DING! DING! DING! WINNAH! WINNAH!Renaud Gauthier's AQUASLASH (2020, Showtime) for the first time.If exploitation movie fans were asked what they like most about these fringe genres, few if any would mention the endless amount of needless padding that happens on-screen to delay the memorable moments they come to see. As fans of Quentin Tarntino's "Death Proof" know, though, there's artistry in keeping an audience engaged with filler until they can't take it anymore. That's when the money shot can not only land hard and strong, but also detonate the loudest. The 17 producers (!) who worked on "Aquaslash" were probably more interested in stretching it to its 71 minute running time (which is still about 15-20 minutes too long) than making some kind of artistic statement. The result's still the same: keeping the audience pulling its hair at the inevitability of what they know is coming 30 minutes before we actually see it is 90% of whatever fun "Aquaslash" ultimately delivers.There is no subtext or even an attempt at genre subversion here. This Canuxploitation import slasher has an almost admirable purity in its tale of high school graduates partying hard, doing drugs, having sex, being bullies (looking at you, Ivan Ossa's Big Phil) and... one long hour later... going down a water slide to their inevitable demise. As a regular movie this is shit: low-rent CG effects mixed with some decent practical gore, bad acting, bad pacing, bad whodunit mystery (easy-to-spot killer ruins non-existent suspense), etc. But as an unapologetic love letter to the slasher genre "Aquaslash" is THE SHIT if you know what you're getting into. FOUR "RIVERDALE's" K.J. APA-LOOKALIKE LEADING MEN (out of 5... seriously, Nicolas Fontaine is such a dead ringer for TV's Archie it has to be on purpose).
Thanks to Daniel Epier and Chayse Spence for their reviews back on SLASHER! DAY 2018 for this suggestion. :-)Michele Soavi's STAGE FRIGHT (1987, TUBI) for the first time.Technically the movie's full name (per the opening title card) is "StageFright -Aquarius-", which still isn't as cool as original Italian title "Deliria." Anywho, first appearance this month of Junesploitation! royalty George Eastman... as the screenwriter of this hammy-as-fuck tale of actors locked in a theater trapped with an escaped mental patient who happens to be an actor who snapped and went on a killing rampage. How the killer got there is shown and explained, so you can't accuse Eastman or first-time director Michel Soavi ("The Church," "Cemetery Man") of skipping filmmaking 101 basics. Surprisingly gory for an Italian slasher that (a) looks great, (b) sounds better (if you're into 80's rock) and (c) takes full advantage of its setting to traffic on theatrical stereotypes (aka everybody's broke except for Mr. Ferrari). I dare you not to listen to James Sampson's final lines of dialogue without rolling your eyes back. :-D FOUR BLACK CATS NAMED LUCIFER (out of 5).
APRIL FOOL'S DAY (1986, Amazon Prime).This viewing turned out to be more therapeutic than I expected. I've seen "April Fool's Day" no less than four times (twice on VHS rentals, once in the early days of DVD and once more on cable), and I can't remember any of them. Neither the characters, deaths or the story left an impression, which to me is a sign of a bad movie. But now I'm a seasoned-enough movie nerd (thanks, F This Movie!) to realize maybe I wasn't in the right mindset to appreciate what this flick offered. You know, the chance to see "Friday the 13th: Part 2's" Amy Steel and "Back to the Future's" Thomas F. Wilson in the same cast of potential victims alongside the chick from "Valley Girl" and "Waxwork" (Deborah Foreman). At the very least I thought I'd get a kick from seeing Paramount attempt to kickstart another holiday-themed horror franchise to complement its "Friday the 13th" and "My Bloody Valentine" 80's features.But nope, "April Fool's Day" plays a very specific and deliberate style of slasher that you either roll along with or reject outright. None of the assembled college students (Jay Baker's Southern yuppie Harvey, Mike Nomad's appropriately named Buck, Griffin O'Neal's Shelly-of-the-group Skip, etc.) staying at a friend's isolated island home are even remotely likable. The most entertaining characters of the bunch disappear halfway through the running time, taking away the fun that was already in short supply. Amy Steel is adorable with her unloosened man's tie and shirt during the final act, but she's no Ginny from "Friday Part 2." Seeing "April Fool's Day" again for JUNESPLOITATION! confirmed that it wasn't me that was fucked-up in the head. It was the Paramount suits who thought could release a horror flick this boring and dull and expect return business. 1.5 BIFF-ON-A-STRING SNAKE ATTACKS (out of 5).
BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON (2006, Amazon Prime) for the first time.It's almost a fitting tribute that neither the star (Nathan Baesel) and writer/director of this movie (Scott Glosserman) went on to have a big career after making this meta-heavy chronicle of how a serial killer goes about preparing for his ritualistic killing sprees. I have a couple of big nags about the casting (particularly Angela Goethals' interpretation of Taylor) because I feel "Leslie Vernon" was a couple of pre-production tweaks away from being as good or better than the "Scream" series (an obvious influence). It has clearly influenced other projects ("What We Do In the Shadows," etc.), and its first two acts are actually a near pitch-perfect love letter to horror mainstays that anybody that has grown loving horror movies will appreciate. Also, kudos to the filmmakers for landing Zelda Rubinstein ("Poltergeist"), Scott Wilson (TV's "The Walking Dead") and Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger himself) while maximizing their story effectiveness from what was clearly the couple of shooting days they could afford these actors. I'd rather not spoil major details about "Behind the Mask" so you can catch it as cold as I did, so I'll leave you with a real-life anecdote. Halfway though watching the movie yesterday afternoon in my apartment I heard a loud and weird noise that sounded like someone being slammed against the floor and screaming. I paused the movie, heard it more clearly but still couldn't make out what it was. I thought that since I was watching "Leslie Vernon" my mind was playing tricks on me, but then the same LOUD noise and screams were heard again. I go to my apartment door peephole ready to dodge a bullet (because Argento's "Opera"), look outside and see nothing. Questioning my own sanity I grab the cellphone, open the apartment door and walk toward the noise. The screams and LOUD screeching noise got louder! I turn the corner, walk toward the elevator and finally see... a big-ass piano stuck between the elevator doors, with two exhausted movers trying in vain to get it unstuck while the owner of the piano (a neighbor) was screaming that these guys were ruining her piano forever. So remember kids, it's just a man... inside a horror movie. ;-) 3.5 YONIC GREEN ORCHARDS (out of 5).
That second part story is great… and sad for the piano owner. I liked BTM:TROLV when I watched it, but after showing it to a couple of friends, I never had the urge to go back. Maybe I'll give it another try?
I don't think "Leslie Vernon" is a multiple-viewing movie, maybe two or three rewatches at most. But man, that first-time viewing is magic. 🤩🙂
Death Screams aka House of Death, dir David Nelson, 1982Death Screams is a Chaybee special. And there is a lot of charm to it. Mainly because my favourite part of Slasher is the kids dicking around. And Death Screams has a lot of dicking around. To the point where you forget it's a slasher. But in that it has that small town horror charm that I tens to like in hoŕror movies. Thanks Chaybee!
How could you NOT with a title like that? :D
Glad you like it, Lindz!
Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream ChildMy favourite bit was when the sticky baby kind of slide into the Freddy sweater. The prosthetics and stop motion throughout was fun. Not sure what the "jeans standing up" in the woman's bedroom was, but it was pretty cool! Least favourite bit was when Freddy wouldn't shut up with all the cliche phrases. Despite not being the biggest fan of the NOES franchise, I had a fun time, partially due to the Hopkins bump.
Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker, William Asher, 1982Slashers are usually about sex, but BBNM weaves it directly into the spine and thesis. I really didn't look into what BBNM was about, so it was so nice to go along for the ride. And I wasn't expecting something so thoughtful. Espceially on sexuality in 1982!But of course I was there for Susan Tryll, and she did not disapoint. She is completely and beautifully unhinged, swinging from multiple emotions. She's in a completely different movie and I love it.
That sounds good! I've read positive things about this one every June.
It's really great!
Friday the 13th (2009)Dir. Marcus NispelYou know those movies that you didn't think you had seen but when you are watching it you think maybe I have seen it and even by the end you still are not sure, that was Friday the 13th 2009 for me. I left no impression and just came felt pretty boring.
Torment (1986, Dir. Samson Aslanian & John Hopkins)A disturbed Fox News grandpa (who looks distractingly like Stephen King) goes on a rampage when a woman half his age won't date him. The detective on his trail takes time out to introduce his fiancee Jennifer (Taylor Gilbert) to his mostly-wheelchair-bound mother (Eve Brenner) in their posh country house. Shit gets real when the slasher targets the mother's house, while the police and Jennifer believe that the woman has gone senile. There's a second act twist that makes this a bit more spicy but I won't spoil it here.I respect that this movie uses the ailing mother as the real protagonist, with Jennifer as the next-to-useless hysterical slasher bait. Also, they give the mother a few good scenes to turn the tables on the killer that are fairly ridiculous, but give the movie something extra. Using the dual conceit of a slow moving protagonist who "cried wolf" before reminded me a little of Run (2020), which is a far better movie.Bonus points for expensive-looking, ornately designed rotary phones.
Spookies (1986; currently on Shudder on Joe Bobs Last Drive In).Is this movie classified as a "slasher". Nope. BUT it does have a scene with a Spirit-halloween-shop level costumed reaper chasing folks with a scythe AND im gonna have to shoe-horn in the occasional pick this month. Also it bears mentioning that this movie is: 1) terrible, 2) insane, 3) did i mention terrible?, 4) entertaining for the quantity of random inexplicable baddies throughout. Its bananas but i gotta give it credit...cat zombie guy, farting mud monsters, freaking transmogrophying spider lady, and a lead actor wearing a cheezy 80s zipper track suit made of glad garbage bags...thats just the tip of the iceberg. Did i mention slimy crawling puppet lizards? Again...tip.of.the.iceberg. Joe Bob says...Check It Out.
Scream 2 (dir. Wes CravenIs Scream 2 the best horror sequel ever? I don't know, probably. It is for sure one of the better sequels in movie history, the important ones being mentioned in the movie itself (except for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, of course). More stunningly - I haven't seen this before, but I felt home very fast and liked that campus vibe, that Adam Riske mentioned in his great column about this movie, too. I still like the first one better, but that is a masterpiece, so what. Three out of four smashed theater sets.
Aquaslash (2019, dir. Renaud Gauthier)I thought I was gonna get a basic slasher at a water park, but instead it's an hour of extremely forgettable plot, followed by one amazing ten minute slasher setpiece, which starts out actually pretty effective (mainly because of the practical effects, a big plus these days) and then goes on so long it becomes gloriously silly and over the top.To be completely honest, I picked this mainly because of its ridiculous name.
Anyone watching "Aquaslash" on SLASHER! day is doing it solely because of the title. 😁🥸
Silent Madness (in 3D) (1984)Ahhhh, the headache-inducing joys of anaglyph 3D. If you’re gonna be a rote slasher in 3D, at least give me a lot of comin’-at-ya type poking-stuff-at-the-camera gimmickry, and at that this movie delivers. All sorts of things are pointed straight out at the viewer: fingers, axes, cattle prods, Sidney Lassick, shotguns…this is a movie that knows what it’s going for and delivers exactly that. That being said, that’s about all it delivers.There’s a lunatic escaped from the asylum (shades of Halloween, minus the tension and general competency behind the camera) and he’s murdering folks and needs to be stopped. There’s a fairly silly twist that owes a pretty deep debt to the equally silly original Friday the 13th, but there are a few standout moments and the 3D effects are fun. Worth a look, but it’s easy to see why we haven’t spent the years since its release knee-deep in Silent Madness sequels and knock-offs.
MAHAKAAL (1994) This is the infamous Bollywood remake/ripoff of Nightmare on Elm Street. It’s a pretty low-budget affair, but they do a pretty good job mimicking the NOES dream sequences. When the movie is doing the Freddy thing, there are also musical numbers and martial arts fights. The filmmakers' attitude is for every scene to be as entertaining as possible. So, yeah, I actually liked it. 30 days of Chinese fantasy movies, day 2 THE WATER MONSTER (2019) A lakeside village is under threat by a monster, and a sword-wielding hero shows up to save the day. There’s a lot of odd business before we get to that point, with stuff about human sacrifices, and a love story about a magic painting. The monster is less a sea creature and more a spirit who can take human form, so the actors can play off each other. The overall tone is small town weirdness rather than all-out action, but it was an interesting watch nonetheless.
Slaughterhouse (1987) NOW, it feels like Junesploitation. Sort of a Texas Chainsaw rip-off with way more footage of poor hogs being strung up. Well, bring on the sleaze. Plenty of pig puns and ADR for all.
Doom Asylum(1988) Dir: Richard Freeman In some alternate universe Patty Mullen was discovered after Frankenhooker and cast as Eliza Doolittle in Warren Beatty's 1992 remake of "My Fair Lady" set in Manhatten in the post depression 1930's. Her character of course would be discovered on a trip to Staten Island. Rumors of an affair on set were unfounded but that didn't stop Annette Benning from going on an Early Episode and of the Rikki Lake show and warning Mullins publicly to "back up off her Man" . Mullins would later go one to a long and storied career after winning her first oscar for the role. Shortly thereafter usurping Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts as America's Sweetheart. Ironically she would still lose out to Julia Roberts for the character of Kiki in Americas Sweethearts. In our universe we only got these two flicks. At least one of them is good. Doom Asylum is the other. Its not bad but its not good either. This is comedy horror that veers into parody pretty quickly but in the attempt just ends up failing at the horror and most of the comedy(*trademark Roger Ebert). Worth the watch though, if only for Mullens duel role performance as the Mother/Daughter duo Judy & Kiki Larue. Also recommended you watch for Tina and the Tots Maybe the worst band ever put on film. A group so bad I googled if the filmmakers distorted the sound due to rights issues. There is a couple of running gags that I enjoyed involving a surrogate Mom and another bit two characters crushes on each other. The runtime is a brisk 1hr18 minutes with end credits and of that about 15 minutes is clips from the different films of Tom Slaughter. A quick watch with a few laughs. Not the worst way to spend that time.* *List of others things you could do instead not included due to length of list Also I'm not a Sex and the City fan but I would feel remised if I did not mention Kristen Davis is also in this in her first starring role.
DEADLY MANOR (1990)Jose Larraz's film right after THE EDGE OF THE AXE. It's a bunch of teens (20's?) heading to a lake but, you know, get lost because, MAPS, and end up taking refuge in a weird, seemingly deserted house because, RAIN. Sadly for these youngsters there is a masked lady ready to take them all out, but don't feel bad, there were only hundreds of clues for them to not be where they are. To put it simply, your typical slasher. However, Larraz is not your typical slasher director, so there's some giallo flourishes as well.
I've been wanting to watch this one after seeing EOTA. I really loved the characters in that.
Sleepaway Camp (1983, dir. Robert Hiltzik)Such good gore effects and interesting kills. If I saw this as a kid the final scene would have scared me something fierce.
The Fan (1981, dir. Ed Bianchi)Michael Biehn is an obsessed fan of Lauren Bacall who plays a movie star, and stalks and slashes anyone who gets in his way. As far as slashers go this one is pretty classy. What I enjoyed most is the relationship between Lauren Bacall and James Garner as a separated older couple who won't reconcile, but still have love and respect for each other. You don't see that too often in movies. Michael Biehn is excellent as well. Recommended.
Never even heard of this. That's too good a cast for such a thin premise. Will seek it out immediately. ☺
Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985) - 5.5/10 baby-faced nightmare dogs
Dark Ride (2006)Meadow Soprano, Ham from The Sandlot, 3 nobodies and that guy from 2gether go into an abandoned amusement park. I laughed a bunch at things I'm not sure were intended to be funny. I am always looking for any slasher I haven't seen. It's probably my favorite horror subgenre. It definitely had some good scares but then would seem a little amateurish. I dug it, though.
I went through almost all of those 8 Films to Die For a few years ago and legit can't remember if I watched this one or not. I really want to (re)watch it either way.
It's a tad forgettable but probably worth another watch.
Offerings (1989, dir. Christopher Reynolds)Halloween rip-off that somehow didn't get sued. It's not great, but it's the perfect kind of generic '80s slasher I was looking for today. My standards are different during June, I guess.
I suck at this! For 80s Action day, I watched Legend of Billie Jean (not an action movie) and for Slashers I'm apparently watching 1991:s Bikini Island (not much of anything). I course corrected yesterday with Invasion USA and will do the same with Cherry Falls later tonight. Here's to 29 more days of jsplt!
Ah, the eternal risk of first time watches for Junesploitation.
Choosing a movie that does not fit into the day's category has happened to all of us.
It's the battle scars from participating in way too many JUNESPLOITATION! days. :-P
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)Dir. Jim GillespieIt's full of cliches, very silly, not very scary but still pretty fun.
Laid to Rest (2009)A girl wakes up inside a casket without her memory. If that wasn't bad enough, she is being stalked by a chrome faced killer. She runs into an Appalachian Cersei Lannister. Faces and heads are crushed and displaced. It has moments.
Sweet Sixteen (Jim Sotos, 1983)Sure it's as generic a slasher as they come, sure the (scarce) murders are underwhelming, but I appreciate the effort to try to take itself seriously and tackle, albeit clumsily, serious issues. Plus it has the lovely Dana Kimmell from Friday 3 playing the mystery obsessed sherif's daughter (and not her lover, despite what their bizarre hugs might lead you to think -I mean, I've never let my hand rest on my dad's belt buckle, but maybe that's just me). AND a catchy song with the lead girl's name, up there with Angela's theme from Sleepaway Camp!
Yes! Love the theme song and this movie.
The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)Not bad, although almost every kill is "power drilled to death". This movie also must have the record for consecutive number of fake-out scares which I feel must have gone on for a good 20-25 minutes with about 6-7 fake-outs. Also notable for being written and directed by women (and feels like there some undertones of a potential lesbian romance between Trish and Valerie). Random side note, something about the killer reminds me of the main guy at Red Letter Media.
FINAL EXAM (1981)- First-time watch on Amazon PrimeFinal Exam was not my first choice for this day (House on Sorority Row became a rental), yet it was on my watch list. As 1980s slashers go this is… average. A killer is visiting college campuses with his trusty chef’s knife. He is certainly not chopping lettuce with it. The use of the chef’s knife, the Carpenteresque music, and the silent stalking killer all had me thinking of Halloween throughout much of the film. The movie is more of a frat comedy for the first half, and the second half is standard slasher scenes. There is not a lot of gore, with the kills being implied more than shown. Being shot in the American South, there are some hick characters thrown in for comic relief. It is not bad for a deep cut if you have seen the big slashers already. Looking at the date the film came out, I realized that most of the young actors in it would be senior citizens now. Time does move on.
Angst (1983, Austria)Directed by Gerald KargylFucking gnarly. This is not exactly exploitative, it’s clearly not made to capitalize on popular slasher movies. This is insanely uncommercial, although made with a certain style. Tons of the shots are either extreme closeups, omnipotent viewer from above, or disempowered viewer from below (they must have had the a really small camera on a very low cart for those dolly shots, they look about ankle high). There’s little to no humor, and while there is “suspense,” it’s often because the viewer has been made to identify with this sick bastard, and you can see him struggling to figure out how to subdue a victim, dispose of a body, or evade detection. It’s “well-made”, but you feel so morally compromised just having viewed it, if anything you’re hyper-conscious of the horror and the violence having real-world, concrete effects. Anti-exploitative, if you will. Fuck, I need a shower.Watched on Shudder/AMC+ for: Junesploitation 2021https://boxd.it/caPy8
Really really well put. I've been struggling with this movie ever since I saw it a few years ago. "Morally compromised" is a great way to describe how I've felt since watching this. This movie pushed me harder than probably any other with it's manipulation. I don't mean that as a criticism, that is what the movie is trying to do. And yes you do need a shower after watching, but it won't wash away any time soon. It's a tough one.
Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1982)This movie opens with a bang. We have pickled eggs, pickled eggplant, pickled pork tongues, pickled tomatoes, and some chopped carrots for the bubbling soup...wait no, the carrots are getting pickled as well!Lindsay adeptly described Susan Tyrrell's performance as being "beautifully unhinged", but that could as easily be applied to the movie as a whole. I was thinking that this would make a good Fthismovie commentary."Yesterdays become tomorrows before you can even blink" was a great quote. I've been feeling that lately. I know it's early, but I can easily see this being "Best of Junesploitation 2021".5 out of 5 pickled carrots.
I remember Brent Petersen giving it a super enthusiastic thumbs up in a past Junesploitation, and Lindsay this time around. Junesploitation is great for discovering movies from other peoples mini-reviews. Thanks!
I definitely did. I love that movie! Best title ever!
Slaughter High(1986) Dir: Peter Litten · Mark Ezra · George Dugdalefirst time watch. Some good gags in this one and one good jump scare. Highlights are the stomach scene and the bath. Does my least favorite twist in any genre but is still very watchable. *Spoilers for a 36 year old movie*You thought the twist in Haute Tension undid the movie wait till the end of this flick. Bonus I now know where todays header image came from.
Solid theme tune too.
Random Acts of Violence (2019, Dir. Jay Baruchel)Not sure if this was better than I expected, or not as good as it could have been. Lots of potential in the concept, but it just doesn't quite get there.
My Soul to Take (2010) Had to watch it sometime. Now seems like the perfect day.
Don't Answer the Phone! (1980)That is very good advice. There's a bunch of weirdos out there. Nicholas Worth plays a disgusting photographer, which I can identify with. It's not a terrible movie but it's trying hard to be.
The House on Sorority Row (1982)This is why you never play with guns!I'm no expert on 80s slashers (working to remedy it, though!) but I thought this was quite excellent. I liked how the movie relied less on gore and more on spooky atmosphere and genuine suspense to draw us in. The girls have a good chemistry together and are really fun to hang out with in act one, so when shit hits the fan we actually have a reason to care about them. And the Final Girl must be one of the most engaging of the ones I've seen so far. I remember reading great things about this movie during last year's Junesploitation and it didn't disappoint.
Slumber Party Massacre III (1990)All 3 of these SPM movies are written and directed by women, which is very cool. They are all special in their own way. A unique little trilogy that I can get behind.
Prom Night 1980This is a quirky, predictable and imperfect slasher. It also has a few things to recommend it. Jamie Lee Curtis is a full blown movie star here and she dominates the screen with her charisma, especially on the dance floor. The inciting event is actually very upsetting and more disturbing than most in the genre, even if the logic of it isn't the best. Plus getting in and out in 90 minutes is always a bonus for any slasher film.It doesn't reach the quality of Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 but it is worth the time for genre fans.
Isn’t it strange that the only force that could unite every heterosexual teenage boy's dream of seeing Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer together in the same movie would be David DeCoteau and that he would do it more than once?Quigley is Melody, a girl with bad teeth. Come on, who is going to love her? And Brinke as Marci? She has glasses! Surely a fate worse than death. Or what Bauer’s Mickey must endure, as she’s overweight. Luckily — or not — for our girls, they’re possessed and suddenly make the minor cosmetic changes needed to become popular.Of course, before they get revenge, they must take a bath together.I guess never let it be said that DeCoteau didn’t know what his audience wanted.Made for $40,000 using left-over film, cast, and crew from Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, this is the kind of film where the actresses do their own makeup and posters from past films are considered set decoration.Except something weird happened. The company distributing the film went out of business and less than 2,000 copies of the tape were ever distributed. The film became an instant collector’s item as tales of the bath scene grew legendary. When it eventually aired n USA Up All Night, that scene was no longer in the movie, replaced with the girls jumping on a bed.Luckily, today we have companies like Vinegar Syndrome willing to put stuff out like this for the masses. And by masses, I mean maniacs like me that laid awake at night wondering if they’d ever see this movie.Read more at https://bandsaboutmovies.com/2021/06/02/nightmare_sisters/
You forgot to mention the actual name of the movie, though. ;-) It is NIGHTMARE SISTERS, right?
Sorry! My cut and paste skills were not up to par!
Massacre at Central High (1976)I've been waiting for over a decade to see this and the Synapse blu ray is gorgeous... But this movie was not at all what I was expecting, for better and worse.It's wildly inconsistent tonally, with melodramatic song music over a credits sequence that shows pretty much all the beats of the plot before they happen. It's set in a school where, even more conspicuously than in your average slasher, every student seems to be in their 30s. There isn't a teacher in sight for the entire movie, except for an ending prom in which there's barely a student in sight and the faculty all seem to be about 70 years old.It's a heavy handed political allegory but its message isn't particularly interesting - fascism abhores a vacuum and when you get rid of one fascist, another will replace them. The idea of a bully victim systematically taking out bullies might have played a lot better before America entered an age where every other week some miserable bully victim loads up on weaponry and takes out those he blames. But as someone who experienced severe bullying, it is still somewhat satisfying to see it play out in the safe fantasy of a movie.Where this movie shines is the incredibly fun and creative deaths that just keep topping eachother. It's super interesting as a proto-slasher and even if it's a bit eye-rolling as a message movie, at least it's a message movie with teeth.
Plus there’s the berserk Italian version Sexy Jeans!
It's tidbits of information like this which are why I need to buy the blu ray rather than watching a friend's copy.I must watch the Hardcore Cut
The House on Sorority Row (1982) Dir. Mark RosmanA surprisingly well-directed slasher hampered by a painfully obvious twist.
High Tension, directed by Alexandre Aja I loved Ala’s Crawl, so I figured that I would give High Tension a try. It plays out much like Crawl with a strong woman going toe to toe with the monster, but then there is a twist that upends all that. It is interesting that the earlier film (2003) feels the need for a twist. In another twist, the film flips back and forth between French and dubbed into English. Odd choice.
Midsommar (2019) Dir. Ari Aster. Did this one count as a slasher? Internet told me yes, so I went with it. It was my first viewing! I can see why it was so polarizing. It took an hour for anything to "happen." But I was able to forgive this because of its ominous buildup and the gorgeous editing and cinematography along the way. Entering into an entire new place and culture is scary enough, and this ratchets it up to an ELEVEN. It didn't quite deliver with its exploration of themes like grief and relationships, which it seemed to be setting up early, but I admired its ambition. Florence Pugh was fantastic. :)
Cherry Falls (2000, dir. Geoffrey Wright)Definitely the weirdest and most fucked-up of the post-Scream era. I really enjoyed this one for all it's audaciousness, and for Brittany Murphey, who is objectively the best. The killer slashes through an orgy! Watch this!
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)Finally watched it! I feel like I am part of something now...
Cub (2014)I realized I have never really delved into Belgian horror. Is Rabid Grannies Belgian? That movie is a good time no matter what country it was made in. Who hasn't thought about becoming a Belgian boy scout? I would double this up with The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
Deadly Manor (1990)Am I a José Ramón Larraz fan? Edge of the Axe and Rest in Pieces are both very good. I didn't love his Vampyres but I don't remember why. So I'm sort of a fan. This was interesting but not completely satisfying. Larraz is still my guy.
After Midnight (1989)They snuck an anthology inside my slasher! A college professor inviting students to his home is always a good idea. This was when it was okay to bring a gun to class to pretend to kill students. Look, come to my place and I'll really scare you. Who could resist?
Killers (2014)Whaaaaat the ever living fuck? The Mo brothers man, amazing but will leave you with deep scars. Watch this as a double with I Saw the Devil and you'll be incredibly satisfied but also want to jump off a bridge.
Freddy’s Dead (The Final Nightmare) 1991Breckin Meyer’s is a cool and distinctive name, but I would’ve gone with: California McGuyface
Halloween (1978)Still holds up, lots of iconic imagery (Michael among the clotheslines, anyone?) and Loomis’s monologue still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. One of the best final lines in any horror film…
Deadly Manor Larraz seems to have the most clueless characters ever in his movies, which is frustrating to an extent. But I love the dude's aesthetic. It's plain, but its appealing. Both this and EOTA look thick and weighty, with tangible locations.
The Driller Killer (1979)This is the second movie I watched this month that didn't follow the genre conventions I thought it would, so that's cool. This movie also captures NYC at its grimy peak better than most other movies that try to do the same thing. The Academy ratio and the constant noise make you feel trapped in a world that is nonstop commotion (Coincidentally, I watched this right after George Romero's The Amusement Park and that film operates in a similarly abrasive way). It's enough to make anyone go mad...
Terrifier (2016)Pagliacci-type clowns are creepier than Bozo-types
Man I have no clue why I waited on Intruder from the Rami Campbell gang!
I watched that last October and really enjoyed it. I never knew there were are so many ways to die in a grocery.
Body Count (1986)Dir: Ruggero DeodatoA group of twenty-somethings passing as teenagers hanging around a camping site get picked off one by one by a slasher in a Shaman mask that may or may not be linked to murders that happened at said camping site 15 years earlier (Spoiler: they are). David Hess and Mimsy Farmer play the unhappily married couple that own the camping site and Charles Napier makes an appearance as the sheriff who may know more than what he is letting on (Spoiler: he is). Besides Hess' over-the-top performance, there really isn't much to recommend. All of the "teenagers" are cut-and-paste slasher stock characters and are a mixture of unmemorable and annoying. Some of the kills are cool, but the pacing drags between them and the Shaman mask is more goofy than terrifying.
Finally got around to Black Christmas (1974). Beautifully shot with great performances from Margot Kidder and Olivia Hussey. Fewer of the slasher tropes than I was expecting, but I still enjoyed it.