January Joust: Crap Killers
Despite film boxes stating otherwise, not every psycho killer can be Jason or Michael. In every trade there are crappy workers – fast food joints, education, social work… We hope that these people realise they’re just not cut out to live their dreams, y’know, like when Simon Cowell stamps all over someones ambition on The X Factor / American Idol*. It’s the same in the slasher realm. No matter how they might try, some killers are doomed to fail…
Big ol’ spoilers loiter hereabouts!
THE FINAL TERROR 1981
Killer: Eggar’s Mother
Why so crap? In spite of stalking about a dozen people round the forest for a couple of days, this bush-guised, hook-knife-handed mama only manages to off a measly five of them. Now, five isn’t that bad by comparison, but her methods are pretty crud (tin can lids on tree branches!?) and success rate worse: she can’t even slash Daryl Hannah’s throat effectively. And then she dies by walking into one of her own traps. Duh.
Cowell-ism: “At this stage in the competition, this just isn’t good enough. Do you want to be the next Leon Jackson???”
DANGEROUS GAME 1989
Killer: Officer Murphy
Why so crap? Oirish-cop-in-Australia Murphy manages to trap five teenagers in a department store for the best part of their Friday night out, even kidnaps two of them and kills a third. But that’s it. After one murder he flakes and starts blurting that he “didn’t mean it” la la la. Save it for the judge, pal! The spoiled rich teens prove more than a match for him and merrily escape while he staggers off all beaten and bruised.
Cowell-ism: “I honestly expected more from the Irish. I don’t see you as any competition for Westlife.”
Why so crap? Aided with gusto by the fact that the film is pretty crap on its own, the killer here, “Doughy” (…groan), fares even worse than Murphy by failing to kill anybody. He’s a wannabe. He shows up, mask, weapon, motive all ready to go and then the intended corpse goes and dies by some freak accident, i.e. fatal bee stings, a handy coronary, or more commonly by tripping over things.
Cowell-ism: “I just didn’t get it. Was it supposed to be funny?”
Killer: Keller. Killer-Keller-Killer-Keller-Bo-Fella-Banana-Fo-Fannah-Fella-Keller.
Why so crap? Nine years after starting out the same way as most of these guys do, by offing his nasty mom, “catatonic” Keller-Keller-Bo-Fella escapes whilst being transported to a new hospital and cross paths with a couple of recently orphaned sisters who’re driving to their new home. He kills a grand total of two people before kidnapping the younger sister so that big sis and transport-driver-guy have to come to the rescue. Freak‘s budget is about $3.75 so they probably couldn’t afford extra victims, but the film isn’t so bad otherwise.
Cowell-ism: “Look, I can see you’re trying but this just isn’t good enough, we’re looking for a worldwide star here, the bandage look isn’t working for you.”
Killer: Pappy Nyquist
Why so crap? Oh just piss off 1987. What did you do for anyone? Nothing. And take your shit misogynistic horror films with you! Yeah, you too George ‘Buck’ Flower as some freakin’ Viking-bear-thing that shreds campers to death but CAN’T KILL ANY OF THE ANNOYING CAST MEMBERS, JUST THE YOUNG, NUBILE ONES AND SOME OLD PEOPLE!!!
Cowell-ism: “1987? Leona was two by then and already better than you.”
THE WISHER 2002
Why so crap? Another half-assed attempt on behalf of the sappy Emo killer to suck up to horror-fixated heroine Mary by granting her wishes. Her dad dies, her mouthy friend gets her tongue cut out and then she wishes the killer slice himself up – which he does. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
Cowell-ism: “My only wish is that you had more talent and I was convincingly heterosexual.”
YOU BETTER WATCH OUT (Christmas Evil) 1980
Killer: Harry Stadling
Why so crap? If… this… film… were… any… slower… it… would… bore… a… can… of… Red Bull… to… death… After the slowest descent into madness ever recorded on film, toy-worker Harry’s obsession with Christmas (spying on the neighbourhood kids to make sure they’re being good) spills over when he kills a work colleague who disses the season and three people outside a church who laugh at his Santa costume. Then he flies away in a van.
Cowell-ism: “All I want for Christmas is for you to go away so only I can ruin it for everyone by forcing one of my boringly inoffensive contest winners to take a cover version of a song everybody once loved to Number One after I adorn it with a children’s choir and some strings and make everyone who ever gave a shit about the sanctity of musical individuality want to kill themselves.”
WINNER LOSER: The crappest killer ‘award’ goes to Eggar’s Ma. Such opportunity, such a big cast…wasted!
Closing Cowell-ism: “Well, I’m not surprised. Leona could do this in her sleep.”
*delete appropriately to whichever one clogs up your viewing schedule.