So once again we have survived.

Posts Tagged ‘slashers’

Night School

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

tn_nightschoolslashersearch'11While almost all of the slasher movies I find on VHS are low budget and low skill level, NIGHT SCHOOL actually seems like a higher budget studio take on the genre. Released in 1981, just enough time for the studios to notice how much money HALLOWEEN made and start cashing in, it’s slickly made with nice, deliberate camera moves and high production values (even a vehicle chase on the streets of Boston). And it’s pretty good, too. I thought I’d discovered one of the last VHS-only gems, but then I found out it just came out on DVD from Warner Archive.
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VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Blood Rage

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

tn_bloodrageslashersearch'11BLOOD RAGE, aka NIGHTMARE AT SHADOW WOODS, wants to be the identical twin brother of HALLOWEEN. Same genetics, separate souls. It kinda seems like somebody wrote down a summary of HALLOWEEN, then went through line-by-line crossing out each part and writing something else next to it.

So it’s the opening of HALLOWEEN, where a little boy snaps and commits murder out of the blue, except it’s at a drive-in instead of a house, it’s his mom having sex instead of his sister, instead of sneaking up on the sister he sneaks out of the car to kill a stranger, and he uses a small ax instead of a big knife. The biggest change is that he has a twin brother, and after he commits murder he plays a mean trick and leaves his innocent twin standing in shock holding the weapon. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Hell High

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

tn_hellhighslashersearch'11Released in ’89, but filmed in ’86 by one-time director Douglas Grossman and writer Leo Evans, neither of them horror fans, HELL HIGH is a befuddling story about a group of kids harassing and sexually assaulting their biology teacher because she told them to be quiet and take their test. But what they didn’t bargain for is that she’s a traumatized nutcase and the source of “the Legend of the Swamp” they keep talking about.

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VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Savage Weekend

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

tn_savageweekendslashersearch'11Well, it’s October again so it’s time to start up my annual tradition of Slasher Search, where I spend the month trying to find a good ’70s or ’80s slasher movie that I never saw before. Every year it gets harder because the pool keeps getting smaller and sadder. It’ll be almost impossible to match last year’s winner, the legitimately great Canadian hospital-set slasher VISITING HOURS, but hopefully I’ll at least get some laughs.

I take recommendations and everything but my favorite part is digging up these random ones that are so obscure I can only find them on VHS. I mean I haven’t had much success with this method, but I enjoy the hunt, you know? The idea that eventually I could find the holy grail, the lost ark, the crystal skull or the tasty monkey brains. Or at least the stone or the jewel of the Nile or something.
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VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Scream 4

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

tn_scream4The SCREAM movies had their day in the sun. They arrived at the end of 1996, during what seemed like a horror drought. “Horror” was so out of sorts that the characters just call it “scary movies.” The actors, while promoting it on talk shows, called it a “thriller.”

We all remember that, but I thought it would be interesting to look up the specifics. According to my research there were only six other scary movie thrillers released theatrically that year: CANDYMAN: FAREWELL TO THE FLESH, THE DENTIST, THE FRIGHTENERS, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE* and THINNER. DTV releases included TREMORS 2: AFTERSHOCKS, CARNOSAUR 3: PRIMAL SPECIES and CHILDREN OF THE CORN IV: THE GATHERING.
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VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

My Soul To Take

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

tn_mysoultotakeI don’t know if “good” is an adjective I would apply to Wes Craven’s little-seen latest horror movie (his first writing/directing joint since NEW NIGHTMARE). Other than the synonyms for “strange” there aren’t many adjectives that really do the job here. So it’s hard to explain what this movie is like, exactly, but I’ll try.

MY SOUL TO TAKE looks like a pretty typical glossy teen horror movie, with characters that could be in FREDDY VS. JASON or a FINAL DESTINATION, plus your standard Marco Beltrami score infused with an occasional rock song. Although it’s not a remake, a sequel, a prequel or a prequmake it does fit your modern mainstream horror mold by being released in last-minute-post-production-3D (LMPP3).

Yeah, it looks normal from a distance, but when you get up close it’s clear that something’s off here. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Hatchet II

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

tn_hatchetiiHATCHET II is at least more fun than HATCHET I. Both are maybe too tongue-in-cheek, but at least they’re kind of slasher throwbacks, nothing meta-y or postmodernish or self-reflexable about them, and I appreciate that. They got Kane Hodder from FRIDAY THE 13TH parts whatever playing Victor Crowley, a Madman Marz-type ghost-of-a-murdered-deformed-guy chopping up trespassers in a Louisiana swamp. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Cold Prey 2 (Fritt Vilt II)

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

tn_coldprey2COLD PREY 2 picks up right after part 1 at a nearby hospital that’s in the process of being shut down. If more of the crazy mountain man’s victims had gotten away with injuries instead of getting tossed into the crevasse then I’m sure business would’ve been booming. But no, he’s too god at what he does, leaving these poor doctors and nurses without much to do except sit around using the internet to look up how to solve a Rubik’s Cube.
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VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Cold Prey (Fritt Vilt)

Monday, November 8th, 2010

tn_coldpreyhalloweenleftoversThe last couple Octobers I was on the hunt for undiscovered slasher gems. I would go through the video store where they keep all the slasher type business, looking for ones I never noticed or never bothered to pay attention to, especially VHS since if it’s not on DVD yet it’s gonna be pretty obscure. This led to some really shitty ones and a few minor discoveries. Last year I also learned to look in the murder mysteries, it turned out there were a few good ones like EYES OF A STRANGER that cross over into that territory.

This year I hit gold right at the start (yeah, I know – ’cause you guys drew me a map). After that there was no pressure so I got some non-slasher ones and dipped into some of the horror sections I usually don’t look at. But while browsing the Euro-Horror I spotted this 2006 Norwegian slasher movie. It drew my attention by being next to its part 2, so that seemed like the type of shit I might like. You know how I am, I’m a sucker for the legitimizing power of the series.

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VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Madman

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

tn_madmanThe year after FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 and THE BURNING and the year before SLEEPAWAY CAMP there was another summer-camp-slasher movie called MADMAN. It takes place on the last night at a camp for gifted children when a campfire story seems to summon an undead killer who proceeds to butcher the counselors one by one.

The head of the camp tells the killer’s legend as a ghost story to scare the kids. His name is Madman Marz, he was a wife-beating alcoholic farmer who went nuts, murdered his wife and daughter, got hung for it but his body disappeared. On the other hand it’s mentioned that he once got part of his nose bitten off in a bar fight and he didn’t even notice. So that part of the story makes him sound pretty cool. We’re all human, we have our good traits and our bad traits. Leatherface, for example, is very good at sewing.
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VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.