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Chainsaw Sally (2007)

Chainsaw Sally


One of the hardest elements to find in a horror movie is a truly great villain.  The 70s and 80s gave us Leatherface, Freddie, Jason, Michael Myers and Pinhead and recently Rob Zombie gave us the amazing characters from House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devils Rejects, but by far the vast majority of movies out there offer little more than instantly forgettable villains.  Chainsaw Sally is one of the best characters to show up in a horror movie in recent years and the film of the same name is clearly influenced by the great movies of the last four decades in terms of plot, gore and even editing.  Although it's clear that James "Jimmy O" Burril didn't have a major studio money or experience when making this film, it's also clear that they guy has more talent than the average filmmaker when it comes to putting together a memorable story with great characters.  Despite some of the issues with quality, Chainsaw Sally is destined to become a cult classic and Sally herself is surely one of the greatest villains to slash her way through a film!

The history of Sally begins with a sad tale of a Christmas misfortune that involves several bad men breaking into Sally's lovely home and doing bad things to Sally's mother while Sally and her little brother Ruby looked on in horror.  Although neither of her parents survived the attack, her father (portrayed by the original chainsaw weilding Leatherface, Gunner Hansen) did have a chance to swing that chainsaw just enough to start Sally skipping down the path of psycho.  She grows up to be a shy librarian who simply won't tolerate any misconduct.

The story is well written, but it's the characters that really make this movie great.  Obviously April Burril was simply amazing as Sally, but the entire cast added considerably to the film.  Mark Redfield did an excellent job as Sally's love interest Steve Kellerman and Alec Joseph brings a whole new meaning to the term "Scream Queen" with his portrayal of Sally's crossdressing brother Ruby.  Ruby is just as great of a character as Sally and it's unfortunate that Alec doesn't get more attention for his excellent portrayal of the character.  Jimmy O must know a lot of people in the business because in addition to getting Gunner Hansen to play Sally's daddy, the film also boasts appearances by Herschell Gordon Lewis (the grandfather of the splatter genre), scream queen Suzi Lorraine, Creature Feature TV host Count Gore De Vol and even a couple of great songs by the band Calabrese.

The downside to the film is there were quite a few technical issues that resulted in a no budget feel.  The lighting was good, the audio wasn't too inconsistent and even the editing was ok, but something about the overall picture quality of the movie looked very cheap.  It's a shame the image quality wasn't better because I think more money was actually spent on Chainsaw Sally than a lot of the other films I have reviewed.  It's even more unfortunate because I think a lot of people will subconsciously judge the film based on the technical quality and not see how great the story and characters really are.  Sure, Chainsaw Sally may not be the best filmed or edited low budget movie to come out in recent years, but offering a truly great villain, a cool story and a super cast makes it well worth watching!  Chainsaw Sally is the kind of horror movie character that people are sure to love.

Gore-o-meter rating: 4 out of 5
(Lots of gore!)

Skin-o-meter: 1 out of 5 (not much skin)