Rave Party Massacre AKA DeadThirsty, the latest release from writer/director Jason Winn and co-writers Jonathan W. Hickman and Maggie D. Hickman takes us back to an illegal rave in a soon to be demolished hospital in the 1990s where an unknown killer stalks the light-stick twirling, drug-fueled beautiful bodies pressed together in Bacchanalian revelry.
I mean, we’ve all been there, right?
On the surface, it seems like a solid setup for a horror film. Raves back in the day were dark and filled with people unable or unwilling to pay attention. Honestly, I’m surprised more people weren’t murdered at raves, but that’s the subject for another article.
Unfortunately, Winn and the Hickmans never quite manage to bring it all together.
It all begins when Rachel and her boyfriend, Branson, arrive at the aforementioned rave, and they’re obviously having relationship issues. We see in flashbacks that Branson not only has a serious temper, but he’s found himself sucked into the world of conspiracy theories in the wake of a speech given by former President George H.W. Bush in which he outlined his idea about the “thousand points of light”.
President Bush also spoke of a New World Order in that same speech and Branson and his buddies have bought completely into the idea so much so that they’re ready to start a revolution…maybe?
The truth is none of what happens in the film is really explained until the credits begin to roll. It’s like they suddenly realized they didn’t give any real exposition so the audience would understand what or why anything had happened so they decided to throw information at them at the end in hopes that they wouldn’t notice.
The Bad News is we noticed; the Good News is…I still haven’t decided what the Good News is.
Either way, Rachel and Branson are definitely on their way to splitting up and the fact that they both end up hooking up with other people within five minutes of showing up to the rave cements that fact. A mysterious figure dressed in black and wearing a hyena mask is handing out drugs and everyone who takes them wakes up the next morning trapped inside the hospital as the man in the mask begins picking them off one at a time.
The script is pretty standard with more holes than good Swiss cheese and matching production values.
Why were these particular people chosen to be killed? Is it random? And why kill people from a rave?
The only thing that does make sense is that the rave is in a building that is set to be demolished the next day. (For younger readers who missed the rave scene in its heyday, the more dangerous the location, the better!)
Winn did give us one beautiful shot in the film when Rachel wakes up in a morgue drawer the morning after the rave. Her body seems to float in the darkness surrounded by a perfectly shaped coffin of light.
It was reminiscent of the oft-maligned Buried, and I’m not sure that Winn didn’t do the job better than that film’s director.
If you do decide to give Rave Party Massacre a try, do yourself a favor and watch the credits first. At the very least, you’ll know more about what’s going on in the film, even if the answers aren’t entirely satisfying.
Check out the trailer below and look for Rave Party Massacre on VOD and DVD on April 10 2018.