It’s no surprise that The Bible Belt Slasher director and star Bradley Creanzo looks like 1980s Tommy Shaw of Styx. His franchise begins with a half hour short that is straight up slasher trash that could have come from the 80s direct-to-VHS home-brewed era. We’re talking camcorder recording with a bunch of friends as your cast and your house as the set.
A bunch of kids prank calls a Bible nut and he crashes their pizza party and slaughters them all. The film takes place in 1988 and you can tell Creanzo actually lived it. From posters and T-shirts to Cassettes and VHS tapes, we are bombarded by 80s music and movies: Lita Ford, Cinderella, Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Aldo Nova, Samantha Fox, Whitesnake, W.A.S.P, The Hitcher, Critters. It’s hard not to spend the entire half hour just trying to spot 80s references. There’s even some Tab soda, a boom box, and a classic TV Guide.
While Creanzo composes some dead-on 80s sounding tracks for the movie, he also uses a few genuine songs from the era by the likes of Propaganda, Pepsi & Shirlie, and even the song “Hard Act to Follow” by Diana DeWitt, from the movie Night of the Comet!
As for the movie, sure it’s ultra low-budget and not even vaguely scary, but Creanzo delivers some good old-fashioned gore, including a gruesome drill kill and a testicle squeeze from hell. Those Bible belt dudes just love balls.
The sequel is a full-length feature that runs over an hour and forty minutes…which is way too long. A camcorder movie this independently made works better as a short.
In the sequel, much of the cast from the first film returns—as different characters! The killer is still the same, and he escapes from a mental institution at Christmas time. He’s heading to the house of the sister of one of the victims from the first movie, played by the same actress with a different bad 80s wig.
Creanzo, who was the main guy in the first film, is the killer’s psychiatric doctor in this one. He pulls a total Doctor Loomis, running around spouting the same melodramatic lines over and over again to anyone who will listen about the pure evil with which they are dealing.
The movie is essentially just endless kills, with the killer drooling, cackling, and dropping one-liners to himself after each mutilation—then dropping a Bible page on the dead body. It takes place a year later in 1989, and the video store scene couldn’t be any more dead-on (I know…I worked in a video store that year). There are loads of 80s horror movie references, and in a true low-budget 80s movie move, there’s what amounts to an 80s rock video dropped right into the center of the film! Styx—I mean, Creanzo and his band—perform.
The Christmas spirit is there, with trees, a candy cane kill, a Christmas star kill, and a couple of Santas.
In fact, some asshole in a tank top at a bar—who happens to be the cutest damn guy in the movie—even beats up a Santa. I wish I could find a pic of this hottie in his too-small tank and tight jeans, but alas, no luck. He also gets called a faggot by the killer, which is the point where the movie loses all credibility to me; he’s a Bible belt killer and the meanest thing he could come up with is faggot? Shove a wise man up his ass or something! It’s Christmas, for Christ’s sake!
If only the music video and the hottie in the tank top had been in the first short film, it would have been all I needed from The Bible Belt Slasher franchise.