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Buzz Saw (June 14/05)

Buzz Saw features an exceedingly apparent low-budget (the film appears to have been shot on standard home video cameras), though that's not necessarily the reason that the movie just doesn't work. instead, it's the woefully underdeveloped screenplay (written by co-directors David Burnett and Robin Garrels), terrible performances, and general lack of production values that ultimately sinks Buzz Saw.

The plot - what little there is - revolves around a dopey maintenance man who works at a dilapidated apartment complex, where strange things have been happening (ie residents have been dropping like flies). Adding to the mystery are two little kids who seem to pop up every time there's a murder, while inanimate objects have begun operating on their own...

About the only positive thing one can saw about Buzz Saw is that Burnett and Garrels at least try to imbue the film with instances of style; it's obvious that the filmmakers are going for a moody, slow build that's reminiscent of other, better horror movies. That the film remains a colossal bore throughout its running time can be attributed to the screenplay, which is utterly devoid of anything even resembling a storyline. There's virtually nothing here to hold our interest, something that's exacerbated by the utter lack of compelling characters.

And at a running time of around 98 minutes, it's clear that Buzz Saw is at least an hour longer than it needs to be (the film would've undoubtedly worked better as a short). The movie becomes increasingly cryptic and pretentious as it lumbers towards its baffling conclusion, which infuriatingly refuses to resolve any of the screenplay's many mysteries (ie who are those kids and what do they have to do with all of this?) Then again, it's indicative of the slipshod manner in which the remainder of the film appears to have been assembled.

no stars out of

About the DVD: Well, you certainly can't accuse SRS Cinema of skimping on bonus features, as Buzz Saw comes equipped with an incredible number of extras. The disc includes: a 27-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, 14 minutes worth of deleted scenes (along with an entire subplot that was excised), a bonus short film, two commentary tracks, a trailer, and a photo gallery.