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The Backlot Murders (2002) - Blu-ray Review

If it wasn’t for the over-the-top acting of Charles Fleisher (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and Priscilla Barnes (Three’s Company), then The Backlot Murders, a satire of the horror genre, would be a total waste of your time.  But there’s a trick to enjoying this movie and it comes with repeated viewings AND plenty of alcohol . . . oh, and the Playboy Bunnies.

This B-grade horror flick, about a dumbass rock band’s video shoot on Universal’s backlot and the problems therein especially when a masked killer strikes, is as empty-headed as it sounds.  Babes!  Boobs!  Blood! And really BAD rock anthems! 

 the whole satire bit in this horror film gets lost along the way

I would be giving The Backlot Murders, now on blu-ray thanks to Dark Force and Code Red’s color-corrected HD transfer, a HARD PASS, because even the inclusion of Corey Haim doesn’t help the band or the movie, if it weren’t for Henry, the flash-in-the-plan gay director (Fleisher).  His one-liners to Stephanie (Barnes) and their chemistry together save this movie time and time again. {googleads}

The killer, wearing an oversized Elvis mask, tracks down the various members of the band who, in between the epically LAME music video shoot, wander Universal’s backlot, stumbling into the Psycho house, a hospital set, the Jurassic Park set, and – before getting it on with ANY of the wonderfully fake-breasted bunnies – taking them out.  But who is this villainous rascal?

Directed by David DeFalco (Chaos), the film does have its moments where the slasher aspect shines through and that Elvis mask actually looks maniacal. We just have to be distracted by the nudity as one woman, taking advantage of some alone time with the new bass player in the band, strips for this flick to work. The Backlot Murders (2002) - Blu-ray Review

Off and on, there are some good scenes thanks to the Fleisher and Barnes chemistry.  There is also an intelligence to what is assembled here.  It just gets drowned out by all the pointless tomfoolery that, ironically enough, murders the pacing. 

Since the whole satire bit in this horror film gets lost along the way, The Backlot Murders is not essential viewing.  I’m sure that hardcore Horror Hounds and Go-Go Ghouls have enough to get their jollies off, though, and – quite possibly – that’s enough for this release to keep being mentioned in very small circles. 

Ho hum.

2 beers


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The Backlot Murders (2002) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, language, sexuality/nudity and some drug use.
90 mins
: David DeFalco
Paul Arensburg, Steven Jay Bernheim
Priscilla Barnes, Corey Haim, Charles Fleischer
: Horror
Tagline: The stage is set ...

Memorable Movie Quote: "Your job in this scene is to make the boys tumescent... you know what tumescent means? Swollen... hard... stiff... Cockus Erectus."
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 28, 2018
Synopsis: a masked killer stalks a rock band shooting their first video on the backlot of the world's most famous movie studio. One by one, the band and their beautiful girlfriends begin disappearing only to turn up as ghastly victims.



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The Backlot Murders (2002) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Dark Force Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray
- June 28, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: None
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Dark Sky and Code Red’s partnership produces a brand-new HD scan from the original negative of The Backlot Murders.  Complete with extensive scene by scene color corrections, the transfer looks good.  Details are rippling through the film and black levels are strong throughout.  Flesh tones are GREAT (and so, too, is the nudity) and the lines are well-defined.  Texture and fine detail are both present and colors are properly saturated.  The gore is excessively thick and the make-up work is of a darkly precise matter.  There’s no CGI so the effects are all practical and thankfully have clear definition.  The sound is presented in a warm stereo surround release.  Dialogue is mixed well with everything else in the front channels. 



  • There is a NEW audio commentary with DeFalco and Code Red's Banana Man


Special Features:

Loaded with fun, NEW interviews from Charles Fleisher, Carrie Stevens and Brian Gaskill, the special features should satisfy the fans (and there are some) of this flick. 

  • Carrie Stevens Interview
  • Brian Gaskill Interview
  • Charles Fleisher Interview


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The Backlot Murders (2002) - Blu-ray Review