Troma // 2009 // 275 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Paul Pritchard (Retired) // January 7th, 2011
It's Sally Time!
The Chainsaw Sally Show: Season One is, as far as I can tell, the world's first slasher sitcom. Hailing from the good people at Troma, the home of The Toxic Avenger and Tromeo and Juliet, the series is the spin-off from the original Chainsaw Sally movie. And, much like it's feature length predecessor, The Chainsaw Sally Show: Season One dabbles in that familiar Troma blend of OTT gore and gutter level humor.
The series follows Sally Diamon (April Monique Burril), who by day is a mild-mannered librarian, but by night becomes the blood crazed, power-tool wielding killer, Chainsaw Sally. Unlike other chainsaw wielding psychos, Sally has a strong moral code; which sees her defending the meek, chastising the rude, and roasting the severed penis of sheep bothering hillbillies. The Chainsaw Sally Show makes no illusions to be anything other than a light hearted, gore-soaked, short, sharp, fix of comedy-horror. But though the gore may be plentiful, it lacks invention, and while humor punctuates most every scene, it rarely hits the mark.
Mercifully short, at around 20 minutes an episode, The Chainsaw Sally Show: Season One outstays its welcome not long after the first episode has finished. The jokes are of the overdone variety, and despite the decision to give Sally strong moral values, Burril just isn't given enough material to make Sally the iconic figure series creator Jimmyo Burril is seemingly aiming for. In fact, were it not for April Monique Burril's form, which the camera is clearly very fond of, there'd be little memorable about the series. To be fair to Burril, she is more than just the sum of her looks, and stands head and shoulders above the rest of the cast. While far from an accomplished actress, Burril at least brings some much needed screen presence to the show. But if Burril's involvement is the series highpoint, it is sole writer Jimmyo who must take the flack for the series failure. I'll keep my criticisms brief; I won't go into the lackluster cinematography, excruciatingly poor jokes, or the lack of excitement when Sally goes on a killing spree. I won't even rebuke the series for lacking any real point or purpose. I won't mention the total lack of depth afforded the characters', meaning they have zero chance of connecting with audiences. I'll even skim over Jimmyo's direction -- which plays things fast and loose -- and is so sloppy as to suggest an amateur production. Instead, I'll make one damning observation: If The Chainsaw Sally Show: Season One should be anything, it should be fun; so how the hell did it end up such a dull bore?
In Jimmyo's defense, the central idea does lend itself to a fun show; and I think it's safe to assume there's nothing else quite like The Chainsaw Sally Show on TV right now. Perhaps the series will hold some appeal to those who are drawn in by the show's absurdity, but at best this appeal is going to be limited to a select few. Indeed, a scour of the Internet suggests a small, but rabid fanbase feverishly anticipating this release. And whilst my own personal opinion on what constitutes good horror may differ somewhat from theirs, I'm happy to inform them that Troma have put together a decent 2-disc set. As well as two short behind the scenes featurettes, the set also contains a slideshow, music video, and sneak peak at Season Two. There's even the option of a commentary track for select episodes. Topping off the set is the 60 minute movie, "Grindhog Day," featuring Sally in a particularly bloodthirsty mood when a group of students happen across her cabin.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer is reasonably clear, though lacking in fine detail. Night scenes reveal decent black levels. The 2.0 soundtrack, which comes with the option of an added laughter track, is rather mixed. Dialogue has a tendency to become muffled, while the entire track is, on the whole, flat.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 275 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Film
* Sneak Peak
* Official Site