Winners Tape All: The Henderson Brothers Story (2016)

winners-tape-allJustin Channell’s “Winners Tape All” is a very niche mock documentary about a pair of brothers that became low budget horror filmmakers who went on to direct schlock slashers like “Curse of Stabberman” and “Cannibal Swim Club.” It’s a difficult premise to explain, and sadly it’s not a movie that lends itself to a lot of laughs or even an interesting story. Director Channell and stars Zane Crosby and Josh Lively look like they had a great time making “Winners Tape All,” but even at an hour in length, their premise feels stretched pretty thin. It’s an interesting concept for Channell to evoke the video age and explore cheaply made horror movies that were filmed straight to video.

Sadly, a lot of what unfolds in “Winners Tape All” never adds up to an entertaining experience. Zane Crosby and Josh Lively do their damndest playing the Henderson brothers, two horror fanatics who devoted a lot of their time to making really bad slasher movies. The “classics” were eventually almost lost in obscurity and re-discovered by filmmaker and horror fanatic Henry Jacobs, as played by director Chris LaMartina. A lot of their interviews with the director about their time making the movies feel improvised, which amounts to a ton of hit or miss jokes. Most jokes hit their mark while others are pretty sharp zingers all in all.

In one scene one of the brothers displays a shocking misunderstanding of the online market and collectors by revealing that three rare copies of his movies were being sold for a thousand dollars. He goes on to explain that he had thirty copies lying around and could have made thirty thousand dollars selling them to collectors. Those moments are rare sadly, as the movie spends a lot more time pitching one-liners than getting us invested in the story. That said, “Winners Tape All” has some redeeming moments, including a lot of mock horror movie clips that look like genuine shot on video schlock. “Winners Tape All” is lackluster, but Justin Channell and his crew seem to really be on to something here. I think there is potential for a pretty great comedy about two budding horror filmmakers.