Let it be known, I absolutely love wacky and gory horror comedies with bizarre premises, Rubber, ThanksKilling and Zombeavers are a few modern favorites that come to mind, In my opinion, the horror genre needs campy films like these to take our minds off of the real life terrors that plague the real world. Writer and director Steve Rudzinski (Everyone Must Die!, Captain Z & the Terror of Leviathan) adds another film to that handful of previously mentioned films with the ridiculously fun CarousHell.
CarousHell tells the story of Duke, a sentient carousel horse, I mean unicorn, who hates his job. He has to let kids climb on his back and ride him for hours every day. But one kid has finally pushed him too far. Duke breaks free of his carnival hell and embarks on a bloody rampage, seeking revenge on the kid and killing everyone that stands in his way, which just so happens to be a house party full of unsuspecting fodder.
After seeing the trailer for the film late last year, I had a gut feeling it would be a vastly entertaining flick, and after finally getting the chance to see it, I'm happy to say my instincts were spot on. To put things bluntly, CarousHell is fucking awesome! And given the kind of film it is, a micro-budgeted, bonkers horror comedy, there are absolutely no weak links that come to mind when thinking back on my viewing, so I'll just cut to all of the greatness CarousHell has to offer.
The film features witty dialogue, delivered strongly by an all-around fantastic cast. I'd like to highlight Sé Marie as Laura, who plays the social media obsessed, full of herself girl that you love to hate, but have a hard time hating (if that makes any sense whatsoever). Rudzinski himself plays Joe the pizza delivery guy, my favorite character in the film. His obsession with getting paid for the pizzas he delivered to the party and cluelessness when Laura makes sexual advances on him are both sources of frequent laughs. Haley Madison is endlessly charming as Sarah, who has an inter-species sex scene with a carousel unicorn. A scene that's as equally ridiculous and hysterical, if not more so, than the one featured in ThanksKilling. Finally, Chris Proud is hilarious as Preston, a closet fan of "My Tiny Uni", and delivers quite a few laugh out loud moments. I must also mention Steve Rimpici, who voices Duke. He does a great on delivering one liners and bringing life to an inanimate object.
If you love gore and practical effects, CarousHell offers both in abundance. The film features several impressive and extremely gruesome on screen kills, including horn impalement, decapitation, and even death by unicorn lasers! The kills took me back to the glory days of the slasher film, as they were visually impressive and creatively varied.
Overall, CarousHell lived up to my expectations in every way possible. It features an enthusiastic and talented cast of young actors who are dispatched in brutal, often amusing ways, and fully embraces its ludicrous premise. Obviously, you can't go into a film about a killer carousel unicorn expecting a serious experience, but if you love the cheesy and over-the-top slashers of the '80s, you'll find CarousHell to be one hell of a rewarding ride! Highly recommended!