Release Date: August 8, 2017 (VOD Platforms)
Director: Michael Walker
MPAA Rating: NR
Runtime: 98 Minutes
As a horror fan, I frequently have to sift through a range of mediocre to terrible releases in the hope of finding something new and interesting – something that elevates the genre or puts a clever spin on an established narrative. In the case of Michael Walker’s Cut Shoot Kill, none of those things happened, and what we’re left with is a messy heap of trash devoid of logic or reason for being.
Alexandra Socha stars as Serena, an up-and-coming-actor who’s cast in a low-budget horror film that is being directed by some hotshot named Alabama, a filmmaker who has garnered some buzz with his short films that feature some very realistic-looking gore effects. You already know what’s coming next, but I’ll humor you anyway; it turns out Alabama and his crew are actually killing the actors on screen to provide the most realistic and raw movie possible.
Cut Shoot Kill is a cacophony of unfortunate acting, cringe-worthy dialogue and sub-par sound mixing that culminates into a thoroughly unenjoyable experience from beginning to end. From the moment a character named iBall appears onscreen and does his best Simple Jack impersonation, it becomes abundantly clear what we’re in for with this movie, and it all goes downhill from there.
The film within the film, which appears to be some generic slasher not unlike the film we’re actually watching, takes place in a remote cabin in the woods, so naturally there’s the obligatory “we have no cell reception or internet out here,” scene, which, in addition to being an annoying trope, seems wholly unlikely in this day in age. After some huffing and puffing, the actors accept it though and move on to getting slaughtered one by one.
As it turns out, the former lead actor in Alabama’s short films was murdered, which didn’t seem to raise any red flags for Serena, and when the circumstances of her death are revealed…it makes no goddamn sense. Even more baffling is the film’s conclusion, a completely unjustified take on Cecil B. Demented that will worsen the already bad taste in your mouth.
Perhaps most disappointing is the effects work in Cut Shoot Kill, which is dreadfully underwhelming. Most of the gore effects are thankfully practical, but the occasional CG blood accents that are a bit rough to say the least. It seems to go against the very ethos Alabama and Co. are working so hard to achieve.
If you’re in the market so a fun horror movie about making a horror movie, check out Return to Horror High or even the Troma film Terror Firmer. Cut Shoot Kill is a poorly constructed bag of nothing that should be avoided.