'THREE-OUT-OF-FOUR-AIN'T-BAD' SLASH-A-THON!BLOODBEAT (1983, A.Prime, Chaybee: 6/2/2014)Late to the party, but it's for the best. Part wannabe arthouse fare, part exploitative use of hunting as metaphor for who-knows-what and 100% nuts, "Bloodbeat's" best attributes include a remastered high-def transfer and closed captions (not available until recently) to make its bonkers premise endlessly rewatchable. It's got an awkward-but-earnest vibe that the people in front and behind the camera (none of which went on to do anything) are giving it their all. The last five minutes of "Bloodbeat" sent me into a cinephile ecstasy that almost made me forget I had no effin' clue what was happening for most of the previous 82 (other than I was witnessing a Junesploitation! powerhouse flex its dormant muscles). FIVE BLOODLESS "SCANNERS"-TYPE MIND MELDS (out of 5)NIGHTMARE BEACH (1990, Blu-ray, Dan Snyder: 6/6/18)Ten minutes before it ended this was shaping up to be an Italian slasher cum laude. A surprisingly likable young couple search for a friend who has disappeared during Spring Break in Miami Beach (cue the B-roll of sexy people frolicking about!). Turns out the mayor and local police (headed by John Saxon) are pulling a "Jaws" in trying to keep a string of murders secret so the local economy doesn't collapse. A gang of bikers named Demons constantly harass our heroes, then they all get put down by take-no-shit Sheriff Saxon. Tarantino regular Michael Parks has a small role, the cinematography is aces and most of the kills by a bike-riding murderer are up to Umberto Lenzi's standards. But then the last 10 minutes shit the bed epically and drag the whole thing down. Still good enough to get 4 CLOSET PEEPHOLES (out of 5)INTRUDER (1989, Tubi, JP: 6/7/2017)I've been staring at the VHS artwork of this for almost 30 years, and now I regret not renting it back in the day. Despite knowing pretty early who the killer is, you don't come to "Intruder" to be wowed by storytelling or acting. You're here to see KNB Effects in its post-"Evil Dead 2" prime concoct all manner of gruesome deaths that can happen around a supermarket during graveyard shift. Produced/co-written by Lawrence Bender ("Pulp Fiction") and directed by Sam Raimi acolyte Scott Spiegel, who not only apes his friend's wacky camera movements but pairs Sam along with Ted to prove who's the Raimiest (ahem, Ted, -cough-). 4 ANGRY STING MAGAZINE COVERS (out of 5) And last and certainly least, MIDNIGHT MOVIE: KILLER CUT (2008-11, A.Prime, Dan Snyder: 6/2/19)Five years after serial killer Ted Ranford disappeared during a mental ward massacre (the first scene before the credits), the print of the B&W horror movie "The Dark Beneath" (a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"-meets-"Psycho" potpourri) that Ted made and appeared in 40 years prior screens at a barely-attended theater as a midnight feature. Besides the doctor and detective that were at the mental ward, a bunch of teens and a biker pair (aptly named Harley and Babe) become prisoners of the unspooling print when its killer starts murdering patrons in and out of the movie-within-a-movie narrative. "Midnight Movie's" premise and set-up are far above the filmmakers' skill level and the no-name cast's acting chops. It's not a waste of 82 minutes, but there's better stuff out there. 2.0 WRENCH-SNAPPED TOES (Ouch... out of 5)
Curtains (1983, dir. Richard Ciupka)Some of the acting talent here (Samantha Eggar, John Vernon et al) is a higher calibre than I'm generally used to in slashers, but the plot is typical nonsense. The copy on Prime is in terrible shape and in 4:3 open matte, giving the boom mic about as much screen time as the lead actors got.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)Having very limited experience with slashers as such, I decided to go straight to the source. By today's standards the movie probably doesn't seem that shocking anymore, but I can easily imagine that in 1974 this was the creepiest and scariest thing people had ever seen. What got to me the most was actually the extreme close-ups of the girl's trembling eyelashes and blodshot eyeballs in the dinner scene. Pretty disturbing stuff.
Excellent call. This movie is a masterpiece. It has lost a little shock by influencing every horror movie that came after- but still about the scariest movie ever made.
I was really lucky to see TCM at all all nighter year. And it really played. The audience felt like they were stunned. It's power still really still exists on the big screen.
Or it did for me anyway. I was shattered, and then had to jump right into Drag Me To Hell.
My first time viewing was also in a theater (IFC in NYC), and the packed crowds were mostly fans. At the end, when Leatherface is doing his chainsaw dance against the sun, the audience cheered as if we were in a wrestling match. Hmmm... :-I
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985, dir. Danny Steinmann)I think I'm slowly turning around on this movie and starting to appreciate what a weird installment of the franchise it is. Vi's dance moves, of course, I've always loved.
I didn't think about it too hard when I picked my Slashers, but it ended up being the perfect double feature. I do love a deconstructed horror movie, you can really dig into the themes and mythology of the piece. And both these do that in different ways. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006, Scott Glosserman)I really liked it. Vernon is excited about creating his slasher legend as a director making his first movie. Just watching him go around the house with Angela Bethany (who knew one of the McCallisters would grow up to be reporter), you can't get caught up in Vernon's excitment for what he is planing to do. I really love how Behind the Mask really digs into the Monster and Final Girl's (or Survivor Girl) relationship.Cut (2000, Kimble Rendall)Kinda janky around the edges, Cut is a great midnight slasher that throws everything at the wall, including a Molly Ringwald who swears like salior, which you have to love. A group of film students try to finish a cursed movie. It really wants to dig in our obession with lost and cult movies. Even though a first time watch, Cut made me really nostalgic, the tone, texture and music took me back to being 18 again. It took me by surprise and maybe why I enhoyed it as much as I did. That and Molly Ringwald.
The Catcher (1998, dir. Guy Crawford, Yvette Hoffman)Had a lot of fun with this one. Z-grade baseball-themed slasher starring Joe Estevez. After a little leaguer beats his demanding father (Estevez) to death with a baseball bat, he returns years later as a slasher to take out a minor league baseball team. Basically Halloween but with baseball. The kills are hilarious and baseball-themed. Of course death by baseball bat, death by baseball, death by pitching machine, he ties a guy down at home plate and slides into him (death by slide). Good stuff! Worth watching the first five minutes to see Estevez hilariously berate his son until he is taken out (don't worry he returns as a ghost to assist his grown son in his murderous rampage).
The House on Sorority Row (1982 dir. Mark Rosman) A prank on an old lady goes wrong. Sorority sisters try to hide the body while there's a party going on. They get picked off one by one. I liked this one quite a bit. The girls are genuinely concerned about what they've done, but keep making poor decisions. The last half hour ratchets up the tension and does some really interesting things.
Slaughter High (1986, dir. Mark Ezra, Peter Litten, and George Dugdale)The murders were scary, but the high school bullying was horrifying. Seriously, '80s teenagers were terrorists.Planning to knock out some major blindspots today, starting with this beloved gem. Not a great Slasher, but perfectly comforting in that way '80s Slashers can be for me. No redeeming characters in sight, but plenty of GRISLY kills and silly '80s goodness. And what an ending!!
NiWeHi 86-90. It was terrifying. The mullets alone.
Unmasked Part 25 (1988)In springtime even a hockey-masked slasher’s fancy turns to thoughts of love. The title makes it seem like a Scary Movie-style sendup of slashers, but this is a weirdly sincere look at Jackson, a masked slasher who has grown tired of murdering everyone in his path and wants to settle down. He meets Shelly, a kind-hearted blind woman, and romance blossoms. Also murder. Lots and lots of murder.The movie never really settles on a tone, it’s alternately silly and melancholy, and while there are some funny moments (the couple’s attempt to spice things up in the bedroom has to be seen to be believed) it never really jells as a comedy. It’s not a bad movie, it’s just one that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be.
SLEDGEHAMMER (1983) When you’ve seen every other slasher movie, you end up with stuff like this. A bunch of partyers are stalked by a ghostly figure armed with the titular weapon. This is VOD-land, shot with a cheap camcorder inside an ordinary suburban house. We’ve all seen talented filmmakers make the most of a micro budget, but there’s none of that here. It’s a non-movie. 30 days of HELLO MARY LOU: PROM NIGHT II, day 9 There’s no more avoiding it – today I rewatched the movie concentrating on Michael Ironside’s character. Just what is his deal? I figure there are two ways to look at it. One is that he can't let go of his past, so that’s why he ended up as high school principal. The second possibility is that he’s become some Rubert Giles type, where he knows there’s a supernatural evil in the school and he must stop it, except he’s not sure how to fight it. Either way, you’ve got to hand it to Ironside for dialing it up to 11 in every scene.
What about the actor who played young Ironside? The casting department really earned their salary when they found that guy.
Antropophagus (1980) Well, that was certainly something. As sleazy as Joe D'Amato is, he's also pretty dull when someone isn't being assaulted. This is a (relatively) slow burn, so you get lulled by the scenery and the attempts at chills, and next thing you know George Eastman is eating a fetus. Your mileage can probably be gauged by your desire to see that. For me, the extreme gore isn't enough to make this memorable, and I wish now I'd rewatched a Friday the 13th or Texas Chainsaw. It's early, I guess...
The Prey1983, dir. Edwin Brown￼Oof. Saw this title streaming on the Arrow Video channel￼ and figured why not. 80 long minutes later and the answer was clear. As a disclaimer, I’m already not the biggest fan of the slasher genre and this movie boldly highlights all the reasons why. I remember reading this movie had a long delay between production and release and that it had a lot of padding. Turns out it’s maybe 26min of actual footage, 20min of POV footage, and the rest is a literal bingo game and a half worth of cute animal stock footage. Aside from the general goofiness of the editing, the pacing is just... bad. The general formula has always been a killer knocking off a group of idiots one by one with the deaths being the propulsive mechanism moving the plot along. ‘The Prey’ spins it’s wheels for a good while until the first deaths happen and then nothing until the final 8min of the movie. Hell, you only ever see the shuffling feet of the monster stalker until the very last moment and even then, he just looks like a dude rolled in mud. The creature’s backstory is a complete afterthought and the movie appears to ambiguously end on the most fucked up note possible that’s in no way earned or necessary. The slasher genre has some pretty sweet cream but ‘The Prey’ sits firmly at the bottom amongst the murky chunks.
Slumber Party Massacre II (1987, dir. Deborah Brock)Ok, this one I almost completely love. The main thing that draws me to Slasher movies is hanging out with fun characters I like (my wife questions why I do this in a genre where they get murdered, and I have no answer for this). The characters in this movie are SO much fun. By far my favorite part was the first half where they're just hanging out. All the actors are great, but my favorite was Joel Hoffman as one of the boyfriends. I think I laughed every time he opened his mouth with his ridiculous voice.Once the killing gets going it's fun enough, but how many different ways can a giant drill be used for kills? Answer: One. It's also not really a horror comedy for anyone except the killer, who is a living cartoon. He even gets a musical number! Hey, it works I guess. This movie is a total blast.
Wacko (1982 Dir. Greydon Clark)less traditional slasher movie than a Naked Gun-style parody of slashers. Joe Don Baker as over caffeinated slob detective Harry Palms (yup) tracking down the "Lawnmower Killer" a murderer dressed with a pumpkin head. We open with the killer exclaiming "Death to teenagers who fuck!" No shortage of terrible gags spoofing Hitchcock, de Palma, Exorcist, The Omen and probably a dozen other movies I didn't catch. Unfortunately, most of the gags aren't truly funny and despite an early Andrew Dice Clay performance, it's not going to show up on my rewatch list.
Friday the 13th Part 6 - Pluto TVThe man behind the mask. This is probably my favorite Friday the 13th movie. It's self aware and I love the first 10 mins. A solid slasher film.
The Redeemer: Son of Satan (1978) Amazon PrimeNot particularly great but at least a little atmospheric horror movie with 6 former classmates lured to a fake high school reunion only to get picked off one by one. There's a slight Se7en vibe in that the victims have seemingly been targeted because of their sins. You've got one guy who is constantly shown eating, you've got the greedy lawyer, etc...It's low budget '70s horror, but it's at least attempting something even if it doesn't all quite come together (particularly the framing scene with the boy that comes up out of the water and the church service).
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988, dir. Renny Harlin)Out of all the hyper-specific kills in this, Debbie’s death reigns supreme for me. Just a magnificent piece of body horror.
My boy Renny!
I need to check out PRISON, but I’m a fan most of his early stuff. I find myself more compelled to rewatch DIE HARD 2 more often the original
My personal favorite of the "NOES" series. My brain knows the original and "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" are the best, but the heart overrules it with "The Dream Master" veto power-up!
The Mutilator (1984)The title song and sequence is cinematic perfection. Every governing entity with the power to mandate upbeat, overly specific, poppy music to an intro sequence prior to a film clearly written to be a series of graphic set pieces has let us all down.
The Mutilator (1984, dir. Buddy Cooper, John Douglass)Feels like I'm going through the motions.
Terror Train (1980) Amazon Primea) I'm glad they offed the most annoying person first.b) Having a private party on a train seems like the greatest thing ever. Without all the murder of course.
The Prey (1983)I have only seen this movie one time before and remember the experience of watching but remembered nothing of the actual movie itself, except for the ending. The ending has stuck with me for years due to how creepy it is. The rest of the movie? Its bad. Really bad. Its runtime is only about 1 hour and 20 minutes and 45 of that is filled with random scenes of people eating. People eating loudly, eating in Silence, eating and having Altman-esque conversations where they speak over each other or eating and delivering exposition. There are 5 scenes of people eating in this movie! Its a camping movie. The movie Diner only had less scenes of people eating. And it was called DINER! The movie also takes random breaks so we can watch a Forest ranger who lives alone play a song on a banjo, tell a fable to a deer as he feeds it and makes cartoonish faces at the poor animal. Want to see him read a map? Lucky you. Then you have about ten minutes of random animal and insect shots complete with awkward sound effects. The killer is presented almost completely in POV save for 2 minutes at the climax. So how are the kills? Not good. A couple of decent kills but some truly bad ones too. One kill is just the killer smothering a girl with a sleeping bag. The ending? Still pretty good in a "what the" way. My memory of it being one of the most creepy things ever is probably due more to kinder trauma than anything else. Does that still count at 9 or 10? I'm claiming it anyways. I don't recommend it but its available to rent.
Cherry Falls (2000)It's like Scream but way worse
The House on Sorority Row (1982, dir. Mark Rosman)Wow. I always knew this was a film I needed to check out, but I wasn't expecting anything half this good. For my money, this is one of those rare perfect Slashers. It has an interesting plot far beyond the usual horny teens get killed off (not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you), and it's even a little scary. I loved it.
The Phantom of the Opera (1998)My least favorite version of the story. Also, my least favorite film from Dario Argento. This was disappointing.
Trick (2019)I was today years old when I realized Trick could be short for Patrick. I don't think I can go on. It just seems so simple. Anyway, this was better than I thought it would be.
Bloodline (2018)We have gotten to the point that Seann William Scott is playing a father. A role he was probably fighting as long as he could. I was pleasantly surprised with this one as well. I appreciated the synth score. SWS is a little robotic but is pretty believable. Not a bad start to the day.
Slice (2018)I don't even know where to start on this movie. Mostly because I have no idea what happened. People live with ghosts but the ghosts are just ugly and pale looking. Chance the Rapper is in this for some reason. He's a werewolf. And there's witches. Paul Scheer runs a pizza place. I don't know, man.
Friday the 13th (1980)I am 41 and seeing this for the first time. I know... right??I already knew the ending though and all the beats because of the familiar established tropes were in place.
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Day 9Killer Workout (aks Aerobi-CideWOW!!! An unbelievably bad movie from David A. Prior, which is no shock because all of his movies are porno level of quality. This one is full of red herrings, stupid killings done mostly with a large safety pin. The movie gets into a groove with a killing, then it goes back to the gym where all the women are grinding out stripper moves to a jamming soundtrack, then more stupid death, more grinding to a jammin soundtrack. This fucker is so obvious, so unintentionally funny, and just dumb. I loved every minute of it.
It should not be be as entertaining as it. Having seen a couple of David Prior's films, including an awful one for 80s Action day, Killer Workout, for all its stupidity, seems competently put together.
Prior's movies are nothing close to competent. Everything screams of amateur and that is what makes his movies so much to watch.
Well, I meant competent by the standards of everything else of his I have seen. In a traditional sense, Killer Workout is not competent.
Cutting Class (1989)Brad Pitt playing high school basketball! And immediately getting in a fight. To be fair, the other bastard elbowed him in the face! What were the refs thinking? Sorry, I miss basketball. It was hard to find any Slashers! I had never seen. There is a decent death or two but it's mostly forgettable. I'm a fan of Jill Schoelen. She might be the best part of the movie.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986, dir. Tobe Hooper)Bill Moseley, what a treasure.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985, dir. Jack Sholder)Refresher course before SCREAM, QUEEN! MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.
Am I alone in thinking this is the best of the NOES movies?
Not the best, but definitely superior to many entries. I'd go (personal bias): 4, 1, New Nightmare, 2, 3, 6 and 5. "Freddy Vs. Jason" and the reboot don't count.
I've only seen them all once, so I'm no expert, but am always surprised when 2 gets trashed. I personally found it to be the scariest. I'd put the 1st and 2nd in the top tier, New Nightmare next, and the rest somewhere down in the "I'm fine never watching again" zone.Interesting coincidence that Patrick and JB discuss Freddy's Revenge today on the podcast!
Fright (1971)There's nothing more infuriating than people telling you nothing's wrong when you know god damn well the kids are not safe. Nothing like a bunch of old white dudes telling a woman how stupid and silly she is for worrying. Honor Blackman: While I was talking the phone cut out. Husband and other old dudes at the table: Shut up, woman and eat your dinner. By the way, a madman is on the loose. Totally unrelated.
Dr. Giggles (1992)I kept hearing this movie mentioned on Kill By Kill podcast, and as they are finally covering it, I thought I would watch it. What a treat! What I loved most was all the great camera work. There's a ton of movement and weird angles. I can't wait to listen to their episode tomorrow. I've rarely heard of anyone mention this slasher, but it was top notch.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)Enjoyed it more than the first. When I end up in a horror movie, I really want to take the Ted route to survival.
Say, what happened to Ted at the end of "Part 2"? :-(
Madman (1981, dir. Joe Giannone)Oof, this one was not for me. Kind of a shame, because there were tons of other slashers I considered going with instead (our time shall come soon, Dr. Giggles my sweet prince).
Bloody Moon (1981- dir. Jesus Franco)Solid gore and a pretty interesting plot, and though I never fell in love with this one, it’s pretty entertaining. The saw sequence is definitely an all-timer, though.Nightmare (1981- dir. Romano Scavolini)Really great practical effects (which Tom Savini apparently didn’t have much to do with, even if it’s plastered prominently on one of the posters), and one of the most insane endings I’ve ever seen on a horror movie (one that would never, ever get put in a movie today). Clearly models itself a bit after Maniac, which isn’t a bad thing, and though it certainly isn’t as good as that film, it’s a worthy entry in the slasher genre.
Scream 4 (2011):For as seminal as the original Scream was to my movie love, you’d think I’d have more interest in the sequels. I don’t dislike this movie, but I don’t think it (or any of the sequels) does enough to justify its existence. Psycho IV: The BeginningTurns out you can’t rent Happy Death Day 2U yet, so I went with another Part 4. It mostly just reminded me that I never finished Bates Motel.
Dolls (1987)Not sure this counts as a slasher, but we're all having fun here, and that's also what I had with this movie. Yet another Stuart Gordon classic that mixes horror with dark comedy.