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I don't fuck with McDonald's. Don't think I mean that pretentiously; I eat my share of crap, just not that crap. Sure, I can choke down a McGriddle in a pinch, and their coffee is better than Starbucks, but there are only a handful of food options that the golden arches would win against, given a choice. Most times, I can't even make it to the counter, as the smell of the lobby alone turns me off. It's more than gross protein shapes and off-putting odors–there is a heavy vibe in the cursed eatery that gets to me. McDonald's aura is more oppressive than the average fast food chain, as if it carries the harvested souls of the underpaid workforce and leveled rainforests. McDonald's is an unstoppable nightmare as far as I'm concerned, representing more than just horrible grub. Combine the fucked up hell-place with clandestine (human) murder, dramatic father-son relationships, and ugly shot-on video brain fuckery; you have a different thing altogether; then you have Mcmurderer.

McMurderer is an intense (Mc) flurry of trademark infringement, bodily fluid, and trashy unbridled chaos. Forebodingly, it opens with some trivia on heart disease before fading footage of a McDonald's taken in a distinctly nowhere town. Inside, we meet this universe’s Ronald McDonald. He appears superimposed on a still image of the restaurant's interior via some liberally keyed green-screen effects, which make the scene look like an Thrill Kill Kult music video. A staggering, aging "McClown '' denies being drunk to the camera and then proceeds to disrobe mid-rant. Suddenly, a man who only speaks in subtitles brandishes a knife and kills the naked, probably hammered clown. After some horrific credits featuring an idle clown mask, the film follows the son of Mcclown and his baby-headed friend. Things only get more bizarro from there, with a tale containing VHS tapes full of morbid secrets, one creative hands-on resurrection, and more oddities than the per customer limit of 39c Mcdonald's cheeseburgers in 1998.

Once again, in an article on this site, I am obliged to give a warning: not everyone will make it through this one. You have to be down to watch micro-budget, DIY, b-horror-comedy garbage that often comes across like it doesn't want you to. To drive this point home, the text on the back of my copy where the synopsis would be is simply "Nothing that I say will prepare you for this trash. Good luck". The movie is nasty, sporadic, and the cinematic equivalent of suffering a thirty-minute hallucinatory concussion before you die in a sticky ball-pit. Any of the above facts alone would make me happy. However, there is something more if you are willing to make the trip through its runtime. Inside this three-course value-meal of uncomfortable energy, unexplainable actions, and semen-covered french fries is a fucked up, sad-ass poem. You may not believe me, and maybe you shouldn't, but I swear to John Carpenter, it gets me right in the feels. This bonus emotion is an enjoyably odd pairing with the impure, awkward confusion, like cheddar on cheesecake or getting a boner while watching a knife fight.

Mcmurderer tells its story through shaky VHS, with varying levels of decay. Including its tape within a tape, there are probably more than four different recording qualities on display here, tethered by expressive editing and inherent madness. The audio simulates the range of 90s car commercials--scenes jumping from too quiet to strikingly loud. It's impossible to chase with the volume knob, so I recommend embracing it as part of the experience. Sprinkled atop the ever-shifting noise is an impressive but unhinged score composed mainly of playful lo-fi synth loops. Fittingly completed by the Rock and Roll Mcdonald's cover by Gianni Vitale, the film’s soundtrack holds the whole lumpy sack of fluid strangeness together like a membrane. For me, the final product serves a balanced blend of nearly incomprehensible presentation, a greasy atmosphere, and lovable unbridled nut-baggery.

Janice.click (aka Steven Reifsteck) is the writer/director of several shorts, including The Curse of the Fatwolf (2022) and Hunting A Pigman (Part One and Two). He has several artistic endeavors, including self-described "cursed art," and has acted in other creators' films as well. I was made aware of the movie via Instagram, where click is very active with updates on future film productions. McMurderer is available in several versions, including an Unhappy Meal VHS bundle for the kiddos. My DVD copy came homemade in a slim case packed with stickers that will be perfect for my Trapper Keeper. Also, if you use IMDB, the creator told me on Instagram that the goal was “to make it the worst film on there.” So if you've got a few minutes, do them a favor and give the cinematic ode to American cheese a lousy rating.

Just as I can't identify the ingredients of a Big Mac, I won't be able to describe Mcmurderer fully. For about 22 minutes, the viewer is treated to a brown paper bag's worth of fantastic madness, fast food, and mystery stains beyond words. It was a fable that had not yet been told, and it will be impossible to imitate. Without it, I would never have beheld a solid orange homunculus/golem made from cum and a sleeve of french fries birthed from a dumpster. My distaste for McDonald's only makes the film better, as the entire brand already gave me the creeps. Also, as a positive side effect, now I'll think of this film when I pass the demonic, red, and gold shit-hole; instead of remembering when the number four made a regurgitated reappearance all over my friend's lawn after I was drunk enough to eat there one night.   

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