There’s not much to say about Paul Stoichevesk’s 2001 shot-on-video opus Massacre Up North, except for it’s the best worst movie ever made. It’s a haphazard deconstruction of the slasher genre, as if Ed Wood himself wrote and directed Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon as an objective narrative.
After young Leslie Rejick is disfigured in an accident during a family outing, he seeks vengeance against those who mistreat him for his appearance. And what starts off as a slasher-revenge film, quickly tailspins into several other genres, such as torture porn and a police procedural.
There’s no real reasoning behind most of adult Leslie’s (portrayed by Stoichevesk) selection and murders, but he utilizes the hardware store he works at as his armory, as well as an arsenal of homemade weapons from the middle ages.
There are certainly some laugh-out-loud moments that are intended for shocks and scares, but the execution is amateur at best. The acting is clumsy and the cinematography is all but present. One merit is that Stoichevesk does not skimp on the gore. Massacre Up North may not be a well-made film, but it’s sure as hell entertaining.
Lost in the annals of VHS format for 15 years, I was lucky enough to score a copying when big chain video stores were selling off their stock before closing up for good. But thanks to Shivers Entertainment, Canada’s newest independent distribution company, Massacre Up North has been rereleased on DVD and limited VHS editions.
~ Matthew McPhee