Nancy (Ashley Rae Spillers) in Saturday Morning Massacre.
By Don Simpson
A group of friends run a floundering ghost-hunting business, modeled loosely after a certain Hanna Barbera cartoon. (Yes, they even have a dog. No, the dog does not speak.) The group's founder is Nancy (Ashley Rae Spillers), the Velma of the gang. Equal parts cute, sexy, smart and empowered, Nancy has found herself in a bit of an existential quagmire, not knowing what to do if ghost hunting does not begin turning a profit.
The future of the gang hinges upon their newest client, Mike Ryan (Chris Doubek), a banker who is trying to a spooky mansion of its murderous ghosts. Nancy, Gwen (Josephine Decker), Chad (Adam Tate) and Floyd (Johnny Mars) pack up the VW van fully expecting to unravel yet another hoax masterminded by an evil capitalist trying to scare people away from a get-rich-quick scheme. What starts off as a horror-comedy flick takes a sharp turn into some serious violence. There will be blood, buckets of blood.
Director Spencer Parsons (I'll Come Running) had never made a horror feature, but as a film professor and fan of the genre, he was obviously well-versed in the medium. If you have seen any of Parsons' earlier work, you have probably noticed his subtle -- and downright classic -- approach to comedy, a technique that makes Saturday Morning Massacre quite unique within its genre.
It is also nice to see such well developed leading characters – especially the leading ladies – in a horror film. When Nancy, Gwen, Chad or Floyd make bad choices, it comes off as a parody of the genre, rather than stupidity on her or his behalf. They are not mere pawns whose only destiny is death; the gang has plenty of complicated issues to contend with outside of financial security and ghost hunting.