Four friends rent an isolated cabin in order to have a weekend of debauchery and partying. Other than picking up a hitchhiking clown on the side of the road, everything seems to be fine even though there were no images and information about the cabin when they found it online. Of course nothing is actually fine as a family of cannibals resides in the woods nearby who plan on butchering the kids.
It’s been said that only love and peace can bring this world together, but in my opinion, I think it’s dead teenagers. Everyone loves dead teenagers! Especially in those things we call "motion pictures.” People love watching them die in excruciating ways and it’s usually when they’re partying, doing drugs, or having sex. Which leads me to believe they love watching them being killed because we all secretly hate them for being able to enjoy their youth, the little shits.
And the reason I believe it’s teens being mercilessly slaughtered that can bring the world together is by the number of slashers and backwoods-slashers being made. While it’s mostly an American sub-genre, you'll see the odd title popup from unsuspecting areas which aren’t known for producing these kinds of movies. In this case, that place is Brazil. Even though Brazil has it’s own horror icon in the form of Coffin Joe, they’re not really a mecca for their slashers but André de Campos Mello and Marcos DeBrito look to change that with “Condado Macabro” — or “Massacre County”.
You know the drill: kids plan a weekend getaway to an isolated cabin in the woods with nothing but partying and sex on their minds. Your characters are: the horny-guy, the slut, the shy-guy, the virginal girl, and the fat one no one seems to actually like and makes you wonder why they’d be invited to the party in the first place. Of course the homicidal hick-family that wears masks made from dolls and human flesh show up to chop up the adolescents, assumedly because they wouldn’t turn down that racket they call music.
Marcos and André try do something a little different by having the movie hinge on an attempted robbery gone wrong. For reasons that don’t make sense, two struggling clowns decide to rob the kids when they go to the cabin, but during their attempt to steal from these kids, two cannibalistic hicks show up and start killing everyone. So most of the movie is told through flashbacks as one of the clowns sits in police custody from being accused of the murders (this is not a spoiler, this is how the movie starts). I thought that this was a great idea — it’s not some profound twist on the slasher, but something to give “Massacre County” a bit more of its own unique personality.
Unfortunately it’s an element to the story that doesn’t do much. There’s some humor the comes up when the clowns, the kids, and the hicks clash but there’s not enough done to actually help “Massacre County” have more of its own personality. It's just a subplot — if you were to remove the clowns from the story, you'd have the exact same movie and that's what makes it disappointing. It's something that could have helped but instead it's just this thing that's there. And that’s not to say the movie is bad. “Massacre County” is by all accounts a successful backwoods-slasher, albeit generic. There’s some CGI gore during a decapitation that could throw off some viewers. In general though, Marcos and André hit on all the genre tropes that people love — which is mostly rednecks massacring teenagers. That is ultimately what will make or break this movie for most viewers.
For me, “Massacre County” was very…meh. It was fine. Other than the sickening and unnecessary self-aware dialogue that references gory horror movies (I get it — I’m watching a horror movie where the characters in it talk about horror movies. I get that it’s both ironic and funny, but please, everyone, stop doing it. At this point, the whole self-referential thing is really fucking obnoxious.) in the beginning, the movie was fine. There was nothing inherently bad about it but nothing memorable either since everything followed the standard genre trappings.
I wish there was more to say or to criticize, but again, for me, the movie was just okay. Outside of the dialogue referencing horror movies, nothing came off as being bad. At the same time though, nothing was particularly good. Or at the very least, memorable, but that has everything to do with the fact that I was not overtly interested in what kind of movie “Massacre County” was. If you’re a fan of the backwoods-slashers and want to see Brazil take a stab at that kind of movie, then I’d definitely recommend checking it out.