Well, this is confusing. Dismembering Christmas is a natural for December viewing. But when to watch Bloody April Fools? It takes place on December 28th, not April 1th! But there’s a reason….
BLOODY APRIL FOOLS (aka: Los inocentes) (2013)
This Spanish film about pranksters’ favorite holiday takes place in December because that’s when the holiday is observed in Spain! So it’s up to you to decide—watch it in December, when it takes place, or watch it on the first day of April?
Clocking in at a spectacular hour and eight minutes long, Bloody April Fools gets right to all the classic slasher clichés. After an intro showing a prank gone wrong in 1998, modern day kids heading on a ski trip stop at an abandoned hostel for the night. One of them is an asshole prankster who makes the best of the holiday. The rest are pretty much horny and either have sex or go looking for it.
Once the dicks and tits come out, so does the inventive psycho out for blood. The kills are fast and furious and come in all varieties.
There’s glory hole fun, a fire kill that brings to mind the intro to the TV show Mission Impossible, a braingasm (you have to see it to believe it), killer bees, laughing gas, dead body reveals galore, and even a found footage segment! Plus, there’s an ending that’s much more Friday the 13th than April Fool’s Day—but just as much mindless slasher fun as both.
DISMEMBERING CHRISTMAS (2015)
Eureka! Another short slasher! Despite an ADHD sufferer’s dream length of only an hour and eleven minutes, at first I was worried about the worth of watching Dismembering Christmas through. The intro kill of a guy decorating a cabin for Christmas then getting stabbed—with a pocketknife—looked like cheap, filmed on video stuff.
As we meet our group of friends going to a cabin in the woods for the holidays, I was a bit more impressed. The snowy holiday tone was great and the visual production looked more professional.
The downside is that a majority of the acting is amateur (with a few exceptions), which doesn’t help the excessive dialogue used to establish character relationships. The kids also meet not one but two local weirdos to throw up red flags about who the killer could be—and honestly, the big reveal at the end is a cliché throwaway. But hey, it’s a slasher. Does backstory really matter all that much?
So let’s get back to the middle of the movie. Finally, after a strip poker game in which one of the guys shows his butt, followed by a montage of the kids partying, the seasonal slaughter starts. The killings are the reason to watch Dismembering Christmas. While you might want to check out after being subjected to the flimsy storyline and weak writing, the talent here is in the setups of tension, the eerie atmosphere, the look of the killer, and the pretty dang clever kills, which stick mostly to the holiday theme. There’s death by sledding, death by snowman, death by ceramic Christmas tree, death by wreath—ah, that holiday spirit. Adding to it is a subtle but highly effective score infused with Christmas bells. So overlook the attempt to make these characters complex and just sit back and wait for them to get hacked to holiday pieces.