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Chainsaw Sally Show, Season 1, The
The Chainsaw Sally Show isn't exactly high art, and it isn't intended to be. Barely sketched plots, mediocre acting and silly dialogue aren't considered important when there's gratuitous nudity and arterial spray to showcase.
Based on an earlier film, the show consists of eleven episodes of around twenty minutes each, and one "very special episode" that runs at fifty two minutes. Written, directed and edited by Jimmyo Burril and starring his wife April Monique Burril as the eponymous Sally, and the couple's daughter Lilly as Poe, Sally's assistant at the library. Yes. Chainsaw Sally, multiple murderer and scourge of tiny Porterville, Maryland, is the town librarian. Of course, she brutally killed the previous librarian, essentially for rudeness, in order to get the job. She is Chainsaw Sally after all.
The series chronicles the shenanigans and violent fun that Sally and her brother Ruby (Azman Toy) have, usually at their isolated home in the woods. They love horror movies, and will often play games themed around films like The Abominable Doctor Phibes or The Entity. The episodes generally begin and end with a killing, and in the commentaries Jimmyo and April basically admit that they like to kill on screen people who annoy them in real life. This list would seem to include able bodied people who park in handicapped spaces, rapists, men who have sex with animals, the rude and bullies, especially when they're cheerleaders.
But all is not perfect for Sally in Porterville. A mysterious man known only as Cowboy (Bill Price) has come to town to investigate a murder (which Sally committed previous to the series) and he is aided by the busty and spirited cosmetics sales rep slash private investigator Gretta Morehead (Jordan Wyandt). They are tracking down clues that are not only leading them to Sally herself, but which may also implicate the innocent Poe. A climactic and bloody showdown is clearly inevitable.
This plot summary may seem a bit light, and that's mostly because the plot itself is light, merely a skeleton upon which to layer scantily clad women and campy murders. Between the killings, events just trundle along, often with random and seemingly pointless asides, often involving incompetent local cops Zeke and Earl (Aaron Martinek and Brad Smoley). Sometimes, these asides are quite funny, and other times merely drawn out and boring. The humor is hit and miss. There are a few laugh out loud moments, such as when Earl (or was it Zeke?) asks his partner, "How'd your date with my mom go?" There are a lot of throwaway lines like that. At one point, Sally seriously opines, "Braggarts are ass monkeys, and God hates an ass monkey." This is the general level of the humor, and when the timing is on point, it works. But the timing is often off. The super low budgets show up when an actor clearly flubs a line reading, but they don't bother to reshoot, which happens quite often. About as often as you see crew members in the shot. But hey, who cares about line reads and poor sound editing when you've got beautiful, full figured women murdering people?
About those murders. They're campy, and not necessarily inventive, but executed with such gleeful abandon and verve that they can't help but be fun. Sally kills with baseball bats, hatchets, guillotines, reciprocating saws, with her bare hands (at one point pulling a woman's spine out through her rectum) and of course, with her trusty chainsaw. And then there's the torture and cannibalism. Not wanting to be wasteful, Sally and Ruby eat everything they kill, and take great care in the preparation (at least once shown in great, exploitive detail) and presentation of the meals. They even make a human piñata! Sally and Ruby (well, mostly Ruby) are essentially children in spirit. They like to play games, eat candy and dress up. And they murder with gusto, and keep sexual slaves in dog cages.
The Chainsaw Sally Show is not quality television. At points, it looks like something filmed in your cousin's back yard. In the tiny bite sized episodes, it can serve as a low protein snack, though the very special episode's near hour length tends to drag on a bit. But if you don't care about production values or story or performance, but do care about bared breasts and blood, you'll probably enjoy it immensely. For the general public, though, this is a rental only.
The video is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and varies in quality. Sometimes the image is crisp and rich, and at other times the colors are washed out or full of grain. It's clear that no funds were available for color correction or other post production work on the image. The action is generally visible, and for its budget things look pretty good.
The audio is Dolby digital 2 channel, and also has its issues. While most of the time the dialogue is clear, there are moments that it drops to near inaudibility. The lack of subtitles exacerbates this problem. No alternate language tracks are available.
There are lots and lots of extras, some on each disc. They are:
21 Weeks in Porterville
Running at almost nineteen minutes, this featurette is a sort of video blog of the production. There is plenty of behind the scenes footage, and a couple of very short interviews, mostly focused on Jordan Wyandt and her breasts. (Her breasts are also a topic of much discussion in the commentaries).
Anatomy of a Kill
This four minute extra runs through the mechanics of how the blood and gore effects are achieved for the numerous murders.
Exactly what it sounds like, four minutes of April Burril in various states of undress.
Theme Song Music Video
A video for the theme song, Shattered and Blue, with footage from the show.
Can You Hear Me Now
A short, short film (under five minutes) involving Sally killing a woman who is overly proud of her Bluetooth headset.
Commentaries are included for many of the episodes, on both discs, and involve various people. Most of them feature Jimmyo and April, but also Lilly, Shawn Jones (producer, cameraman, etc.), Azman Toy, Jordan Wyandt, and even effects and music people. The quality of these commentaries varies widely. Some of them are quite intriguing, mostly the ones with Jimmyo and April, who sound like quite a fun couple. Others are deadly dull. On a couple of them, there are sync problems, with the audio ahead of where it should be by several seconds.
Most of the episodes also feature a laugh track, which is quite random and seemingly unconnected to what's happening on the screen, except in the most abstract way. Weird.
There is also an Easter egg on disc one, accessed by pressing the right hand button on your remote when on the main menu, a short segment of April Burril belly dancing topless, which was used for the Forbidden Pictures logo.
Since this is a Troma release, there is the obligatory Tromatic Extras section, which includes the DVD credits, trailers and the Troma T&A, which features a Tromette talking about Chaucer and taking off her top. Lloyd Kaufman also has one of his rambling, insane introductions at the beginning of disc one.
The Chainsaw Sally Show is not trying to be great television, or high art or even a ripping yarn. It just wants to show acres of naked flesh and buckets of blood, with a healthy dash of humor thrown in. For the most part, it succeeds at this, though the humor only works sporadically. But if someone is only interested in what's on offer here, they'll get it by the truckload.