Plot: Leslie (Nathan Baesel) has waited his entire life for one night, an evening where he will put himself to the test and see if his immense preparation was enough. He has walked through the scenario countless times, going over all the details time and again, while also laying the foundation to ensure all paths lead to that night. If all goes well, he will slaughter several teenagers and have a showdown with a virgin, whom he seeks to empower. A rash of violence based on a local legend and Vernon has even brought in a film crew to document the process. Taylor (Angela Goethals) and her crew will film Vernon as he prepares and then their cameras will document his reign of terror as it unfolds. As the time approaches, the work seems to have paid off, as the pieces begin to fall into place for Vernon’s bloodbath. But even though he has calculated every risk and planned every move, will there will be a surprise or two even he can’t handle?
Entertainment Value: This is a fun one. Ever wonder how Jason manages to slaughter all those teens without breaking a sweat or how Michael Myers is able to keep up in those chaotic bloodbaths? The answer is quite simple, preparation. If you’ve ever had questions about maniacal murders, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is sure to provide some creative answers. This is one of the more innovative, unique movies in the genre, which is fantastic news for horror fans. The story is impressive and the execution is superb, the writing here is very good and you can tell a lot of passion and hard work went into the concept. I think the reality television, true crime style premise works well and all the attention to detail is quite impressive. The movie is loaded with little nods to horror movies and it is fun to rewatch Behind the Mask, trying to spot all the references you might have missed before. A skilled blend of horror and humor, with some smart twists thrown in a familiar scenario, Behind the Mask is a lot of fun and horror fans will likely have a blast with this one.
The sleaze is minimal here, but we do have a glorious, extended look at an absolutely beautiful set of bare breasts. So just one instance of nakedness, but it is quite epic and a most welcome inclusion. This does have some blood, but not much and that is due to the focus being on the preparation rather than the actual kills. But when the movie shifts gears from the fake documentary to a more traditional horror movie, then some violence ramps in. This includes some broken necks, a jagged glass necktie, some slashes, a few stabs, and some various roughhousing, but nothing too graphic or blood soaked. A lot of the blood is aftermath, so we just see the red stuff smeared on clothes or pooled on the floor, rather than the violence that caused it. The dialogue has some fun moments, mostly from Leslie’s over the top killer persona and some of the banter between Leslie and Taylor is a good time. Horror fans will appreciate all the genre references and lingo, as well. As for the overall craziness, the premise is interesting and offbeat, but this one never gets too wild.
Overall Insanity: 3/10
The Disc: Scream Factory has graced Behind the Mask with a new HD master taken from the digital intermediate and it looks excellent, though the movie’s visual design means it sometimes can look inconsistent. But this is due to the movie using multiple camera sources, as the documentary scenes look rough and in the moment, while the traditional sequences have a much sharper, more cinematic presence. The extras includes not one, but two audio commentary tracks, some new cast & crew interviews, two behind the scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, and the film’s trailer.