The film opens in a quiet library, in the small unassuming town of Porterville. The tranquil of the building is ruined by a loud yob berating his studious girlfriend for spending too much time with her nose buried in books.

The timid-looking, bespectacled woman behind reception - Sally (April Monique Burril, ABBATOIR; SILENT SCREAM) politely asks the man to keep his voice down. For her troubles, he calls her a "frigid little freak" and loudly announces that he's going for a piss. Our heroine follows him into the lavatory and puts a bloody end to his rowdiness - cue the attractive comic-book-style credits, set to an invigorating rockabilly score.

Next, we meet the towns corrupt Mayor, busy introducing a few of the local businessmen to a keen property developer Harvey Benton (David R Calhoun, FRANKY'S HEAVEN). Benton announces plans to expand Porterville with countless executive condominiums - much to the residents' horror. But, undeterred, Benton says he will go ahead with his plans to transform their sleepy town - all he needs is out-of-towner Steve Kellerman to agree to sell 200 acres of land that he's recently inherited.

Benton arranges for Kellerman (Mark Redfield, THE DEATH OF POE) to spend the day with his sexy assistant Cynthia (Kristen Hudson). She takes him to view his land, and they survey an old abandoned house which lies in the centre of it. She tells him that 15 years ago a husband and wife were massacred there by three escaped lunatics, and that no-one knows whatever happened to their children ...

Meanwhile, we get treated to a further taste of how Sally punishes people who don't think things the way she wants them doing - she chases a girl through the woods with her chain saw, eventually disembowelling her. Why? Because she failed to return a book to the library ...

As the film unfolds, we learn (via some decent sober flashback sequences) that Sally and her brother Ruby were the kids who lived in Kellerman's house, and that Sally has grown into a young woman who lives by the dying words of her murdered father (Gunnar Hanson, THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE): that some people are bad and the good people must do whatever they can to protect others from them.

This, in Sally's eyes, includes castrating abusive boyfriends and forcing thick sluts into blood-soaked games of Twister while her salivating transvestite brother (Alec Joseph, SILVER SCREAM) watches on excitedly.

Sally and Ruby get wind of Benton's plan to buy their old home, and are pissed. Meanwhile, Kellerman visits the library to learn more about the property's history, and develops a close friendship with Sally. But will it all go tits-up when Sally decides to take on the evil of the Mayor, Cynthia and Benton?

CHAINSAW SALLY is based on an image put across by a website, and is cheap quick flick made to cash in on the bizarre popularity of the site's star's alter-ego. Burril is Sally, both in the film and on the site. She loves the original TCM (she even re-enacts scenes from it with Ruby in this film). And that's the whole inspiration behind SALLY ... a goth chick running around with a chain saw.

Which probably sounds like great fun. Don't get me wrong, SALLY has it's moments - on the plus side, it's filled with interesting quirky characters who all get their chance to try and amuse with the risible lines they've been given (look out for cult filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis [BLOOD FEAST] as a store clerk).

Also, the flashback scenes are quite affecting. Seeing Sally and Ruby as youngsters witnessing their mother's rape and murder is undeniably disturbing.

Two other plus points are the music (by various punk and rockabilly bands) which is great, and the pace. You could never accuse this movie of being slow.

But as a whole, it's just another cheap backwoods US indie flick with nothing to set it above the countless others getting released these days. The gore scenes are weak: budgetary restrictions mean we get to see lots of blood spraying across the screen, but very little in the way of actual prosthetic FX.

Performances are uneven, and the script is lame and predictable. The appearances of Hanson and Lewis may pique the interest of some, but they're not given enough to do to make this worthwhile even for completists.

Shock-O-Rama's disc, on the other hand, is a very solid proposition.

The film is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic and the transfer is generally good. It's a little soft, but there's no grain or artefacting.

The English 2.0 audio is a clear, consistent and LOUD mix. Very pleasing on the ears - especially with that superb soundtrack.

Although there's no scene selection menu, the film has 11 chapters.

Extras are plentiful. It all kicks off with an audio commentary from Burril and writer/director Jimmyo Burril (SILVER SCREAM). They discuss the movie's origins, fawn over working with Hanson, plug each band as their songs are heard - it's a very comprehensive chat track.

A 30-minute Making Of offers behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with most cast and crew members. Hanson gets his own separate featurette, 11 minutes long, where he talks about his involvement in the project. He seems tired but friendly.

There's a 3-minute featurette which compares storyboards with stills from the film, to highlight how close the end results were to the original visions.

The delightfully named Piss Ant turn up with a promo video for their song "Silence". Great tune, reminiscent of L7. The video is a mix of clips from the film and murky footage of the band performing.

Finally, there are loads of trailers for other Shock-O-Rama/Retromedia titles - SCREAMING DEAD, CRIMINALLY INSANE, CHANTAL, SLIME CITY etc ... 17 trailers in total.

The film is no great shakes. In fact, I only watched it moments before writing this review and already it's started to leave my memory. But this disc is very good indeed. Does that count for something?

Review by Stu Willis

Released by Shock-O-Rama
Region 1 - NTSC
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review