Slasher Hall of Fame Part II

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Friday the 13th
-Mr Antlers



The Birth of the Kill, and the Death of a Debate

Many people like to site movies like Peeping Tom and Psycho as being the birthplace of slasher movies, or even some obscure Giallos. Then there are some that call those two movies simply precursors to the subgenre, because all the elements that make up a slasher movie weren't there.

Then you have another camp who believe that Black Christmas and Halloween were the real first slasher movies because there's anonymity and mystery about the killers. This isn't some psychological thing, it's just pure madness with no reason. And now your killers would stalk and slash groups, picking them off one by one (Halloween being the one to add into the mix the Final Girl and her battle with the killer). Texas Chainsaw Massacre had the final girl as well, but they were lacking in anonymity and stalking elements, also with way too many killers.

Then there's people like me who see where the genre is today, and dissect everything that makes a slasher movie a good, fun experience. And for me, one of the most important elements in a slasher movie is the kill. If you don't have creative kills done with practical effects, then you've lost a good majority of what your subgenre requires of you. Why even bother making a slasher movie to begin with? It's kinda like the game Mortal Kombat, and how important the fatalities are in that game. You take away the fatalities, and the game loses it's edge that separated it from other fighting games. Aggressive, in your face visual trauma is what makes a slasher movie stand out amongst other horror subgenres. Quite frankly, it's the very thing that makes it unique and off putting to the squeamish.

Which brings us to my pick for the slasher hall of fame. The one and only, granddaddy of them all.
Friday the 13th was the first slasher movie to highlight the kill and make an art form out of it, and in some ways, I think making the kill an art form was the final piece in the template that would come to be know as the slasher movie. In my opinion, Friday the 13th (1980) is the first complete slasher movie.

In the future reviews are posted in the thread for everyone to read and discuss



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Friday the 13th
-Mr Antlers



The Birth of the Kill, and the Death of a Debate

Many people like to site movies like Peeping Tom and Psycho as being the birthplace of slasher movies, or even some obscure Giallos. Then there are some that call those two movies simply precursors to the subgenre, because all the elements that make up a slasher movie weren't there.

Then you have another camp who believe that Black Christmas and Halloween were the real first slasher movies because there's anonymity and mystery about the killers. This isn't some psychological thing, it's just pure madness with no reason. And now your killers would stalk and slash groups, picking them off one by one (Halloween being the one to add into the mix the Final Girl and her battle with the killer). Texas Chainsaw Massacre had the final girl as well, but they were lacking in anonymity and stalking elements, also with way too many killers.

Then there's people like me who see where the genre is today, and dissect everything that makes a slasher movie a good, fun experience. And for me, one of the most important elements in a slasher movie is the kill. If you don't have creative kills done with practical effects, then you've lost a good majority of what your subgenre requires of you. Why even bother making a slasher movie to begin with? It's kinda like the game Mortal Kombat, and how important the fatalities are in that game. You take away the fatalities, and the game loses it's edge that separated it from other fighting games. Aggressive, in your face visual trauma is what makes a slasher movie stand out amongst other horror subgenres. Quite frankly, it's the very thing that makes it unique and off putting to the squeamish.

Which brings us to my pick for the slasher hall of fame. The one and only, granddaddy of them all.
Friday the 13th was the first slasher movie to highlight the kill and make an art form out of it, and in some ways, I think making the kill an art form was the final piece in the template that would come to be know as the slasher movie. In my opinion, Friday the 13th (1980) is the first complete slasher movie.

In the future reviews are posted in the thread for everyone to read and discuss
I thought they were going to be presented with the entry? Man, you guys are all foweled up.






Black Christmas(1974) is one of the early not Italian slashers...some might even call it the first slasher. The film has a few things going for it that other slashers don't have. The big thing is the film plays out over the course of a night you get a passage of time that helps distinguish this from other films. It also has a very nice color pallet and even though to borrows heavily from Argento it still has that American grind-house look to it.



A couple things I didn't care for was the obscene caller thing has been done better. The gutteral sounds are okay but I prefer Scream and When a Stranger Calls to what they did with Black Christmas. I also wish we would have gotten more from the mystery aspect of the film the killer fairly obvious and we're never really given other options so that hurts the overall impact of the film.


Still it's alright good nomination.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds


I also wish we would have gotten more from the mystery aspect of the film the killer fairly obvious and we're never really given other options so that hurts the overall impact of the film.
This sentence confuses me a bit. Are you upset about the "reveal" or lack there of of the killer?
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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



This sentence confuses me a bit. Are you upset about the "reveal" or lack there of of the killer?

I think that with slashers you either go with a mystery (Deep Red, Prom Night, Friday the 13th part 1) or a monster (Friday the 13th part 4, Terror Train, The Burning, Halloween) Black Christmas doesn't really do either or very well. The focus of the film is less on the killer and more on the girls so for me it was unsatisfying.



Black Christmas

Well, not much to say about this one. It was just annoying. All the characters - I mean every single one - except for maybe Jess, were people I didn't care about in the slightest. They were either horrible human beings, irresponsible, stupid, or annoying in general. And that's what makes a horror movie good or bad. Are you rooting for the killer? In this movie, I was. I guess one could make the case for it as being one of the first slashers ever (before even the usual go-to answer Halloween). But being the first doesn't make a movie great. Sure, maybe Black Christmas influenced a lot, but I feel like it didn't really have a good story itself. That said, some of the cinematography is absolutely amazing, for sure classic in that sense. The killing scenes were fun enough, and I liked the abortion subplot. But none of it was resolved. I know that was the movie's goal, but it didn't even bother explaining why it wasn't wrapping up half of the plot points. This movie left me either bored, bewildered, or annoyed. There's still something there, though, that holds it at a semi-decent rating. Not quite sure what is, but I'll give it a:



April Fool's Day

I simply hated this one. At least the premise of Black Christmas is good, but even before the reveal this entire movie is stupid. I'm not going to "spoil" the plot twist at the end, even though it's a dumb one, but I'll just say the plot twist ruins the entire movie. I get that it's trying to be funny and fooling and smart. But it's just stupid! The plot is stupid, the script is stupid, the music is stupid. The cinematography is so bland and boring, we get no cool shots like Black Christmas. And the acting! Oh, the acting, how atrocious. I can't find a lot of good things to say about this one, just really unlikable characters, bad premise, and an overall horrible film with a deserving 33% on Rotten Tomatoes.




Terrifier

SPOILER ALERT

I dug the way this film looked; the low budget kept them from trying to do too much with it. I mean, it does look cheapish, but the blueish and red-ish glow of things and not having any extras walking by kinda gave the whole film a surrealistic aspect to it. It doesn't really make a whole lot of logical sense that these girls were at a club that required them to park in the middle of a totally empty area on Halloween night that also happened to have a pizza place in shopping center that didn't have anything else going and the only people who showed up were people not long for this world. It kinda takes some buying into this film for that stuff to be forgiven, but I bought in.

The fellow playing our baddie, Art the Clown, gave a pretty inspired physical performance. I often thought of Charlie Chaplin as the Tramp with his mannerisms. I'm curious if that was something he looked to for inspiration. And the way his body moved most of them felt right, and it felt like he really embraced the chance to be a really horror film boogeyman.

I think Art the Clown deserves a chance to go on a little sequel run. I'm sure, like every other slasher villain, he will get worse and worse if they get a chance to make anymore. However, his first feature length outing lays a tremendous foundation. He does a lot of messed up things and he does it with a smile. There is the humor already present to go along with the nasty and vile stuff. I can't decide if I think the torture porn stuff was the best idea for this particular character, or if maybe it was better if we see the set up and later we see her split in two instead of showing the whole thing. Sometimes it's better not to see what we know a character did, because we don't have to really linger on the evil nature of this character that we almost have to root for because of how dumb everybody else is. But either the actor who ever really developed this character or a combination of both leads to a movie villain that is quite charismatic. I'm kinda curious as to whether or not we really needed to see what he did in the restroom though. I think that's also a case of it's better to just wonder what he did, because the doodoo all over the place felt a little uninspired.

I like the performance from the dude who played Art, as I've already said, but everybody else kinda sucked a lot. Part of it might be on the writing, but the blonde chick felt unnatural most of the time. The chick in the skeleton costume, I felt was pretty okay most of the time. I really hated the performance of the dude who ended up getting bonked with the hammer. Art should have double-tapped that guy so I didn't have to deal with his phone call to 911.

I appreciate the practical effects in this film quite a bit. Practical effects are almost always going to standout from CGI because for whatever reason that authenticity resonates. The jack-o-lantern head was f*cked up and looked good. The gore all looked worthy of horror film. Art's make-up/costume looked great. The only thing I can complain about is the girl who got her face eaten, the reconstruction just looked like somebody gooped up a bunch of clay and mushed it on a skull and turned in the project halfway done.

Overall though, I'd say Terrifier really delivered. The filmmakers dared to step into a tired genre, took some chances, and gave us something worth watching.



Slaughter High

Slaughter High makes Black Christmas look like a masterpiece and April Fool's Day look not too shabby either. It's simply atrocious. To quote Roger Ebert, "I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated it." Or something like that. But anyways, I know this movie is trying to be cheesy horror, played sometimes for laughs. But it's dialogue is so horrible, the acting is so bad, and the whole thing is just so awful that it turns out to be one of the most boring movies I've ever watched. It's only an hour and thirty minutes but it felt like the length of Ben-Hur. I can't tell you a single one of the character's names except for Marty because they kept using it every five minutes. And speaking of Marty, talk about a bad protagonist. I mean, his motivation is mentioned once and then dropped. The intro segment is literally pointless and this movie could have been cut down to 50 minutes to an hour having the same premise. Wow. Very poor movie.




Slaughter High
And speaking of Marty, talk about a bad protagonist. I mean, his motivation is mentioned once and then dropped.

Well I would say Marty is the antagonist what with the whole murdering and all not the protagonist who was Carol and his motivation is pretty clear based on the first act.



Slaughter High
And speaking of Marty, talk about a bad protagonist. I mean, his motivation is mentioned once and then dropped.

Well I would say Marty is the antagonist what with the whole murdering and all not the protagonist who was Carol and his motivation is pretty clear based on the first act.
Yes and no. It seems that Carol is the protagonist the whole film but at the end we realize it was all in Marty’s head - he was imagining the whole thing and then decides to actual follow through on his plan.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Black Christmas




A Canadian horror classic that helped set the stage for numerous imitators.

Black Christmas is the little indie slasher flick that few know about, but those who do usually tend to appreciate it. I remember people talking about this movie on old horror boards and asked it for Christmas, my aunt bought it for me and I was really taken back by how low key everything about it was. Upon a re-watch (one of numerous re-watches) the film still maintains a sense of dread, holiday cheer and all around intelligence that most slasher movies fail to achieve.

It really did a number on me when the credits rolled and we never got a good idea of who "Billy" was. I remember thinking I must have misheard the character's name because I don't remember a Billy anywhere in this movie. How could a movie have a killer's identity never really revealed? Even by today's standards, this is rarely done, if at all.

Black Christmas was in my opinion, ahead of its time.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Terrifier




I gave this film another chance as I watched it sometime last year, but my rating still remains relatively the same. Terrifier has a great clown and he is used really well. The right look can sell a movie and I believe this movie was sold on his look alone. What he does, why he does it, it doesn't matter to the filmmakers so why should it matter to us?

The gore elements are okay, the better splitting a body up the middle sequence is in Bone Tomahawk. The film has questionable actions from characters, budget issues that dampen the overall quality of the film and a story that feels like it's spinning its wheels. Or lack thereof I should say, since this film feels directionless.

Great clown. Bad movie.

I will give the sequel a chance though and hope they learned from their mistakes and offer something to chew on.



The Prowler

The Prowler has good moments and painfully bad moments. The good moments are ones of creepy and disturbing atmospheric images, as well as sometimes actually interesting dialogue between the characters. The bad moments involve the frankly un-interesting plot and characters (what's the point of the Sheriff being the actual villain). Unfortunately, plot and characters are what usually carry a film, so this kind of falls apart. It's not the worst slasher I've seen, far from it, but it certainly has many problems. I will say, some of the jump scares scared the **** out of me , so I'll give it a decent rating based on how scary it was. The film as a whole though? It was good to watch once, I guess, but I'll never re-watch it again by my own choice. Fun while it lasted.