I suppose I should establish right off the bat that i've never seen Chainsaw Sally (the movie) and don't know much about the character aside from seeing April Monique Burril at various conventions over the years. That being said, I hardly think it matters. From what I gather, this show originally aired as a web series and was then picked up by Troma, who gave it an official DVD release today. A spin off of Chainsaw Sally the movie, the show follows the exploits of the quasi-attractive titular character, a librarian by day and a chainsaw wielding mass murderer by night who gleefully dispatches those who she feels have wronged her, horror film references abound. It's an interesting and unique premise for a show and sounds pretty good on paper, but that's just about all the positive I can say about it. After sitting through four 20 or so minute episodes, I simply couldn't take any more and had to throw in the towel. Full of bad jokes and cheap effects, I found the show to have few if any redeeming qualities and be fairly painful to endure. Burill is not without her charms but I can't help but feel she'd be better suited to turning Sally into a horror hostess, rather than having husband Jimmyo churn out material like this for her. Needless to say, I won't be seeking out the movie anytime soon. Fans of that flick may feel differently about this one and I suppose it was made for those fans and those fans only, whoever they may be. The two disc set features all 11 episodes and is jam packed with special features.
The major marketing tactic behind Troma's 20th anniversary re-release of this flick from the early 90's is the claim that screenwriter Kevin Williamson stole the idea from it later on in the decade when he wrote mega-hit Scream, the film which is generally considered to be the one that birthed the self-referential horror movie. There's Nothing Out There! is the tale of a bunch of teens headed to a cabin in the woods where they run into a green killer alien monster with an aversion to shaving cream. Years prior to Scream (though it looks like it was shot decades prior), one of the characters is aware that he and his friends are in a horror movie and he uses the rules he's learned from watching so many of them in order to kill the alien and get as much of his crew out alive as possible. It's hard to watch the film and not think of Jamie Kennedy's character from Scream whenever this (super annoying) dude talks about horror movies, though that's just about where the similarities between the two end. While there certaintly is some credibility to Troma's claims that Williamson borrowed the general idea from this flick, nobody can say for sure and even if he did, that would certaintly take nothing away from Scream or his screenplay, as Williamson did it far better and went a lot further with the whole idea. That being said, I do find it kinda sad that no one recognizes this one as a precursor to Scream, ahead of its time in the early 90's. Truth be told, I had never even heard of There's Nothing Out There! until it arrived in my mailbox this past weekend, so i'm happy to now say that i've seen it and gotta thank Troma for bringing it to my attention. It's a pretty bad and highly boring movie all around (with the highlight being an awesome opening scene in a horror VHS filled old school mom and pop video store), but ya gotta respect it for its original idea and for being the unsung first of its kind. For that, I deem it worthy of a single watch, though I can't recommend you part with the cash to own it. The 2 disc set is loaded with special features, in typical Troma fashion.
My advice for this week's DVD purchases? Give There's Nothing Out There! a Netflix rent if ya haven't seen it yet, skip The Chainsaw Sally Show and put that money to use on Piranha 3D instead.