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Panic Fest 2023 Review: “Bury the Bride”

Freddy Krueger. Jason Voorhees. Michael Myers. These are just a few examples of the many slasher killers that have become ingrained in pop culture and achieved immortality. Both in that no matter how many times they die, they keep coming back and that their franchises won’t stay dead as long as they have a fandom to revitalize them. Like Peter Pan’s Tinkerbell, they live as long as the fan thinks they will. That way, even the most obscure horror icon can have a shot at a comeback. And the actors who portrayed them.

This is the setup for The Once And Future Smash and Final zone 2 created by Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein. In the sixties, the first true sports-themed slasher was created with the film The end zone and is more popular pursuit Final zone 2 in 1970. The film followed the football-themed cannibal Smashmouth and was played by the ever-so-selfish diva Mikey Smash (Michael St. Michaels, The Fat Strangler) and “Touchdown!” slogan slinging William Mouth (Bill Weeden, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD), both men claiming the character and creating a rivalry that would last for decades. Now, 50 years later, a studio is lining up a The end zone requel and both old actors are determined to make a comeback as Smashmouth while attending a horror convention. Leading to a battle for the ages for fandom and bloody glory!

The Once And Future Smash and her companion Final zone 2 stand on their own as both a loving satire of horror, slashers, fandom, remake trends, and horror conventions, as well as their own fictional horror franchise with lore and history. The Once And Future Smash is a funny, biting mockumentary that delves deep into the gritty, competitive world of the convention circuit and the lives of guests and fans. It largely follows Mikey and William as they both desperately try to recapture their perceived former glory and it leads to all sorts of awkward and hilarious mishaps, like being booked at the same table – despite hating each other absolutely each other! The cast is complimented by AJ Cutler as AJ Working as Mikey Smash’s assistant, thanks to a vow from his father who worked on the original films as Smashmouth’s partner in crime, AJ works well as the straight man to the former horror star’s passions. in their demands and as tensions heat up. He has to go through all kinds of degrading treatment and make AJ want to escape the craziness behind the scenes.

And being a mockumentary, it only makes sense that there would be an extensive list of experts, filmmakers and talking heads to interview on the subject The end zone franchise and history. It features a wide variety of icons and memorable appearances such as Lloyd Kaufman, Richard Elfman, Laurene Landon, Jared Rivet, Jim Branscome and more. Giving it an air of legitimacy The end zone being such a highly regarded slasher, or smasher, film series and Smashmouth deserving of its infamy. Each interview provides additional context for the quirky details and surrounding backstory The end zone series and grounding the idea further to make it a palpably real film series. From declaring their favorite scenes from the films, to adding snippets about the behind-the-scenes drama, to how it even influenced their own works in the genre. Many spots are very clever parodies of other horror and trivia franchise dramas such as Friday the 13th and Halloween among many others, further adding entertaining parallels

At the end of the day though, The Once And Future Smash it’s a love letter to the horror genre and the fandoms that have sprung up around them. Despite the conflicts and problems that can arise from nostalgia and trying to revive those stories for modern cinema, they left a positive impact on their audiences and for fans to rally around. This mockumentary does for fandom and horror franchises what Christopher Guest’s films did for dog shows and popular music.

Inverse, Final zone 2 is a fun slasher (or smasher, given that Smashmouth pulps and drinks its victims with a blender due to its grotesque broken jaw.) Purportedly restored from lost 16mm footage, the 1970 slasher takes place 15 years after to the original The end zone and Angela Smazmoth’s Donner High Massacre, as Nancy and her friends try to move on from the horror by having a reunion at a cabin in the woods. Only to fall prey to Angela’s son Smashmouth and his partner in crime AJ! Who will survive and who will be mashed?

Final zone 2 both stand on their own and compliment The Once And Future Smash both as a companion piece and as a really fun, throwback horror film in its own right. Paying homage to other slasher franchises and trends of yesteryear while forging its own identity with Smashmouth. Little bit Friday the 13thlittle bit The Texas Chainsaw Massacreand a dash Nightmare on Elm Street in a fun soccer theme. While both films can be watched individually, get the best of the two as a double feature as news about Final zone 2 and the stories of its production history from The Once And Future Smash come into play.

Overall, The Once And Future Smash and Final zone 2 are two wildly inventive films that lovingly deconstruct, reconstruct, and love everything from slasher franchises, horror conventions, and the true terror of behind-the-scenes drama. And hopefully one day we’ll actually see more Smashmouth in the future!

5/5 eyes

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