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Focus on the Frightful: CarousHELL

Duke, a carousel unicorn, hates his job. He has to let kids climb on his back and ride him for hours every day. But one kid has finally pushed him too far. Duke breaks free of his carnival hell and embarks on a bloody rampage of revenge on humanity.

CarousHELL poster

Release Date: October 6th, 2016 | MPAA Rating: R | Runtime: 1hr 10min | Source: Amazon Prime | Genre: Horror Comedy

Directed By: Steve Rudzinski

Starring: Steve RimpiciSé MarieHaley Madison

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Content Warning:

Talk of sexual assault, racism.

Last Saturday the Kali Krew watched CarousHELL. It had been on our radar since we first promo’d it back in 2018. Since my last two picks included Brainscan (which I still maintain is at least a decent movie – I’ve seen much worse) and Hold Your Breath (which was much more fun than it had any right to be) I tried to pick a good movie so my movie taste wouldn’t be suspect in the future (although Lilyn still gives me side-eye over Brainscan and liking The Gallows).

Obviously, that failed miserably.

However, we all went into CarousHELL knowing it would be bad so my tenuous movie reputation stands. For now.

So. CarousHELL. Generally, when we do a Kali Krew watch we all give our separate opinions. We decided that wasn’t necessary for CarousHELL. We were all pretty much in agreement with what worked and what didn’t.

So we’ll start with what worked. There were a lot of funny one-liners. The acting was passable and a lot of the jokes did land how they were supposed to. Duke the Unicorn had a lot of personality that I think gave the cringy lines a bit more oomph. I think with an iffier voice this would not have worked as well as it did when it did work. There were a lot of jokes on Bronies, although, in this world, they’re called Bronicorns. Most of them were pretty funny barring one that I’ll mention later.

The budget for CarousHELL was extremely low so I’m kind of impressed with what they were able to pull off with a budget that small. You can tell that most of it probably went into the kill effects because the special effects were actually pretty damn good. Much better than I was expecting.

The music wasn’t half bad. It kept making Tracy, The Tiny One (my son’s girlfriend) and myself giggle because every time the music was captioned it specifically said “electronic ominous music” “country western electronic”. I think there was one single time that it forgot the electronic qualifier. And it was made up for right after. There’s also a My Tiny Unicorn theme song that’s pretty…something.

Also, there are boobs (did you really expect otherwise?) but relatively few compared to other movies of this type.

“What do we do, Cowboy Cool?!” – Laurie (Se Marie)

Now for the bad. The lighter mention is pacing. As Cory pointed out – “They had a short film idea and wanted a feature”. There is a part where there are just so. many. pizza sex jokes. It was fairly funny but it went on for so long it got tiresome. If they had interspersed it with some other random Duke kills it would have helped that out immensely.

CW: See above

Also light spoilers

Now for the bad. There is a sex scene between Duke the Unicorn and the Brony girl. Which, ok, tacky but passable. But right after there is a scene that is so wildly out of place and uncomfortable to watch. The Brony girl is crying and Duke is chastising her for “literally asking for it” among other pretty gross statements. It’s unnecessary, gross, and not funny and it kind of boggles us that it was written, edited, and committed to film without someone saying “Ehh, maybe we shouldn’t do this joke?”

The others are some pretty casual racist comments toward the only POC in the movie .I think they were trying to show what a dick the Chad guy was since he ends up getting a hot pot of coffee to the face. However, there were many other ways this could have been done that would have been in much better taste.

There’s also another unnecessary incest joke about a brother and sister where they make out onscreen. Again, it just seemed unnecessary and just…why? It’s also implied it’s because they’re French/Canadian.

I know these kinds of movies are fairly tasteless in general and that’s part of their charm but you can be tasteless without stepping firmly into “look how edgy we are!” territory.

In wrap-up, what can I say? It’s a cheap horror comedy made to be bad. And if it had cut the two parts mentioned above we would have been totally on board with the craziness but as it is it’s hard to recommend because of it. If you do watch it just keep those two scenes in mind.

Published inFocus on the Frightful
©Sci-Fi & Scary 2019
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