21 February 2013



Alternate Title:
The Back Lot Murders

German Titles:
Der Tod f├╝hrt Regie / The Backlot Murders - Der Tod kommt nach Drehschluss

USA, 2002
Director: David DeFalco


Considering the facts that I've never heard of this movie before, that the rating on Imdb is pretty low and that the title sucks a lot... gee, this was a very nice surprise! (thanks to Mum who gave me a DVD of the movie
as a Christmas present)

"The Backlot Murders" is a funny little slasher-comedy that feels a bit like a mixture of 90s slashers, 80s hardrock slashers and spoofs like "Student Bodies", and it doesn't take itself too seriously. The storyline isn't really unique, but still pretty refreshing: a rockband shoots a music video on the actual set of Hitchcock's "Psycho" when suddenly a killer in a Rockabilly/Elvis-like mask appears and starts to kill off one by one.
Sounds rad - is rad :)

It's packed with cool actors playing goofy and over-the-top characters. Charles "Roger Rabbit" Fleischer (who also did some memorable performances in movies like "Zodiac" or "Elm Street") as outrageously funny gay music video director, Corey Haim ("The Lost Boys") as silly guitarist, Priscilla Barnes ("The Devil's Rejects") as uber-hilarious band-manager, soap opera actor Brian Gaskill as dumb band leader, supercute softcore actress LoriDawn Messuri as stage-fog expert + a few gorgeous playmates, like Carrie Stevens and Angela Little, and a cameo of Ken Sagoes, best known from "Elm Street 3 & 4".

Terry Huud crafted an excellent score that sounds like a blend of Charles Bernstein and Bernard Herrmann, photography, lighting and editing are fine, DeFalco's direction is decent, and the Universal sets are just cool... yes I said sets, because next to the "Psycho" mansion, we also get to see sceneries from "Jurassic Park 2" and "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame".
There's also lots of boobs, tons of fun kills and a pretty high body count.

Best of all: the dialogue. Oh my goodness, it's so crammed with awesome lines that made me scream with laughter, my stomach still hurts ;-D

- "This is a hardrock-band. They don't need talent, they just need tight pants."
- "Edgy? Hello, we're shooting a rock band on the "Lost World" set. If it had anymore edge, I could shave with it."
- "What about 'Psycho'? You must have seen that one." - "Oh yeah. I saw that movie, daddy. It had Anne Heche in it, right?"
- "Your job in this scene is to make the boys tumescent... you know what tumescent means? Swollen... hard... stiff... Cockus Erectus."
- "The drummer keeps playing out of sync and the bass player, he looks like he's in a ABBA-video."
- "No-one said anything about nudity, and besides, I get double to show my chest!" - "Just because you have two of them doesn't mean you get double."
- "North? Where the hell is North? I don't know North. Give me left or right!"
- "You're an actress? In Los Angeles? How unusual."

Oh, and there's lots of talk about fog going on because Fleischer's character has some kinda fog-problem:

- "I hate fog, and you know I hate fog and I don't wanna work with fog again." - "Will you ever get over your whole fog-thing?" - "It's not a fog-thing. I'm not fog-phobic."
- "I'm very picky about my fog. I hate phony fog. (...) I want a very special fog. I do not want a Whitesnake-Poison-Billy-Squire video fog, I want a 1940s black-and-white Peter-Lorre-Boris-Karloff fog. I want a thick, tense serpentine-fog that creeps along the ground.
I want a fog that seems like it's coming from Satan's ass."

Some dragging in the last third and the ending is quite underwhelming, but overall, an amusing little flick that should give you one helluva time!


  1. I knew there's something good about a slasher who had its killer wear around an Elvis mask!

  2. Elvis rocks as does your spirited review, Harry. I seen this listed somewhere and didn't pay any attention to it, and I guess I probably should have. :p

    1. You definitely should have, Brian. It's hilarious :)


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