ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS (2017) Reviews and overview

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‘Everyone’s dying to play!’

Rock, Paper, Scissors aka Rock Paper Dead is a 2017 American horror thriller feature film directed by Tom Holland (Twisted Tales; Thinner; Child’s Play; Fright Night) from a screenplay by Kerry Fleming and Victor Miller (A Stranger is Watching; Friday the 13th) that is reminiscent of Holland’s own Psycho II (1983). The movie stars Michael Madsen, Tatum O’Neal, Maureen McCormick and Luke Macfarlane.

The soundtrack score was composed by Harry Manfredini (Needlestick; Friday the 13th films).


Serial killer, Peter “the Doll Maker” Harris returns to his ancestral family home after being released from the state’s hospital for the criminally insane after ten years – having been deemed to be a “cured” man.

Once inside the old house, anguished memories from a tortured childhood and ghostly visitations from his past victims shake Peter’s resolve. It isn’t until lovely young Ashley enters his life that Peter makes a fateful decision, a decision that will rekindle old desires that always end with murder…


Rock Paper Dead was released by Lionsgate on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on July 23, 2019.


Rock Paper Dead is reminiscent of Psycho II. Peter is a Norman Bates character and you are left second-guessing throughout the film. Also if you are just into horrors for the jump scares that is not what this movie focuses on, it is more focused on the storytelling and the psychological conditions of its characters.” The Crypt

“The story itself was well written, and is ornamented with unsettling bouts of severe mental abuse and discord among human beings, setting up a nice piece of framework that gives this killer some serious motivation – hell, Holland always had an aptitude for throwing all his cards on the table with his direction, and this film is no different.” Dread Central

“Overall, Rock Paper Dead isn’t the usual dish you’d expect from Holland. It was a perturbing story of abuse, mental anguish, and senseless murder with steady pacing and emotional performances from the victims strapped to the maniac’s table. It had a lot of potential for scares, but the addition of them may have deterred from the real, focused story of Peter’s past.” Morbidly Beautiful

“There is a familiarity to Holland’s film, almost a warmth, but Rock Paper Dead felt very cold and unforgiving. Maybe it’s a new tactic of his, I have no idea, but it didn’t have that signature flair that Holland’s films typically have. In regards to the writing, I felt like there needed to be some improvements and overall tightening of the script.” Nightmarish Conjurings

“It has a pretty awesome twist that I am still trying to render. In my opinion, that is what makes a great film. This is the kind of movie that delivers those jaw-dropping moments and doesn’t let up for the entire run-time. It’s creepy, bloody, and mind-blowing.” Pop Horror

Choice dialogue:

Peter (Luke Macfarlane): “Where do memories go when you aren’t remembering them?”

Main cast and characters:

  • Michael Madsen … Doyle Dechert – Devil’s Domain; CobraGator; Lumberjack Man; et alTatum O’Neal … Doctor Evelyn Bauer
  • Maureen McCormick … Nurse Ruland – Return to Horror High
  • Luke Macfarlane … Peter Harris
  • Quinton Aaron … Joe
  • Najarra Townsend … Harmony
  • Ari Lehman … Jason – Camp Killer; Leaf Blower Massacre 2Easter Sunday; The Barn
  • Gabrielle Stone … Barbara
  • Kimberly Russell … Judge Foley
  • John Dugan … Uncle Charles
  • Jennifer Titus … Ashley Grant
  • Jenice Marshall … Zoe’s Mother
  • Anna Margaret … Zoe
  • Chelsea Pereira … Suzie (voice)
  • Nicole Pierce … Detective Walker
  • Natalina Maggio … Bebe
  • Sam Puefua … Michael
  • Vic Stagliano … Earl
  • Holly Hyman … Madeline
  • Xen Sams … Coach Slater
  • Max Madsen … Kris
  • Shanda Renee … Nurse Collins
  • Courtlyn Cannan … Angela
  • Kerry Fleming … Detective Flynn
  • Stephanie Shamie … Kara

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California

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