbuster stores, there was VHS. You would no doubt see a couple of friends with their parents on a Saturday night at the strip mall video store in between the pizza place and the hair salon. Everyone jockeyed for the new releases but if you got there any time after 6pm, you were likely out of luck. In the horror section, you could almost always find a few movies that were billed to be so scary they had taglines that read “banned in seven countries.” They typically were not very scary. If you dared to rent it, you saw a movie that was hokey, poorly-acted and a lot of fun. Leaf-Blower Massacre 2 is a raunchy, funny, a tribute to those films. The DVD case even has a throwback image reminiscent of genre VHS covers for mid-80’s slashers like ‘The Prowler’ and ’Nightmare Beach’, complete with the little round “horror” classification sticker.
Directed by Anthony Cooney, ‘Leaf Blower Massacre 2 comes complete with the stereotypical, inept detectives; an older gruff veteran and a young, naive newbie. The title alone describes the originality. The plot is unsurprisingly crazy and all over the place, including other 80’s staples like topless girls, a satanic rock concert and young people who get drunk and party a lot.
The sound editing is a little dull and the acting is generally bad but again, no worse than those wonderfully awful 80’s slashers we watched back in the day. The urban Chicago setting gives the film a novel look that helps it stand out and the gore and visual effects are practical and effective.
This is not a pretentious art film that would be predicted to clean-up at the Oscars. It is a nostalgic tribute to 80’s horror that does not take itself seriously. Mr. Cooney has a fun idea with this film and it will be interesting to see what he and his colleagues have in store for the future.
Appropriate gore/visual effects 8
Production Value 7
Final Cut Score: = 76%