The Merits of Sin: The Backlot Murders (2002) (USA)

We’ve all spent time with dumb movies. As horror fans we are some of the more adventurous moviegoers out there and hunting down that hidden gem usually comes with our fair share of sitting through idiocy. I’ve numbed my brain throwing my time into hours and hours of dumb. I’m not complaining, I like dummies…it beats boring any day of the week. The point I’m getting at is that I am no stranger to daft cinema. The Backlot Murders wallows in daftness like a village idiot happily rolling around in thrown pocket change.

Get Dumb

Dez is the lead singer of a shitty band (whose members include a Smashmouth variant Corey Haim) and he is in the lucky position of dating the daughter of the president of Paragon Records. This puts them in line to manipulate his relationship into their rockstar dreams. They kick out their violent piece of shit bassist after he breaks a bottle over an elderly woman’s head right on the verge of “making it.” Soon after, they’re shooting a music video on the backlot of Universal Studios (something they will be reminding the viewer every friggin chance they get) and a killer in a cheap ass looking Jay Leno mask with a pompadour begins picking off the cast and crew.

Classic cars and sharp instruments

Rockabilly Jay Leno spares us of the buttliest of butt rock with his killing spree and your forehead may ache from how much slapping you’ll be doing to it. Fog machine tangents, clove cigarettes and failed comedy are all given their time to “shine” in a script that I’m starting to suspect was written by aliens pretending to be humans.


Ken Sagoes (Kincaid from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 & 4) collects a hot meal and Charles Fleischer steals every scene he’s in as the music video director. The killer’s mask is somehow creepy in it’s cheapness but is given so much screen time it becomes hilarious. The cast is pretty damn awful and every element of the film is just about as ass as ass horror gets. Luckily you’ll be pretty busy laughing (but never when they want you to) instead of smashing your head against the wall to alleviate the boredom. It’s not good but it just falls short of being the right amount of bad. Venture at your own risk. 4/10

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