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The Independent Critic

Jackie Vernon, Lorein Schein, Al Troupe
Wayne Berwick
Thomas Singer (Screenplay), Craig Muckler (Story)
76 Mins.
Arrow Films (Blu-ray/DVD)

 "Microwave Massacre" Gets Arrow's Blu-Ray Treatment 
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"I'm so hungry, I could eat a whore..."

Comedian Jackie Vernon's not quite epic yet absolutely unforgettable performance in Wayne Berwick's 1983 B-movie classic Microwave Massacre tells the story of Donald (Vernon), a man who tires of his wife's horrid cooking, kills her and resorts to increasingly outlandish efforts in cannibalism as a result.

Sound tasteless?

Oh, it is. It's also incredibly funny.

The truth is that I can't hear Vernon's voice without thinking of Microwave Massacre, one of the latest releases from U.K. based Arrow Films, an indie distributor of horror, classic and cult films that are given packaging far beyond what most of them have ever seen and distributed worldwide.

Oh, and they've turned it into quite the success story.

While many B-movies are known for the appearances of up-and-coming actors and actresses, movies like Microwave Massacre are more known for the unusual cinematic names that popular their supporting players - in this case, Dick Nibbler and Tonedeaf Jackson and Major Electric and more.

Let's just say it's in the spirit of things.

Microwave Massacre isn't exactly an original film, though it sure is a fun one. Vernon, a comic from the classic era, has a terrific sense of comic timing and knows how to deliver dry, sarcastic lines for maximum impact. Too often, this kind of film can feature non-actors and non-comics simply delivering lines. Microwave Massacre is better because Vernon delivers the goods.

As is nearly always true for Arrow products, video production is top notch and sound quality far transcends what the film would have had in 1983. Arrow doesn't just do thinks in a cheap way - they take these films and they make them better. Consistently. These are the extras included this time around:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary with writer-producer Craig Muckler moderated by Mike Tristano
  • Brand new making-of featurette including interviews with Muckler, director Wayne Berwick and actor Loren Schein
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork to be revealed

First pressing only: fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Nightmare USA author Stephen Thrower

This packaging isn't the best packaging served up by Arrow. It's a tad slight in my book, though the Craig Muckler audio commentary is enjoyable and one has to appreciate the "making of" featurette.

If you're a fan of low-budget 80's horror, this Arrow presentation of Microwave Massacre is about as good as it's going to get for the film. Vegetarians beware, this is a meateaters delight and the faint of heart should probably steer clear. However, for Jackie Vernon's performance alone this collection's a keeper.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic