Brandi Babcock is the boss of a sales agency that is experiencing severe downsizing. She has just received word that she must fire two of her employees by the end of the day. The problem is that most all of the employees are good candidates for termination. Brandi has become a feared and tyrannical leader who no one likes. She orders everyone to stay after work to produce a report illustrating their worth at the company to be used for evaluating their position. By the end of the night, however, everyone on staff may just get the AXE…
On the Facebook page for Corporate Cutthroat Massacre, director Creep Creepersin describes the film as The Office meets American Psycho. That’s a straightforward, accurate description. Creepersin films the shoot very much like an episode of the popular sitcom and mixes in a few horror-thriller hi-jinks along the way. It’s not long before a killer begins offing the office staff one by one. However, this doesn’t resemble a slasher film too much as the gore and the kills all happen off-screen. So, the film ends up resembling a thriller more than anything except that it’s light on the thrills. The cast take the reins on their stereotypical characters admirably, creating a likable group and a strong, bitchy anti-Michael Scott. The movie slowly builds toward a twist conclusion that is well telegraphed and well played. However, the movie never builds any tension or suspense and plays out more like a twisted parody of the TV series missing out much of the chills from its cinematic inspiration, Patrick Bateman. Cut out about 10 minutes and this could have easily played on cable as a Chiller Office TV show. Too light to scare; not funny enough to bust a gut; but it has a strong enough cast to keep if from being a complete waste of time.
Elina Madison plays Brandi Babcock and keeps the film lively with her mean and nasty character. She’s a bitch, there’s no other way needed to describe her. Madison hammers that trait home – almost to point of overkill. But, then, toward the end of the film, she’s offered the chance to show a softer side and a vulnerable side to Brandi Babcock. Had these other sides to Brandi been presented sooner in the film, they would have been more effective, but Madison handles the depth of the character very well. She’s the highlight of the film. The rest of the cast does a good job as well. Derek Du Chesne and Stephanie Jackson and the office romantic couple, John and Pennie, are early stand outs as well as the office lush, Beth, played by Sunny Doenche. Frankie Ray is a later addition to the plot as a parolee hired on as the new maintenance man. He’s the obvious red herring in the film and he does a great job at being shady and an easy suspect. The film is better when it remains focused on the different cast members and when they’re together; when the film begins singling them out, it begins to suffer.
The direction and the special effect are minimalistic and straight forward. Creep Creepersin films this very much like episodic television. This approach works because the script is character driven and the number of sets is kept to a minimum as well, taking place almost entirely indoors. The film has very little special effects, most of which are make-up effects. All the kills happen just off-screen with the results to be revealed later in the story. For the most part, this works fine; but, there are times where some further detail and attention paid to lighting and atmosphere could benefit the film greatly.
Corporate Cutthroat Massacre is not the most amazing thing you’ll ever see, but it’s a better than average film for what it sets out to accomplish. For many, the lack of visceral kills, gore and effects will make this film too slow and uneventful to bear. The characters and the performance from Elina Madison make up for that to great extent. This is kind of the opposite of the SyFy monster mash movies, where the monsters are the draw and the characters are non-existent; here, the characters and their humor are the draw with the effects being dwarfed. It’s not an entirely bad trade. With a title that has the words “cutthroat” and “massacre” in it though, this film will most likely disappoint most viewers – and that’s a big problem for a movie that is better than the reaction it may get.
Corporate Cutthroat Massacre