|Massacre of the Burkittsville 7, The
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Nuts and Bolts: Ohio film archivist Chris Carrazco explores the history of infamous Maryland serial Killer Rustin Parr. But Carrazco’s findings suggest that the notorious massacre of the Burkittsville 7 were not committed by Parr at all, but rather by an eight-year-old boy named Kyle Brody.
Summary: Let me start off by saying that the Massacre of the Burkittsville 7 is NOT a full-length theatrical presentation. This is a fictitious documentary (Or Mockumentary if you prefer) that was shown on Showtime in October of 2000 as a supplementary back story to the 1999 summer smash hit, the Blair Witch Project. Because of its relationship to the Blair Witch Project, I have found it worthy to be included here in the archives.
Film archivist Chris Carrazco explores the history surrounding the life of notorious Burkittsville serial killer Rustin Parr. He shows us his extensive research into the case and he produces old newspaper clippings as well as original transcripts from the Rustin Parr murder trial. Carrazco’s research unearths some startling insights into the case as a whole.
He focuses on the character of Kyle Brody. Brody was one of eight children allegedly abducted by Parr. He is also the only one to survive the Burkittsville Massacre and was a key witness in Parr’s trial. By examining the background of Brody himself as well as his life after the trial, Carrazco posits that Brody was not really a victim. But rather he suggests that Brody actually guided Parr in the murders and was in fact the mastermind of the whole affair. Brody grew up to become a certifiable whack-a-loon who was committed to the Maryland State Institute for the Criminally Insane.
Along with Chris Carrazco’s exposition, we also get to see interviews with Kyle Brody’s sister Jenine. To this day Jenine contests that Kyle could not have been anything but a normal boy. (Yeah, that’s why her brother became a fat slobbering looney bird with no eyebrows right?)
We also have interviews with Dominick Cazale, a former priest who had the fortune of hearing the confession of Rustin Parr. On the day of his execution, Parr revealed to Father Cazale that he never killed anyone. This is a strange thing to say since he confessed to murdering those seven kids during his trial.
There is also an interview with Doctor David Hooper, the filmmaker responsible for the 1969 documentary White Enamel. White Enamel showcased the internal workings of life inside the Maryland State Institute. From here we get to see archival footage of Kyle Brody’s last days. At one point we see him cowering in the corner of his room naked screaming the words “Never Given!” over and over again. There are also scenes of Brody scribbling down words in a forgotten witches language known as Transitus Fluvii. This is the same language seen written in blood on the walls of the upstairs room in Rustin Parr’s house. This is important because it helps to support the theory put forward by Carrazco. Did Kyle write those words on Rustin Parr’s walls or was it the illiterate Rustin Parr himself?
In the end, we learn that Kyle Brody took his own life in 1971 when he stabbed himself in the left arm with a knife. The true nature of Kyle Brody’s involvement in the murders and his relationship to the urban legend known as the Blair Witch has yet to be revealed.
Acting/Dialogue: Everyone does a real excellent presentation here. What makes this film so enticing is that it succeeds in coming off as a genuine documentary. As such, you feel as if you are watching real people that were involved in the case. I have a hard time watching this and believing that these guys are all actors.
Gore: Aside from a clip from the Blair Witch Project in which we see Josh Leonard’s bloody tooth, there’s nothing really gory here.
Guilty Pleasures: The only nudity shown in here comes from the patients at MSICI. The troglodyte Kyle Brody is frequently seen hopping around starkers. Why this would turn anyone on is beyond me.
The Good: Massacre of the Burkittsville 7 is an excellent companion piece to the documentary Curse of the Blair Witch and they both serve as superb bookends to the Blair Witch Project. This film adds a whole new layer into the story behind the enigmatic Rustin Parr. From here we learn the names of the victims as well as the extended story behind Parr’s one surviving victim Kyle Brody.
What makes this documentary so spectacular is that director Ben Rock dangles a Scooby snack in front of our collective noses. Nothing is ever stated to be genuine fact and we are left to interpret Carrazco’s theories for ourselves. The lack of ironclad evidence is what adds to the mystery of these phenomena, because it challenges us to look at the entire case file from an entirely different perspective.
The archival footage of Kyle Brody is both eerie and disturbing. We get a snapshot of the mistreatment of mental patients within psychiatric facility during the 1960s. I can’t help but think that although this particular film is fictitious, it likely paints a very real picture of what goes on behind the closed doors of modern America. That aspect alone makes a bold statement about not only our own fragile sanity, but also our indifference towards human suffering.
We also get a little more insight into the Rustin Parr case. This particular gent was touched upon only briefly in the Blair Witch Project and was given only slightly more attention in Curse of the Blair Witch. We see not only archival footage of Parr’s trial but also re-enactments of his last days. The story of Rustin Parr continues to be one of the more engaging aspects of the Blair Witch mythos. In many ways, his story has become even more seductively captivating than that of Ellie Kedward herself.
Until you’ve seen Massacre of the Burkittsville 7, you’re only getting a small sliver of the overall mystique surrounding the Blair Witch Project.
The Bad: The worst thing about this film is its overall length. It’s only 30 minutes or so. Just as you find yourself getting really involved in the story, it ends. The film wets the appetite but ultimately leaves us wanting more.
I would have also enjoyed seeing a bit more insight into the Blair Witch herself. She is mentioned in passing in the first couple of minutes and most of that is spliced in between archival clips from the Blair Witch Project.
Chris Carrazco does not come off as a very likeable fellow and his theories are not only extreme, but are wholly ludicrous. But as inane as his suggestions may be, there’s no denying the fact that there is a lot more to the internal struggle within Kyle Brody’s mind than we will ever know. Carrazco seems to go to extremes in order to paint Rustin Parr as little more than a simple-minded innocent victim. The concept of an eight-year-old boy pulling the strings of a middle-aged man is completely implausible, unless one buys into the notion that the spirit of the Blair Witch manipulated him. But as Carrazco states that he doesn’t believe in the legend of the Blair Witch, his theory regarding Kyle’s manipulative capabilities leaves a lot to be desired.
I only have one other unanswered question in regards to this mini-film. WHAT IN THE FUCK DOES “NEVER GIVEN,” MEAN?!?!
“Chris Carrazco is a fucking idiot.” --Jenine Brody expressing her opinions on Carrazco’s theories regarding the massacre.
“Never Given!” --I don’t know what the fuck this is supposed to mean, but both Rustin Parr and Kyle Brody chanted it shortly before their deaths.
Overall Rating: 9 out of 10 severed heads.
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