With kick-ass artwork, a genre friendly title, and a bunch of B-movie names to help draw-in viewers, The Rockville Slayer is a low-budget movie that’s out to deceive you. It’s a movie that’s pretending to be something its not and that false front is even carried out in the opening scene.
We’re first given a look at the idyllic small town of Rockville in the credits sequence as we get a feeling for just how peaceful and quiet it is, soon enough (as in, as soon as the credits end) we’re out in the middle of a dark field where two teen couples have decided to spend the evening making out in their cars. Seems they’ve just won the big football game and want to have some fun. After many scenes of the two jocks blabbering back and forth on walkie talkies (you’d think this would turn the girls off and annoy them, but it doesn’t), a lot of poor sexual innuendo charged dialogue (one of the guys proclaims, “I’m going for the touchdown…”), and a bit of nudity they’re all killed off in by-the-book slasher fashion. And that’s about where the movies intentions to be an actual slasher movie ends.
Sheriff Duncan (Joe Estevez, showing unusual restraint – at least until the finale) and his deputy Charlie (Circus-Szalewski) arrive on the scene to investigate the deaths but are soon pushed to the side by detective Amy Rogers (Nicole B. Buehrer) who is determined to find the killer at any cost.
From here The Rockville Slayer becomes very dull as director/writer Marc Selz makes his characters wrestle with inner demons occasionally deciding to throw the audience a bone with some sort of weak suspense scenes (I will admit there is an okay jump scene early on that’s quickly followed-up with a bunch of confusing flashbacks as a girl, who’s fresh from escaping the asylum, runs through the nearby woods). He tries to toss out various clichéd red herrings, gives Circus-Szalewski’s character way too much screen time as Charlie anguishes over the death of his brother (one of the teens) and his alcoholic father’s indifference, and eventually finishes it all off with a plot twist that’s totally silly, but the most entertaining thing here – who can resist Linnea Quigley and Robert Z’Dar (who I once aptly read described as, “The jaw who walks like a man”) going as over-the-top as possible?
I’m always looking for something positive to say about a movie no matter how low-budget or how poorly done it is. If I had to pick something for The Rockville Slayer it would be the simple fact that Selz does attempt to make his characters more “human” than most films of this type, but I also have to express my annoyance with Selz, distributors Freestyle Entertainment, and anyone else who thought up trying to pass this slow paced, weakly done murder mystery/psychological thriller as a slasher flick. It’s also pretty hard to take the movie seriously when the sound mix is so horrible I constantly found myself adjusting the volume to try and make out what various people on screen were saying.
If you must watch The Rockville Slayer, watch it for the three aging B-movie stars involved and for the unintentionally funny scene where Charlie’s dad tells him about cheating on his wife (which has the actor donning a really bad wig, but at least has Quigley doffing her duds – and looking decent still – for a sex scene). If that’s not enough to convince you, and you don’t have oodles of patience, you’re better off leaving this one on the shelf. (Chris Hartley, 1/22/06)
Directed By: Marc Selz.
Written By: Marc Selz.
Starring: Circus-Szalewski, Nicole B. Buehrer, Joe Estevez, Bob Farster.
Freestyle - November 1, 2005
Picture Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen.
Picture Quality: If I included sound mix in this category, The Rockville Slayer would fail miserably, but judged on picture alone this is an alright looking disc with decent colours and clarity, though a few scenes seem a little bit fuzzy at times.
Extras: A trailer, 3 talky deleted scenes (not like the movie isn't talky enough to begin with!), and a fairly congradulatory commentary with Selz and music composer/bit role actor Karl Sundstrom.