Retro Review: Microwave Massacre (1983)

Every now and then while perusing various online streaming services, you come across a movie with a title and plot description so ridiculous that you can’t keep scrolling. That happened with me and 1983’s Microwave Massacre. Make no mistake, I had heard that title a bunch before, but never took the time to actually look into the movie until recently. I finally did, and it was, well, an experience.

The film follows an unspectacular blue collar construction worker, called Donald. Donald is troubled due to the fact that his wife, in order to make them appear classier than they really are, has begun to only cook gourmet style foods in their ultra-swanky new microwave oven. This, coupled with his wife’s incessant nagging, pushed Donald over the edge. One night, while in a drunken stupor, Donald beats May to death with a pepper grinder. When Donald wakes up the next morning with no recollection of his acts the night before, he finds May’s body in their new microwave oven. After getting over the initial horror of killing his wife, he chops her body up and stores it in the refrigerator, where he accidentally consumes a part of her as a midnight snack. After discovering his new lease on life, as well as his taste for human flesh, Donald begins to find other women to kill, cook, and eat.

The star of this low budget flick is famed comedian Jackie Vernon. Jackie had long been called the “King of Deadpan,” and that certainly shows throughout this movie. While his acting won’t do much to blow you away, the way he delivers some of his lines will have you rolling. The acting from the supporting cast is nothing to brag about, but it isn’t dreadful enough to make you turn it off. 

While the plot was rather simple and the acting was subpar, the special effects were on point. Not every scene was a shining example of anatomical realism, but as a fan of 80’s trashy gore effects I didn’t find myself disappointed. Maybe I’m just a sucker for practical effects, leading me to be less critical, but I was certainly satisfied.

Is this a particular good film? Well…no. Did I enjoy watching it? You bet. This is one of those movies that I know I’ll go back to at some point. It’s ridiculous plot, entertaining gore, and hilarious acting from Jackie Vernon did enough to make me enjoy Microwave Massacre. It was just the kind of ridiculousness I needed, and I do have a soft spot for cannibalism. If you’re the type that is into the extremely low budget sleaze fare, then you absolutely owe it to yourself to check out Microwave Massacre!

About Chuck Ransford 32 Articles
Ah now for the one thing everyone loathes...writing about themselves! Well for starters, my name is Chuck, and I am a south Jersey transplant living in Amish country. I’ve been a horror fan since 5th grade, about 16 years ago. My horror fandom started when I got my hands on a copy of Jay Anson’s novel The Amityville Horror. The book terrified me, and I knew I just had to watch the movie. An older cousin of mine had a copy of it, and that was the genesis of my obsession with the genre. Over the years I have expressed my horror fandom in many ways. Since about 2005 I have been regularly attending horror conventions. These have been great ways to amass collectibles, movies, and to meet some of my favorite celebrities. My best friend Mike and I used to run our own horror blog years ago, and we also dabbled in script writing. I am looking forward to going back to writing about horror, something I’ve always loved. When I’m not working (I work at PNC Bank), my non-horror interests are studying theology and economics, watching Japanese tokusatsu, and doing play-by-play commentary for professional wrestling. I’m also a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society and singing in a Barbershop quartet. Oh, and I’m probably the biggest fan of the Golden Girls you’ll ever meet. My top 5 horror flicks (definitely subject to change): 1. Cannibal Holocaust (1980) 2. Basket Case (1982) 3. Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) 4. The Beyond (1981) 5. Dawn of the Dead (1978)