This charming little arthouse movie concerns Sally (April Monique Burril- pregnant at the time) who witnessed her parents being brutally murdered. Her father (Gunnar Hansen, aka Leatherface) leaves her with the final message to not let anyone stand in the way of her or her brother. Years later, watch Chainsaw Sally has grown up into a librarian by day, psycho vigilante killer the rest of the time, along with her equally warped brother Ruby (Alec Joseph) who has grown up into a cross-dressing mixture of adult and child (as would probably be the case for a boy who has been raised by his adolescent older sister and no one else). Did I mention that local greedy types are scheming to buy the land the two loonies live on? Uh-oh, it’s gonna get messy. Cue the red stuff, and a lot of other nasty-looking stuff.
Chainsaw Sally watch online, inspired by an Internet character (!), is just about the cutest, most good-natured gore movie I’ve seen in a while. You’ll laugh and puke at the same time! Sure, a lot of the supporting performances are typically awful for this kind of low-budget fare, but this is mostly pretty amusing stuff for those with strong stomachs. Best of all, everyone involved seems to know what is required for this kind of schlocky film to work and they do their best to achieve it. They also seem to be having the time of their lives. This is especially true of three of the cast members in particular. Burril, apparently the wife of the film’s director, goes all-out as the twisted protagonist’s alter ego, so much so that her rather flat line readings as the librarian aren’t too much of a distraction. Burril is a pretty cool scream queen. Even better is the scene-stealing Joseph, whose extraordinarily over-the-top antics are a constant source of hilarity. Then there is the King of Gore himself, Herschell Gordon Lewis, who has a minor part as hardware store owner Mr. Gordon, and he seems to be enjoying life, enjoying working on the film, and clearly enjoying the fact that his grotesque cinematic legacy is living on in movies such as this. On a smaller note, it’s also nice to see Gunnar Hansen picking up a saw again, and more importantly, not being given a helluva lot of dialogue- ‘coz, let’s face it, the guy can’t act!
The film’s use of grainy b&w footage for flashbacks is actually better handled than in many higher budget films, and there’s an amusing scene transition from poison to coffee being poured. Very classy indeed. Outside of the scenes involving Sally and Ruby, most of the other scenes are a bit wooden, and in the case of two lunkhead cops, somewhat extraneous (Well, OK, perhaps cops are necessary to a story about serial murders, but they aren’t all that useful here). I also have mixed feelings about one of the film’s more elaborate murder scenes (and yes Chainsaw Sally is quite gory, though seldom in that unpleasant Last House on the Left way). It starts with a rather yummy lesbian scene (And really, doesn’t everything start with a yummy lesbian scene? No? Well it should. I really need a shrink. A whole team of ‘em!), but then goes into one of the sickest and goriest murder scenes I’ve ever come across (I’m not even going to try and describe it). True, this murder scene is definitely bravura stuff (and very funny, in a sick and twisted way), but c’mon, did they have to interrupt the girl-girl sweetness?
The DVD includes an audio commentary with the director and wife/star April Monique Burril (who comes across as a real fun gal, actually). The best part comes when they note that an actor in a scene has a stack of CDs on his desk (for absolutely no reason) and that the actor downloaded Metallica songs from Napster! The doco “Sawdust: The Making of Chainsaw Sally” covers some of the same ground, but gives us a good idea of the genesis for the film. Also included is an interview with Gunnar Hansen, who explains how he watch Chainsaw Sally online free and he seems very much behind the full movie, seemingly having had a blast on it. He also seems quite content to be known as Leatherface for the rest of his life. Also included are storyboards and a pretty dopey music video by the aptly named Pissant.