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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Wrestlemassacre

July 27, 2020 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #564: Wrestlemassacre

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never had its face ripped off by, well, anyone (and I count that as a good thing), The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number five hundred and sixty-four, I take a look at the mega low budget pro wrestling horror flick Wrestlemassacre, which hit home video via Wild Eye Releasing this past June 2020.



Wrestlemassacre, directed by Brad Twig, is an oddly endearing and emotionally involving mega low budget pro wrestling themed horror flick. You just don’t expect to experience those kinds of emotions with a movie that starts out with a crazed killer stalking two people through the woods, with one of those people being a completely nude woman. I have no idea why the movie starts out with this chase, outside of starting the movie with a serious jolt, as the man and nude woman are eventually dispatched by the killer in incredibly gruesome ways (the nude woman gets her face ripped off!). But after witnessing all of that, for about an hour or so Wrestlemassacre is practically an underdog drama about a down on his luck guy with the dream of becoming a professional wrestler and the audience watching that underdog navigate the trials and tribulations of trying to live his dream.

The underdog in question here is Randy (Richie Acevedo), a groundskeeper who desperately wants to be a pro wrestler like his father (Josip Peruzovic, better known around the world as Hall of Fame pro wrestler Nikolai Volkoff). Randy also has a major crush on Becky (Rosanna Nelson), the girlfriend of one of Randy’s clients, Owen (Julio Bana Fernandez). One day, after watching Owen and Becky argue about Owen’s growing gambling debts, Becky asks Randy if he wants to meet her at a bar for a drink. Randy, of course, agrees to the date immediately, thinking it’s an actual date. Randy also decides at this time, after seeing a TV commercial for a wrestling school in West Virginia owned and operated by “The Boogie Woogie Man” hisself, Jimmy Valiant, that he’s going to go to that school and learn how to become a pro wrestler. Randy knows that he has the necessary skills and passion to do it, and what better way to get noticed in the pro wrestling world than getting good marks from Jimmy Valiant? Life is really starting to look up for Randy.

And so, of course, Randy’s fortunes crash and burn almost immediately. Randy loses his job as a groundskeeper when he’s caught sneaking a peak at a client’s wife taking a shower, his big date with Becky turns out to be just a small get together with Becky and Owen at a bar because Becky felt sorry for Randy about the way Owen treated him the other day, and his big chance at Jimmy Valiant’s wrestling school goes bust when he’s humiliated in front of everyone by Jimmy Valiant himself. Super dejected, Randy goes home to drink beer and watch TV, Maybe it’s just a big fucking bump in the road? While watching a local televangelist, the Reverend Nathan Ashberry (James L. Edwards), Randy is “visited” by that Reverend in his own home, in his own TV. The reverend basically tells Randy that he needs to get revenge on the people who have hurt him/held him back in life/don’t understand him. Randy freaks out during all of this. How the hell is the reverend talking directly to him through the TV? And since when is the revered the goddamn Devil?

Randy goes to see his father to, maybe, get some advice and encouragement. After all, a big part of Randy’s dream of being a pro wrestler is, by being a pro wrestler, he would make his father proud. Randy’s visit with his father, like seemingly everything else in his recent life, goes south quickly, with Randy’s father berating him and telling him he wishes he wasn’t born. In a blinding rage, Randy strangles his father to death, then freaks out again after realizing what he’s just done. It’s at this point that Randy is visited by the demonic reverend and Randy sort of accepts that now is the time for him to gain revenge on those that have hurt him. It’s the only way Randy can become the star he thinks he should be.

And so Randy puts on a pair of wrestling tights and some wrestling boots, makes himself look like wrestling legend Bruiser Brody, and he goes on an absolute rampage. We see Randy completely destroy various people, ripping some of them limb from limb, often using wrestling moves to do what he needs to do. We also seem him use various gardening tools to kill people.

Now, while all of that is going on, Owen and Becky are still arguing and going through shit over Owen’s gambling debts. Becky confides in her gigantic brother Shawn (pro wrestler Rene Dupree), and Owen tries to hit up his friends for money (it’s a losing effort because Owen also owes those people money, too). And the gangsters that Owen initially took money from, led by the hilariously profane henchman Jackie (pro wrestler Jimmy Flame), are closing in on Owen. Jackie’s boss, Mr. Valentine (Nicholas Yoder II) wants his money and he wants it now.

And so Randy’s rampage and Owen’s attempt to get his gambling debts cleared and Mr. Valentine’s need to get his money all come to a head and the various story threads converge in a gory as fuck brawl.

The mix of drama, mega low budget horror gore, and comedy (Wrestlemassacre isn’t labeled a comedy but the movie is chock full of funny moments) probably shouldn’t work. You watch the first part of the movie and it seems, at that point, to ramp up the gore and the ridiculous spectacle of a man dressed as a pro wrestler tearing people apart with his bare hands, is a mistake. It isn’t, though. It all somehow fits. The movie does peter out a bit at the end, as the last few minutes make absolutely no sense, but the ending doesn’t kill the movie. You want to see more, or at least want to see what happens next. Is Randy done exacting revenge? Does Randy have more people to kill? And if Randy does have more people to kill, just how many more people does he have to kill? Where does the Wrestlemassacre story go next?

Wrestlemassacre’s pacing is deliberate but always engaging. A 100 minute long mega low budget horror flick seems like a huge mistake on the outside. Very, very few movies of that ilk can sustain themselves for 80 minutes, let alone 100. Wrestlemassacre is one of the exceptions to the “rule.” Could the movie had done without a few gory death sequences? Maybe. But the body count doesn’t actually slow the movie down. It’s just another aspect of its deliberate pacing. It’s amazing.

The movie’s gore special effects are horrific, bloody, and absolutely disgusting, which is exactly what you want to see if a movie is going to feature practical gore effects. Yes, some of the effects look cheap/aren’t as slick as they could be, but since director Twigg and company go all out with them there’s a consistency throughout the movie that’s admirable. If a character is going to get his or her face ripped off they’re getting their goddamn face ripped off. If someone is going to get pulverized by a piece of lawn equipment, we’re going to see damn near everything involved with that. It truly is a wonderful thing to see. The only effect I didn’t care for was the championship belt made out of human skin. I like the idea, but the execution of the idea is a bit lacking. The blood used throughout the movie has a nice color to it.


The movie’s main performances are terrific. Richie Acevedo is awesome as Randy. He projects a natural honesty and integrity that you can’t fake. Acevedo makes Randy seem slow, but he’s actually a smart and sensitive guy who just wants to live out his dream. Life and evil forces get in the way, though, which is unfortunate. His scenes with Rosanna Nelson, who plays Becky, and Peruzovic/Volkoff are hard to watch because you know what a goody guy Randy is but they just don’t see it. Randy’s transformation into a killer pro wrestler is a tad abrupt, but Acevedo sells it and makes you believe that he really is a killer pro wrestler. According to what I read about him on the internets, Acevedo is a pro wrestler and has performed in the ring as the Cuban Assassin, so he knows how to do the wrestling stuff and make it look good. Acevedo really does look like Bruiser Brody. He isn’t as tall as Brody but, damn, from certain angles it looks like Brody reborn. Acevedo should have a nice career ahead of him as an actor if he decides to go that way.

Julio Bana Fernandez is great as Owen. He makes Owen such a relentless douchebag that you can’t stand him, but he also seems to have a natural likeability that makes you tolerate his continued existence in the movie. Yes, he’s a clueless racist asshole to Randy (Owen doesn’t understand that Mexican and Cuban are not interchangeable), but you still want to keep watching him to see what happens to him next. It’s an odd part but Fernandez makes it work.

Rosanna Nelson does a fine job as Becky. You’re never quite sure how to take her because you’re never quite sure if she’s being honest. Does she like Randy as a person? Are her issues with her boyfriend actually issues? What the hell is her deal, anyway? At the same time, you like her, she’s naturally appealing. You actually kind of root for her right up until the point you find out how she really feels about Randy. Nelson knows how to make Becky cruel. The ending of the movie suggests, if there’s a sequel, Becky will feature in the beginning, at least. What the heck is that going to be?

Rick Jermain and Chris O’Brocki are so damn great as Randy’s boss and co-worker Mr. Hogan and Slade. Mr. Hogan is an asshole, yes, but you understand where he’s coming from as a small business owner. And Slade is exactly what you expect out of the son of the owner; he’s a total douchebag. He’s hilarious, he has one of the best speeches in the movie, but he’s an awful person. I wouldn’t mind seeing a movie about their characters and their landscaping business. I bet it would be a riot.

Jimmy Flame is the movie’s bad guy MVP as Jackie, the main henchman of Mr. Valentine. His dialogue bits are so goddamn profane and funny I’m just going to assume that most of them were adlibbed by Flame. Flame is a wrestler so he knows how to talk and almost every bit of his dialogue comes out naturally/doesn’t seem like dialogue from a script. I am in awe of this man’s use of the F word. And check out that scene where Jackie eats the food. What the hell is that all about?

Rene Dupree has a large part as Becky’s brother Shawn, and it’s a weird performance. At first, I thought Shawn was a guy that Becky was having an affair with, and I was taken aback when it was revealed that they’re brother and sister. Then there’s this whole thing with Shawn and his wife/girlfriend that seems like it’s from a completely different movie. On top of that, Dupree has what can only be described as an extended sex scene with his onscreen wife/girlfriend and that, too, seems like it’s from a different movie. How the hell did this sex scene happen? Was it always in the script or was it a condition of Dupree’s involvement? Did he want to have this sex scene? Dupree does have a good screen presence and has the look and the chops as a pro wrestler to be a low budget action movie star if he wanted to go that route. Will he do it, though? As for Dupree’s love interest, I believe she’s played by Brandy Mason but I’m not entirely sure. She has an interesting screen presence, too.

And then there’s Nicholas Yoder II as the lead gangster Mr. Valentine. Holy shit is this guy a fucking riot. He’s funny, he’s intimidating, and he will fight you at the drop of a hat because that’s just the kind of guy that he is. He’s another guy I want to see a solo movie for. A dwarf midget crime boss that will fucking fight you. That could be cinematic gold.

Of the “old school” wrestlers that pop up, the best onscreen performer is Jimmy Valiant. He looks like he’s a million years old but, at the same time, he knows how to talk, he knows how to play to the camera, and he could, probably, kick your ass in a wrestling ring despite being a million years old. Valiant isn’t in the movie long enough. Josip Peruzovic/Nikolai Volkoff does a good job despite having a hard time with his lines. He still sells those lines, though, and he does a good job with the various insults he has to dish out. Manny Fernandez, the Raging Bull hisself, has a nice little scene as Randy’s onsite boss Tito. He knows how to play a guy that just wants to do his job and keep his job. Tony Atlas is okay as Hercules, a henchman that bullies Owen in full view of the public. Atlas is still gigantic and imposing, but he doesn’t seem to know how to act with the other performers in his scene and he talks over them constantly. Did the producers only have him for like five minutes and this is the scene they had and they just had to go with it as is?

And then there’s Jim Fullington, Sandman, as Kendo, a henchman that pops up at the beginning of the movie. All Kendo does is poke a fat guy in the stomach with his kendo stick and yell “Dough boy!” Was Sandman drunk off his ass/coked out of his mind in this scene and they just went with it? I mean, what the hell is going on with it? Holy shit.

Wrestlemassacre is a damn good mega low budget horror flick. Yes, it’s rough around the edges, has a few questionable performances, and has a weird wending, but as a whole it’s a movie that you root for while watching it. Richie Acevedo is a movie star in the making, and, on the whole, Wrestlemassacre succeeds more than it fails. That’s all that really matters in the end anyway. If you’re a fan of mega low budget horror flicks, pro wrestling, and movies about/featuring pro wrestling, Wrestlemassacre is something that you absolutely need to see. It’s well worth your time.

See Wrestlemassacre. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: At least 20.

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: Yes. Massive amounts of it.

Doobage: A man chasing a naked woman through the woods, a “Let’s split up!” strategy, a wrestle fight, throat ripping, flesh eating, full on bloody face removal, head smashing, a phone call, a problem with money, a big argument about money, floor sweeping, a shakedown, seriously misplaced employee loyalty, serious fat phobia, a TV commercial about a wrestling school, mild racism, groundskeeper hooey, a mason jar mug, a woman takes a shower, nipple piercings, an ass kicking, a bizarre political moment, an incriminating video, a date that isn’t a date, a bar attack, a debt amount that keeps changing for some reason, beer chugging, a sad moment, a wrestling school disaster, public humiliation, an awkward father/son moment, a hilarious “my wife is so ugly” bit, strangulation, revenge time hooey, a mega back breaker, neck snap, multiple bloody finger removals, ear removal, head smashing with a hand weight, electrocution, neck breaker, killing a guy with a weed whacker, bloody tongue removal, bloody intestine removal, bloody nipple removal, head stomping, serious forehead carving, choking a guy with his own intestines, human skin sewing, a get together, an odd domestic squabble that leads to a foot massage, a full on sex scene, a midget crime boss, cheese eating, apple eating, mustard squirting, face slapping, a giant safe in the basement, attempted forced fellatio, bloody eye smashing, a camel clutch that leads to a decapitation, a body slam, bloody arm and leg removal, leg eating, a knife with an antler handle, throat stabbing with a pair of hedge clippers, steel chair to the head, ripping out a guy’s fucking spine, wooden stakes to the back, ladder climbing, table breaking, wooden stake through the gut, big rock to the head with head smashing, a Hatchet head ripping homage, sudden night, some weak sounding gun shots, steel chair to the back, bullet to the head, and a weird ending.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: A man chasing a naked woman through the woods, The Sandman with his kendo stick, The Sandman saying “Dough boy!” over and over again, a TV commercial for Jimmy “Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant’s wrestling school, a man talking about beating Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, a weird political discussion, a “Home is where you keep your beer” wall decoration, “The Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez, “The Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez wearing a Manny Fernandez Wrestling School T-shirt and Vietnam Veteran hat, a disturbing televangelist, use of the word “perturb,” a “coffee is for pussies” speech, “You are a person!,” Tony Atlas, “Faxes are for pussies!,” Renee Dupree, Jimmy “Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant telling people how long it takes to become a pro wrestler, Jimmy “Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant doing hip tosses and arm drags, Nikolai Volkoff, off screen old woman pornography, a killer that looks like Bruiser Brody, belittling of the VA, people putting their clothes on, a “Somebody’s Watching Me!” parody, a badass midget doing a fucking Samoan drop, and a weird ending.

Best lines: “Give ‘em hell! And kick his ass!,” “Let’s go, motherfucker!,” “I like my problems to come with solutions, Owen!,” “I’m more of a Civil War kind of guy,” “How can you be so irresponsible?,” “Where you at, McFucker?,” “Come on, dough boy!,” “Fucking commercials,” “Oh my God! That’s the fucking Boogie Woogie Man Jimmy Valiant!,” “Take that Hogan!,” “But Owen, I’m Cuban. Yeah, like I said. Mexican,” “What the fuck, Randy?,” “Everyone else is crazy. Maybe you’re the only normal one,” “If I ever catch you looking at her again I’ll fucking kill you. I swear to God. The yard looks good. Keep up the good work,” “What did Christians get for voting Republican?,” “Why do you watch my fucking show, Randy?,” “You want me to kill people?,” “Are you, superstar,” “But why would they put that on the World Wide Web? So they can laugh at you, Randy. So men can look at their phones and say ‘Man, my wife hates me. My kid is fat and asexual. And I’m too tired to even take a shit when I get home after work. But thank God I’m not… that guy’,” I sent you a fax? Did he just say he sent me a fucking fax?,” “Take it easy, there, Gerry Ford!,” “What can I say? I like inspiring people,” “You used to work for the newspaper, Mr. Hogan?,” “You actually seem to think you’re competent,” “I’d wish you luck but I’m sure you wouldn’t know what to do with it,” “You really are a miserable sonofabitch!,” “You want to be a wrestler? Ha! You make me laugh!,” “No! Randy! That’s my finger banging hand!,” “So why did he get arrested? Well, he kind of took a dump on the front steps of an elementary school,” “God, I hate retail,” “You can have the open one,” “Ladies, have no fear, your alcohol is here!,” “What’s up, gum drop?,” “Isn’t that the breed of dog that mauled that woman in San Francisco?,” “We’re going to Mickey D’s after this! And you’re buying me a fucking Happy Meal and I’m keeping the fucking toy!,” “I’m the champ! I did it for you!,” “Keep it moist for me,” “Jackie, go downstairs and check on those two mongoloids and make sure they’re not tag teaming that bitch,” “Hey, try not to shit yourself while I’m gone, baby,” “Shit! I guess he didn’t see that coming,” “Looks like we got ourselves a wannabe wrestler here. Welcome to Halloween Havoc, bitch!,” “You need to cool off!,” “Lights out, rock star!,” “You know, never send a sasquatch to do a bitch’s job,” “I’m gonna fuck you up, boy. I’m gonna kick your ass so bad your own sperm is gonna fucking hang themselves by their own tails!,” “Don’t fucking do it! I’ve got a job opening for you!,” “What’s so funny? My brother-in-law is going to kick your ass,” and “Randy! You’re fired!”

Rating: 7.0/10.0


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Things to Watch Out For


Survive the Night: This is the latest low budget, direct-to-video action flick for former big time movie star Bruce Willis, and he’s teaming up with Chad Michael Murray to take on a team of criminals who invade a doctor’s home and end up needing medical help. Or something. Based on the trailer, I’m assuming that the doctor is Chad Michael Murray’s character, and Brice Willis is like an ex-cop or something and Chad Michael Murray’s father. So it’s one of those deals where the criminals break into the house, hold the family hostage, force the doctor to operate on a wounded criminal friend, and then the good guys fight back. I mean, that’s what the trailer suggests anyway. I really need to dig into these low budget direct-to-video Bruce Willis movies because there are just so many of them and it looks like, at the moment, Bruce Willis is going to remain a direct-to-video fixture for the foreseeable future. Willis has another low budget direct-to-video movie coming out next month, something called Hard Kill that actually kind of looks okay. Anyone out there a low budget, direct-to-video Bruce Willis movie fan?


Re:Born: This Japanese action flick has been on Shudder for a while now, so there’s a chance that, if you’re a Shudder fanatic, you’ve seen it. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, but it looks pretty damn cool. It’s been described as a kind of “John Wick” type deal but set in Japan, where an ex-Special Forces operator is attacked by his former boss, and all hell breaks loose. The action we see in the trailer looks amazing, and, now with the movie hitting home video, it’s high time I check it out.


Deadtectives: This is another recent Shudder staple, about a team of ghost hunters who are terrible at their jobs who then end up in Mexico dealing with a real deal haunted house. Horror comedies can be hard as hell to pull off, especially ones about absolute bullshit like ghost hunting, but I’m willing to give this one a shot. It looks like it has a nice mixture of comedy and actual scares. You know, when I first saw this on Shudder I thought it was a TV show and not a movie. I don’t know why, though. Did anyone else out there think this was a TV show before finding out that it’s a movie?


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Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.


Richie Acevedo– Randy
Julio Bana Fernandez– Owen
Rosanna Nelson– Becky
Rene Dupree– Shawn
Jimmy Flame– Jackie
Rick Jermain– Mr. Hogan
Chris O’Brocki– Slade
James L. Edwards– Reverend Nathan Ashberry
Jimmy Valiant– Boogie
Josip Peruzovic/Nikolai Volkoff– Randy’s Father
Tony Atlas– Hercules
James “The Sandman” Fullington– Kendo
Brandy Mason– Colleen

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by Brad Twigg
Screenplay by Mathew L. Furman and Brad Twigg, with additional material by Julio Bana Fernandez, and Rosanna Nelson, based on a story by Brad Twigg

Distributed by Wild Eye Releasing

Not Rated
Runtime– 100 minutes

Buy it here