Title– The Chainsaw Sally Show: Season One (2010)
Runtime– 275 minutes (“Not Rated”)
Director– Jimmyo Burril
Writer– Jimmyo Burril
Starring– April Monique Burril, Azman Toy, Lilly Burril, Jordan Wyandt, & Bill Price
(Originally an IP Movies Review)
The world of cult horror entertainment is a bloody, gory, sexy, and sadistic place. Cult fans are a powerful bunch, though, and can transform movies or television from “bad” to a sought after commodity simply by calling that movie or television series a “cult classic”. That label is what The Chainsaw Sally Show seems to be aiming for, and this television series will find a good home on the shelves of cult horror fanatics across the country.
In season one of the The Chainsaw Sally Show, viewers are introduced (or reintroduced, if he or she has seen the 2004 movie) to Sally Diamon (April Monique Burril) – a librarian by day, serial killer by night – and her brother Ruby (Azman Tony). Living in Porterville, Maryland, these two siblings bond in a unique way: killing people who piss them off, and cannibalizing their dead meat. Sally hires in Poe (Lilly Burril), a misunderstood “goth chick” from the local high school, to help with the library work. The season starts with flashbacks telling how the characters got here, and it takes a couple of episodes for the main story arc to be introduced. Cowboy (Bill Price) comes to Porterville to try and solve a murder case. He meets up with Gretta Morehead (Jordan Wyandt), who is also trying to solve the unsolved cases of the city. Chainsaw Sally and Ruby are forced to do anything they can to stay out of Grett and Cowboy’s scope, and out of jail.
The story is not overwhelmingly deep, but it manages to keep the viewer’s attention well enough. The real reason to continue through the season, and why Chainsaw Sally works, is because of the characters. Chainsaw Sally is sexy, and willing to go places most of us never even dream of going. Ruby takes eccentric to new heights, and is always saying and doing oddball things (not to mention his ever-changing wardrobe). Ruby ends up being the most consistently funny character in the show, and Azman Tony, though not a stellar actor, plays alongside April Monique Burril exceptionally. The chemistry they share as brother and sister is essential to the show, and it never fades. Poe, though an obvious cliché, is a likable character who the audience will want to succeed.
The supporting leads, Cowboy and Gretta Morehead – played by Bill Price and Jordan Wyandt – are on opposite sides of the spectrum from one another. Cowboy is an annoying character, mostly because of the acting by Bill Price, who seems unaffected by anything, and is just saying memorized lines of dialogue. Gretta Morehead is a dislikable character, but intentionally so, and Jordan Wyandt gives some of the best acting work of the season. The acting by the minor characters and the victims range from dreadfully bad (like the local bartender), to very good (Sam Wiitala, playing the bully Tiff, does an excellent job throughout her short time in the season, as does Nicolette le Faye, playing Miss Busy Bee). As the season progresses, so does the acting work of most of the cast, and for an independent, cult horror TV series, the acting is perfectly adequate.
Chainsaw Sally never shakes that independent feeling, which can either be a positive or a negative, depending on the viewer. The kills become similar as the season moves on, with the same camera tricks being used over and over. The special effects are good, and fit into the comedic, over-the-top category very well. Continuity isn’t something that writer/director/creator Jimmyo Burril is too concerned with, as with almost each death, the editing reveals continuity errors (for example, a bra could be off in one shot, one second later it is back on, then another cut later, it disappears). There are also times where the episodes drag on. There is a full music video in one of the later episodes that takes up about three-four minutes of time, showing the same death scenes over and over, making for a monotonous episode. The opening episode’s death scene is another one that could have been edited down. The moments where the episodes seem to drag on happened more than I would have liked, but never had me turning the DVD off.
Like most cult horror movies, this television series is filled with tons of blood, violence, breasts, and humor, and the mixing of these elements is what makes The Chainsaw Sally Show fun. This will not appeal to mainstream audiences, but it doesn’t feel like Jimmyo Burril is trying to appeal to the mainstream. Cult horror fans will be at home with Chainsaw Sally, and will find a lot to enjoy. Once the audience gets past some of the cringe-worthy performances, Sally, Ruby and Poe are able to shine as the funny horror characters they are. The homage’s paid to all the classic horror movies, and even 80s action films, are wonderful, and those in the target audience (horror fanatics) will “get” more of the jokes than those on the outside. Chainsaw Sally is fun, plain and simple, and a good way to spend a dark, stormy night.
Below is a guide to all 11 episodes of season one (plus one “Very Special Episode”):
Episode 1 – “Dewey”
In this introductory episode, Chainsaw Sally becomes the boss of the local library. Poe (an obvious homage to Edgar Allen Poe), her new, teenage employee, and her crazy brother Ruby are also introduced. This episode shows the beginnings of the audio issues that will remain throughout the season.
Episode 2 – “Piñata”
Cowboy, a detective of sorts, makes his way to Porterville, on the lookout for a murderer. We also get to see Ruby and Sally’s relationship on a more intimate level.
Episode 3 – “Carrie Me Away”
Introduces Gretta Morehead, but mostly focuses in on the relationship between Poe and Sally. Some of the bullies that pick on Po are introduced. This episode pays homage to cult classic Carrie (by Stephen King), hence the title. Contains one of the better performances to this point in the series from the main Po bully named Tiff (Sam Wiitala).
Episode 4 – “What Ever Bugs Ya”
One of Poe’s bullies finds out why she shouldn’t mess with Poe: because when you mess with Poe, you’re messing with Chainsaw Sally. “What Ever Bugs Ya” is one of the better episodes in terms of storyline, and this is where the plot starts to get interesting.
Episode 5 – “Of Course You Realize…This Means War!”
Chainsaw Sally chases Poe’s other bully, Tiff. A wrench is thrown into Sally’s plans for catching Tiff when Cowboy comes around, still trying to solve a murder case with the help of Gretta Morehead.
Episode 6 – “Boobie Trap”
Chainsaw Sally makes Poe’s day the best yet. It also goes over the origin of Miss Busy Bee, Sally’s apparent sex kitten/slave.
Episode 7 – “Tell Tale Heart”
Tiff is back, and she hears Sally’s message – “don’t mess with my friends” – loud and clear. Also, Cowboy is getting closer to Chainsaw Sally.
Episode 8 – “Kill Jill”
Poe thinks she has a stalker; a prima donna who consistently parks in handicap spots gets taught a lesson courtesy of Chainsaw Sally. This episode pays an excellent homage to Predator.
Episode 9 – “Sweet Tooth”
Picking up exactly where “Kill Jill” left off, Sally is woken by Ruby, announcing that there are lights coming through the woods. Later, Sally goes on a date on Halloween night. Also, a Michael Myers vs. Leatherface debate.
Episode 10 – “Blood”
This episode reveals some back-story on Sally and Poe, as Cowboy and Gretta get closer to catching their murderer.
Episode 11 – “Cowboys and Engines”
Poe and her two friends decide to hold a séance in a house in Porterville that was the site of a vicious murder, and everything comes to a head between Cowboy, Gretta, Sally, Ruby, and Poe. This is a fitting-but-predictable (and less than thrilling) end to season one, and leaves the door open for season two to take interesting turns.
Very Special Episode – “It’s Groundhog Day Chainsaw Sally” (52:47)
This is a short film more than an episode. A group of students visit Ruby and Sally’s woods for a school project on the “disappearance capital of the east coast”. Ruby and Chainsaw Sally welcome them to Porterville with (their form of) love. This is a fun short film, and contains some of the most gory and disgusting content on the DVD, which is a good thing. It is unclear when this story takes place in the Chainsaw Sally canon, but I gather it is some time after the season ends. “It’s Groundhog Day Chainsaw Sally” is a great addition to the DVD.
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.