Bad Movie Monday: Splatter Farm (1986)

I’ve never really delved into the mad world of the Polonia Brothers before and I think it’s about time I gave their work a gander. The twin brothers gained fame and notoriety all the way back in 1996 when Blockbuster bought the distribution rights to their film Feeders and it became one of the video chain’s most rented indie title that year. Now, before I go on, I have to admit that I’ve tried to watch Feeders several times but I could never really get into it. It just felt really slow and meandering. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mood. I don’t know. I will watch it one day, I promise. For now, I’m going to review one of their earlier movies SPLATTER FARM.

SYNOPSIS: Twin brothers (played by John and Mark Polonia) go visit their weird aunt at her farm and discover that her handyman is a psychotic murderer and that she’s into necrophilia and incest.

I’d go on explaining what happens in the movie, but there isn’t much more to say. The brothers drive to the farm and hang around while bitching about being bored, the phone lines don’t work, their car won’t start so they can’t leave, the handyman kills strangers that wander on the farm, and the aunt acts shady. That’s about it. Still, with the right attitude, this can be a bunch of fun. Don’t think of it as watching a movie, because this is a bit too “Guerrilla Filmmaking” for that, think of it as watching a bunch of kids barely out of high school making a movie.

Which leads us to my favourite part of any review.


#1 – The Polonias made this when they were only eighteen years old. Not only that, but it was their THIRD film. So that’s impressive in and of itself. When I was eighteen I had to sound out the word “Wed-nes-day.” to write it down correctly.

#2 – As a bad movie expert, I would hazard a guess that Splatter Farm was often shot very loosely so that they could then assemble a story in editing. When you have no money or resources it’s best to not rely too much on a strict interpretation of your script and instead shoot as much footage as possible that can be used almost anywhere in the film. This isn’t to say that the Polonias didn’t have a specific story in mind, it’s just that they seemed to be wise enough to do the best they could with what they had.

#3 – The very eighties moustaches on twin brothers John and Mark Polonias are epic. Tom Atkins would be proud.

#4 – The music is surprisingly good. It’s not perfect, and I suppose some of the more cranky viewers might think it sounds cheap, but I liked it. It creates a nice weird atmosphere in the film. Trust me, I’ve heard worse.

#5 – The 70 minute running time is a godsend. When you’re making trash, always keep it short. You’ll save money and literally no one will ever complain about the brevity.

#6 – I was highly amused that the psychotic handyman working on the farm is called Jeremy. Every time the aunt yelled “JEREMY!” I’d look up as if she was talking to me.

#7 – I also like how the Polonias got someone’s grandma to play along with them. She’s a good sport and does a lot of crazy stuff, especially at the end.

#8 – One location, four actors, a camera, and a vague idea for a story. That’s all you need. Complexity is not necessarily an improvement if you have no money or resources to back it up.

#9 – For a film called SPLATTER Farm there isn’t a ton of gore, nor were the effects super well done, but I will say that what the film lacked in technical skill was made up for by the Polonias sheer demented glee.

#10 – The twist at the end is worth all the meandering nonsense in the world. That’s how you do it. Always end your movie on a high note!


Yes and no. I think the film does drag a bit too much, but it’s also far more dynamic and fast paced than most micro-budget 80s films. The problem is that there’s only a limited amount of things that you can do when all you’ve got is a camera, a few buddies, and a location. Still, they came out of this looking pretty good in my opinion. Do I recommend it? Ehhh… Depends. This requires a bit more patience and affection for bad filmmaking than most of the other movies I’ve reviewed. That said, I’m glad I saw it and I don’t think anyone will feel cheated by this. It’s a couple of kids making a real movie with what they had. That is worthy of respect if nothing else.

SPLATTER FARM stars Todd Michael Smith as Jeremy, John Polonia as Joseph, Mark Polonia as Alan, and Marion Costly as Aunt Lacey. It was written and directed by John Polonia, Mark Polonia, and Todd Michael Smith.