Posts Tagged ‘slashers’

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

So here we are. The VERY LAST time we will ever see Freddy Krueger. Dead forever. Never, ever again will he appear in a movie of any kind, because this at last is the end of him. It says it right there in the title, twice. He is dead, and this is the final one. And what a journey it’s been. But thank God we have this precious last 89 minutes to spend with him.

I don’t know if all the New Line Cinema people were wearing funeral clothes when they made this, but behind the scenes it was kind of a family affair. Director Rachel Talalay had been working on the Freddy pictures since part 1, usually as a producer. This was her first time directing – she later did TANK GIRL. She’s also the only woman to ever direct a Freddy movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Decides To RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Okay, let’s say it’s the year 2008, you are a horror fan, and the one thing that would really hit the spot for you in the near future would be a low budget FRIDAY THE 13TH (part 1) rip-off with a unique brand of in-your-face FUCK YOU AND YOUR MOTHER New York attitude. But not SLEEPAWAY CAMP, you already saw that one. Well then November 4th is your lucky day, dickwad, because that’s when original SLEEPAWAY CAMP director Robert Hiltzik returns to Sleepaway Camp with his sophomore directorial effort, RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP.

During the cheesy credits sequence (which I thought was a menu animation at first) your mind may slip away to imagine all the modern ways a new SLEEPAWAY CAMP could suck. You can easily picture the bland twentysomething soap opera actors going through the usual DTV horror motions. (read the rest of this shit…)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Part 5 is one of the less popular Freddy pictures, maybe because it made an admirable attempt to get beyond high school. It continues the story of Dream Master Alice and her boyfriend Dan (still played by the same actors, Lisa Wilcox and Danny Hassel) and their new circle of friends who replaced the dead ones. They are just graduating from high school, Alice and Dan are planning a trip to Paris over the summer, and early on Alice finds out that she’s pregnant. So they’re still teens but they’re dealing with some growing up type shit here.

The gimmick this time is that because she has a baby inside her, and because babies (according to the movie) dream all the time, she suddenly starts having Freddy dreams while awake. In the dream world the baby is a kid named Jacob and he does not have a positive male role model in his dream life so unfortunately Freddy comes in and takes advantage of that. You know how a bad uncle lets his little nieces and nephews drink beer, or helps them score pot? Freddy’s like that, he feeds Jacob the souls of Alice’s dead friends. I’m actually not sure what he’s trying to do – will this make the baby grow up into Freddy? Is he just trying to make the baby a killer like him? Or is he just pushing Alice’s buttons by messing with her kid? I don’t really know. (read the rest of this shit…)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Friday, March 28th, 2008

From the Academy Award winning writer of L.A. CONFIDENTIAL and MYSTIC RIVER, and the director of DEEP BLUE SEA, and with a story by the guy who did the novelization of E.T., comes a new old name in terror…

or, to put it another way, from the writer of PAYBACK and the director of DIE HARD 2 comes a part 4 that’s not as awesome as that sounds. If you are a Freddy devotee like myself you enjoy watching this crap every once in a while, but it’s the first one in the series that doesn’t advance the story at all.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s kind of nice that they continue with some of the characters from part 3, you don’t see that in too many slasher sequels. This one starts out with Kincaid, Joey and Kristen (now played by Tuesday Knight instead of Patricia Arquette and seeming to have a completely different personality) out of the institution and in a regular high school like the kids in parts 1-2. (I wonder if they all go to the same school Nancy did? I’m not sure.) (read the rest of this shit…)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

DREAM WARRIORS is the most popular of the Elm Street sequels, the one that set the pattern for most of them and, to be fair, the roots of everything that’s bad about them. It makes Freddy a little less mysterious, less scary, more jokey. The dreams become less surreal and more gimmicky. But still pretty good.

After skipping out on part 2, Wes Craven decided to co-write this one, although his script was then rewritten by Frank Darabont (who would go on to direct SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) and director Chuck Russell (who would go on to do crap like ERASER). I think the reason for the movie’s lasting popularity is Craven’s “dream warriors” concept. In the first two you had one lead character who has to take on Freddy pretty much by themselves, with only a girlfriend/boyfriend trying to help them. In this one Craven has a girl who for some reason has the power to pull other people into her dreams. So you have a group of teens all in a mental hospital because their Freddy attacks have been misinterpreted as mental illness. They not only share the belief in Freddy, they share the same dream world, so they can work together to fight Freddy. (read the rest of this shit…)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Technically Freddy already got his revenge in part 1 by going after the children of the people who burned him alive. In this one he’s just messing with a new kid who moves into the same house. It really is not revenge when you do it to a stranger who never did anything to you before and is not related to anyone who did anything to you before. Not to be pedantic but, come on dude, titles are important. Make ‘em count.

I always thought FREDDY’S REVENGE was the worst of the ELM STREET pictures, a pretty common view. They ended up figuring out the sequel formula in part 3 and they stuck with that for a while so part 2 is now kind of the odd man out when you look back at it. (read the rest of this shit…)

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

Well, Michael Bay is going down the list of everything he can do to ruin the quality of my life. Destroy the language of action cinema – check. Produce a horrible remake of one of my all time favorite movies – check. Make one of the most moronic event movies ever imagined and convince most of America that’s the best you can expect from a “summer popcorn movie” – check. He also personally re-elected Bush, in my opinion, and invited all the yelling party kids to hang out outside my apartment every night after the bars close. So he’s pretty much set everything on fire already but just to add insult to injury he’s circling back to pee on my rose garden by having his rat fucking, no-account production company Platinum Dunes “relaunch” both Jason AND Freddy. And maybe I’m in a small faction here but I was patiently awaiting the JASON VS. FREDDY 2 they’ve been trying to get off the ground for a while and was not aware that those two troublemakers had been sent back to the docks yet.

So as much as I believe in forgiveness and second chances, I’m pretty sure I will hate this soul-less cokehead asswipe for all his days, even if he prevents world war 3 (unlikely) or gives all his Lamborghinis to charity (way more unlikely). But on the positive side he has so far failed to erase the existence of the movies he is working hard to destroy the legacy of. So to celebrate the silver lining on this toxic cloud I think I’m gonna go back and watch and review all the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET movies. Take that, Michael Bay. Game, set and match, motherfucker. (read the rest of this shit…)

Hatchet

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Well, I guess now it’s officially a pattern. The pattern goes like this:

  1. small independent horror movie plays a few small film festivals.
  2. People on the internet go ape shit because they got to see it first.
  3. Buzz spreads for a year or so.
  4. Anchor Bay (#1 releaser of horror movies in the VHS days) buys rights, gives tiny theatrical release.
  5. I see it on DVD.
  6. god damn it, why don’t they make good ones anymore

This pattern started with BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON and fortunately this one is not as asinine as that one. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t cut the mustard. Believe me, I wish it did. I see mustard everywhere and I want nothing more than for that mustard to be cut by a movie like this. But just being above the standards of the DTV giant snake movies is not a horror resurgence. (read the rest of this shit…)

Book Review: Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

chainsawMonday morning I heard a phrase on the radio that surprised me: “men, women and chain saws,” said in a somewhat dismissive voice.

What the hell? This was a weird coincidence. Men, Women and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film by Berkeley professor Carol J. Clover is a very academic book exploring gender issues in slasher, possession and rape-revenge films, mostly from the ’70s. I read the book years ago and it really affected my view of slasher movies. I paraphrase it alot when defending these kinds of movies (a pretty regular past time these days).

I think it’s been an influential book, but I don’t know anybody else who’s read it, so it was a surprise to hear it on the morning news. I had read it mentioned recently in the Fangoria horror magazine, when Quentin Tarantino mentioned it in an interview about Death Proof. It’s not surprising he read it. In the first half of Death Proof he uses alot of the slasher movie conventions discussed in the book, setting up Butterfly as what Clover calls “the Final Girl.” The biggest clue is that she has “the investigative gaze,” she’s the one who notices Stuntman Mike’s car and keeps eyeing him, and is scared of him. No one else realizes anything is wrong. Ordinarily this would mean that she would go on to survive and defeat, escape from, maybe even kill Stuntman Mike. But, well, maybe some other time. (Of course, he ends up making what is more obviously a feminist movie, not having to even have the women tormented too much before they want to spit on somebody’s grave.) (read the rest of this shit…)

The Slumber Party Massacre

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

This is a slasher movie about girls at a slumber party, and a dude with a portable drill. There is no pillow fights or nothing but otherwise it pretty much plays out how you would imagine.

Almost anywhere you read about this movie they say it’s a feminist slasher movie. I can see a touch here or there that supports that theory, but I am positive that pretty much every one of these people would be saying it was misogynistic if it was directed by a man. In most respects it’s exactly like every other slasher movie of the time, including showing lots of gratuitous female (and not male) nudity. When the girl gets up in the morning you see her take her shirt off to change into a dress. When she goes to school you see lots of nudity in the locker room, including a really funny shot (I’m not sure if it’s intentionally funny or not) that pans down and just focuses on a girl’s ass for a while before panning back up to where it started. Then during the slumber party they all take their clothes off to change into their night clothes and for the most part don’t wear pants for the rest of the movie. The other characters, who don’t get naked, wear those tight running shorts that were popular at the time. (read the rest of this shit…)