Category Archives: The Top 100

The 100 Greatest* Slasher Movies Part V: #60-51

*According to me! Me, me, me. So there’re bound to be a few classics missing.

See:
#100-91 here
#90-81 here
#80-71 here
#70-61 here

60: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

After Scream made teen slasher movies cool again for about 25 minutes in the 90s, the Halloween franchise re-grouped, ignored everything after Halloween II (upsetting fans in the process) and brought back Jamie Lee Curtis as the lovely Laurie Strode, hiding out in California. Her big bro tracks her down and slashes his way to the prep school where she works.

Crowning moment: Without a shadow of a doubt the finale in which axe-toting Laurie finally gets Michael where she wants him, until Resurrection shit all over it with its stupid-as-fuck retcon. The triple-slaying that opens the movie is pretty good too.

59: Tenebrae (1982)

Possibly Dario Argento’s most slashy work; Anthony Franciosa is a famous American writer on a book tour which, when it arrives in Rome, comes accompanied by a series of gruesome murders. Typically adorned with giallo flair, mean-spirited borderline misogynistic kills (“Male heroes with their hairy, macho bullshit” a feminist critic spouts… guess what happens to her?), and B-movie fixture John Saxon as the writer’s kitschy agent.

Crowning moment: Death-by-modern art is where it’s at.

58. The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

Feminist writer Rita Mae Brown scripted this corny flick as a send-up of the genre, only to see much of it altered to ‘suit the demographic’ as a girls’ basketball team hold a slumber party that’s crashed a power-drill favouring killer. Stupid as it is, there’s a lot of fun stuff at play and some of the original intent still seeps through the holes in the cheese.

Crowning moment: There are three final girls in this film, who all strike back at the killer together in a frenzy of awesome oestrogenic rage.

57: Killer Party (1986)

A sorority girl is possessed by a vengeful spirit at an abandoned frat house during an April Fool’s pledge party, dons a deep-sea diver suit (!?) and begins killing everyone. Dumb as it sounds, there’s a lot of fun in this well scripted, good humoured gem, which was heavily cut prior to release and is yet to see a restored version surface.

Crowning moment: The trick beginning is amusing, not least for the awesome White Sister song April (alluding to the original title The April Fool), but this one is at its best before most of the killing starts as we are acquainted with characters so likeable it’s sad to watch them die.

56: Fatal Games (1983)

A select group of promising young Olympians known as ‘The Magnificent Seven’ at an exclusive athletic academy are being done in by a hooded loon who tosses a mean javelin. White largely hated and pretty badly made, Fatal Games has an early 80s charm and would be great on a double bill with Graduation Day.

Crowning moment: The unmasking of the killer, given away in a lot of reviews, is a surreal yet awesome moment, that kicks off a great, if too short, chase scene.

55: Julia’s Eyes (2010)

Guillermo del Toro co-produced this atmospheric chiller about the titular young woman whose blind sister has mysteriously killed herself, just as Julia begins developing symptoms of the same degenerative sight disorder. In addition to this nightmare, somebody is hanging around and killing people who can provide answers to her sister’s death.

Crowning moment: A blind woman tells the Julia: “There’s someone else with you – he’s right behind you.”

54: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Parent groups picketed theaters showing this Utah-shot festive hacker, resulting in it being pulled completely. A young man traumatised by the murder of his parents at the hands of a robber dressed as Santa and the harsh Mother Superior at his orphanage, goes mental when he is forced to don a Saint Nick costume by the toy store he works in… Death by fairy lights and antler-impalings ensue.

Crowning moment: Nasty bullies snatch sledges off a couple of kids and find that their route down a dark hill is fraught with swinging axes.

53: Deadly Blessing (1981)

An early Wes Craven slasher flick that’s often overlooked in between the vast shadows of The Hills Have Eyes and Elm Street. A series of murders occur around a sub-Amish commune where a young city woman married a member of the flock, much to the chagrin of their leader Ernest Borgnine (check that beard). Could it be a mythical incubus?

Crowning moment: Again, the left field revelation of who the killer is elevates this from a standard whodunit to a whatthefuck!? moment with some debt to old pal Sean Cunningham’s breakthrough film of the previous year.

52: Sorority Row (2009)

One of the better slasher film remakes, this overhaul of 1982’s The House on Sorority Row is like Mean Girls with a body count. After a prank goes tragically wrong, a gaggle of college girls end up tossing one of their number down a mineshaft and live with the secret until their graduation party several months later, where a cloaked maniac begins doing away with anyone who might know the truth…

Crowning moment: Bad-ass housemother Carrie Fisher with a shotgun actively hunting down the killer, and bitchy sorority president Leah Pipes’ never ending tirade of quips and put-downs.

51: Final Destination 5 (2011)

A young office worker has the foresight to save a few of his colleagues when he has an accurate premonition of a huge suspension bridge collapse. Shortly after, those who should’ve died find themselves meeting nasty ends in bizarre ‘accidents’.

Crowning moment: Sadly, the final act of this film was correctly predicted before release, softening the awesome punch of its twist, but it’s still a great full circle climax IF the producers can keep their hands off churning out more sequels.

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The 100 Greatest* Slasher Movies Part IV: #70-61

*According to me. Me, me, me. So there’re bound to be a few of your faves missing…

To provide some context, this batch all scored around 7 out of 10.

See #100 – 91 here
#90 – 81 here
#80 – 71 here

70: Coda (1987)

A music student at an exclusive conservatory is murdered and her classmate becomes hell bent on solving the mystery, thus making herself the next target of the masked killer. This Australian TV thriller comes equipped with a lush classical soundtrack and spooky Halloweenie stalking sequences, plus one of the actresses was in Prisoner: Cell Block H. Also known as Deadly Possession or Symphony of Evil.

Crowning moment: Remember when you were young (or in my case well into my 30s) and you ran along with a shopping trolley and rolled across the parking lot? In Coda, the killer does that down a corridor brandishing a sharp weapon.

69: The Funhouse (1981)

Tobe Hooper’s Halloween-inspired creeper follows two teenage couples when they dare themselves to spend the night in the funhouse of a travelling carnival, only to discover that the Frankenstein-masked attendant of the ride is a mongoloid who wants to kill them all! Surprisingly scary and in terms of the horror-at-the-carnival sub-sub-genre, it’s unbeaten.

Crowning moment: Jittery final girl Amy spots her Dad outside, picking up her traumatised kid brother, and shrieks for her life but is muted by the cooling fans between them.

68: Some Guy Who Kills People (2012)

Ken Boyd (Kevin Corrigan) is a simple-living malt shop worker not long out of an institution when the gang of bullies who pushed him to the edge years earlier begin showing up dead all over town. Meanwhile, he acquaints himself with his estranged daughter, but even she becomes suspicious… How can he balance fatherhood with killing folks? A rare thing: A slasher flick with a big, soppy heart.

Crowning moment: Ken has an amusingly clunky date with Lucy Davis and tries to stick up for his daughter to humiliating avail.

67: Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

Crazy Jason is still killing kids up at Crystal Lake, this time a gaggle of vacationing friends fall foul of the maniac and he finds his trademark hockey mask for the first time – and all in 3D! Crap acting is buffered its camp appeal and some awesome demises, including the infamous ‘eyeball pop’.

Crowning moment: Jason follows shrieky final girl Chris (Dana Kimmell) into the barn for the epic final showdown, consisting of several take-downs that prove ultimately un-fatal.

66: Bloody Bloody Bible Camp (2012)

In 1977, horndog teenagers at a Bible Camp were laid to waste by homicidal nun, Sister Mary Chopper. Seven years later, another van load of religious teens stop by and the killings begin again. Friday the 13th collides with elements of Sleepaway Camp, lots of crude, sometimes stupid gags, and Ron Jeremy appears as Jesus.

Crowning moment: The opening kill-fest set in ’77, including doggy-style with a decapitated camper.

65: Pandemonium (1982)

Probably the most fun slasher parody (Scary Movie will not be gracing us with its presence): Bambi’s Cheerleading Camp reopens after it was plagued by unsolved murders and attracts six new recruits (Candy, Mandy, Randy, Andy, Sandy, and Glenn) who are soon the targets of the returning killer. Most of the jokes were hugely outdated by the end of the 80s, but it’s way better than Wacko, Student Bodies, and Class Reunion. Carol Kane plays the telekinetic final girl, and Judge Reinhold and Paul ‘Pee Wee’ Reubens appear in early roles.

Crowning moment: A toss up between the cheerleader shish-ka-bob that starts the film off or death by super-charged toothbrush.

64: Bride of Chucky (1998)

The dead and buried Child’s Play franchise was sparked back to life by this post-Scream reboot that pushed the comedy in front of the killing (in the wake of the falsified bad rep the previous film had in the UK) and paired Chucky with Jennifer Tilly’s excellent Tiffany doll, who is almost as homicidally motivated as he is.

Crowning moment: Either when Chuck n’ Tiff take out John Ritter’s slimy, crooked cop, or the moment they succumb to their carnal desires after offing a couple with the help of an over-the-bed mirror (“Honey, I’m all rubber!”).

63: The Pool (2001)

The private graduation party of a popular high school clique is foiled by the arrival of a masked and machete-swinging psycho. A joint venture of several European countries (shot in Prague) gives this one some cultural flavour and characters of varying nationalities. Though the identity of the killer was a bit naffly obvious. Future megastars James McAvoy and Isla Fisher are among those skewered.

Crowning moment: Easily the [pictured] waterslide kill, as a boobular babe slides towards a splash pool containing her lover’s corpse and notices a machete pierce the bottom of the chute and slides uncontrollably, legs akimbo, towards it. As my friend Kerry commented upon seeing the aftermath: “It looks like the period from hell!”

62: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

At the time, Elm Street 4 was a phenomenal box office hit, keying into the MTV generation and cranking up Freddy’s one-liners – and thus beginning the decline of his character as remotely frightening – he gets rid of the surviving Elm Street children and moves on to their friends, using the dream-joining power of dreary new heroine Alice.

Crowning moment: Freddy focuses in on Debbie’s (Brooke Theiss) bug-phobia, first letting her arms fall off before turning her into a roach. Eww.

61: Venom (2005)

Kevin Williamson wrote, and I Know What You Did Last Summer‘s Joe Gillespie directed this swamp-set slasher in which a mechanic is bitten by snakes belonging to a voodoo-priestess and possessed by the souls of various killers. He sets about slaying a bunch of local teenagers who stand in between him and the surviving granddaughter of the voodoo chick.

Crowning moment: Unpleasant teen Bijou Phillips is caught stealing from the killer’s cash register, gets trapped under a car, and is sand-blasted to death.

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The 100 Greatest* Slasher Movies Part III: #80-71

*According to me. Me, me, me. So there’re bound to be a good few ‘classics’ missing.

#100 – #91 is here
#90  – #81 is here

80: Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

At the hoity-toity Crawford prep school, the popular clique known as ‘The Crawford Top Ten’ are finding their membership numbers thinned out by a loon with an inventive streak to their methods. PTSD-suffering heroine Virginia isn’t sure if it’s her or not. High-end production and an awesome finale underscore its presence here, though it outstays its welcome by a good 20 minutes.

Crowning moment: An epic bitchfest of a showdown between killer and survivor that makes episodes of Scooby Doo look plausible and Mean Girls look tame.

79: Freddy vs Jason (2003)

The fifteen-years-in-waiting clash between the slasher granddaddies, Freddy vs Jason was enormously successful with its WWE-style smackdown and cute homages to both series’ pasts. With more kitsch than a Eurovision marathon, it’s stupid fun.

Crowning moment: Jason goes to a cornfield rave.

78: 7eventy 5ive (2007)

A group of children play a phone prank on the wrong guy, who comes over and slaughters their parents. Years later, they haven’t learned their lesson when they go for another round at a college party, which is crashed by a parka-wearing maniac rocking a big axe and a bad attitude.

Crowning moment: The initial assault, which lays to waste a number of bit-parters in quick succession.

77: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)

Hated by the masses, is there anything more ridiculous than A New Beginning? Several years after the events of The Final Chapter, Tommy Jarvis is packed off to a home for troubled teens in the middle of the woods when guess-who begins killing everyone. Like, EVERYONE.

Crowning moment: There’s a lot of gold-plated cheese to pick from; the leather boys on the road, the tryst in the forest, or the never ending chase scene that dominates the third act.

76: Scream 3 (2000)

The ‘trilogy’ was closed (temporarily) in 2000 with Sidney Prescott in hiding and a killer offing the cast and crew of Stab 3. Much of the violence was toned down after Columbine and the laughs felt forced, but Scream 3 is still leagues ahead of many of its imitators.

Crowning moment: Sid discovers the film set of her bedroom where history starts to repeat itself.

75: My Super Psycho Sweet 16 (2009)

The MTV show stocked with objectionable brats is parodied by MTV itself as a nasty high schooler’s exclusive party – at the roller dome where a series of murders occurred a decade earlier – is crashed by the legendary Lord of the Rink maniac…

Crowning moment: A fleeing victim on roller skates tries to raise the alarm only to lose her head when the killer intercepts with an axe, leaving her decapitated body to roll into a birthday cake made of sushi…

74: Hellbent (2004)

Nearly titled 28 Gays Later…, this Hollywood-set slasher film pits a quartet of gay friends against a homicidal Muscle Mary, who stalks and beheads them during a huge Halloween festival. Nicely sidestepping any anti-gay sentiment and out-slashing many of its heterosexual counterparts.

Crowning moment: Center of the dance floor, strobe lights, and a killer with a sickle.

73: Death Bell (2008)

The smartest students at a prep school in Seoul are having their wits tested by a killer who, channeling both Jigsaw and The Crystal Maze, kidnaps the teens at the top of the class ranking and forces their schoolmates to solve equations n’ stuff to save them… There’s a ghost as well.

Crowning moment: Can you guess who the killer is? Can you?

72: Maniac Cop (1988)

New York City is being terrorized by a killer. Yawn, and? It’s a cop. The public are panicking, cops are being shot in the street, and Tom Atkins thinks it’s Bruce Campbell. Neigh, it’s undead framed-and-disgraced former supercop Matt Cordell, who is very angry with his old precinct.

Crowning moment: Cordell rampages through the police station, cutting down all who stand in his way with ease.

71: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

Freddy vs Jason was supposed to happen in 1988. Clearly it didn’t, so to fill the void, Paramount pit him against Carrie. Sort of. Tina, rather, a girl with telekinetic abilities who accidentally resurrects him from the murky depths of Crystal Lake. Chuck in a house full of teenagers next door and you’ve got a party!

Crowning moment: I love the preface in this one, voiced by Crazy Ralph himself… “There’s a legend ’round here… A killer buried but not dead.” It summarises everything I love about the series.

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The 100 Greatest* Slasher Movies Part II: #90-81

*According to me. Me, me, me. So there’re bound to be a good few ‘classics’ missing.

Thus, remember that this isn’t just another countdown of the ‘best’ or most influential films the genre has to offer. If it were, the same old titles would crowd the top end and who wants that?

#100 to #91 can be found here.

90: Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)

An intensely creepy TV-movie made at the peak of the slasher craze: A quartet of big fish in a small town murder slow Bubba after mistakenly accusing him of killing a young girl. Soon after, the men fall victim to a series of weird ‘accidents’, the only connection between which is the eerie scarecrow that appears all over town prior to each death.

Crowning moment: The super-eerie murder at the mill.

89: Madman (1981)

Another of the many Friday the 13th summer camp clones, this time with a camp for ‘gifted children’ (all six of them) crashed by a legendary psycho-farmer who murdered his family and was unsuccessfully hanged by the local townsfolk and, if you call his name, he will ‘come for you’. Good job it was a horror and not a porno.

Crowning moment: Frizzy-haired counsellor finds a decapitated head under the hood, sees her boyfriend murdered, gets chased through the woods, and has to hide from the killer in a fridge… and it’s still NOT enough to save her.

88: Child’s Play 2 (1990)

One of just two appearances from our plastic buddy in this countdown; the Chucky doll is resurrected and, along with it, the soul of Charles Lee Ray trapped within. He manages to get himself sent to the foster home where little Andy Barclay has been sent and reaps more havoc on all the Doubting Thomases who cross his path. This represented the peak of the comedy-horror formula that ushered in the 90s.

Crowning moment: Chucky realises every school kid’s dream and reaps a ruler-tastic revenge on a strict schoolteacher.

87: Camping Del Terrore (1986)

More sexy campers up against another forest legend in Ruggero Deodato’s (Cannibal Holocaust) entry in the teenie-kill canon. The Italian-pretending-to-be-American production values are diverting and the mid-80s Euro-fashions colorfully amusing. But it doesn’t make a whole lotta sense.

Crowning moment: 80s-tastic aerobics – complete with headbands.

86: Final Exam (1981)

An anonymous and motive-free killer stalks the campus of a small college in this unimaginative and dry Halloween wannabe. But it’s charm lies in its purity: Everything that happens is 100% predictable but there’s a likeability to Final Exam and its characters often absent in the genre.

Crowning moment: Camp almost-hero Radish discovers a body and does his best to raise the alarm and rescue the girl. But fails.

85: Club Dread (2002)

Whatever happened to Broken Lizard? Their sophomore outing came in the shape of this amusing but self-indulgent slasher parody, which has a killer running around a Caribbean island resort machete-ing the employees and some of the guests. Bill Paxton is fun as good-time stoner Coconut Pete and there’s adequate bloodletting, even if it does grind on 25 minutes longer than it should.

Crowning moment: A fleeing victim tries to make her escape in a golf buggy, finding it futile when the killer manages to out-walk her.

84: Boogeyman 2 (2007)

A sequel to the goddamn awful 2005 PG-13 horror that wasn’t really a slasher flick… A girl who lived through the murder of her parents as a child is admitted to an institution alongside several other youngsters with quirky phobias. Natch, they’re done in by a masked killer twisting their fears into reality…

Crowning moment: An anorexic beauty queen is pumped full of fat until she, well, bursts.

83: Wishcraft (2001)

Michael Weston is a high school nobody who receives an enchanted bull’s penis that grants three wishes. While he toys with what to use it for, somebody is murdering the unpleasant kids from his high school. An amusing mix of paranormal slashenings and comedy, plus Meatloaf is in it.

82: Opera (1987)

The outcome of Michele Soavi’s Stagefright was Dario Argento’s sticky tale of a young stage ingenue who is repeatedly kidnapped and forced to watch a series of murders by a killer who tapes needles under her eyes to ensure she witnesses his slayings… The usual flair and flourishes make this a little better than the film that influenced it.

Crowning moment: Casanova William McNamara’s gruesome demise, courtesy of a grinding pole through the chin into the roof of the mouth. During sex. Ouch.

81: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

One of the nominal fan favourites of the series, this was the last of the original Paramount films I saw and so I’ve never loved it as much as some others do. Anyway, Jason rises from the ‘dead’ and returns to Crystal Lake to kill more vacationing teenagers, only this time he’s met his match in the form of 12-year-old horror nut Tommy…

Crowning moment: Jason’s grisly denouement, cut from UK versions for years, with the infamous ‘machete slide’ courtesy of Tom Savini.

The 100 Greatest* Slasher Movies: #100-91

*According to me. Me, me, me. So there’re bound to be a good few ‘classics’ missing.

Commencement:

100: Slumber Party Massacre III (1990)

Straight-up driller-killer cheese as an impotent loon lays waste to a gaggle of teenage girls gathered at a friend’s house for a sleepover. Over-acting, tits, death by vibrator – SPMIII has it all.

Crowning moment: The remaining few girls strike back with oestrogenic fury, throwing a mix of household chemicals in his face and beating him with crutches n’ stuff.

99: The Prowler (1981)

Gruesome early fare with “the first graduation dance in 35 years” crashed by a psychotic G.I. wielding a nasty pitchfork, who skewers, slashes, and shoots his way around the college campus. Tom Savini’s excellent effects work standout in an otherwise slower-than-hell flick.

Crowning moment: A toss-up between the opening murder (set in 1945) and the nasty-ass shower kill. Points lost for killing the nice teacher but allowing a horny couple to live. See Trade-a-Life II.

98: Tormented (2009)

The United Kingdom’s first theatrically released slasher film in some years: An undead suicide victim, bullied until he hanged himself, reaps his bloody revenge on the responsible group of nasty school kids, including death by pencils up the nose, guillotined hands, and shovel decapitation.

Crowning moment: A half-dressed jock chased across the school grounds and wedgied to his skewery death.

97: Bloody Homecoming (2012)

An attempted date-rape is thwarted, only to start a fire that burns the would-be rapist to death. At the Homecoming Dance of the  teenage friends and the near-victim, they are each stalked and done in by a maniac dressed as a fireman. The fact that the writer is a friend of mine has no bearing on its place here.

Crowning moment: A pleasant excess of chase scenes absent from the horrible Prom Night remake. Which didn’t quite reach the Top 100.

96: Stagefright (1986)

Michele Sovai’s Argento-inspiring gorefest: A famous serial killer hitches a ride into the rehearsal space of a play, dons a creepy bird mask, and proceeds to make cuts to the cast roster. Super gory and unflinchingly brutal, albeit often overrated.

Crowning moment: Ingenue final girl Alicia has to retrieve the key to her escape from beneath the killer’s feet.

95: He Knows You’re Alone (1980)

Amy (Caitlin O’Heaney) is a bride-to-be stalked by a bride-to-be hating killer in this brazen Halloween clone, even down to the tinkling piano score. More notable as an early role for Tom Hanks, there’s a lot of charisma in this tame affair.

Crowning moment: The murder-at-the-slasher-movie intro, which pre-dates the Scream 2 scene by 17 years, and features Russell Todd from Friday the 13th Part 2.

94: Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Not the only Sleepaway Camp film in this countdown, but this Noo Yawk shot Friday the 13th variant has a viciously infamous final shot that turns everything upside down as well as some of the most inventive murders in the genre.

Crowning moment: A group of teenagers run to the water’s edge and gasp, the camera pulls back, and there’s shy Angela, buck naked – and she has a cock!

93: Intruder (1988)

Scott Spiegel’s slasher flick on speed featuring his buddies Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. The teenage employees at a closing down supermarket find themselves done in by an inventive killer, who favours the gorier end of the teen-dispatch spectrum…

Crowning moment: The final girl’s crush having his head forced into a buzz saw in Evil Dead-esque graphic style… Or the head in the box-crusher… A lot of unforgettable slayings in this one.

92: Unhinged (1982)

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A constant cloud of dread hangs over this low-bud Psycho rip-off, which puts three stranded teenage girls into a scary old manor house after a car accident. Perturbed by the weird relationship between the man-hating wheelchair-bound matriarch and her repressed daughter, their time there is soon made worse by a mystery killer hunting them down…

Crowning moment: Shown in the still above, this murder really is a bolt from the blue. Despite appearing on the Video Nasties list, it’s not a particularly grisly one.

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

Or ‘the gay one’. Freddy’s second outing (huzzah!) is littered with clear subtext as he repeatedly takes over camp 80s teen Jesse’s body and makes him kill folks. Such a departure from the winning formula that it’s largely hated, but Freddy was still pretty scary back in ’85…

Crowning moment: The school bus nightmare intro, which captures bad dreaminess perfectly, from Jesse’s inferiority complex to the earth caving in to a hellish underworld…

*

Come back soon for #90 – 81

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