Amityville Ripper Poster

Amityville Ripper (2023) Review

It’s been too long since I’ve had an Amityville film up for review here, so why not help celebrate my getting out of the hospital with a look at Amityville Ripper. It’s written and directed by Bobby Canipe Jr. (Karate Ghost, Woke) on a budget so low he couldn’t afford to put “The” in its title.

The film opens with several newscasters and podcasters talking about the upcoming demolition of the infamous Amityville house and an auction of items from it. And about the rash of UFO sightings that coincidentally began when it was announced. And if you’re looking for love at first probing, there’s even a commercial for Alien Mingle.

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Once the bills have been paid and these pay to play crowdfunding perks dispensed with, Amityville Ripper gets into what passes for its actual story. Goth girl Marianne (Kelsey Ann Baker, Stro’s SINister SINema, Slaughter on the Set), wakes up to her brother Nicols (Hunter Redfern, The Wendigo, The Great Dismal) reminding her their parents have left for vacation, the computers need to be unplugged so the Y2K bug won’t make them explode, and he’s having a party tonight. That doesn’t sit well with her as she had planned something private with Annie (Angel Nichole Bradford, Debbie Does Demons, Night of the Axe).

It’s not long before the first guests arrive, an even more annoying version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Franklin (Ryan Martel, You’re Melting!, Bad Girls) and his cheerleader girlfriend (Anna Clary, The Woodmen, Mutilator 2). We also find out that Marianne and Annie are planning to hold a seance with one of the artifacts from the Amityville house, the knife used by Jack the Ripper.

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What follows is a barrage of jokes that manage to hit the mark a surprising amount of the time. There’s a lot of meta humour, such as the director settling an argument between Nicols and Marianne as to whether they’re step or biological siblings. Or another citing how the script resolves an issue, only to be reminded that they have to wait another eleven pages to have it happen. Canipe doesn’t so much repeatedly break the fourth wall, he ignores its existence entirely and becomes a character in his own movie.

The Ripper (Josh Allman, Intinction, Grandma) shows up around the halfway mark and begins killing off the party guests, which only deepens the self-referential humour as characters begin regretting they didn’t read the script and don’t know how to save themselves. It’s really impressive how deep Canipe goes with this, turning what I expected to be a silly cash in into an almost surreal take on films like New Nightmare and the Scream franchise.

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Also, somewhat surprising for such a DIY movie, Amityville Ripper manages to work in some effects, including a decapitation and a parody of Psycho’s shower scene that should satisfy those who want some flesh with their blood. Less impressive are the effects for the aliens when they make their appearance, but that shouldn’t really surprise anyone.

After sitting through so many films like Amityville Karen and Amityville in the Hood, I admit it’s hard for me not to sit down to one expecting the worst, and it wouldn’t take much to exceed my expectations. But I have to give it to Bobby Canipe Jr., Amityville Ripper is a legitimately funny film that obviously had a good deal of thought put into it. It’s the kind of film that keeps me watching microbudget films. Either that or his sense of humour is as badly screwed up as mine.

Amityville Ripper is currently available via SRS Cinema’s VOD page. They’ll be releasing it on DVD on April 9th, as well as on Tubi.

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