Reviewing films from the Legless Corpse collection is becoming a thankless task. How else do you describe these titles that are oh-so obviously made for the close-knit amateurs that make these low-budget indies?
Chopping Block is another example of a filmmaker and their cast having more fun than the audience. As someone on the outs, I found Chopping Block to be cheap with its material and in its production design. This is the type of movie where characters recite the literary findings of a public school washroom while standing in an area that’s supposed to be an office, but clearly looks like someone’s kitchen. What was that infamous Judge Judy saying? “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining”?
A movie like Chopping Block can work, but only with a go for broke production team who have honest integrity to entertain. To use a film Legless Corpse has supported in the past (an official selection and winner in the company’s film festival), Secret Santa is a good example of how a happy-go-lucky film can satisfy viewers outside of its circle. By embracing its small-time limits and compensating with outrageous gags, Secret Santa’s throwback schlock earned an equal amount of intentional laughs and unintentional guilty giggles. All in all, it was a good time.
It seems like Chopping Block wants to be silly schlock, but it can’t full-on commit – an understandable move if the production wants to pitch in some extra effort to be enjoyable in other, more original ways. However, the film’s witless ambition isn’t willing to work harder to achieve its goal as it maintains a level of annoying and crass behaviour. Having the film stop to watch characters get drunk, slur speech, and act foolishly gives the audience an idea of where director/writer Joshua Hull wants his film’s intelligence to be stationed.
During one of those drunken dives, a song named ‘Fancy Boy’ by Mindtroll managed to make me smile with a repetitive lyric: “I am a fancy boy/I shop at Williams-Sonoma”. Then again, Chopping Block made me desperate for something – anything.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie