Monday, June 17, 2013

Junesploitation Day 17: Slashers!

By sword. By pick. By axe. Bye Bye!

Today, Junesploitation honors the unsung hero of cinema: the faceless, unstoppable killer.

25 comments:

  1. SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT PART 2 (1987) on DVD for the first time.

    UMBRELLASPLOITATION! Seriously though, does it get more sleazy and exploitative than a slasher flick that not only courts the unwarranted-controversy of the first "SNDN," but then literally recycles about 40 minutes of footage from it to get it to the halfway mark? You will believe a 6-month old baby can have flashbacks, or recall childhood memories he wasn't there to see. And holy shit, is Eric Freeman's Ricky on another planet (in which he's awesome and Patrick Bateman) or what? From the brightest-lit movie theater in history (in which the first "SNDN" is being shown... what??!!) to the sight of Eric becoming The Terminator at the sight of red cloth, it took four writers and a few hundred thousand dollars to make the stupidest and nastiest "MST3K" episode never made.

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  2. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

    I’ve been curious about this one since listening to the F This Movie podcast about the Halloween series. It doesn’t disappoint. Good direction, a reasonably sensible screenplay, and particularly an appealing heroine make this a cut above (if you’ll forgive the pun) most slasher flicks. It’s also much better made than most low-budget movies (I saw it on Hulu, and it looks pretty great). I know kids can be pretty mean, but those kids in Jamie’s school are some MEAN little bastards. I was wishing for Michael to pay them a visit…

    Fun fact: Dr. Hoffman is played by Michael Pataki, who was a particularly snarky Klingon in the classic Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” He’s the one who pisses off Scotty by calling the Enterprise garbage (the nerve!).

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    1. Yes! I really love this movie. Glad to hear others feel the same way. Thanks for giving it a shot.

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    2. Pataki is also an unconvincing Russian in Rocky IV, the police captain on the short-lived live action Spider-Man tv show from the late 70's (which I have tremendous nostalgic affection for despite the fact that it's demonstrably the worst), and goddamn Dracula in the wonderfully titled Dracula's Dog. So basically what I'm saying is that Michael Pataki was crazy awesome. Also, Halloween 4 is pretty great and the only time I've ever seen anyone take a thumb to the brain.

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    3. Michael Pataki had a long interesting/strange career. He even did the voice of George Liquor in "Ren and Stimpy". He was in Easy Rider and The Andromeda Strain and played A LOT of cops.

      And he was at that party in The Baby.

      He was pretty cool.

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    4. Pataki was also on a handful of "MST3K'ed" movies, Kathy: J.C. in "The Sidehackers," the doctor in "It Lives by Night" and (from the KTMA era) "Superdome." Dude belonged in the murderer's row of character actors you could count on to give a great small performance wherever you popped him.

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    5. Yeah, who could ever forget JC? There were callbacks to him all through that season.

      Superdome was just this side of a "walk on"...did he say anything in that movie?

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    6. Don't remember if Pataki spoke, but I do know that for "Superdome" ONLY LOOOVE, PADS THE FILM!. ;-D

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  3. SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984)

    I'm straight down the center on this. I don't think it really deserves the cult classic label, but I don't detest it like Patrick and J.B. I thought it was serviceable and it kept my attention.
    However, the misogyny is AWFUL and the fact that the protagonist/antagonist is boring doesn't help. I know that this isn't a ringing endorsement, but I have seen FAR worse slashers.

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    1. Seriously, if you haven't watched the "re-imagining" of this starring Malcolm McDowell...it's worth a look.

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  4. STAGEFRIGHT. Another one of my “someday I’d like to see this” movies. A bunch of actors rehearsing what looks like a spectacularly awful play are trapped in the theater overnight with a psycho, who picks them off one by one. The kills are over-the-top gory, in that brutal yet still fake way that only ‘80s slashers could do. The characters are basic stock types such as the nice girl, the scantily clad girl, the other scantily clad girl, and the temperamental director. We know he’s the temperamental director because he wears a red ascot. (Has anyone taken “clich├ęsploitation” yet?) What bugs me, though, is that our psycho killer is named Irving.

    Jason. Freddy. Irving. See? Doesn’t work.

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  5. Friday the 13th Part V The New Beginning (1985)

    Jason's back except SPOILER ALERT he isn't. In this chapter of the Friday saga Tommy Jarvis (the longest running non Jason character in the series) is sent to a very lax loony bin in the countryside to get over the events of the previous film. This movie has a weird dark side, with the first kill being a mentally challenged kid who's only sin was being kind of annoying. Also there's a couple of hillbillies who are damn near unintelligible and not funny at all.

    Any positives? Lots of great boobies (and ripped shirtless guys for the ladies) and a couple interesting kills. Overall though this may be my low point in the series, I much prefer Jason X and its RoboJasonsploitation.

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  6. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

    Until now, I'd only seen the more recent remake, never the Wes Craven original. Some of these older movies, such as this one, feel SO low budget that they feel pretty real. There's almost a snuff film quality to some of it. The low budget definitely works for it and makes it much more disturbing. I got the same feeling when I watched Moonrunners (which feels like months ago). All these people out in the country at the mercy of the locals and where no police authority can help. That's the scariest of all, for me.

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  7. Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

    They tried, y'know? They at least tried to do something different. In this entry, mongoloid murder-enthusiast Jason Voorhees squares off with wooden Carrie clone Tina, a telekinetic who can manipulate anything other than her facial muscles to convey any sort of emotion, apparently.

    There are some pluses, though. Director John Carl Buechler is a makeup guy, and the Jason costume is stellar this go-round. Also, Terry Kiser (Berniesploitation!) is appreciably slimy as the world's worst therapist.

    The MPAA cut the holy hell out of this one, but it does feature the fan-favorite sleeping bag kill (repeated in the underrated Jason X) and it also has my personal favorite kill: a party favor to the eye, resulting in the best sound effect ever. Suck it, Wilhelm Scream.

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    1. I loved that sleeping bag kill, got to do it at Halloween Horror Nights a few years ago in Orlando. It was nice to see someone actually get a few licks at Jason during the movie rather than just the standard "at least we got him in the end" conclusion we usually get in these movies.

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  8. Maniac Cop (1988)

    Despite its killer cop premise and a good B-movie case that includes Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Richard Roundtree and Robert Z'Dar's jaw, this was a disappointment. It's not nearly schlocky enough for a movie written by Larry Cohen and directed by William Lustig, two guys who should have come up with something really twisted and crazy. There are a few surprises, but this was mostly standard '80s slasher stuff. Too bad.

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    1. I haven't seen it in many years, but if my memory is to be trusted Maniac Cop 2 is everything the first one should have been. Maniac Cop 3: Badge Of Silence, on the other hand, would probably be my least favorite movie in history if Pay It Forward didn't exist. No movie with a title that great should be that aggressively dull.

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    2. Lustig and Cohen saved the sick and depraved stuff for "Maniac Cop 2" and really let loose with the unrated version of "Maniac Cop 3," both of which are wild. Blue Underground has just announced they're coming to Blu-ray later this year.

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    3. Cool. Thanks, boys. Now I have something to look forward to.

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  9. The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

    A serial killer has escaped from prison and is about to begin another bloody rampage. And there's a slumber party. Where people die. Pretty standard slasher film stuff. The characters make dumb choices and get killed. This actually wasn't bad, but the killer could have been better. We knew exactly who he is right from the beginning, and at one point he runs from his crime scene to his truck. Runs! Worst slasher film serial killer ever. Even with his 2 foot drill.

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    1. There are many schools of thought that argue this is a feminist slasher movie, because it was written and directed by women. Aside from the ridiculous phallic drill, it's always seemed like every other slasher movie to me.

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    2. Just because women make a movie in a predominantly male genre doesn't make it feminist. I mean, sure, the girls are athletes who argue about sports, but we also get an extended shower scene. So, not so sure about being feminist.

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  10. The Snowtown Murders (2012)

    A real life slasher story about Australia's most notorious serial killer that presents its truely horrifing world of sadistic violence and domination in stark realism. One of the hardest movies I've sat through in recent memory but a movie that is unflinching in its honest depiction of murder and the supposed justifications behind it.

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  11. Halloween 2 (1981)

    Are small-town paramedics really so hardened that they're still trying to get laid minutes after handling several mutilated corpses?

    I never got around to watching this last Scary Movie Month and though it's not nearly as good as Halloween (1978) it's pretty good as far as sequels go and Scream Factory put out a solid blu-ray (though I'm not sure why I'd ever want to watch the TV edit).

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