I'm not 100% sure what film can lay claim to being the first to use a woodchipper to dispose of a corpse, but this $400 (NOT a typo) 1989 opus from Connecticut beat Fargo to the punch by eight years. Who knew? As writer/director Jon McBride explains in the disk's liner notes, he is a frustrated sit-com writer, and the surprisingly bloodless Woodchipper Massacre (released by Camp Motion Pictures) does indeed play like a Brady Bunch episode gone horribly wrong. John (McBride), Denise (Denice Edeal) and Tommy (Tom Casiello) are being left home for the weekend while their father takes off on one of those unspecified business trips that drive so many family sit-com plots. Dad has left a lot of yard work for John, and he's rented a woodchipper (can you say "foreshadowing," boys and girls?) to help with the job. Despite the fact that John looks like he's in his mid-twenties, Dad doesn't want to leave his kids completely unsupervised, so he asks Aunt Tess to stay with them while he's gone.
Aunt Tess quickly proves to be a one dimensional witch straight out of a Brothers Grimm tale. Even saying grace before dinner becomes a fire and brimstone affair, and as far as she is concerned, all children are disrespectful, rock music is the work of drug-addled satanists, and the girl John plans to go out with must automatically be a tart. The mystery of who actually is going to end up in that woodchipper is solved early on, and it soon becomes a matter of when, dear God, when? The writing is on the wall for Aunt Tess when Tommy's Rambo survivalist hunting knife -- which his father helped pay for -- arrives in the mail. Just before leaving, Dad lectured Tommy on how a 10-speed bike was too big a responsibility for a kid his age, but he obviously has no qualms helping his 12-year-old son buy a hunting knife big enough to gut a polar bear. Aunt Tess attempts to confiscate the knife, a struggle ensues, and it's ta-ta for Tess.