MICROWAVE MASSACRE (1979) Reviews of so-bad-it’s-good comedy horror

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‘They came for dinner… to find they were it!!’
Microwave Massacre is a 1979 dark comedy horror film directed by Wayne Berwick (a child actor in The Monster of Piedras Blancas, sound recordist on The Loch Ness Horror and director of The Naked Monster in 2005) from a screenplay by co-producers Thomas Singer and story by Craig Muckler.

The movie was filmed in August and September 1979 but was not released until September 1983.

Robert Burns (MongrelThe Texas Chain Saw Massacre) was the art director.

The film stars comedian Jackie Vernon in his final feature film role, plus Loren Schein and Al Troupe.

Donald (Jackie Vernon) is a construction worker with a problem: his shrew of a wife May (Claire Ginsberg) has started to only cook gourmet food in a misguided attempt to make themselves seem classier than they are. While his friends Roosevelt (Loren Schein) and Phillip (Al Troupe) dine on simple bologna-and-cheese sandwiches for lunch, Donald is saddled with crab sandwiches and other more exotic dishes.

microwave massacre jackie vernon construction worker

To his horror, he discovers his wife has bought an unusually large Major Electric microwave oven, which makes the meals worse in half the time.


After coming home drunk one night and getting into an argument with May, Donald loses his temper and bludgeons her to death with a large pepper grinder. He wakes up the next day with a bad hangover, no memory of the night before, and a growling stomach. He discovers May’s corpse in the microwave and after the initial wave of horror passes, he starts to take it in stride, telling his co-workers that he and May separated. After work, he then cuts up May’s body and stores it in foil wrap in the fridge.

microwave massacre

Looking for a midnight snack one night, Donald unintentionally takes a few bites of May’s hand, and (again) after the initial wave of horror passes, he realizes it’s the best thing he’s ever eaten. He even brings some to work with him and shares it with Phillip and Roosevelt, who concur. He soon starts picking up hookers and using them for meat in his recipes…

‘From every bad cannibal pun ever written (“I may have underestimated May’s taste!”) to an extended, reccurring gag involving a flaming construction worker, Microwave Massacre assaults its audience with a cadre of consciously bad jokes meant to sabotage the narrative and sap it of any kind of substance.’ The Pink Smoke Video Oddities

“Watching Microwave Massacre is more like having an out-of-body experience, except instead of meeting God and flying among the stars, you just float above a third-rate comedy club for 70 minutes, becoming mildly intoxicated by the terrible jokes and the smell of Jagermeister.” Something Awful

“The acting – across the board – is among the worst I have ever seen. The gore effects look like someone poured food dye on discarded mannequin parts. The editing will make you wonder if someone didn’t just cobble the footage together using a pocket knife and some old chewing gum. The story is incredibly stupid, stretching the very limits of its own ludicrous plot. But I’ll be damned if it isn’t some of the most fun I’ve had watching a bad movie.” Anthony Arrigo, Dread Central





“It may not be the most well-made horror film of the 80s, but it’s a fun, harmless movie that is what it is and aspires to be nothing more. You can’t help but wonder if the filmmakers grew up admiring the films of H.G. Lewis, as the godfather’s spirit of corny bravado comes through in many of the set pieces.” Oh, the Horror!

“Bad food plateaued in the ’80s with the rising popularity of microwaves which led to a slew of  “Microwave Cookbooks“. You know what I’m talking about. The ones that claim you can roast a whole turkey in that radiated death box. Microwave Massacre is clearly parodying this bullshit mentality.” Atomic Caravan

Blu-ray release:

On 15th August 2016, Arrow Video released Microwave Massacre on Blu-ray with the following special features:

Brand new 2K restoration of the original camera negative
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with writer-producer Craig Muckler moderated by Mike Tristano
Brand new making-of featurette including interviews with Muckler, director Wayne Berwick and actor Loren Schein
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork



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