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Greatest American Snuff Film (Directors Cut Special Editon) 
Written by: on June 7th, 2010

Theatrical Release Date:
USA, 2003
Director: Sean Tretta
Writer: Sean Tretta
Cast: Mike Marsh, Ryan Hutman, Melinda Lorenz, Holi Tavernier, Jason Dinger, Melanie Trimble.

DVD released: April 13th, 2010
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98

Dramatization based on the journals of serial killer William Allen Grone (aka Bill), who was arrested for kidnapping, rape, murder, etc and sentenced to death. We are told up front that the dramatic feature will be concluded with a 2 minute snippet of the actual home video footage shot by Grone, on Super 8, in which he executes one of his victims. In between we are subjected to Bill and his gap toothed redneck pal Ray killing a man, kidnapping and torturing various women, the story focusing on two in particular that they hold captive in Ray’s junkyard out in the desert and chain up like dogs. All the while Bill drones on in voice-over reading us his journal entries as we flip confusingly from 6 months previously to 2 years previously to the present via a laundry list of aforementioned crimes and also a bit of necrophilia thrown in for good measure.

Yeah there’s no such serial killer in reality. This is essentially an idea based around the post-Blair-Witch-found-film bullshit phenomenon. Really cheaply made with a non-professional cast and crew that are probably trying their best but fall far wide of delivering anything even slightly watchable. Apparently this one garnered some praise at a few indie horror film festivals on it’s initial release which really makes me wonder how bad the other movies that it was up against were! Charmless, grubby, lacking in any kind of dramatic tension or production value it doesn’t even really rate much in the gore/slasher stakes which is really all it could have aspired to. The final snippet of Grone’s snuff film would have been laughably bad had my brain’s ability for good humor not been completely pulped by the interminable 90 minutes of guff that preceded it. This is the ‘New Director’s Cut Special Edition’ which in terms of the film itself simply means that they have tacked on a newly filmed short prison interview with fake serial killer Grone that bookends the movie and features the particularly retarded hook of having Grone’s face blurred out until the end when they just show it for no apparent reason.

The DVD:

The anamorphic transfer looks bloody awful but then, for once, that’s how the director intended it to look. Dark, grubby, colorless, washed out and ugly. Audio is full of hiss, distortion and background noise. Sounds like it was recorded on the same camera they filmed with thus the dialogue levels vary constantly.

Extras include –

A commentary with director/writer/producer/editor Sean Tretta in which he talks casually about all aspects of the film’s creation, from casting to shooting to writing the script, etc and surprisingly earns my respect somewhat by seeming to completely agree with my opinion of the film (i.e. it’s shit). The prevalent excuse he puts forth for making the movie is “It was bad, but it was something we could do” which given that he was still a film student at the time he made it seems reasonable enough.

A 20 minute making of featurette mainly made up of talking head interviews with Tretta and his lead actor Mike Marsh as well as a little behind the scenes footage from the filming and a couple of audition tapes.

Three more of fake serial killer Grone’s snuff movies, running about 60 seconds each.

A music video “Flesh” and a trailer for the main feature.

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