#235 -- Kill the Scream Queen (2004)
Director: Bill Zebub
I felt a little bit of hope when I realized that Bill Zebub was the director of this one, because I really enjoyed The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made. I thought, maybe, this one would be similar and have that same brand of extremely cheesy humor. The Worst Horror Movie had a good amount of cheesy horror, bad acting, and weird humor. It was one of those movies that's so bad it's good, and that's exactly what it was meant to be. Kill the Scream Queen, however, is just plain bad. I know what Zebub was trying to do with the movie, but he failed.
It's about a guy who lures young, hot women into an abandoned bar with the promise that they'll be in a movie that will make them famous. He then ties them up, rapes them, kills them, and throws their bodies in the woods. That's really all you need to know, because that's all there is. This lacks many elements of a story. It has a conflict and an antagonist, but that's it. There's no real protagonist (except the very last woman, who puts the hurt on him but still ends up dead), there's no plot. There's no real beginning, because we don't know what drove him to do such things (other than him stating that he used to research serial killers), there's no ending, no triumph over the bad guy. There's just...nothing.
There is an interesting premise of having different categories of torture. There was humiliation, molestation, torture, fear, etc. But all of them looked the same. There was really no way to distinguish between them, so that premise was shattered.
If you know anything about Taoism and Lao Tzu, you know his yin and yang theory: that there cannot be bad without good. The dictionary.com definition of "antagonist" is the adversary of the hero. But since there was no hero, or protagonist, you could say that there wasn't really an antagonist either. It's just a crazy guy killing women; and a crazy guy making a horrible movie.
The killer does have a little bit of reasoning behind his killings, but only a little. He believes that scream queens kill horror movies, because all they're good for is their tits. They have no real acting ability, and they're only there to show a little skin. It's about the triumph of boobs and blood over story and acting. This happens far too often, I will agree with him on that. But in trying to make that point, he created one of those movies that he obviously hates. I believe that was Bill Zebub's point here, to make a movie that makes fun of itself. But it just didn't work.
What makes it worse is the effects. I'm no stranger to terrible effects in movies, and sometimes I even enjoy them. But the problem is that this movie relies solely on its murder scenes. When that's all there is, you'd better have some amazing effects, or the movie will not work. The reason that those other low-budget movies with bad effects work is because they've got a good story, some humor, or some other element that makes it interesting enough for us to overlook the bad effects. This has none of that, so we're forced to focus on how unrealistic this "real" snuff film is.
Zebub stars as his own terrible killer, and he was the best actor in the movie. I do enjoy him, and I like him as a crazed rapist/murderer. I think it could have been better if there was at least a little bit of story thrown in. Again, that would have defeated his purpose, but it also would have created a better movie. The only thing it had going for it was the so-called scream queens. They were, for the most part, attractive women with their bodies exposed. So if that's what you're looking for...watch some porn, because that will have more story than this. If all you want is to watch hot babes being tortured and killed, then hop in a van to the nearest loony bin, because you're seriously fucked up. All kidding aside, this movie isn't really made for anyone. I honestly cannot imagine anyone enjoying this crapfest.
Maybe this movie was meant as a message to other film-makers. Maybe Zebub was trying to show them--in vivid detail--how important a story is to a horror movie. Maybe it was meant as a sort of "this is what not to do" movie-making guide. If so, then I have to give it props, because that point was made loud and clear. But, honestly, I think it was just a really shitty movie that should have never been made.