Category Archives: Non-Slash

More almost but not-quite slasher flicks

Another handful of horrors that hang out by the dance floor where all the slasher flicks are partying and flirt with them, trying to blend even though they don’t really fit in… See the last lot here.

DEAD SILENCE 2007

“From the makers of Saw” came this seriously underrated and unsuccessful scare flick, in which young couple Ryan Kwanten (later in True Blood) and Laura Regan (from My Little Eye) receive a creepy ventriloquist’s doll in the mail that somehow kills her, sending him back to their hometown of Raven’s Faire, a town apparently cursed by the ghost of Mary Shaw, subject of an Elm Street-like nursery rhyme that states if you encounter her in your dreams, don’t scream or you’ll lose your tongue, just as Regan did.

Kwanten’s investigations, hampered by greasy detective – and ex-New Kid on the Block – Donnie Wahlberg, seem to generate a fresh wave of creepy deaths and there’s one helluva twist at the end that I was totally blind to!

Why it’s not a slasher flick really: it’s a ghost story with a body count really, shades of Darkness Falls as well as Krueger-town (there was an additional murder in the deleted scenes) creep in, but not enough to swap sub-genres and they’re not likely to make a sequel…

DONKEY PUNCH 2008

Three northern gals holidaying in Mallorca hook up with a quartet of private school guys crewing on a luxury yacht and decide to party on the boat. Sex and drugs dominate and one of the guys decides to test a sexual urban legend – the Donkey Punch – which backfires, killing one of the girls. The boys vote to throw her overboard and say she fell and when the girls refuse to go along with it, a series of intensified confronations and misunderstandings lead to a second accidental death, then escalate to murder…

Why it’s not a slasher flick really: most of the deaths are accidents (including a neat outboard demise) and one person commits suicide. There’s a final girl of sorts but this is totally a Brit-grit situation flick.

HOUSE OF 9 2005

Another UK export; in this cut-price Battle Royale, nine strangers are abducted and wake up in a locked down house and informed that when only one remains alive, they will exit with £5million. Dennis Hopper is an Irish priest with a dodgy accent, Kelly Brook a shy dancer, Chardonnay from Footballer’s Wives a socialite, a rapper, an American detective, married couple and so on…

They argue about the situation until it leads to accidental death and murder, whittling down numbers until only one remains and exits. Cue semi-clever twist.

Why it’s not a slasher flick really: as with Donkey Punch, it’s all situational, there’s no one killer offing everybody one by one.

THE LAMP 1987

I love this cheesecake 80s horror film about a killer genie – or Djinn – which inhabits ye olde lamp that dim-witted, dungaree-wearing heroine Alex rubs when it arrives at her father’s museum. A field trip, a dumb teen idea to spend the night there (in a fucking museum…), Djinn-possession and the teens, some staff members and a couple of meathead racists find themselves done in in a variety of proto-Final Destination ways, some of which are suitably gruesome and clever, let down only by bargain basement effects work and a Djinn that looks like a Kinder Egg toy.

Why it’s not a slasher flick really: it’s a close one: there’s a lot in common with the likes of The Initiation and any number of collegiate prank slasher flicks but in the end it varies itself out of the equation.

THE UGLY 1997

A defence psychologist appointed to reassess a murderer, who proceeds to fill her in on his traumatic childhood and the slayings that followed. Despite warnings from the creepy institution doctor the shrink is soon sucked into his tragic tale of a nasty mother, school bullies and his one friend. All the blood on show is like black motor oil from a bunch of extras who are slashed up with a straight razor. Things go all Se7en with a downbeat twist ending, but it’s typically arty in the Australasian way.

Why it’s not a slasher flick really: a serial killer flick with grisly murders peppered throughout; no busloads of dense teenangers here.

Is there something you’re trying to tell us?

Something new today as Vegan Voorhees hands over the writing reins to Ross Tipograph, who looks into some of the most popular horror flicks that seemed to be hiding parts of themselves in a subtextual closet with only a little more subtlety than this:

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The horror and slasher genres are notoriously for carrying weirdly sexual undertones… It’s really unavoidable, when you think about it: One predatory killer (always a man, or for shock value – gasp! – a woman) stalks and obsesses over a group of usually gorgeous, usually young characters, waits for that one dark night or empty hallway moment, gets up to them real close in a one-on-one moment and… penetrates them, usually with something sharp and phallic (if not shooting, decapitating, or creatively terminating them in any way other than stabbing).

The sexual is imagery is RAMPANT! So, as a focus, we’ll take a look at an underrated way of observing the horror & slasher genre(s), through this sexual lens:

THE TOP UNINTENTIONALLY GAY HORROR MOVIES

1.  A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)

This sequel was abysmal, not only because it was following / attempting to cash in on one of the greatest horror movie classics of all time, but also because it was just downright horrible and unwatchable. The entire movie follows one guy, Jesse (played by Mark Patton), as he tries to escape the taunting, phallic knives of predatory Freddy Krueger.

First of all – why the hell is Freddy setting his sights on a teenage boy? In almost every other Elm Street movie, Freddy stalks a luscious young girl, staying true to the weird psycho-sexual stereotypes of movies – a creepy man chasing a girl. So, what is the aggressive, arguably heterosexual genre audience supposed to gain from Freddy chasing a guy? The answer is: nothing. Except for weird parallels to gay porn.

At one point, Jesse has a nightmare that takes place in a bar with his gym teacher… Which leads to a naked shower scene with said character… Which leads to a series of wet and wild ass-whippings. In another scene, Freddy literally emerges from Jesse’s body, tearing through his flesh, coming out from within. Explanations? None.

Why confide in your girlfriend when your unnaturally-hot sparring partner will do?

2. The Lost Boys (1987)

(What is it with these eighties movies?)

A cult classic with some definite gay undertones, The Lost Boys is awesome. It is also, yes, kinda gay. The brooding, buff Michael (Jason Patric), his eager younger brother Sam (Corey Haim), and their cool, single mom (Dianne Wiest) move to a new town on the coast of sunny California. Already, we have a queer vibe of “the outsiders” trying to fit in. And soon, they sort of do, when they meet a gang of snarling, hungry vampire teens – a group of touchy-feely guys with one hot girl (Jami Gertz), whom they virtually ignore.

The girl is so neglected, she’s actually used to lure new boys into this vampire coven. She bounces around and shows off her goods, leading these unsuspecting newcomers to a seriously scary Kiefer Sutherland, complete with bleached-blonde mulleted hair, along with Bill & Ted reject Alex Winter and others. Also, in one scene, Corey Haim has a poster hanging up in his closet of a naked Rob Lowe. Go see for yourself.

The vampire genre has always been pretty gay, drawing parallels to homosexuality with its intense man-on-man eating (seen here in The Lost Boys), secrecy and self-hatred (seen here in The Lost Boys), and post-1980 comparisons to the HIV/AIDS  crisis, passed on through blood, just like vampires (see: The Lost Boys).

"I have so much to show you, Michael..." Never trust anyone with a peroxide blonde mullet.

3. Rope (1948)

Alfred Hitchcock’s notorious attempt at a eighty-minute continuously-shot movie, tied together with a few suave editing tricks (which surely tricked the crowds of the late ‘40s) is so entertainingly, blaringly gay you can’t help but wonder if it was intentional. Taking into account the casting of two closeted Hollywood actors and the rumors of Hitchcock’s own sexuality, anything is possible.

The film opens in a Manhattan loft, where two men… do something sinful, in the dark, with the blinds closed. John Dall, one of the two, is more suave and accepting of it, lighting a cigarette after the deed is done and wanting to open the blinds. The other man, Farley Granger, is much more terrified, disgusted by this act they’ve committed together and wanting to die. What they’ve actually done is kill a man, but with lines like “Don’t open the curtains yet; let’s just stay this way for a minute,” and moments like the killers removing each others’ rubber gloves – you decide.

The movie amps up when the two guys have a dinner party with several guests, trying to keep their secret quiet and acting like nothing is wrong. It’s up to old Jimmy Stewart, their professor from their boarding school days (gay!), to figure out what’s really going on between these two men. A thrill.

"I can't believe you didn't choose orchids for the centre-spread!"

More ‘mo fun to look for:

Jeepers Creepers (2001), in which a mythical man-hungry beast stalks and eats a teenage Justin Long. Written and directed by shady gay filmmaker Victor Salva

Interview with the Vampire (1994), in which Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, and Tom Cruise (of course) battle for Most Theatrical Queeny Performance while sucking each others’ necks, wearing corsets and crying

Fright Night (1985), another eighties (and another vampire) entry, in which a guy who can’t have sex with his girlfriend because he’s too distracted by the charming man next door and this neighbour’s creepy, unexplained male “roommate”.

Scream (1996) – there’s always been a thing between Skeet Ulrich & Matthew Lillard. (Ever notice how Stu screams “yeah baby, get it up!” when inviting Billy to knife him? – Hud)

Ross Tipograph is a film buff and Emerson College screenwriting major. When he’s not reviewing movies, he’s writing about Halloween costumes.

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So there you have it Voorheesians, vampires are gay, Hitchcock might’ve swung wider than a pendulum and, well we all knew Elm Street 2 was one big pride parade, didn’t we?

Valley of the Cheapjack Franchises: HORROR 101

More cheapo “chills” at the expense of my time and money exploring the films that I only advise you to avoid – this time I stroll down the memory lane populated by the dismally boring Horror 101 and it’s sensationally titled sequel, Horror 102, which came to me some time ago in a double pack with a freebie third film called Museum of the Dead.

horror101

HORROR 101

1 Stars  2000/89m

Director: James Glenn Dudelson / Writers: Valorie Connally, Jenny McPhee & Daniel Miller / Cast: Bo Derek, Justin Urich, Josh Holland, Lisa Gordon, Brigitta Dau, Paityn James, Michael Moon, Scott Rinker, Jason Wolk.

Body Count: uh…


A weird one for VeVo as Horror 101 is one of those sonofabitch films that merely pretends it’s a slasher film, revealing that it’s some PG-13 film club production shot in four hours when it’s already too late!

To be truthful, I can’t remember much about Horror 101 other than the wake of anger I was left treading water in once my DVD player kind of spat the disc out in disgust. I don’t keep notes on non-slasher films so I’ll try and sum it up for you in as detailed a manner as I can:

Film class stays after hours for some seminar on horror. Or the emotion of fear. They have made some films of their own. Nobody likes one of the guys who is outcasty and therefore suspicious. Bo Derek is their teacher. They all begin wandering off to investigate strange noises or look for whomever wandered off to investigate a strange noise three minutes earlier.

BUT, people aren’t stabbed or sliced – they just vanish into thin air until a grandiose twist is unveiled. But it sucks. It really sucks and I stared slack-jawed at the screen asking some higher force why it was that somebody would every create this abortion of horror.

Weirdly, outcasty guy was played by Justin Urich, who also appeared in this film called Serial Killing 101, which also turned out not to be a slasher film despite pretending to be one also. That strangeness aside, play hookie and skip class.

*

horror102HORROR 102: ENDGAME

 2004/89m  1.5 Stars

“Winner kills all.”

Director/Writer: Ana Clavell / Cast: Melissa Frederick, Anna Lerbom, Jeremy Aldridge, Simon Zonatto, Michael Moon, Christopher Hawkins, Shasa Dabner, Lukas Langer, Joshua Allen Heck.

Body Count: 8

Dire-logue: “What are you gonna do, marinate me?”


Yes, it’s better – by half a star. But that’s only because it’s enough of a slasher flick to count. So don’t skip out merrily thinking you’ll be entertained by repeated viewings.

This time, a group of mixed students have agreed to take part in a psychology experiment as an act of atonement for a variety of campus misdemeanours. They’re to spend an unspecified amount of time in the closed down Bellepark Asylum, where they’re duly stalked and slain by a hooded killer. I only noticed then typing out the cast roster that one of the actors from 101 returned to a different role.

While the most measly of measly margins better than 101, it’s nevertheless an endurance test: murders are largely off-camera or shot in such a way as to restrict the bloodshed in order to pass for a PG-13 rating again and there’s some nonsensical gibberish about hauntings and LSD trips thanks to laced-bread!

Characters are the usual hodge-podge of genre stereotypes and, at one point, one of them takes charge and tells everyone to stay together before announcing he’s going to check on somebody else alone… What aids the film in the end is the twist, which is not as predictable as it initially seems but it’d still need a goddamn miracle to scrape even a complete second star.

May Meet: The films I couldn’t finish

Those who know me well will vouch for my high tolerance of crap. Crap music, crap TV and crap films. But every now and then there’s that straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Here are five films I couldn’t deal with. I may have fast-forwarded to the end but the whole experience was out of the window for one reason or another…

fiveacrosseyesFIVE ACROSS THE EYES (2006)

It looks like a slasher film. It sounds like a slasher film. Slasherpool gave it five stars… I can only hope that AnthroFred was on crack that day because this is a sure fire candidate for biggest waste of time EVER!

A quintet of high school girls go to a sports event at a school…. theirs, someone else’s, I really didn’t care. On the way back, she who is driving their mini-van knocks into another  vehicle at a bar and they unwisely flee the scene.

By this point, the camcorderiness of it all was becoming too much for me to take and thumb circled the fast-forward button like a vulture eyeing a carcass.

The driver of the other car chases and catches them and turns out to be a thirtysomething woman who’s evidently got the decorators in as she holds them at gunpoint, makes them strip and let’s them leave, only to chase them again, probably to kill them, I don’t know, it was well into x4 territory now.

A girl craps in her own hand and tosses it at the trailing car, nobody gets murdered and eventually the five girls gang up and kill the psycho bitch. What are The Eyes, you ask? It’s the name of the back country where this all takes place. Yay, relevance. Fucking dreadful.

edenlakeEDEN LAKE (2008)

Here’s an oddity, a film which was quite obviously good enough but I made one of my rare sensible decisions to stop watching.

A city couple head off camping for the weekend and cross paths with some horrible teenage scrotes who begin a campaign of terror against the outlanders after they accidentally kill their dog.

I reached the point where it looked like I was going to get very angry with it – before the dog-o-cide – as I do about the subject of the don’t-give-a-fuck teenagers in society and opted to have a quick peek at the end, which only served to prove that it had in fact been a good idea to discontinue.

Yeah, so it’s “real” horror or whatever, but people call Radiohead “real” music and I don’t listen to that either. I want a Belinda Carlisle level of horror: big hair, strong predictable melody and commercial appeal, not downbeat state-of-society stuff. Film is supposed to help me escape all that BS, not take me on a trip back to it for entertainment’s sake.

iamtheripperI AM THE RIPPER (2004)

I only have hazy memories of what can only be a described as a French student project filmed on a Nokia.

At a Paris party, a skull masked killer turns up and kills a load of people. Okay, fine – this occupies about 15 minutes worth. Then they all come back to life (I think) and it becomes some bizarro Matrix-horror film with super powers or something? I don’t even remember.

But it was shit in its purest, distilled form.

nyripTHE NEW YORK RIPPER (1982)

Just how this film has a 6.1 rating on IMDb is beyond my understanding. It’s SHIT!!!

The New York Ripper has garnered a reputation for hefty misogyny, which was fairly common in early 80s horror. Yes, it’s there but I expected that.

What I didn’t expect was how boring it would be. Fulci made the film look relatively professional, the murders are drippy and gross and very brutal but so little else happens. The gap between slayings grew as my patience shrank until I could take it no more and scurried to the end to see who the killer turned out to be and what the deal with the mad quacking was.

I actually had to watch the end twice to try and get it straight – some girl in a hospital bed with no arms or something. Zzzzz.

seasonSEASON OF THE HUNTED (2003)

Muse Watson is in this. The Fisherman from I Know What You Did Last Summer wouldn’t lower himself to a camcorder tripe-fest would he? He was in Prison Break, damn it.

It turns out that yes, he would. He needs money too, y’know.

In this tale of some hunters becoming the hunted, I made it about twenty odd minutes in before x4-ville took over and I realized that this over-long film was not going to gauge my interest. Ever.

I can’t tell you what happened later in it but it wasn’t the slasher film the box art made it out to be.

There, see? Vegan Voorhees can’t promise to give you a fair rundown of everything because sometimes it’s just too damn shite to make it through. It becomes the unscratchable itch. Turn it off! Turn it the hell off now!

To this end there can be no real winner or loser this month; four of these films are irredeemably crap and the other is likely to induce a killing spree of my own. It being the odd one out, let’s pretend Eden Lake is the only good one.

The Winner Takes It All

Those totally cool guys at Evil on Two Legs selected VeVo for these awards, here… The Fantastically Frightening Award, Kreativ Blogger Award, One Lovely Blog Award and the Zombie Chicken Award! Yay, someone actually reads this tripe blog!

fantasticallyfrighteningkreativeblogonelovelyblogThis means I can now (kinda) say that Vegan Voorhees is an award winning blog. More yayage!

In accordance with how the Kreativ Blogger system works, the rules are thus:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the Kreativ Blogger Award logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated

So, 1-3 are done, let’s all marvel at 7 bizarro things about meeeeeeee

1. In spite of being a huge slasher movie fan, I can’t watch footage of operations or hospital shows.

2. I was terrified of Freddy Krueger between the ages of 12 and 19 after somebody showed me Elm Street 3.

3. Aside from this blog, I write a lot of fiction and published my first (short) novel The Beaten Track in October 2009.

4. This one time, I worked at a delicatessen in a large supermarket and I dropped a massive cut of slimy ham on the floor, it rolled under a cage and was black with dirt when I retrieved it and my manager made me rinse it off and put it out for sale!

5. I have two thumbs but only seven fingers – ooooh!

6. I share my birthday with Kathleen Turner and Zoe Saldana.

7. I once won a karaoke contest singing Heaven is a Place on Earth.

That’s done, here are my nominees for further Kreativ Blogging awards:-

Anchorwoman in Peril – wonderfully written by a great bloke!

Final Girl – duh.

I Love Horror – and I love your blog.

Kindertrauma – this was already nommed by EO2L but I’m sending additional love.

Slasher Speak – Vince is a very articulate writer, giving a fresh voice to much of what he writes about.

Zombie Cupcake – another unsung blog I like.

Hysteria Lives! – this isn’t really a blog but Justin’s style of updating isn’t far off… Is this allowed??

zombiechicken…and the Zombie Chicken Award!

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