Just like the love for dive bars, greasy spoons, and flea market art, there is an odd appreciation for home-brewed horror titles. Once referred to as backyard or camcorder movies, home-brewed horror has that raw appeal of a non-franchise, local product made for the fun of it. They are usually made by groups of friends on weekends while everyone is partying. Normally the photography is basic, the acting is so-so, and the special effects are limited. However, there is a legitimate argument that these projects count as genuine folk art, sometimes with flashes of inspiration that the bigger studio releases lack.
Such a movie is Gnomercy, a Canadian home-brewed slasher where a group of folks partying at a cabin in Ottowa get killed off by a garden gnome. The tagline is “Stay Out of The Garden!” which was enough to make me want to see it. I am a big fan of the 1980s low-budget flick Screamtime, which also had a killer garden gnome sequence. So the temptation to see the concept carried out on an even lower budget was too great to resist.
“…a group of folks partying at a cabin in Ottowa get killed off by a garden gnome.”
The movie starts with Jeremy (Nathan Boucher) driving down a dark road, screaming about how his wife just walked in on him cheating, and now he is going to give up half of his belongings. He complains so loudly that his mistress Tera (Milana Hammond) takes a break from sucking him off to tell him to shut up. Jeremy pulls over in the woods to take a piss and does so all over a half-buried garden gnome statue. When Tera comes up behind him asking for a bump, Jeremy accidentally spills a big pile of cocaine on top of the gnome statue. This makes the statue transform to life-size, and the giant gnome (Jimmy Leblanc) kills Tera while Jeremy barely escapes.
Gnomercy then smash cuts to a bunch of Canadians drinking good Canadian beer and doing drugs at a party when they decide to go out to a lakeside cabin for the weekend. On the way, they run into Jeremy lying on the side of the road, clutching a tall, pointed, red gnome hat. They try to help him, but he lashes out, so they grab the cap and take off. Jeremy meets his fate while the partying Canadians do yard work, drink beer, and prod at the sexual tension between the various couples. Meanwhile, a giant wise-cracking gnome lurks in the woods, ready to kill off anything in its gardening path.
"…these projects count as genuine folk art..."