There never was a Mangrove Slasher 1. If there is a sequel it is going to be named Mangrove Slasher 5. It's 47 minutes long. Director Sean Haitz states that he has only spent $850 out of pocket. It began as a long music video concept For Haitz' surfabilly band The Jetties. There was a point when it didn't look as if the movie would be finished. Co-Director Chris Potter was arrested and fired from the school that he worked at for stealing electrical equipment to support an Oxycontin habit. All of the raw footage was confiscated and purportedly destroyed by investigators. As it turns out the files were backed up. This great story has already been written. You can read it here.
Somehow this whole project flew over or under my radar and I didn't know about it until the Sarasota Film Festival schedule was released and I read the article. I immediately felt left out of something I would have really wanted to have been involved with. I hate when that happens. I put it at the top of my must see list and it had to be the Saturday night premiere. Unfortunately neither my wife or I made any initiative to buy tickets ahead of time. We have a tendency to do that. We go downtown a few hours ahead of time to try to get rush tickets at the door.
From a distance we see a hairy, blood covered giant in overalls wielding a machete in each hand, a couple of drag queens and various characters in brightly colored gowns and super high heels. Everyone is drinking a mysterious red punch that I suspect was pure grain alcohol with a few granules of cherry KoolAid added for color. The start time comes and goes and only six have been admitted from the rush line... and then two more a few minutes later. The volunteer comes up one more time and says, "5 more can go in". We are number 5 and 6. Fortunately the two people ahead of us decided at that moment not to go in and we were the last two to be admitted.
So in we are and sitting on the stairs. The movie has already started, which is not good when the movie you just payed $24 to see is only 47 minutes long. We had walked into a theater bursting with the laughter of friends and family and anyone else involved in the project. Every kill produces loud applause and cheers right up to the final beach party massacre scene. There isn't much of a story to review. In fact, there is very little plot. It would have just taken away from the movie. There are a few party scenes in which you see people who have already been slaughtered. This adds to the movie. Bikinis, bad wigs and fake mustaches, douchebags, jocks, a little person (do I really need to be PC here?) , drag queens, stoners and boobs. Lots of boobs. It wouldn't have hurt to put a few more boobs in. It would have added to the movie. It's probably a good thing that it is 47 minutes long because you will laugh continuously until you get one of those annoying laugh headaches.
There is some great aerial footage from a donated helicopter ride. The imagery is crystal clear and the sound is great, even on the windy shore of the Gulf of Mexico. These guys did a great job making this film and despite all the problems seemed to have a lot of fun doing it. The only thing I can compare it to would be if Bill Zebub directed a concept video for the Beastie Boys it would probably look something like this. If this description makes any sense you should enjoy the movie. If it doesn't make sense it doesn't matter. Mangrove Slasher 2 is a hilarious, cult potential Shlock classic in it's infancy. It's been nearly 24 hours and I'm still giggling about some of the things Is saw in this movie, and that my friends is a good sign.
DVD, soundtrack and t shirts available here.
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