Amanda By Night's Retro Ectero Page

Retro Ectero is a place to wax poetic about all the wonderful silly things of a past long gone by.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Backlot Murders

Corey Haim picks up a paycheck, barely making an appearance in yet another made for video horror movie trying to ride on the coattails of Scream. A really bad up and coming rock band head to a Universal movie studio lot to shoot their music video directed by Henry (Charles Fleischer - that’s right, the voice of Roger Rabbit!). The band’s bitchy agent Stephanie (Pricilla Barnes) tags along with some groupies and obnoxious film crew, unaware that among them walks a killer in an Elvis costume! I’m not making this up!

The back of the box claims The Back Lot Murders is not an ordinary genre film because of its unique combination of horror and humor (gee, I‘ve never seen that before!). The only humor you’ll find would be that of the grinning producers who not only got the viewer’s money but also managed to take a couple of precious hours of the their life as well. And it’s never coming back, folks...

Usually I find these kind of ‘rawk-n-horror’ combos a can’t miss, at least in a cheesy sort of way, especially with the sleepwalking Corey Haim, whom I normally love (Demolition University, anyone?). Unfortunately, he only shows up long enough to unbelievably act like a ladies man and get slaughtered. Fleischer and Barnes by far the best part of the movie, but it’s not enough to save it. Eagle-eyed soap opera fans may also spot Brian Gaskill as the uncharismatic lead singer. He grins his way through every line hoping we find him as cute as he thinks he is! Uh, we don’t!
Everything is contrived from the silly music, bloodless murders and silicone filled groupies. There is only scene worth watching, which involves Fleisher giving the band a piece of his mind. The scene which was improvised, only goes to prove that Fleischer is way above his element here and is more deserving of a better role.

At least Corey Haim can rest knowing The Back Lot Murders isn’t nearly as bad as his godawful 1993 genre effort Fever Lake (at least this film is watchable). As for the rest of us, this film is guaranteed to bring you nightmares, but not the kind you were expecting!