Indie Horror Spotlight: "Leaf Blower Massacre" (2013) by Anthony Cooney

Anthony Cooney

Anita Nicole Brown - Girlfriend
Shavar D. Clark - Shavar
Anthony Cooney - Bobby D
Patrick Anthony Hozjan - Pat
Miguel Perez - Jose

Genre - Horror/Slasher/Comedy

Running Time - 12 Minutes

This edition of Indie Horror Spotlight comes from director Anthony Cooney. I'm Facebook friends with Mr. Cooney and he asked if I was interested in watching his short film and possibly reviewing it on the blog. And with a title like LEAF BLOWER MASSACRE, how could I refuse?

Written by Cooney and Josh Stephenson, LEAF BLOWER MASSACRE begins with a toddler named Martin looking out the window during an Autumn day. Everything looks fine, until you see that some of the leaves are drenched in blood. We move past twenty years, where the same town is being terrorized by a costumed, masked man using a leaf blower as his choice of weapon. Could this be Martin? Or is someone else entirely?

This 12-minute film is an obvious homage to slasher films of the 1980s shot on video, in particular the 1985 hilariously bad THE NAIL GUN MASSACRE. Just one look at the ridiculous costume, and the killer's voice and puns within the situation tells you that Cooney and Stephenson are huge fans of that 1985 film. The only difference is really the choice of weapon.

The idea of a leaf blower as a weapon is pretty funny. I was seriously expecting something offensive, like how STAN HELSING took the Leatherface character and gave him a leaf blower instead of a chainsaw. But here, the leaf blower is a serious weapon, being used to blow leaves at the victim, enough to distract them for a punch or blow to the face. The stalk-and-slash portions come across as more humorous than anything, as the victims just act foolish prior to the attack. The last attack is the most vicious though, as the killer attacks a victim and prepares to torture her. In my opinion, the change in tone comes out of nowhere, and the ending is such a tease that it annoyed me. It took me out of the film, making me wish it hadn't ended like that. But maybe the budget didn't allow more of the story and footage to be shot.

The characters are all ridiculous and over-the-top, but I liked that. It's obvious that LEAF BLOWER MASSACRE wants to be silly, so the dumb behavior of the characters reflects that. The poker scene had me chuckling, as well as the initial attack from the killer. There's no gore or T & A unfortunately, but this is the type of story I would love to see extended and made full-length to be honest.

The direction by Cooney is very good. It looks like a film shot on video and follows the horror conventions well. It's also quick paced [it has to be at 12 minutes] and flows well. The acting is also pretty decent, as you can tell the cast were having fun making this.

All in all, LEAF BLOWER MASSACRE is more hit than miss. While I disliked the ending and the tonal change towards the end, the rest of the film entertained me quite a bit. I look forward to watching more from both Anthony Cooney and Josh Stephenson. It's a shame about budget limitations. I would love to see this film as a full length movie. I think it could be a lot of fun, just like this 12-minute film.

3 Howls Outta 4

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