• A 2011 indie film holds the record for the highest body count in a slasher movie, killing 155 characters over a 98-minute runtime.
  • While the film has a considerable amount of gruesome mayhem and inventive deaths, it lacks other qualities that make it worthwhile.
  • The movie’s body count is technically even higher than reported, as a nuclear bomb in the climax kills millions of unseen characters, making it even more impressive.

One low-budget 2011 indie project isn’t particularly well-known compared to other horror movies, but it holds the record for the highest body count in a slasher film. Although not every horror movie is a non-stop gore fest, many of the genre’s offerings do pride themselves on their sizable body counts. In particular, the slasher sub-genre is famous (or perhaps infamous) for killing countless characters in endlessly inventive fashions. While the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, Halloween series, and Friday the 13th franchise have a lot more to offer, they all boast considerably high kill counts.

Of course, a body count isn’t the only reason to check out a horror movie, even if some seem to exist solely for the purpose of murdering more characters than their competitors. One largely forgotten indie horror set the record for the highest number of victims in a slasher movie, but this didn’t necessarily make the film good. While director Mike Flanagan set the Guinness World Record for the highest number of jump scares in a television episode with 2022’s The Midnight Club pilot, the writer/director also ensured that the surrounding show was worth watching. This earlier record-setting horror wasn’t so careful.

The Summer of Massacre Holds The Record For The Highest Body Count In A Slasher Movie

A woman standing in the middle of the road, staring at a cart in The Summer of Massacre

Director Joe Castro’s The Summer of Massacre holds the Guinness World Record for the highest body count for a slasher movie. In total, the 2011 film kills 155 characters in its 98-minute runtime. Among the movie’s more memorable deaths are a meat thermometer stabbing, death by face-eating, and a gruesome pair of frying pan beatings. The Summer of Massacre’s gore never quite reaches the inspired ultra-violence of the Saw franchise’s brutal traps. However, the movie manages to pack an admirable amount of gruesome mayhem into its tight runtime. Sadly, most reviewers note that The Summer of Massacre has little going for it outside these killings.

The Summer of Massacre’s anthology story features a lot of taboo subjects, but the movie struggles to make an impact despite this. Perhaps because its action is split into brief vignettes, The Summer of Massacre doesn’t offer much reason to become invested in the fate of its characters. While Troma’s recently remade The Toxic Avenger is able to merge black comedy, shock value, and gory violence, The Summer of Massacre can’t recreate the same tonal balancing act. As such, there’s little to compliment beyond its record-breaking kills.

How The Summer Of Massacre’s Number Of Kills Is Actually Much Higher

The Summer of Massacre Poster

To its credit, The Summer of Massacre truly delivers on all the death and destruction, even if its story is just subpar. And The Summer of Massacre’s body count is technically higher than its Guinness World Record suggests, as the movie’s climax involves a nuclear bomb that wipes out millions of citizens in Los Angeles, California. While their deaths aren’t depicted onscreen (which might be the reason they aren’t included in Guinness World Records’ tally), a news report that plays over the credits confirms that the bomb kills millions of unseen characters. Thus, the horror movie’s body count is even more impressive than it seems.

Source: Guinness World Records

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