From the purveyors of perturbation comes another cult classic on Blu-ray. This month Arrow has released the 1983 film Microwave Massacre. Now, I’ve never seen this movie before although I do vaguely recollect the name floating around the old VHS store that I worked at in the late 1990’s. The cover art alone makes it seem like this film is going to be really crazy. I wonder if I should keep track of every joke in the movie that mentions “eating,” or would that be in bad taste? Actually, instead of trying to out joke the movie I am going to be looking at whether this film is worth a purchase and place in your collection. Is it as pleasant as eating a cheap dry burrito that is still partially frozen in the center? Read on to find out in The Nerd Mentality movie review of Microwave Massacre!
This horror-comedy focuses on the day to day life of construction worker Donald (comedian Jackie Vernon) who is not happy with the meals he has been getting lately. His wife May (Claire Ginsberg) has decided to only cook “gourmet food”, and this does not sit well with Donald. Donald’s friends enjoy bologna and cheese sandwiches but he has to suffer from quickly made microwave meals.
Donald and May have an argument and lets just say that she no longer cooks for him. He takes matters into his own hands with the microwave oven. Donald decides he is much happier with this type of meal and wants to experiment with different ingredients. He is considered by his friends to be a master chef, but where is he getting such great meats to cook?
There really isn’t many surprises to be found in the film (although there are a few odd things going on) and at times it leans a little too hard on the cheesy comedy side rather than the horror aspect. This film was made in 1978 but sat for 5 years waiting to be distributed. I think it helps if you look at the film as being a spoof movie based on the boom of 70’s horror/exploitation movies and don’t try to take it seriously. It’s amazing to me that movies like this are being produced and distributed internationally for a whole new generation of fans to be able to enjoy them. So, how did Arrow Video do on this Blu-ray release?
Audio and Visuals:
Microwave Massacre has an English soundtrack in original mono and it sounds fine. Dialogue is heard easily and the score also sounds good. The audio is nothing that will impress your friends but it is decently done and it is in line with what you would expect for a movie of this age and budget. There are a few audio artifacts where maybe the audio was edited poorly but that is most likely due to the source material. English subtitles are included in this release.
As for the visuals Arrow has released the film in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 scanned at 2K from the original 35mm negative. Again, while realizing what era and budget this film comes from it looks very good. There are varying levels of sharpness and grain but overall it is in great condition. You can tell the restoration is a quality work and I dare say that the film has never looked better. People who are already fans of this film should be pleased with the results.
- My Microwave Massacre Memoirs (21 minutes) – This is a modern HD interview with writer Craig Muckler, director Wayne Berwick and actor Loren Schein. Its a fun and informative romp down memory lane where the limitations of the film are noted and discussed.
- English subtitles
- Image Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer
- First pressing only insert booklet with essay by Nightmare USA author Stephen Thrower, photo stills and transfer information.
- Audio Commentary hosted by legendary cult master Mike Tristano featuring writer Craig Muckler – The disc menu incorrectly lists director Wayne Berwick, but the back of the case correctly lists Craig Muckler. This is a minor mistake in my opinion.
As with your typical Arrow release there is a reversible sleeve featuring the original artwork as well as newly commissioned art.
The case contains a Blu-ray disc and a DVD disc.
I personally thought the movie was quite entertaining and because it moved at a brisk 78 minutes I never got bored. It does take a certain sense of humor to really appreciate this film. There was a dry satirical humor, with overacting and a bit of gore and T&A. I’ll admit that compared to modern films it had a slower pacing. However we aren’t talking about a masterpiece of high art. It’s the kind of movie you would want to stay up and watch on TV as a 12 years old, knowing you would get in trouble if your parents caught you.
I laughed out loud multiple times and even the credits had funny little touches to them reminiscent of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker films. I don’t really want to put the moniker of “bad” film here. It’s certainly a cult film. It’s low budget and done by first time filmmakers in a basically one take and you are done situation. If the cover and the title of the film makes you smile or giggle a bit then I bet this movie is for you and is worth picking up. If you have seen it before and liked it I definitely recommend you buy this version as Arrow once again does a fantastic job on another forgotten release. However if you haven’t seen it and the descriptions and title don’t interest you then watching it probably wouldn’t win you over. So I suggest that if it sounds like what you are into just sit back, pop open a cold one and grab some buddies and watch Microwave Massacre on Blu-ray!
Note: This Blu Ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.