Author Archives: Hud

What have you been smoking?

amster

AMSTERDAMNED

3 Stars  1988/18/109m

“Be glad you’re afraid… It means you’re still alive.”

Director/Writer: Dick Maas / Cast: Huub Stapel, Monique van de Ven, Serge-Henri Valcke, Hidde Maas, Wim Zomer, Tannake Hartzuiker, Tatum Dagelet, Edwin Bakker.

Body Count: 8

Laughter Lines: “No more money means no more pussy – and I won’t go Dutch!”


Who could hate the city of Amsterdam? Canals, flowers, the Heineken museum, hookers sticking their asses up against the glass of their windows, pot-laced brownies, uh… Anne Frank’s house?

Although the end reaches for new depths of desperation to avoid a resolution you can see coming miles away through fields of tulips and windmills, this Dutch police thriller-cum-slasher movie is entertaining anyway. When a series of brutal slaughters plagues the canals of Amsterdam, your standard single-father, sleeps-late, has tough daughter, cop is assigned to finding the maniac.

That’s it for plot, director Maas tosses in plenty of action and some pretty good set-ups but can’t escape heavy influence from either A Nightmare On Elm Street or Jaws (!). Good scenes include a prostitute’s corpse hanging from the underside of a bridge that a glass-topped tourist barge ventures beneath, and a James Bond-like boat chase through the canals.

Absorb that dreadful Euro-pop song that graces the credits sequence as well, possibly the scariest thing in the film.

amsterdamned 1988Blurb-of-interest: Serge-Henri Valcke was later in Slaughter Night (SL8 N8).

 

 

 

Lawnmower Death

wacko 1982

WACKO

2 Stars  1982/15/83m

“The comedy that takes off where Airplane landed!”

Director: Greydon Clark / Writers: Dana Olsen, Michael Spound, M. James Kouf Jr., David Greenwalt / Cast: Joe Don Baker, George Kennedy, Stella Stevens, Julia Duffy, Scott McGinnis, Andrew Clay, Michele Tobin, Elizabeth Daily, Jeff Altman, Charles Napier, David Drucker, Anthony James.

Body Count: 8

Laughter Lines: “It’s Halloween, it’s prom night, there’s a psycho loose, so don’t open the door. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t look in the attic. Don’t go to the bathroom. Don’t go into the ocean and don’t go into space ’cause no one can hear you scream.”


The race was on in the early 80s to score the first slasher spoof, so Wacko went up against Student BodiesClass ReunionPandemonium, and the misleadingly titled Saturday the 14th but ultimately lands near the bottom of the pack, eventually gaining a release at the start of 1983, by which time most of its content was dated.

Thirteen years after seeing her older sister sliced and diced by the Halloween Prom Night Lawnmower Killer of Hitchcock High, virginal Mary Graves is now being stalked by the maniac as her own Halloween Prom approaches. Oversexed students at the school are joined by ‘wacky’ teahcers, parents, and other fringe characters who disappear and reappear enough to be considered a suspect by the man hunting the killer.

Things get a little interesting by the time the killer starts work on Mary’s fiends, but any excitement worked up is short-lived for the revelation of the killer’s identity, virgin jokes galore, and a pie in the face for George Kennedy at the end.

Blurbs-of-interest: Julia Duffy was in the more straight-laced Night Warning in the same year; George Kennedy was also in Just Before Dawn; Charles Napier was later in Camping Del Terrore and Maniac Cop 2.

Slashionista

It took a good 20 years, but people finally cottoned on that I kinda like slasher movies, so ensuing birthdays have resulted in some garments to be proud of.

My wardrobe, everybody… Be forewarned – I don’t iron.

halloween t-shirt slasher michael myers jason voorhees freddy krueger abbey road

love my Haddonfield High Class of ’78 t-shirt. Though someone recently pointed out Laurie would’ve been Class of ’79. Cheers, Paul.

My friend Kevin picked me up the awesome Abbey Road one, which nobody where I work can get their head around. Lonely life.

jason voorhees t-shirt friday the 13th part vi 6 jason x

My newest (left) and my oldest: The Japanese VHS artwork on a stretchy fabric and super comfortable.

College roomie Grace bought me the New Line Jason shirt, which once terrified a child walking past me in the opposite direction.

friday the 13th camp crystal lake t-shirt jason voorhees

If we’re going to be pedantic, it was the summer of ’79 that Mrs Voorhees ran amok at Camp Crystal Lake, but that doesn’t make this baseball shirt any less awesome. Currently my favourite.

The many faces of Jason came on the same day. I was asked not to wear this to work.

camp crystal lake t-shirts friday the 13th jason voorhees

Sadly, the white one has stretched into a warped shape, and the yellow one (with ‘Counselor’ printed on the back) has faded over time.

prom night t shirt friday the 13th part 2 t-shirt jason voorhees

Classic Prom Night artwork and Japanese Friday the 13th Part 2; I can’t wear the latter as they sent a size too small.

There we go. Worn with cargo shorts circa April to October, cargo pants the rest of the year.

Dub Stop.

flashback 2000

FLASHBACK

3.5 Stars  2000/18/94m

Director: Michael Karen / Writer: Jimmy Sangster & Natalie Scharf / Cast: Valerie Niehaus, Xaver Hutter, Alexandra Neldel, Simone Hanselmann, Erich Schleyer, Katja Woywood, Elke Sommer, Nicola Etzelstorfer, Christian Nathe, Fabian Zapatka.

Body Count: 12

Laughter Lines: “Why do parents always think their kids will get killed if they vacation alone?”


The teen-horror revival of the late 90s (“this type of movie is very popular right now!”) naturally spilled over to regional European imitations of Scream, of which this German slasher is likely the most fun.

Blah years ago (probably ten, as is the norm), a psycho wearing galoshes, a woman’s wig and a heinous floral dress is on the loose, first offing a couple of sexy teens on a train, and then entering the home of the Fielmann family, where he slaughters the parents and dog of young Jeanette, who later developed amnesia and cannot remember what happened after the loon cornered her by the door (the key is on a hook out of her reach).

flashback 1999

In the present, Jeanette is offered a position by her shrink, teaching three spoiled teenage siblings French at their remote chalet in the mountains, while their father is away on business, scuppering their summer of partying. No sooner does she arrive then we begin seeing a cross-dressing, sickle-toting stranger everywhere (starting when she’s taken to see The Relic in a movie theater more raucous than the one in Scream 2), and it’s not much longer before friends of the three siblings, as well as domestic pets, begin getting hacked up a cross-dressing, sickle-toting stranger.

Jeanette, meanwhile, becomes romantically entangled with the brother, Leon, much to the annoyance of Elke Sommer’s cranky housekeeper. She also begins to dream back to the murders, remembering a little more every time. There’s a whole thing about ‘the secret in the barn’ and a mid-point twist that’s partly confusing given what’s already supposed to have occurred by this point, its attempted explanation by a throw-away line is a little desperate.

flashback 2000

Plot convolutions aside, Flashback has some super awesome ‘classic’ visuals, with the camera at weapon-level as the killer closes in on victims, a fun chairlift murder, a long chase involving a guy for once (poor dude cops a sickle in balls and has to limp away holding them together), and death-by-pool-cover for the person who earlier said “no one ever died in our pool!” The relatively high-end production values elevate this above most Euro-slashers, though it loyally checks every box on its way, with a particularly vicious streak in hacking and blending cute animals as well as obnoxious teenagers.

Most releases of the film outside its homeland suffer from pretty horrendous dubbing, which gives the film an unintentional (?) cheesiness thanks to the less than committed American voice actors and verbatim translation, which turns regular Germanic sentences into bizarre gibberish – we’re talking Bloody Moon levels of poor here.

flashback 2000

There’s also some distractingly odd slapstick humor thrown in, with one poor guy repeatedly getting gunked in blood from various bodies that turn up, and a running gag about a body in a car. But when your killer is a guy in wellies and the dress grandma was buried in, it’s hard to play it too po-faced.

Worth a look but probably much better in German with subtitles – if such a version is out there.

Get all the big names you want – it still sucks

schizoid 1980

SCHIZOID

2 Stars  1980/18/85m

“Dear Julie, don’t let me do it again.”

A.k.a. Murder By Mail

Director/Writer: David Paulsen / Cast: Klaus Kinski, Marianna Hill, Craig Wasson, Donna Wilkes, Richard Herd, Joe Regalbuto, Christopher Lloyd, Kiva Lawrence, Flo Gerrish, Cindy Donlan.

Body Count: 4

Laughter Lines: “He doesn’t want to hurt me, he just wants my help.”


Despite some heavyweight names attached, Schizoid is mostly a nonsensical bore with a scissor-wielding killer offing the female member of Kinski’s therapy group – all to the tune of a crappy synth score. Why? Well, the motive is never really explained and by the time you find out who the killer is – if you haven’t already guessed from all the stupid plotting – you won’t care anyway.

Hill is a columnist receiving cut-and-paste letters from a psycho wants to kill her, while she’s screwing Kinski, who in turn is trying to build bridges with his snotty daughter. It relies on so many coincidences it’s unreal, and why the killer only targets the women is never resolved, just an excuse for the producers to get their femme cast members to bare some skin and then get cut up.

The usual bunch of red herrings are lobbed into the mixing bowl to throw the viewer off the scent, but they’re too transparent to consider, like Christopher Lloyd’s pervy repair man. In a turn of huge convenience, all of the suspects happen to be gathered at Hill’s press office for a climax that already sent you a letter six weeks ago telling you it was coming. If anything, it does reverse some of the damage done by Paulsen’s previous effort, Savage Weekend.

Blurbs-of-interest: Kinski was previously in Slaughter Hotel; Craig Wasson later appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3; Donna Wilkes was also in Blood Song and, later, Grotesque.

 

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