Posts Tagged ‘slashers’

Killer Party

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

tn_killerpartyslashersearch13American movies of the ’80s were so fascinated with fraternities and sororities. Was that just an offshoot of the popularity of ANIMAL HOUSE? They saw that and realized the Greek system was a good way for a movie to have a bunch of young people drinking beer and having sex?

Maybe that’s all they wanted, but this world also has alot of built-in conflict in the rivalries between fraternities, or (as in this case) the new people going through hazing to try to get accepted. It’s a pretty good microcosm of the way alot of us remember the age of yuppies and Ronald Reagan: you got these good looking assholes in charge, coming from rich families, re-enacting weird fetishistic rituals of cruelty while excluding people different from themselves from their superficial, hedonistic lifestyle. Usually we’re supposed to identify with an underdog or outsider who’s trying to be accepted into this world, not opposing it. Here it’s two good looking girls (Joanna Johnson and Elaine Wilkes as Jennifer and Phoebe) and their quirky bespectacled friend Vivia (Sherry Willis-Burch, whose only other movie was FINAL EXAM) who the sorority sisters clearly don’t like. So there’s that tension that they might turn against her to get in, or after they get in. (read the rest of this shit…)

You’re Next

Friday, August 30th, 2013

tn_yourenextIn YOU’RE NEXT, a group of adult siblings and their significant others gather at their rich parents’ big ass, miles-from-where-anyone-can-hear-you house to celebrate their anniversary, but get invaded by 3 or more maniac killers wearing plastic animal masks. This is kinda the new subgenre, isn’t it? Faceless killer home invasion movies, like ILS (THEM), THE STRANGERS and THE PURGE. ILS was genuinely pretty scary, THE STRANGERS was for a while, and I didn’t watch THE PURGE but it looks hilarious. YOU’RE NEXT isn’t quite as tense as those other two I saw, but it’s more fun.

All of the web guys have been hyping this one up since it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest two years ago, so I’m not surprised that I’m seeing a little mini-backlash from people I know. But I don’t really blame anybody. It’s easy to see how people at a film festival see a brand new movie, are excited to tell everybody about it, it takes forever to come out, but they really want people to see it so they do everything they can to promote it, and by the time everybody else finally gets to see it it sounds like it’s supposed to be the Second Coming when it’s really just a fun horror movie. Which, in my opinion, is worth telling people about, so I appreciate the tip.

For me this was not a KICK ASS situation where it seems like you must’ve had to be there at that one midnight screening to have any idea how people could enjoy the movie that much. My smaller 7:50 multiplex audience for YOU’RE NEXT was laughing and enjoying themselves too. (read the rest of this shit…)

No One Lives

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

tn_noonelivesWWEstudiosI’m not gonna try to convince you that NO ONE LIVES is a new horror classic or anything, but I enjoyed it. It’s from the prestigious WWE Studios and it has a level of absurdity and audacity that makes it a worthy successor to their first horror production, SEE NO EVIL. The British advertising even uses an Empire quote calling it a “guilty pleasure.” They’re not trying to fool anybody.

This one has an obvious SAW influence, but it’s not a so-called torture porno. It’s kind of a horror-formula moosh-up, combining the super-genius-psycho-with-ridiculous-death-contraptions with more of a traditional slasher movie formula (people in cabin being picked off one-by-one) as well as a little LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (class tensions and abduction courtesy of a family/gang of greaser reprobates).

It’s got one of these prologues that begins mid-terror, a screaming blond named Emma (Adelaide Clemens) chased through some woods, captured by booby traps. Turns out later she’s from a rich family, but judging by these traps the kidnapper is not in it for the money. He just likes hanging girls upside down and stuff. (read the rest of this shit…)

Texas Chainsaw 3D

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

tn_texaschainsaw3dAbout a third of the way into TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D, when the sound of the heroes’ van rolling off the road faded and I realized that everybody else in the theater was laughing too, it was clear we were on the same page. This is a dumb fucking movie, but we’re enjoying it. That’s not what I want from a sequel to my favorite horror movie of all time, but it’s about the best I hoped for. So I’m chalking this up as a win.

I have long considered Marcus Nispel’s 2003 remake TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE to not exist, and now I’ve been proven right. If there really was a remake (and a prequel to the remake) then how do you explain this being a direct sequel to Tobe Hooper’s original 1974 masterpiece, smart guy? Nope. No remake. If there ever was one it doesn’t matter ’cause there isn’t anymore.

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Black X-mas

Monday, December 24th, 2012

I skipped BLACK X-MAS for six years ’cause everybody told me it was bottom-of-the-barrel, but after I heard Brian Collins and some guys discuss it on some podcast about their favorite horror remakes I decided to try it out this year. Of course it’s a disgrace to the pioneering original Bob Clark BLACK CHRISTMAS from 1974. But it’s a fun disgrace.

Like the original it’s about some sorority sisters (and one sorority den mother, or whatever it’s called) staying in the house on Christmas break, being harassed on the phone by some weirdo named Billy who stalks them and suffocates one or more of them with a plastic bag and leaves her in the attic in a rocking chair and nobody finds her for a while. It skips the original’s thread about a father going around trying to find his daughter, preferring to keep the cast mostly male-free and most of the running time isolated to the one location. But the biggest and boldest change was to give the killer a backstory.
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StageFright

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

STAGEFRIGHT (aka DELIRIA, or STAGEFRIGHT: AQUARIUS as the title screen says) is a very stylish slasher/giallo type deal from Michele Soavi, Dario Argento’s second unit director on TENEBRE and PHENOMENA who went on to be best known for directing CEMETERY MAN. This one is more obviously in the footsteps of his mentor than that one.

It begins in aggressive stylization, a big-haired model hanging out on a soundstage city street, suddenly strangled in an alley. But this is not real, these are all people working on some kind of avant garde musical or some shit like that. There’s an overbearing, pretentious director, a bunch of primadonna dancers and actors and choreographers, some stage tech types, etc. And of course somebody is unhappy with something so they all get locked onto the soundstage and murdered one by one. (read the rest of this shit…)

Dead in 3 Days (plus bonus mini-review: Lost Things)

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

DEAD IN 3 DAYS is Austrian young people horror from 2006. The box art for the American release of it from Dimension Extreme makes a big deal about how a group of teens all get the same text message saying they’ll be dead in 3 days, so I thought maybe it was gonna be influenced by the Japanese phone related pictures such as THE RING and ONE MISSED CALL. Instead it’s a very solid whodunit slasher with alot of subtle distinctness in the ways it handles material that seems generic on the surface.

I don’t know if this is on purpose, but the basic themes are set up in a meta kind of way in the opening, because of the way it resembles the opening of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. The hands of an unseen man are building something sinister in a dark basement… but no, it turns out he’s not making a bladed glove or anything. He’s hanging himself.
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Death Valley

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

See, it’s a double meaning. Death Valley, like the place. That’s the location of this story. But also Death Valley. Like death, you know? I think you get it.

Slasher Search 2012 has been pretty productive in my opinion, but not in the usual area. I haven’t done good on the older slashers. I’m just looking for a pretty fun FRIDAY THE 13TH or HALLOWEEN ripoff with a few twists or odd idiosyncrasies, you know? I’m not asking for the world. But every time I find one there’s one less out there that I haven’t seen, so it’s harder every year. Anyway, this is the last of this year’s VHS rentals, might be my last shot.
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Pledge Night

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

PLEDGE NIGHT, that could be a good slasher movie, right? It’s got “Night” in the title, that’s scary. Implies a horrific massacre that occurred on one specific date in history. And after dark. The “Pledge” part means it takes place at a college, so it’s the young people whose blood usually fuels the slashers, but not too young. Kind of adults, in a way. I don’t know.

This was the first one by director Paul Ziller. Alot of the guys who directed these types of slashers have a handful of other IMDb credits at most. This guy went on to do BLOODFIST IV, BACK IN ACTION, SHOOTFIGHTER II among other action and thriller type business. In the 2000s he’s become more of a SyFy type with SNAKEHEAD TERROR, SWARMED, BEYOND LOCH NESS, YETI: CURSE OF THE SNOW DEMON, STONEHENGE APOCALYPSE… He’s still at it, having recently done a TV remake of THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT. The script is by Joyce Snider, whose other four IMDb credits are all pornos: PUBLIC AFFAIRS and RAW TALENT I-III. (read the rest of this shit…)

Hide and Go Shriek

Monday, October 29th, 2012

“I hate all this scary stuff you guys, come on!”

This one’s from ’88 and the premise is that some kids sneak into the furniture store owned by one of their dads to have a sex party or something. So it’s like CHOPPING MALL minus the robots. As great as robots obviously are I think that could still work, but unfortunately this movie is doing nothin to support the theory.

It starts out really strange, though. There’s a dude wearing a suit and a fedora, putting on makeup, thinks he’s Joel Grey or somebody. He goes out to a weirdly stylized street, picks up a hooker, fucks her up against a brick wall, stabs her. (read the rest of this shit…)