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Slash Vault, Bloody Adventures with MoFo Nostromo

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first, a brief history and backstory:

it began in 1957 when a real-life wacko named Ed Gein was arrested in his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin for murdering locals, robbing graves, engaging in cannibalism, and other absurd depravities. Ed Gain wore a necklace made of human lips, along with mammary (yea, boobs) and face masks made of real skin. he had a Puritan mother, dead for some time, who was said to be domineering. sentenced to life imprisonment in a mental hospital, therapists studying Ed theorized he was trying to make a 'woman suit' so he could pretend to be his dead mother. little did this guy know he was immortalizing himself. bc a struggling writer named Robert Bloch heard about his shameless exploits and wrote a book about it called Psycho. little did Robert Bloch know, his story would become a best-seller and get made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1960. we're all familiar with the movie, we voted to induct it into the MoFo Hall of Fame. the Grandfather of Slashers

the time's come that i explore more of this horror sub-genre, bc aside from the major half-dozen or so that everyone is familiar with, i haven't hunted down the others... yet

welcome to the Vault, where i will review slasher movies in rounds of three. i will apply a fairly loose definition of slashers, so i can explore some Italian giallos and other films that are said to have inspired the genre. there promises to be plenty of blood, sex and general sleeze

Slashers, sometimes referred to as bodycount films or dead teenager movies, hit their Golden Age in Hollywood from 1978 through 1983. it got so ridiculous, that in 1983 over 60% of total Hollywood Box Office intake came from slasher movies. i will track down and review some of the lesser known titles, as well as gradually dealing out reviews

if your stomach gets queasy or you are faint of heart, turn back now.
for the others, join me in the Slash Vault

the first trio of blood-soaked adventures commences... NOW !

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

(Charles E. Sellier Jr, 1984)

After his parents are murdered, a young tormented teenager
goes on a murderous rampage dressed as Santa,
due to his stay at an orphanage where he was abused by the Mother Superior

this movie is a legendary slasher for how much it pi$$ed off moms and their PTA meetings when it was released back in 1984. the image of Santa Claus as the stalking killer proclaiming 'Naughty!' to his victims strikes a deep chord of cynicism for those not prepared for it... and due to the uproar, the movie was banned before it could reach the west coast. it's a story that follows Billy, and his unfortunate experience with Santa Claus at the age of 5. then we move to an orphanage home, introducing us to the strict head-nun 'Mother Superior' and her subordinate, Sister Margaret, who i liked. then the story jumps to a grown up 18-year old Billy working as a stockboy in a toy store. Sister Margaret helped him get the job, which was a horrible idea. put a guy with traumatic christmas-related experiences in a toy store, and you're bound to get entertaining results

the version i saw was really raw and uncut. there were scenes included that didn't fit the whole as far as continuity of lighting and picture quality. however, this just added to the wacky experience

Conclusion: Don't show this movie to your wholesome grandparents. aside from that, it is a mixed bag of absurd hilarity and shameless exploitation. Could have covered more of what a horrible job 'Mother Superior' did in disciplining Billy when he was a kid. While that story thread isn't tied up, overall it is an absurd combination of slasher humor that hits the mark.
* worth a watch if you're a MoFo bastard *

Favorite Kill: Death By Bow-and-Arrow

7.0 / 10

and now, probably the best Christmas song ever -

aka a million other titles (seriously)
(Mario Bava, 1971)

an elderly heiress is killed by her husband who wants control of her fortunes.
what ensues is an all-out murder spree
as relatives and friends attempt to reduce the inheritance playing field

a staple of drive-in theaters and grindhouses across the U.S in the 70's and 80's, a Bay of Blood is referred to as the prime example of a giallo film that inspired the dead teenager film craze. especially the Friday the 13th series, which straight up copied several scenes move-for-move. so next time you pop in Friday the 13th Pt II, you can get on your knees and thank this movie

anyhow, let's talk Giallo. Giallo is a genre of 20th century Italian literature and films, indicating crime fiction and mystery. and with this movie in 1971, Mario Bava went far beyond what he'd done before in the way of violence and gore. prior to this his films showed a greater level of restraint when it came to bloodshed, and then Bava released a Bay of Blood, and audiences were shocked. Christopher Lee, the legendary Dracula, was appalled when he was present at a screening. DISGUSTED!

but don't mind him, there's value here. this is probably the only movie of it's kind where every damm person in the movie is a killer. there's not just one masked murderer and a bunch of victims. everyone is a greedy bastard murderer trying to get their hands on the Countess' estate.

Conclusion: it's got a twist-ending, but it's not the killer coming back to life *gasp* ! it's easy to see how this movie was a direct inspiration to many of the slasher movies of the 80's, not just Friday the 13th. it focused on gore, death count, as well as frisky teenagers being hunted down and brutally disposed of. which is a little different to Psycho. Psycho wasn't big on death count and didn't really have some scantily-clad teenagers hanging around. still, despite all those endearing qualities, i'm not a huge fan of Bay of Blood despite respecting its influence. there's not quite the tension there is in other slasher films bc there's not really a victim to root for, but it's still entertaining

Favorite Kill: Double-spear kill mid-Coitus

+ 6.5 / 10


(Tom McLoughlin, 1986)

Tommy Jarvis goes to the graveyard to get rid of Jason Voorhees' body,
but accidentally brings him back to life

after all the stuff i'd heard about Friday the 13th movies, i expected nothing but crap. instead, Jason Lives delivered as an amusing stand-alone movie. ya see, aside from Freddy vs Jason, this is the only Friday the 13th movie i've watched. had i seen the five that came before this, maybe i would've gotten burned out on Jason. not entirely sure, yet it had suspense, atmosphere, humor, and some characters i liked... mainly the sheriff's daughter Megan, she was a definite 80's hotty

Conclusion: of course, none of the acting is good in these movies, but i didn't care about that here. sometimes that makes it more fun. liked the main character Tommy Jarvis, played by Thom Matthews. i can understand if some folks who struggled through all the Friday the 13th installments weren't amused as i was. but i found it a fun addition to 80's slashers. it pokes fun at itself in a very Scream-like manner, 10 years before Scream existed. Jason Lives is the kind of movie i'd enjoy putting on at night when vacationing at the lake house

Favorite Kill: Everything that happens in the RV

+ 7.5 / 10

interested to see if i will remain as favorable about this one as i watch more Jason Voorhees flicks

Finished here. It's been fun.
there promises to plenty of blood, sex and general sleeze

Sounds awesome.....I'm in.

Don't listen to the naysayers, Friday The 13th Part VI is great. Second only to Jason X and, maybe Part IV. It's top tier slashing, though.

BTW, do you need any recommendations?
5-time MoFo Award winner.

Finished here. It's been fun.
Second only to Jason X and, maybe Part IV. It's top tier slashing, though.
Come on, let's all be perfectly honest here. Friday the 13th Part IV:The Final Chapter is the best of the series and you all know it.

what would you MoFos say is the movie that kickstarted the slasher craze, for discussion's sake ?

it seems to be up for debate, to a degree. what do you think ?

Psycho pops into my head but I think there were a few earlier "semi-slashers"... I'm not sure how everyone might define the first true slasher film....
#31 on SC's Top 100 Mofos list!!

Psycho pops into my head but I think there were a few earlier "semi-slashers"... I'm not sure how everyone might define the first true slasher film....
maybe when i get through enough movies in this thread, i can make a convoluted family tree of slasher flicks

Oldboy 2: Youngman
what would you MoFos say is the movie that kickstarted the slasher craze, for discussion's sake ?

it seems to be up for debate, to a degree. what do you think ?
Well the movie that kickstarted the craze was Halloween. But I don't consider it the first actual slasher. I think some slashers before it were:

Peeping Tom
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Alice Sweet Alice
Black Christmas

Well the movie that kickstarted the craze was Halloween. But I don't consider it the first actual slasher. I think some slashers before it were:

Peeping Tom
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Alice Sweet Alice
Black Christmas
That's a good list, but I have to throw in Torso and Twitch Of The Death Nerve, which is, possibly, the most direct influence on the American slasher genre of the 70's and, maybe more so due to it's bodycount, blood and deaths, the 80's. But you can find influences in splatter films and Giallo films throughout the 60's

Rd 2 resumes with three big hitter franchises in the Slash genre. will work in some lesser known entries in the coming weeks
(Chuck Russell, 1987)

Survivors of undead serial killer Freddy Krueger -
who stalks his victims in their dreams -
learn to take control of their own dreams in order to fight back

Wes Craven got more involved with the screenplay, & Freddy is back to haunt the children of Springwood. this time he terrorizes the teenage patients in the Elm Street psychiatric ward. we get Heather Langenkamp back as Nancy Thompson, who plays a psychiatrist specializing in dream therapy

Patricia Arquette was 19 years old when this was released in 1987 and was an 80's babe. she plays the character Kristen Parker. this was her first movie as a credited actress. Kristen has a unique ability to pull others into her dreams, which gives Nancy and the kids a chance to face Freddy together in the dream house

: when it comes to movie land and movie fandom, i'm an Elm Street kid. so while this movie doesn't match the original punch-for-punch, i like it anyways. we learn about Freddy's grim history, meet the spirit of his mother (creepy), and learn that Freddy is the bastard son of a thousand maniacs. some may be turned off bc parts of it are hokey when it comes to acting and dialogue, although that added to its charm for me. there seemed to be things that could've been done better, maybe if Craven had directed it instead of Chuck Russell. but i found this to be a fun 80's flick. look forward to watching Wes Craven's New Nightmare next, as it will complete the makeshift Elm Street Trilogy comprised along with the Original and Dream Warriors... as i am skipping the other sequels for now

Favorite Kill: tough call. Freddy is finding creatively sadistic new ways of butchering his victims. first, Freddy as the puppeteer sending Phillip to his demise using the dude's arm ligaments as puppet strings. brutal way to go. second, Jennifer Caulfield gets her big break in TV. third, Taryn OD's by way of syringe-glove Fred Krueger.
Welcome to PrimeTime, b!tch, is my winner

+ 7.5 / 10

(Rick Rosenthal, 1981)

Laurie Strode is rushed to the hospital,
while Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt the streets for Michael Myers,
who has found Laurie at the Haddonfield Hospital

we're back in Haddonfield on October 31st, 1978. picking up where we left off with Michael escaping Dr Loomis' grasp and wreaking havoc in the neighborhood. for those of us who love the original Halloween, there will be at least some level of curiosity as to where things go from there. at the same time, it feels like we're rehashing the same story too much

at first, the entire sheriff's department is in on the manhunt. later the US Marshall arrives to return Myers to Smith's Grove, the mental facility Michael escaped from in the original. Meanwhile Laurie's in the Haddonfield hospital and the staff is getting picked off one-by-one by the Shape. shoutout to Lance Guest playing Jimmy. he starred in the Last Starfighter (1984), he and Laurie got the hots for each other

Conclusion: there are a few things i like, and others i don't. it's got a Halloween-like atmosphere which is a plus, but don't like the twist with Laurie being Michael's long lost sis. too contrived. which John Carpenter admits when he wrote this sequel, boozed up on Budweiser, which he didn't really want to do. so he passed off the director's chair to Rick Rosenthal. it's not terribly exciting, but there is some decent suspense.

Favorite Kill: hammer claw to the head

6.0 / 10

(Wes Craven, 1997)

two years after the first series of murders,
a new psychopath dons the Ghostface costume
and a new string of killings begins

Gale Weathers' best selling book about the Woodsboro Murders has been made into a major motion picture entitled Stab, and we start off in a movie theater for Stab's opening night. the opening scene is really memorable and an adrenaline-pumping horror film opening, can't ask for much better. right away you know you're in for an experience. Sidney Prescott is in college, and Ghostface is back. while Sidney is no doubt still dealing with the traumatic events of the original story, there's no rehashing here. we end up with a thrilling ride of a movie inside a story inside a movie. that's Scream 2, and it's a great ride

filmed mostly in Atlanta, Ga, and finished up in Los Angeles, Scream 2 is Wes Craven's triumphant sequel to Scream (1996). this was a successful entry to the slash genre and got 90's horror fans enthused. it knows its purpose and delivers, it never strays.

Conclusion: it's got suspense, humor, and it is not a letdown of a sequel. one thing i like about this slasher movie is that it's not afraid to bring up ideas most horror movies would avoid. such as, do violent movies invoke violent actions? pretty gutsy and self-aware point to bring up considering the film has gory situations of its own. anyhow, it's a well-directed flick by Wes Craven. before i forget, we also get a cameo from Heather Graham in a shower sequence as a callback to Psycho. sounds good to me. it's got some nice inside jokes and horror-movie references for those who are into that sorta thing. give it a chance some time if you haven't yet

Favorite Kill: Cici Cooper (Sarah Michelle Gellar) sequence at the sorority house

8.0 / 10