LA Film Fest Review: DUDE BRO PARTY MASSACRE III
The toughest kinds of films to review are the ones that are all over the place, tonally inconsistent, and seem to not be aware of what kind of movie they want to be. Thankfully, this is not one of those projects. Dude Bro Party Massacre III, from the team behind 5 Second Films, knows exactly what kind of movie it wants to be and delivers on that in spades. It's an '80s slasher movie homage that doesn't make the mistake of getting hung up on referencing specific horror movies from the '80s, instead using the genre as a springboard for its own knowingly stupid jokes.
The movie opens with text that explains how the film was banned by President Reagan and the only reason we're able to watch it is because a kid recorded it on his VCR from a local TV station, which we can see by the VHS tracking and snatches of ludicrous ads we catch during commercial breaks. As you might expect from a film with this title, the plot is ridiculous. Brent Chirino (Alec Owen) goes undercover and joins the Delta Bi fraternity to investigate the death of his twin brother, who was murdered by a serial killer named Motherface, thought dead from the events of the previous two Dude Bro Party Massacre movies (which don't exist in real life, but the stories of which are spelled out in flashbacks). Meanwhile, a rookie cop (Maria Del Carmen) is tasked by her demon-worshiping police chief (Patton Oswalt) with driving her idiot partner (Brian Firenzi) out to the cabin where the Dude Bros are partying in order to be Motherface's virgin sacrifice.
But the plot doesn't matter as much as the execution, and while jokes fly fast and furious here, I think only about half of them landed for me. The humor often reminded me of something you'd find in a David Wain movie, and it definitely veers into (and actively embraces) the absurdity of its premise, eventually becoming a Too Many Cooks-level deconstruction. There are tons of little visual gags, and while most of the fun of the movie is discovering these for yourselves, I'll tell you my favorite one: occasionally characters will speak in another language, but instead of relevant subtitles appearing, the subtitles that show up at the bottom of the screen indicate that the person who is typing them is being held against their will and being forced to type subtitles.
For those wondering if the movie lives up to its slasher roots, rest easy: there are buckets of blood in this film, and the body count rises as the film progresses. These aren't just your average death scenes, either: many of them are creative and inspired, with Motherface dropping an appropriate pun-based one-liner after she picks off each bro. There are also a number of cameos, from people like Larry King to The Room's Greg Sistero and musician Andrew W.K.
While I don't think I'd ever watch it again, I can almost guarantee that for at least one person reading this right now, Dude Bro Party Massacre III will become your favorite movie. It's a self-aware cult film that isn't annoying about it, and though I didn't laugh at all of the jokes, it's tough to think of another movie that delivers so perfectly on expectations.