Watch The Backlot Murders
- 1 hr 30 min
The Backlot Murders is a 2002 horror-comedy movie set inside a movie studio. The story centers around a movie production company that is shooting a horror flick when the cast and crew start to get murdered one by one. Priscilla Barnes stars as the head of the studio who is desperately trying to solve the murders before they ruin their new film.
The movie is a mixture of a horror movie and a comedy, with uncomfortable themes and moments of laughter. The Backlot Murders is a bit of a parody of both the horror and showbiz genres, as well. Many of the characters are stereotypes of the horror genre - the sexy actress, the creepy producer, the wild partyboy - and their interactions are as expected. The film also makes a point to explore the duality of the movie industry, with endless backstabbing and competition for stardom that comes to a boil when the murders begin.
Priscilla Barnes brings an intensity to her role as the CEO of the movie studio. She is smart and clever, but also has a vulnerable side that makes her easy to root for. Barnes is well-suited for this role, drawing on past experiences from her Three's Company days when she had to navigate Hollywood relationships both on and off-screen. Charles Fleischer, most famous for his voice acting as Roger Rabbit, plays a slimy studio exec who has a lot to be guilty about. Fleischer adds a unique touch of quirkiness and humor to the film. Brian Gaskill is the leading man of the horror movie-within-the-movie and adds a much-needed grounding presence in the midst of paparazzi and industry dazzle.
One of the strengths of The Backlot Murders is the atmosphere created by the movie studio setting. The audience sees behind the scenes of the movie machine, including the superficiality of the industry and the human cost it takes to produce high-quality entertainment. Some of the scenes are filmed in warehouses or backlots, contributing to the feeling of a closed set that increases the sense of isolation and danger.
The special effects in the movie are rough and not particularly luring, but the sometimes-gruesome violence is not meant to frighten the audience. It is more of a caricature of over-the-top violence often seen in horror films. A highlight of the movie is also the gritty soundtrack, featuring up-and-coming punk artist such as Hedpe and The Genitorturers.
Overall, The Backlot Murders offers a fun and laugh inducing break from more heavy horror films. The cast is perfectly chosen for their roles and the setting even adds another layer of grit and intrigue to the murder mystery. The balance of horror and comedy throughout will keep horror fans entertained, and as an added bonus, spot some well-known actors from the 80s and 90s make cameos throughout the movie.
The Backlot Murders is a 2002 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.0.