Wayne Berwick’s Microwave Massacre isn’t a good movie. It’s just not. There’s just not a lot that it does well. The script is pretty thin, the acting is so-so at best and the jokes often miss the mark. With that all being said, there is something charming to it and there is some fun to be had as long as you know what to expect.
Comedian Jackie Vernon stars as Donald, a construction worker with a wife who is desperately trying to force him to have more refined taste buds. May (Claire Ginsberg), his wife, wants the two of them to eat what she considers to be healthier and fancier dishes. This dishes are cooked in a comically large microwave that May recently purchased.
I have to talk about this microwave for a moment. It’s massive, basically the size of a small oven. It’s so large that the appliance store has to deliver it. Not only is it comically large, but once May has it all installed and ready to go she uses it to cook all her meals. In and of itself, this isn’t too weird. There’s plenty of people that cook all their meals via microwave – they’re called college students. What makes May’s use bizarre is that she’s apparently cooking healthy, fancy foods and she considers what she’s doing to be slaving away. Say what now?
Donald wants no part of this. He’s a man after all and he wants to eat man food! He comes home drunk one evening and he cares not to eat what May has cooked up. The two getting into a huge argument that ends with Donald bashing her over the head with a pepper grinder until she’s dead. Donald then passes out and when he awakes the next morning he has no idea what happened the night before. He finds May’s dead body in the microwave and this only slightly freaks him out. The moment quickly passes and he goes to work, happily telling his co-workers that he and May split up and now he’s a free man to do as he pleases.
When Donald gets home from work that night he chops May’s body up, cover the pieces in tin foil and places them in the freezer. Later that night he heads to the freezer for a late night snack and ends up eating May’s hand. Much like when he found her dead body this only briefly shocks Donald. He quickly realizes this is the best thing he’s ever had. He soon becomes addicted going on a murderous spree in search of fresh meat.
Microwave Massacre is so slapstick and silly. It aims to grab a lot of the low-hanging fruit. Right from the opening credits (which you can watch here) the film goes for the sleaze factor as the camera is focused dead-center on a girl’s chest as she walks down the street. When it’s not on her chest it switches things up by moving to her butt. She then sticks her chest through a whole in a fence at a construction site to flash some construction workers. Welcome to the 80’s, folks!
If gore is what you’re looking for Microwave Massacre does offer up some but it is of a very low quality. There’s a number of dismembered limbs, but they’re kind of like what you would find at a Spirit Halloween store rather than in a special effects warehouse. So don’t expect to be blown away, but if you are looking for a version of gore it does exist within in this film.
There’s nothing wrong with a film like Microwave Massacre of course. These films serve a purpose and have their place, but they’re just not very good. You could pair this up with something like The Refrigerator and that would be a very enjoyable double feature of bad movies that are fun.
As recently as five years ago I would have said a film like Microwave Massacre would never makes it’s way to Blu-ray, well Arrow Video sees things differently than I. They’ve given this film a gorgeous Blu-ray release. This is an extremely low budget movie and it shouldn’t look this good, and yet it does. The film is a 2K transfer using the original 35mm negative and it looks really great, particularly in scenes that are well lit. I’m guessing the darker scenes didn’t have the best on-set lighting and thus don’t look as good on Blu-ray.
The special features are actually on the low end with regards of what we’ve come to expect from Arrow. Still this is a pretty obscure 80’s movie so the fact that there are any special features is a plus. There’s an audio commentary with Craig Muckler, the man who conceived of the story for Microwave Massacre, and it’s hosted by Mike Tristano. In addition there is a short documentary entitled “My Microwave Massacre Memoirs,” that features interviews Berwick, Muckler and actor Loren Schein. This is a cool little feature that offers some good insight to this low-budget oddity.
Like I stated up top, Microwave Massacre is not a good movie, but it is fun. You’ll know if this movie is for you and if it is you’ll want this Blu-ray.
Microwave Massacre is available now on Blu-ray from Arrow Video.