QUAD X: THE PORN MOVIE MASSACRE
Director: James Christopher
Year of release: 2015
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 88 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Not sure if it actually has a physical release.
Tagline: "The world's first mockumentary-slasher-comedy about adult film stars"
Estimated budget: $7,000
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: After being taken over by an ambitious new president a seedy porn studio strives to attract a new audience by branching out from their normal material. Instead of straight porn they instead decide to start production on a hybrid porn and horror film which they hope will turn a big profit.
To promote the project a struggling director is drafted in to shoot a documentary about the making of the new film which they feel may push up interest even higher.
The best laid plans are soon to be disrupted however when a masked psycho begins killing off both the cast and production crew alike.
Good points: *The kills come thick and fast from beginning to end so the pace never slows or shows any signs of beginning to drag. Though there isn’t a huge amount going on as far as the story goes the brisk pace and rapid fire kill sequences help to mask the lack of story twists and turns as well as never allowing things to become boring.
The filmmakers have been creative with the deaths as well with only the odd few being the same/similar with the others all showing a good amount of creativity, invention or homage. Seeing that this is a film with a large body count it’s good that they managed to keep things becoming too samey. You can tell it’s all very low budget with minimal special effects but it’s all delivered with enthusiasm.
*Largely being a mockumentary style spoof of the slasher and horror genres Quad X is very self-aware and it makes sure to pay tribute to several films from the past. Spotting references to older films is something I enjoy and among others I noted obvious nods to Scream and Peeping Tom here. There’s also a version of the double impaling through the bed kill made famous by the Friday the 13th franchise and A Bay of Blood. An extra spin is put on it here though with the unfortunate couple not actually wanting to get frisky and being coerced into it by the killer.
*I’ve said it many times that comedy slashers aren’t my thing but despite my natural inclination against them I’ll admit there were a few bits and pieces here that did hit the mark. Some of the psycho’s one liners after a kill were witty and there were some fairly funny characters like Jimmy Bones, Marcus and the more wholesome and moral porn star Miss Prissy. The cop double act added something as well as did the trio of writers who had their own sub plot going on which for the most part kept me entertained.
Bad Points: *The killer uses some sort of voice changing technology as seen in Scream but in this case I didn’t like the sound of the voice at all. It was too high pitched and squeaky and although I understand it was played for laughs it bothered me throughout and I think taking a more serious approach in this area would have worked better.
Mild spoiler: Regarding the killer there are also one or two bits that feel lazy such as the start in the Scream inspired sequence. Here the killer is in conversation with a woman on the phone only for it to turn out that he’s in the room with her all along. He’s just sitting in a chair across the room though and while initially out of shot for us he’d be in constant full view for her so it came across as too silly and unbelievable. They could at least have hidden him behind the sofa or a curtain etc.
*Early on I found myself a bit overwhelmed and confused as to who was who, who worked for who etc. There is a larger than usual cast of characters with most of them introduced very early on so it’s easy to loose track. On top of this you’ve got the documentary about the upcoming film being shot early on as well and it wasn’t always clear to me which parts were supposed to be being recorded for this and which parts were supposed to be just the characters talking amongst themselves without cameras present. With so much thrown at me early on I found it a bit muddled and confusing. There’s a moment early on for example where a very minor character without even a speaking part is seen dead and I initially couldn’t even place her/remember who she was. It’s maybe a case of too many characters.
For someone like me the film would most likely be a better experience on a repeat viewing when you already have a good idea from the start as to who everyone is. I don’t have the best memory though so those better able to keep track of things may not have any issues in the first instance.
*Big spoiler: The ending doesn’t feel very satisfying as it fails to wrap things up very well or shed much light on why the killer is doing what they’re doing. In fact it’s revealed at the end that there are actually three killers but very little is said about what their intentions are/were or to what extent they were working together. Not getting much by way of answers here makes the ending feel somewhat unfinished and a bit of a let-down.
One thing they could have done is make a joke of it saying there was supposed to be a fourth killer who could have turned out to be the writer (Joey) killed by accident early on. This would have tied in the subplot more and it could then be said the other three didn’t know their reasons because Joey was the mastermind behind it all but died before he could finish the script and thus their reasonings/backstory. Not great I’ll grant you but it would have been better than giving the viewer nothing which is what it felt like.
Verdict: Since starting the site I’ve been worried the letter “Q” review section would be forever empty so it’s great to finally have something to fill this barren spot. I’ve got to be grateful to Quad X for that.
The film itself though I approached with some trepidation as it looked very much to be a comedy spoof in the vein of Scary Movie or Shriek which I’m not keen on but this proved to be a little more to my liking in the end. It managed to hold the my interest with it’s fast paced style and the mockumentary gimmick added a dash of originality. I did however feel there were too many characters thrown in at the beginning and the ending was definitely a disappointment. I didn’t think it was bad on the whole though and those who really enjoy comedy horror will probably get a lot more out of it than I did.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1)Webcam model: Impaled through the chest with metal rod.
2)Jimmy Bones: Stabbed several times, mainly off camera as only his face is seen.
3)Joey: Killed by accident by female writer, pencil thrown into eye.
4)Jerry the Christian: Bashed on the head with Book of Mormon.
5)Hard Rock: Stabbed in the anal area with some sort of dildo/drill combination.
6)Serenity: Impaled on sharpened broom handle along with #7 while together on a bed.
7)Sugar Bumps: Impaled together with #6 by sharpened broom handle.
8)Renee: Killed off camera, briefly seen dead with a dildo stuffed in her mouth.
9)Jeff: Stabbed in stomach, intestines pulled out and used to strangle him. Castrated as well with severed body part later presented to Ginger Snap in a box.
10)Sen, Marks (Texas): Bludgeoned with mallet.
11)Dr Larry Strode: Strangled from behind.
12)Christopher: Stabbed with sharpened camera tripod.
13)Vageana: Stabbed in the back.
14)Larger more conservative cop: Killed just out of shot, body seen seconds later with guts hanging out.
15)Marcus: Ravaged with a hook to the nether regions/posterior.
16)Smaller more seedy cop: Has a dildo type drill pushed completely through his head.
17)Miss Prissy: Killed by little dagger/sai weapon to the chest.
18)Ghastly Eve: Same as above, dagger/sai to the chest.
19)Lucas: Placed in scissor hold by Chastity, think he died of a broken neck.
20)Reagen: Throat cut by Cherry.
21)Cherry: Stabbed with knife in the back/shoulder area by Ginger Snap.
22)Dr Long: Decapitated by an unseen killer at the very end.