Director: Dylan Reynolds
Cast: Jamie Bernadette, Vanessa Reynolds, Stacey Danger
Production Company: Hike Productions
Runtime: 85 minutes
Cannabis culture has come a long way since Cheech and Chong smoked their first joint. Marijuana has been creeping into mainstream culture for a long time now. Director Dylan Reynolds takes us another step in that direction with his new film, 4/20 Massacre (2018).
In the movie, five women celebrate a birthday by going camping on 4/20 weekend. They’re warned to stay out of the hills, which happen to be a prime location for guerrilla growers. Strange events start to occur after they receive a backpack full of marijuana…
The amazing cast consists of Jamie Bernadette from All Girls Weekend (2016), Vanessa Reynolds from Playback (2010), Stacey Danger from The Neon Demon (2016), Justine Wachsberger from Insurgent (2015), and Marissa Pistone from Raze (2013).
It’s wonderful to see such a strong female troupe leading this film. They have an excellent rapport with each other, but still represent distinct individuals. I also liked that they avoided quite a few of the usual clichés that go with being a woman in a horror movie.
Donna (Stacey Danger) is the resident stoner of the group, and provides us with a brief history of 4/20. This scene really helped to place this film among other seasonal horror movies. There aren’t that many holidays left for horror filmmakers to focus on, but this one really works.
Jim Storm of Night of Dark Shadows (1971), Trilogy of Terror (1975), and Blue Sunshine (1977), plays a forest ranger named Rick. It’s great to see him again in this supporting role. His mere presence creates the kind of vibe you’d expect from a classic slasher movie.
The score by Angela Winter Defoe is very effective, and reminded me of the kind of music you’d hear in a grindhouse movie from the 1970s. The soundtrack also features awesome songs by John Dempsey, Sleeping Wolf, and Jaye Archer.
Lastly, the film is not a horror comedy. So, don’t expect anything like Bong of the Dead (2011) or Pot Zombies (2005). 4/20 Massacre burns hot and hits hard. Here’s hoping this is the beginning of a new slasher franchise! You’ll want another hit too…
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…