Posts Tagged ‘slashers’

The Night Brings Charlie

Monday, October 26th, 2009

tn_nightbringscharlieslashersearchI tell ya, I’m as shocked as you are that a movie called THE NIGHT BRINGS CHARLIE doesn’t turn out to be the great unknown slasher gem I’ve been searching for. I mean, people love a killer they can call by his first name, like Jason or Freddy. Informality = terror. And that’s what they got here, they got Charlie. It seemed like they thought of everything, but for some reason the world gave them the cold shoulder. I’m sure around ’88 they were kicking themselves that they didn’t call him Chucky and make him a killer doll and do a way better job.

(Oh wait – I just looked it up and this movie came out in 1990. Are you kidding me? As in the 1990s 1990? Incredible.) (read the rest of this shit…)

The Hills Run Red (2009)

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

tn_hillsrunredTHE HILLS RUN RED probly isn’t a new classic, but I think it’s a solid DTV horror and a good take on the “meta-slasher” sub-subgenre that includes SCREAM and my unfavorite BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF etc. etc. This is another one about people making a documentary, but thank the Lord Christ it’s not presented as a documentary. Tyler (Tad Hilgenbrink, some guy from DISASTER MOVIE) is a film school nerd obsessed with a 1982 slasher movie called THE HILLS RUN RED (wait a minute… that’s what this movie is called! what on earth is going on here?). It was supposedly so horrifying it was pulled from release. The director and all prints of the movie have been missing for over 20 years. (read the rest of this shit…)

A Slasher Overview

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

VERN’S MAILBAG

Hi Vern,

Maybe on the site you could have a list of 10 or so of your favorite slasher films. I’m dying for some good stuff to watch this month, and I would trust a list from you.

Keep up the excellent work,

Cassady

I thought this was a good idea. My apologies to Doc Phibes though, who was sick of all the slasher movies I was reviewing. Hope you enjoyed the killer bear and demonic virus reviews, Doc.

I think instead of a list I’ll just do a little run through of ones I enjoy, with brief comments. This won’t be a definitive list or even the definitive definition of “slasher.” Just to get some variety I’ll loosen it a little to include almost anything with some jerk going around killing people with a sharp tool.

1. THE MASK OF ZORRO starring Antonio Banderas. (read the rest of this shit…)

House of Death

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

tn_houseofdeathHOUSE OF DEATH
aka DEATH SCREAMS, apparently
but not to be confused with HOUSE OF THE DEAD, DEATH HOUSE or BLOODBATH IN THE HOUSE OF DEATH

My search for decent slasher movies of the ’70s and ’80s that I haven’t seen yet continues, but I decided I needed a shorter way of saying “my search for decent slasher movies of the ’70s and ’80s that I haven’t seen yet,” and MSFDSMOT78TIHSY looks too much like a confirmation number or one of those codes you have to type in when you’re buying tickets online or posting comments on Drew McWeeny’s blog. And I couldn’t come up with anything good so instead I just came up with “Slasher Search” and made a logo. Live with it.slashersearch

This one’s from ’82, another quick cash-in on FRIDAY THE 13TH, but I guess it’s more passable than that last one FINAL EXAM. I guess. The problem this time is not that stuff doesn’t happen, it’s that it’s hard to understand what the stuff is. (read the rest of this shit…)

Eyes of a Stranger

Friday, October 9th, 2009

tn_eyesofastrangerI found EYES OF A STRANGER (1981) with the mystery and suspense movies at the video store. That got me thinking – how exactly do you draw the line between a thriller and a slasher movie? Is it because this guy’s a rapist, not just a killer? Is it because he’s not supernatural, deformed, masked or a redneck? You could say that about MANIAC too, but I think we all agree that’s a horror movie. Both have effects by Tom Savini, too. But MANIAC is way gorier, and the killer gets way more screen time. He’s the central character. Here the killer is often sneaking around just off camera, unseen, keeping us on a thread until he suddenly attacks, like Michael Myers. So if you’re watching a movie where there’s a killer like Michael Myers, but without a mask and not supernatural, that’s suspense. Except SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE. It’s horror if it has ‘massacre’ in the title I believe is the rule.

Ah, shit. I don’t know how it works. But EYES OF A STRANGER is a good thriller about a slasher. (read the rest of this shit…)

Final Exam

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

tn_finalexamThis year it was a rough start to my annual October quest for decent slasher movies of the ’70s and ’80s that I haven’t seen before. I checked the horror sections at the video store for VHS tapes, figuring if it’s not on DVD yet it’s gotta be obscure. The one I picked though was BLOOD LAKE. I was working on the theory that if it has “lake” in the title it must be a FRIDAY THE 13TH rip-off and therefore the kind of thing I’m looking for. Maybe something derivative but fun like THE BURNING. Wrong. I put it in and turned it off in about 20-30 seconds when I realized it was shot on camcorders. Sorry, I gotta draw a line somewhere. Affordable video cameras may have been democratizing… or maybe they were the first step toward anarchy.

So it was back to the drawing board. I abandoned the VHS idea and went for a school-themed slasher on DVD, a way to ease my transition from my September back-to-school reviews to October’s horror avalanche. FINAL EXAM is one the company BCI dug up and flopped onto DVD. I never heard of it, but it was shot on real film. Isn’t that professional? I was impressed. (read the rest of this shit…)

The House On Sorority Row

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

tn_houseonsororityrowThere’s a new horror movie out this week called SORORITY ROW. This isn’t that, it’s the original, which was called THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW. Or actually HE HOUSE ON SORORITY RO on the (out of print) full frame DVD, because the credits get cut off. (I noticed that when I set my DVD player to zoom out it was less cropped though. So try that if you watch it before the new DVD comes out in November.)

This is the story of six or seven sorority girls staying the week after graduating to have a big party. The house mother is a real bitch though and tries to make them leave. One of them gets mad and pulls a gun on her as part of a “practical joke,” then accidentally shoots at her and knocks her into a dirty swimming pool and kills her. (read the rest of this shit…)

Reader plug: Murder Loves Killers Too

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

tn_mlktThis is not an official review, but I wanted to give some attention to a low budget independent slasher movie called MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO which just hit DVD and was written and directed by one of my readers, Drew Barnhardt.

Every once in a while somebody sends me their no-budget movie and I’m afraid to watch it because I know they put their blood sweat and tears into it and I don’t want to have to tell them “yeah, sure, I watched it… yeah, good effort, I liked the, uh, some of the lighting was very professional” or whatever. So I had this thing sitting around for months and forgot about it and then for some reason I decided to put it in.

To my surprise MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO is a very solid (if somewhat home made) slasher movie that’s just to my taste because it follows traditional slasher formulas and gets the mechanics right (tense chases and cat and mouse moments) but has a very weird and darkly humorous but not postmodern twist. There’s some funny shit, some cool DePalmian camerawork and I am told this is the first ever slasher movie with a reference to BARRY LYNDON. There’s not a huge amount of gore and it’s obviously the work of people with no money, but I had a fun time and hope I get to see Drew make a movie with a bit of a budget, because he seems to have the right idea. He told me he had that idea many people have after watching crappy DTV horror movies that he could do something better, but unlike most of us he then went out and did it.

My apologies to other readers whose works I meant to plug and didn’t, but I really want this one to succeed because he told me the idea he has for his next movie and it’s right exactly down the center of my alley.

Friday the 13th (2009)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

tn_fridaythe13thremakePREAMBLE

(you can skip down 4 paragraphs if you’re sick of me reiterating my stance on horror remakes)

Let me get my biases out of the way for any newcomers. I got a grudge against Michael Bay’s horror-recycling outfit Platinum Dunes and director Marcus Nispel for what they did to TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. I don’t think they understand what made these movies good in the first place. The producers (pictured left) talk a good game about being horror fans, but it doesn’t show. These movies seem like they’re made by cynical used car salesman douchebags who think horror is an easy genre to do and don’t give a shit if their movies are even watchable as long as they have enough sweaty people to show in the trailer and a title that sounds vaguely familiar enough to teenagers that they’ll pay money to see it on the opening weekend. It’s basically a scam, a mathematical equation to make short-term money with a movie most people will never want to see again. If they could do that with just a poster and not even have to make a movie they would do that too. Or if it was that profitable to sell bootleg t-shirts or engraved watches or something. They don’t give a shit.

On the other hand, they have pretty cinematography.

I’m the type of dude that pays to see all kinds of horror movies that I know I shouldn’t. But I got fed up enough with the Platinum Dunes remake spree that even though I wanted to see this one pretty bad I restrained myself and waited for video. I had to stop being one of the marks who keep them in business. They already got NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET on the hit list, ready to re-imagine it with extreme prejudice. I can’t stop the fuckers but at least I can divest my money from their dirty business and keep my soul clean.

I want you to know all that up front, but in all honesty I think I’m more open to a movie like this than alot of people. I like several of the horror remakes that everybody hates (most recently I thought LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake was pretty good) and I actually think a Jason so-called reboot is not a bad idea. I never had a problem with calling it “FRIDAY THE 13TH” but skipping over part 1 and just doing a new Jason movie, and I got real tired of people whining about that. Nobody wants to see a remake of part 1 and pretend they don’t know who the killer is. No, if they’re gonna start over I prefer they do it this way, start with the bag on his head and move on to the hockey mask. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Friday the 13th Saga

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

SYNOPSIS: Upon the reopening of Camp Crystal Lake – a summer camp with a past so troubled it’s better known as Camp Blood – the new camp counselors (Kevin Bacon, et al) are murdered in increasingly gruesome ways. The killer turns out to be Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer), a sweater-wearing fruitcake still upset because her son Jason drowned there years ago and then she had to murder people and then they closed the camp but now it re-opened so she got confused and thought the new counselors were the old counselors so she killed them. So one of the counselors chops her head off. But then a new set of counselors come and it turns out that Jason is actually alive and grown up and he lives in a weird shack in the woods with a shrine to his mother and he’s pissed off because her head got chopped off so he kills people for revenge. So an aspiring child psychologist puts on the dead mother’s sweater and pretends to be her to trick him and then she stabs him, etc. Then all the sudden it’s in 3-D and Jason gets back up and kills some more people. Some more people show up and some bikers and Jason puts on a hockey mask and then they hang him. But then little Corey Feldman is there and some other people and there’s deaths so Corey gives himself a terrible hair cut and tries to freak out Jason and stabs him in the head with a machete and then Jason trips and impales his own head and dies. Then it skips ahead 15 years, Corey Feldman (played by some other dude) is grown up and living in a halfway house with some other maniacs and he’s haunted by Jason, who is alive again. But then it turns out it’s just some asshole pretending to be Jason, so they kill him. But just to be sure, Corey Feldman (now played by yet another guy) digs up Jason’s corpse and he’s gonna burn it but it’s struck by lightning so it comes back to life and kills some more people so they chain that fucker up and throw him back into the lake where he belongs. But then a psychic accidentally uses her powers to bring him back to life and then fight him and then throw him back into the lake where an electrical accident brings him back to life again and he gets on a teen cruise ship where he bores everybody for 90 minutes before going to New York, fighting some silly punk rockers and turning into a little boy. But then he’s an adult in the woods again and gets killed by a SWAT team so a guy eats his heart and then he goes from body to body killing people and a bounty hunter you’ve never heard of before suddenly knows all this magical shit for killing Jason so he turns back into Jason and then some big goofy rubber hands pull him into Hell where he fights Freddy. Then it skips forward hundreds of years (Kubrick style) and Jason is unfrozen in space where he kills people and turns into a cyborg, etc. The end. OR IS IT? (read the rest of this shit…)