Murder Weapon (1989)

Not too long ago, my dad and I were at a horror convention and stopped at a Vinegar Syndrome booth to pick up some new movies. A blu-ray edition of Nightmare Sisters was a must have but another movie caught our eye. A double feature of Murder Weapon and Deadly Embrace, two movies starring the lovely Linnea Quigley. They looked kind of like exploitation slashers but they’ve got Linnea so there’s at least one saving grace. So we happily left the convention with three new Linnea Quigley blu-rays in our arms (plus a whole bunch of other stuff). It wasn’t until recently that we actually sat down to watch Murder Weapon. Lots of other movies had occupied our time, such as Jack Frost, Black Christmas, and Phantasm, which all seemed to take precedent over both Murder Weapon and Deadly Embrace. Once we actually put on Murder Weapon, it was a joyride into exploitation city that was well worth the wait.

This movie was everything you want from an exploitation slasher. Good amount of nudity, pretty funny kills, a really thin plot that doesn’t really make sense. You certainly don’t have to think too hard about this one. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t screaming questions at the screen almost the entire time. Almost nothing made sense and the movie was so incredibly low budget that some scenes were actually hard to watch. The audio was so bad we watched it with subtitles. There are a lot of scenes that take place outside and the birds, cars, and music from a radio all were louder than the dialogue. This meant that we got to see hilarious descriptions of the music in each scene such as “suspicious jazz” and “upbeat hip hop tune”.

The best part of this movie was actually the special effects/makeup effects. They were surprisingly good for a low-budget movie. All of the kills looked really good and I was pretty impressed. Another great part of this movie was realizing one of the male actors was the lead in Silent Night, Deadly Night II who said the infamous line “Garbage day!”

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*spoilers*

The movie opens with a bizarre 15-minute long silent sequence. I was actually really afraid the whole movie would be silent (which might have been preferable to the chaotic audio the movie had). I think this was actually a dream sequence (??). Then it’s revealed that Linnea Quigley (Dawn) and another woman, Karen Russel (Amy) are in a mental institution and are trying to get approval for release. They might’ve killed someone or maybe someone close to them was killed (??), it was pretty unclear. Anyway, they end up blackmailing the doctors into signing their release forms. There are a bunch of flashback scenes to therapy sessions with Dawn and Amy that are pretty clearly meant to stretch the running time. After they’re released from the hospital they’re living together in a huge house (I believe it’s actually Amy’s family’s house) and decide to throw a party and invite all of their ex-boyfriends.

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There are some mentions of both Amy and Dawn’s fathers being in the mob, being a hitman for the mob, being a mob boss (pretty sure all of these things were said at different times so it’s unclear what the back story is). Dawn’s parents are both dead and that’s why she’s staying with Amy. Amy is also like narcoleptic or something because she falls asleep at the drop of a hat throughout the movie in order to see her weird dreams/flashbacks of the mental hospital. We’re lead to believe that Amy is the killer because some of the guys mention messed up things she’s done in the past like set their cars on fire and stab them (??). She seems to be more of a loose cannon than Dawn is.

While everyone is hanging out more and more people are being killed without anyone knowing. Dawn and Amy sleep with I think just one guy each but maybe two? Like I said, this is absolutely an exploitation movie. Lots of boobs and bikinis in this one. The guys eventually figure out that people are being killed. In this way, this movie is kind of unique. Instead of a group of scantily clad women being killed off its the men being killed. I’m sure this has been done in other movies but it was still kinda cool. Anyway, the guys proceed to freak out a little bit, realizing that there’s nowhere to run and assuming the phone lines are down. They end up finding some guns and running into the basement where the killer is attempting to murder Amy. Amy dumps a thing of gasoline onto the killer and one of the guys shoots it, setting the killer on fire and revealing it to be….Dawn!

And that’s the end of the movie. A lot of fun, decently paced, delightfully confusing and low budget, and just enough nudity. On an exploitation scale, it’s like a solid 3.5/5. I couldn’t put this on par with other movies.

Sincerely,

Your Final Girl

PS: sorry for the low-quality pics in this one, it’s all I could find

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