The inevitable “pizzagate” movie has arrived, and it probably won’t be the last one. The Pizzagate Massacre is a low-budget film set in and around Austin, Texas, which is of course home to the daddy of conspiracy theorists, Alex Jones. The result is a reasonable film on the subject—not brilliant, but neither terrible nor completely exploitative. There’s been some thought put in by first-time director John Valley, who has worked previously with Robert Rodriguez and clearly picked up some tips on how to stretch a small budget.
A young Black female intern, Karen Black (Alexandria Payne), working for a Jones-style news show in Waco gets fired. There is a later plot twist involving David Koresh’s spawn. She then goes on a quest with former neo-Nazi Duncan (Tinus Seaux) to get into the pizzeria where supposedly the Democratic deep-state, paedophile Satanists are located. She’s making a documentary as well but it never falls into the found footage category… thank god. The plot is silly, but the gore effects are OK, and the acting is not too bad, especially the two leads. Karen is actually quite an interesting character, since casting a young Black woman as the lead conspiracy theorist is a bold move, but she gets pushed aside for her partner in the investigation, who does the action bits. Still, their performances make up for some of the lesser aspects if the film, although it remains far too uneven.
There are all the usual crazy beliefs on show in The Pizzagate Massacre, including that the elites are secret reptilians. There’s a bit of God Bless America in there, but it’s not as witty or intelligent. It’s a relatively compassionate and interesting film for people who have gotten sucked into this conspiracy stuff. Unfortunately, it ends up trying to be Network, which it isn’t—in fact, it ends up being the bastard child of Green Room and Green Book, two films that maybe should not be mashed together. It doesn’t totally pass judgement on anyone, adding a little nuance to a story that finds the conspiracy believers are also victims.
Oh, and the poster is amazing—it’s better than the film. At times the film takes itself a little too seriously, when it might have been better to just let it be silly. But it’s a film with a lot of ambition on a budget, so I’d say Valley is a director to keep an eye on, even if this film doesn’t completely work.