Archive for the ‘Slasher’ Category

Hush (2009)

Posted: February 8, 2010 in Psychological, Slasher

Zakes and Beth are on their way home on the freeway. It’s dark and it’s raining, and Zakes nearly misses colliding with a large white truck when it pulls abruptly in front of him. As the truck moves in front, the back door comes up a bit, and to Zakes’ surprise, he thinks he sees a battered woman caged inside, screaming for help. Beth urges him to call the police. Awhile later, Zakes pulls off at a gas station to fill up. He and Beth fight and she decides to make her own way home. Zakes goes after her to find that she has vanished, and he has a feeling he knows where she went.

Hush is full of familiar qualities, and I don’t always find that to be a bad thing. In an industry where directors are piling on top of each other to try to penetrate the shells of the most hardened horror buffs, little films like Hush lay back. Sure, there are plenty of things in this film that are expected but there are still a few thrills in it that I believe are redeeming qualities.

We begin with the car ride. Zakes and Beth are bickering, and she is trying to think of the best way to tell him that she cheated on him with some punk named Leo. She never breaks it to him but at the gas station she feeds him some line like, “You aren’t good enough for me”. She takes off and is abducted by, guess who? The guy in the white truck.

Zakes follows him but his plan was thwarted several times, by things like cops, security guards, and being nailed to a floor (I hate when that happens). However, he makes it through to find Beth.

Though predictable, this was still a solid little film. Compelling and suspenseful, and then end scene is deliciously satisfying (I said “OUCH!” when I saw it).

William Ash play Zakes and is sexy as hell. I would hunt him down in a truck any day.


All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

Posted: October 18, 2009 in Slasher
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Mandy is a the girl at school that all the boys only dream of hooking up with. Beautiful, virginal, completely pure. She doesn’t want anything to do with them unfortunately. Mandy is invited to a pool party at Dylan’s house, a popular guy at her high school. She brings her best friend Emmet who is an outsider and not welcomed by the popular crowd. Emmet convinces a very drunk Dylan to jump off the roof of the house into the pool. Dylan misses, and dies. After that Emmet is shunned by everyone, including Mandy, who becomes friends with the popular kids after the tragedy. One of the group, a boy named Red, invites his friends and Mandy to his family’s ranch house for a little vacation. They drink, smoke, and have a grand old time until people start to disappear, and it looks like the party is about to get busted.
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Where do I even begin with this one?! Fucking amazing. Take a typical storyline. Then add great music, a smokin hot chick, outstanding camera work, style, and some really brutal murders, and you’ll get All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. I haven’t seen a film I liked this much in awhile. It had everything I could have wanted in a horror film. Plenty of camp, a super twisted ending, as well as the aforementioned qualities.

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I really loved the killer in this one. He joyously carried out his murders without mercy, obviously driven by a desire for vengeance. The first death nearly made me vomit, and during the second one I almost shit my pants. That should tell you something. I jumped a lot and I’m not afraid to admit that a few times I covered my eyes. Not a super scary film per say but definitely very brutal at times.
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As for the ending, it couldn’t have been better. We find out the first twist, and while we are still recovering from that one, there is another. This film ends with a BANG and is backed with a great soundtrack that adds a light-hearted quality that I found bloody charming.
Great flick, well worth a watch. It’s not just boys who love Mandy Lane!
(hahaha that was so corny)
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Angela’s back, in this sequel to “Sleepaway Camp”, the cult classic where naughty teens are slashed to bits by a very troubled girl. I use that term loosely, by the way. Things are different this time…Angela is cured. She underwent lots of psychiatric evaluation, shock therapy, and years of medicinal treatment and now she’s ready to come back to camp, not as a camper but as a counselor. She’s as cheerful as ever, and determined to keep camp Rolling Hills a safe and fun place for kids to spend the summer. Angela is a bit too picky about which campers she thinks deserve to stay at camp, though. She thinks that a few of them should be “weeded out”….and she isn’t shy about being the one to do it!
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As a big “Sleepaway Camp” fan I of course was looking for some similarities to the first film other than a continuance of the story, such as actors and whatnot, but to no avail. Can’t win em’ all, right? Pamela Springsteen replaced Felissa Rose in the part of Angela which was a disappointment.
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The film redeemed itself with it’s astounding number of kill scenes. It wasted no time in showing us who the killer was and what she was made of. Here’s a peek (definitely one of the funniest parts of the movie, I lol’d hard):
This flick was packed with awesome one-liners and great death scenes all the way through. Definitely not as slow as “Sleepaway Camp” but it’s awesome bloodshed doesn’t hold a candle to the jaw-dropping ending sequence of the original. Campy as shit, and tons of fun. Extra points for a murder scene involving Jason Voorhees.
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How bummed is this chick?

Fritt Vilt (Cold Prey) 2006

Posted: September 5, 2009 in Slasher

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Well if Dead Snow didn’t give you your fill of young people getting murdered in the snowy mountains of Norway, don’t worry friends. Cold Prey has plenty more where that came from.

Five friends, Ingunn, Morten Tobias, Mikal, Eirick, and Jannicke, set out for a weekend in the mountains but when one of them ends up with a badly broken ankle, they are forced to take temporary refuge in an abandoned hotel. After some investigating, they realize that the hotel was shut down in the 1970s due to the disappearance of the son of the hotel’s owners. After one of the group goes missing, Jannicke takes charge, fighting to keep herself and her friends alive in the face of a masked killer.

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I liked this film quite a lot. There was a heavy use of long, panning shots of the mountains and the snow, and the ones with the hotel reminded me of the Shining. I half expected Jackie to come bustin’ outta there with a hatchet.

Anyways. I’ve seen the same plot over and over and over, a bunch of crazy ole’ kids out in the wilderness, they get stuck, have to stay in some creepy house/hotel/shack/woods and get chopped to bits. If you’re making a modern slasher like this, how do you make it stick out? What will make it any different than every other piece of bloody trash out there? Here are the things that I picked out from this.

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Firstly…little bits of foreshadowing. It’s like a game. Paying attention to small details. A keyring, a shotgun shell, a missing axe…if the film is makes a point to show these things or pan over them in such a way, obviously that means something. I put that in my mental spank bank for later and it’s a guessing game of when they will come back up again.

Secondly, the violence. There isn’t a TON of blood in this movie. Don’t get me wrong, the first kill scene has quite a lot, but beyond that the film relies more on the basic brutality of the murders. The scary pick axe wielding scary guy in goggles, sounds, atmosphere, camera, etc. I recall one part where the axe comes down on the victim and cuts at the last second to a shot as if you are him and seeing red from the blood spatter.

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Thirdly, what I dug about this is the lack of bullshit. This film doesn’t seem to claim to be wildly different, it contains a lot of key elements that make up a slasher flick and that in of itself makes it different. There are some good jumpy parts, a good villain and just enough of a back story to make it interesting without weighing the rest of the story down. I think you’d like this one.

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PS. The heroine is hard as fuck. Love it.

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Posted: August 31, 2009 in Slasher

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Now here’s a classic little gem that will really brighten up your day.

Little Billy and his family are on their way home from visiting senile old Grandpa in the old folk’s home, when they come across a guy in a Santa Claus outfit stranded on the side of the road. Well, this guy isn’t exactly a jolly old elf, nor had anything that shook like a bowl full of jelly. Needless to say, some things go down that would put old St. Nick on the naughty list. Little Billy and his brother end up at the Orphanage run by Mother Superior (who’s an old bitch). Ten years later, Billy is 18 and seems to be coping well with the tragedy and is working at a toy store. As Christmastime approaches however, he begins to act stranger and stranger each day, and eventually snaps…making the season not bright, but bloody.

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Fun fact: SN, DN was one of the most controversial horror films released in the 80s. Why? Well, here’s Santa, the big fat guy with the gifts…but he’s not here for milk and cookies, he’s here to kill. That didn’t go over too well with the Parent-Teacher Association. Funny isn’t it, the things that seemed so off-the-wall and edgy then? Especially in the mainstream…if only the PTA had gotten their hands on the types of films that they only played at grindhouses and people’s basements…

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Anyways, this movie takes a little while to build up. I recall looking to see that the flick was about an hour in before things started to get nuts, but I suppose that build up is necessary to reach a decent climax. Unfortunately, that climax never happen, resulting in what I like to call “Cinematic Blue-Balls”. I really wanted to see that old nun bite the dust too.

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Okay movie, mildly entertaining. One of the best montage scenes ever (Billy getting a job, making his smooth entrance into society and the world of the working class, yada yada).

Get drunk and watch this, I’m sure it will be a jolly good time.

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Ho ho ho.

April Fool’s Day (1986)

Posted: August 20, 2009 in Slasher
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April Fool’s Day is one of those flicks that received mediocre reviews at it’s release, but slowly developed a cult following. Like so many others, this movie begins when a group of teens make their way to a quaint island home belonging to their friend Muffy. They are all in good spirits, but their weekend starts off shaky when one of the boys has an accident and severely injures his face. The rest of the group arrives at the house and start settling. Muffy their hostess keeps the evening light and fun by planting several booby-traps in the house to be discovered by her guests. Things stop being funny after one by one, the kids are picked off, murdered by an unknown killer.
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This movie rules! I love Deborah Foreman as Muffy. Such a weirdo. She’s nice…almost too nice. Throughout the movie she gets more and more unhinged, behaving in strange ways. I liked the rest of the cast a lot also. There are several really funny parts in this movie and lots of little things to pick up on. This movie contains one of the more bizarre sex scenes I’ve seen.
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Cool things to watch for: Scary severed head, missing dick, previously mentioned bizarre sex scene (weirddd postition), awesome stabbing scene and the word “fuck!”. Hilarious!
Classic movie, I own it and you might think about doing the same. Real kicker in the end.
Next up, Argento’s masterpiece, Tenebre.

Just Before Dawn (1981)

Posted: August 7, 2009 in Slasher

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This movie is a classic example of a “backwoods horror” film (them darn city kids shouldn’t be out stickin’ their noses in other people’s business).

A group of 20-somethings venture into the mountains for a camp out in the woods. They are of course, warned several times that they should leave but they ignore it. They frolick, swim, drink wine, and dance…until one of them winds up dead. You know the rest.

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This film was extremely low-budget, the only props being the camping equipment and the woods, and because it was shot all in one spot it really gave off a feeling of being closed off from civilization. The mood was set with music (a repetitive high-pitched whistle let you know danger was near), the rustling of leaves, the sound of water falling over the rocks. I approached Just Before Dawn as I would any other 80’s slasher, and though I can’t say I loved the film, I commend it, for it had qualities had me contemplating more that murder, blood, and an abundance of breasts.

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I think I recall seeing a review on IMDB for this film by someone saying that this was “one of the most underrated horror films of all time”. Though I would not go that far, there are a few key elements that make this film different that other backwoods slashers.

a.) Not all of the murders are actually shown. There are three total…or so I thought. You never see what happens to the second and third victims. It is assumed that they are dead but who knows. In these types of films I’m used to seeing a very graphic murder where you think, “Yep, he’s definitely dead”.

b.) In the beginning it was pretty well established who was the leader of the group. However once the danger came around, it was not him who became the hero…it was someone else who had been undergoing a quiet, personal-transformation throughout the film. I think that in the end, the film’s violence was overshadowed by this. Not really a bad thing in my opinion. The ending saved this film for me.

For people looking to see some meddlin’ kids get chopped up, this might not be for you. Not a whole lot of choppin’ to be seen, but more symbolism than meets the eye.

But hey, there are tits!