I know Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that’s sort of made up to sell greeting cards, like Ziggy Day in May or Rehearsal Christmas in September. It’s based on an actual Christian martyr but the traditions got nothing to do that, it’s all a scam by Hallmark, the chocolatier lobby and Big Flower. Still, it’s enough of a real holiday to have a handful of slasher movies based on it, and therefore I am willing to acknowledge it. (read the rest of this shit…)
Posts Tagged ‘slashers’
SILENT MADNESS is another song in the key of HALLOWEEN, with little melodies from a few other slasher favorites. A psychotic mute inmate from a mental asylum gets out and returns to the scene of a 20 year old massacre. Like A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET there’s a boiler room involved, like BLACK CHRISTMAS he kills some sorority sisters still on campus when most students are on vacation, like HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW there’s a cranky old sorority mother, like SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE the killer (played by stunt coordinator Solly Marx) is a regular looking dude with no mask or anything, and there’s a twist ending that’s kind of a nod to FRIDAY THE 13TH’s nod to PSYCHO. But it’s nowhere near as good as any of those movies. I don’t want to call it Z-grade, but it’s pretty low on the alphabet. Maybe W-grade? (read the rest of this shit…)
Here’s a weird one. Martin (Pierre Lenoir) comes home one day to find his wife Alice (Lynne Adams – “Yakuza with rocket launcher” in JOHNNY MNEMONIC) cutting his suits into little squares. After Alice has a stint in a mental hospital the couple comes to live in a new house, still undergoing some refurbishment.
One night Alice wakes up and hears power tools being used in the basement. She investigates and finds a dude (Wings “Ramrod” Hauser) still working on the house. He explains that he has a strong work ethic and won’t stop until the job’s not finished. (read the rest of this shit…)
While 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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BLOOD 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…)
Released 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.
Well, 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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I 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…)
HATCHET 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…)