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Posts Tagged ‘Slasher Search’

Meatcleaver Massacre

Monday, November 15th, 2021

I think you can see why I’d assume a movie called MEATCLEAVER MASSACRE would qualify as a slasher movie, or at least a chopper movie. Surprisingly, if there is a meatcleaver anywhere in the movie I missed it. There is a massacre, but it’s the inciting incident, and the story is about a series of killings to avenge the massacre. I’m using title on the VHS box, but the opening credits expand it to THE HOLLYWOOD MEATCLEAVER MASSACRE, and it does indeed take place in Hollywood. So at least one third, arguably two thirds of the title is accurate in that iteration.

It’s from 1977, before the slasher craze took off, and it’s about a supernatural force killing people, but there are definitely some parallels to A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, so if that counts as a slasher maybe this could too. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Sleeping Car

Thursday, November 4th, 2021

THE SLEEPING CAR (1990) is not exactly a slasher movie, but because it says “Forget Freddy. Forget Jason. Here Comes The Mister!” on the cover it officially qualifies for Slasher Search. Congratulations, THE SLEEPING CAR!

When I saw that title I thought, “huh?” but then I saw the train on the cover and I thought oh, I get it, not a passed out automobile, but the place on a train where you sleep. Okay. I’ll go with it. Actually, this looks kinda good.

But it does not open promisingly. Some guy is making out with some woman in a train car. She strips down to her historical panties and giant boobs and they giggle and make out while the score by Ray Colcord (My Two Dads, AMITYVILLE DOLLHOUSE) erupts into erotic saxophone. The engineer (John Carl Buechler, director of FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE NEW BLOOD) comes in and yells at the guy to stop fornicating and do his job. He chooses instead to continue with the fornicating, and then the engineer jumps off the train right before it crashes head on with another train and then he yells into the sky like newly minted Darth Vader when he finds out Padme is dead. (read the rest of this shit…)

Appointment With Fear

Thursday, October 21st, 2021

“I don’t want to go out like that. I mean, when I die I wanna look pretty, I want to go down into the ground clean, one piece.”

 

Sometimes a good movie producer is a mastermind. Other times they don’t have an artistic vision themselves, but they have an eye for up and coming talent, for how to nurture them, give them opportunities to shine, protect them, help them bring their vision to life. Maybe Moustapha Akkad was one or all of those things, or maybe he just got really fuckin lucky and the kid he chose to direct “The Babysitter Murders” happened to be a genius who turned the gig into HALLOWEEN, a timeless horror masterpiece and the highest grossing independent movie of all time. I have no idea.

Whatever Akkad’s deal was, he never hit another one out of the park like the first HALLOWEEN. Eight of his twelve credits are on HALLOWEEN movies, none of them half as good as Carpenter’s. But I didn’t know what to expect from his one non-HALLOWEEN horror production, 1985’s APPOINTMENT WITH FEAR. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Man Next Door

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

THE MAN NEXT DOOR is a 1997 film that only came out on VHS. The cover has a big skull, a scary house and a very dated font choice. It’s written and directed by Rod C. Spence, known for his raw suspense. Or perhaps he’s known for editing 2000s reality TV shows like Survivor, The Apprentice, American Chopper and Jersey Shore, which he did for a while after this (and his websight says he writes screenplays and novels).

It was released as part of First Rites, which was an imprint from Hollywood Video (the biggest American video store chain besides Blockbuster) for low budget independent movies from new directors. Showcasing new voices or whatever. It fascinates me because it doesn’t seem to me like they would earn any more money from having THE MAN NEXT DOOR available than just having more copies of CON AIR or whatever. With some research I learned that it was someone else’s deal that partnered with Hollywood in the U.S. and Rogers in Canada, but still, there must’ve been someone within the shitty corporate structure of Hollywood Video that really believed in this mission and convinced someone to get behind it. That’s pretty cool. (read the rest of this shit…)

Open House

Friday, October 9th, 2020

It’s the dystopian year of 2020 and I’m still trying to do Slasher Search – looking for interesting, obscure slasher movies that I haven’t heard of and that don’t seem to already have a following, preferably from the FRIDAY THE 13TH era. It gets harder with each review I do, as the chances become slimmer that there’s anything left that I haven’t already seen and hasn’t been dug up by Arrow or Vinegar Syndrome or somebody. It might be a snipe hunt at this point.

The best method I know is to look for things that were released on VHS and never made it to DVD or blu-ray. That’s how I found OPEN HOUSE (1987), which is clearly not one of the weird regional ones I tend to find, since it’s legit enough to have Adrienne Barbeau in it. Seven years after THE FOG she’s no longer playing the radio DJ hero – she’s the girlfriend to one. She gets tied up and he has to rescue her. Not as cool. Joseph Bottoms (THE BLACK HOLE) plays Dr. David Kelley, famed KDRX talk radio therapist. The original Frasier. Barbeau’s Lisa is a Beverly Hills realtor, and therefore one of the doctor’s two connections to a series of murders of Beverly Hills realtors. The other connection is that someone he thinks may be the killer keeps calling in to his show. But the authorities won’t listen. (read the rest of this shit…)

Hellbent

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

HELLBENT (2004) opens with your traditional lovers lane murder, well shot with colorful tinting that seems to come from a light shining through a bouquet of helium balloons they have in the car. The two lovers are beheaded by a dude (Nick Name, who also provides some of the soundtrack with his band Nick Name and the Normals) with a scythe and devil mask/helmet thing. We’ve seen a million scenes like this, but there are two things unusual about this version:

1. the lovers are both men

2. the killer is shirtless

Well, mostly #1. The 2014 remaquel of THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN had a male-male couple killed in a lovers lane, but this one takes place entirely in the gay community in West Hollywood, so it’s fair to call it a gay slasher movie. The hero – Final Boy? – is Eddie (Dylan Fergus), who works a desk job at the police station. He’s not an officer – an injury prevented him from finishing the training. He gets recruited to pass out flyers warning people in West Hollywood that there’s a murderer loose, and uses Halloween as an excuse to wear his dad’s old uniform when he does it. (Strangely he won’t get into any kind of impersonating-an-officer trouble while wearing it. But I guess it reminds him of the shoes he’s trying to fill.)

At night he goes to a Halloween carnival with some friends, where you have your typical slasher movie debauchery (except gay) while the devil mask guy follows them around looking for a window to behead them. (read the rest of this shit…)

Shredder

Monday, October 28th, 2019

SHREDDER is a snowboarding-themed slasher movie that I never heard of until now, but apparently somebody had, because RoninFlix put it out on blu-ray with a nice painted cover by Devon Whitehead (designer of many fine t-shirts from Fright Rags and Cavity Colors). It’s from 2001 (shelved until 2003 in the U.S.), but seems late-‘80s in its “we know this is dumb, but we’ll take it seriously because that’s more fun” spirit. It’s clearly not made by a studio, and shows very little of the SCREAM-inspired postmodern attitude of its actual era.

It’s about a mysterious skier (disguised only by normal ski gear) who murders snowboarders who trespass in a closed pass where a fatal accident once happened. Like my other recent 2003 Slasher Search entry, SIMON SAYS, it has a vanload of young people on a trip, slathering the screen with unadulterated obnoxiousness. The stuck up/aggressive girl is trip-arranger Kimberly Van Arx (Lindsey McKeon, Saved by the Bell: The New Class), whose rich dad is buying the resort, and has a quick trigger finger when it comes to asserting “do you know who I am!?” privileges. Her boyfriend Cole (Scott Weinger) seems kind of square and has a has kind of a Steve-on-90210 older-out-of-place-guy vibe. I was excited to learn that he’s the guy who did the voice of Disney’s Aladdin! (read the rest of this shit…)

Lady Stay Dead

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

LADY STAY DEAD (1981) is a rare VHS I have considered and backed away from for many a Slasher Search because the dude on the cover… I don’t know what it is about him, but his picture suggests the slimiest and most unpleasant of backyard filth-wallowers. This year after checking IMDb ratings and plot summaries on the more obscure VHS available I decided to check it out, and then I discovered I could watch it on a Blu-Ray released by Code Red. They’ve put out some pretty seedy stuff, so it’s hard to know if that’s a good sign or not.

Turns out this is not at all the no budget regional sicko movie I pictured. It’s an Australian film, a pretty slick one with good production value, though with disturbing content. It opens in a beautiful beachfront villa (filmed in Palm Beach, Sydney), where 24 year old singing sensation Marie Colbie (Deborah Coulls, ROBBERY UNDER ARMS) – who just goes by her first name, like Tiffany – starts her morning with a naked dip in her pool that overlooks the actual water. (read the rest of this shit…)

Simon Says

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

My original goal with Slasher Search was to find the ‘70s and ‘80s slasher gems that I (and maybe everybody) had been missing. That’s still my hope, but as the pickings get slimmer and the years move on I might as well open it up to a movie like this – it’s from 2006, but I never heard of it, and it seemed promising from the box. The premise sounded potentially fun (Crispin Glover killing campers in the woods with elaborate contraptions) and it was even by a known director, Bill Dear, the co-writer of T2.

Or that’s what I was thinking, but that’s William Wisher. Bill Dear is the director of HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS, IF LOOKS COULD KILL and ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD. And in many ways this does live up to what you expect in a gory horror movie from a guy known for cheesy family movies. It’s about a vanload of horny youths going on a camping trip, and they’re about as broad as they come. They’re all complete assholes who are trying to cheat on their girlfriends or steal their friend’s boyfriends. They like to stick their junk in each others’ faces and trespass and act obnoxious to the locals. It seems like there’s a rule that any scene where the viewer went more than a minute without wanting to punch one of the characters in the face had to be excised. (read the rest of this shit…)

Possession: Until Death Do You Part

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

POSSESSION: UNTIL DEATH DO YOU PART is a 1987 low budget slasher movie that’s not, as far as I can tell, a sequel to Andrzej Zulawski’s POSSESSION. That’s too bad, because there’s plenty of room for DTV type followups to that one. It could just be in the rehash style of WILD THINGS 2 or CRUEL INTENTIONS 2 – some other couple breaking up with one of them fucking a weird blob of tentacles. You could gender swap or you could have it be the two blobs are breaking up and one is fucking a human, there are many ways to mix it up. Or of course if it was me I would try to get Sam Neill to come back (or recast with Billy Zane) and lean heavily into his character’s background as a spy. More of a shitty cloak and dagger thing but with relationships and slime and what not. This movie has none of that.

It opens with a dude dragging a dead woman by one arm from the yard of his big house to a spot just inside the surrounding woods, where he digs her a grave. At first they’re not showing his face, but then they do, and he’s babbling animatedly about having thought she was different or some bullshit like that. His name is Frankie (John Robert Johnston, who became an executive producer of reality shows including Rampage, When Vacations Attack, Pranked and Bad Dog!), and he’s got a bunch of other dead women in his closet, plus he kidnaps a live one named Madeline (Sharlene Martin from FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN) from a parking garage. He brings her home, says weird things to her, forces her to put on his mom’s dress, yells at her when she pulls down her top for a second because what if Mother saw her do that!? (read the rest of this shit…)