“Everybody die not long time.”

record

RECORD

2.5 Stars  2000/94m

Directors: Gi-hun Kim & Jong-seok Kim /Writer: Chang-hak Han / Cast: Eun-hye Pak, Seong-min Kang, Dal Bae, Chae-young Han, Min Jung, Jae-hwan Ahn, Mayu Loh, Jun-Hyeong Bae.

Body Count: 11


Korea might not have made as big a mark on the horror genre as Japan in recent years but they did discharge this fitfully amusing carbon copy of I Know What You Did Last Summer

Two high school girls invite shy nerd Sung-mook to a wooded cabin one of their parents’ owns and the trio are attacked by three masked assailants armed with a knife and a camcorder. They beat the girls and set upon poor Sung-mook, eventually stabbing him to death on the bed and remove their masks to reveal themselves as the girls’ school friends, making a little horror flick with the intention of selling it (!). Stunned to realise that the knife they used wasn’t fake, the group panic and decide to burn and bury the corpse, only for Sung-mook to leap from his grave in flames and tumble over a cliff edge!

One year later, the gang find themselves stalked by a weirdo in an inconspicuous bright orange suit, who makes it clear he intends to level the score with them. Is it Sung-mook back from the dead? His creepy goth sister? A dressy Hollywood producer anxious to get his mits on the boys’ film? Good girl Hui-jung attempts to put together a plan to trap and unmask the killer before he gets to her first – though why isn’t clear as she wasn’t even involved in the prank.

There’s a fair amount of stalkery in Record: the killer somehow manages to taunt the group by feeding their tape into the TV broadcast at a road stop and skulks the corridors of their old school in the cat-and-mouse finale. Incoherent at best, some of the translations didn’t make total sense to me:

  • “Everybody die not long time.”
  • “You are a not get. I have found the path to outcome you.”
  • “You are nothing but a hell kite!”

Maybe that’s it… He’s an orange kite from hell that flies up to avenge poor dead Sung-mook. Cooool…

Record is worth seeing not only for the train wreck that is its subtitles but also to see just how influential American culture and horror cliches are on Eastern horror before the whole situation flip reversed for Ring.

Blurb-of-interest: the homeland title is Zzikhimyeon jukneunda - try asking for it at HMV.

Bad cop bad cop

psychocopPSYCHO COP

2 Stars  1989/18/84m

“He always gets his man… And everyone else.”

Director / Writer: Wallace Potts / Cast: Bobby Ray Shafter, Jeff Qualle, Palmer Lee Todd, Greg Joujon-Roche, Linda West, Cynthia Guyer, Dan Campbell.

Body Count: 10

Dire-logue: “Quit being so paranoid – you sound like one of the girls.”


I saw Psycho Cop Returns before its source material and therefore wasn’t expecting miracles. Sometimes it’s better to have low expectations… Like when you’re going to the airport and dread the death march that is boarding your flight. That way, when it doesn’t turn out to be quite so bad, you can skip off at the other end feeling chipper.

By the time Psycho Cop came about in 1989, such slasher flicks were already garnishing themselves with a sort of proto-Scream awareness. They were going for laughs over genuine scares and while a lot suck donkey dick, some are good for a once-in-a-while viewing (Dr Giggles comes to mind). Psycho Cop just about squeezes itself into this category by totally not taking itself seriously. I mean, the title alone sounds like a parody of Maniac Cop, which sounded like a spoof of RoboCop and so on till we all die from laughing too much.

In the film, another convertible load of teens game for “one hell of a weekend” meet their maker thanks to 6’4″ Satanic loon copper Joe Vickers (Shafer), who has been missing from his precinct and is suspected of a murder. That’s it for plot: the first hour is made up entirely of the cheery chap stalking his opaque intended victims, who spurt lines like: “who’s out there? Answer me!” and, when confronted by the axe-toting killer, one victim gasps; “it can’t be!” as if Psycho Cop is her estranged uncle. Elsewhere, a girl looking for her hairbrush concludes it’s somehow made its way to the woods of its own volition…

‘Tis no surprise that psycho cop manages to do away with the dunderheads until the obligatory sensitive (and therefore smarter, but less fun to watch than their remedial friends) kids have to duke it out with him. Aiding it’s general sense of tolerable-ness, Psycho Cop is well put together, has a couple of hair-raising moments and even some of Vickers’ Freddy-lite one-liners bring a wry smile every now and then. One for you lovers of seemingly deliberately bad horror and the killer cop sub-sub-genre.

Singular blurb-of-interest: Bobby Shafer returned to the role for the as-good/bad 1992 sequel.

Return to sender

offeringsOFFERINGS

1.5 Stars  1988/18/94m

“Remember him before he dismembers you.”

Director / Writer: Christopher Reynolds / Cast: Loretta Leigh Bowman, Elizabeth Greene, G. Michael Smith, Jerry Brewer, Richard A. Buswell, Tobe Sexton, Patrick H. Berry, J. Max Burnett, Rayette Potts, Heather Scott.

Body Count: 10

Dire-logue: “How come people in these horror movies do such stupid things?”


As the score tinkers along like somebody held up a tape recording of the theme from The Fog and hoped for the best, while the characters utter inaudible dialogue and we wonder if John Carpenter would sue over it, you might ask yourself just why Offerings was ever made? It’s not as if we haven’t encountered ye olde asylum-escapee-goes-after-group-of-kids schtick before. Well, there’s a dinky hook to this one. Y’see, the killer, obese, slightly deformed remmy John Radley, sends selected body parts from each victim to heroine Gretchen because she stood up for him to the nasty kids X years earlier when they tormented him until he fell down a well!

The grown up kids are now Gretchen’s pals and provide John with his quarry as they die by rope, vice and, uh, flashlight. So much if pilfered from Halloween that even John’s shrink is tailing him around the small township in a poor cover version of Doc Loomis. And why is Gretchen friends with the horrible kids? Is she that dumb? There’re a couple of decent giggles as the script tries to poke fun at itself and the scene where one guy is being hanged outside the lounge window while his folks are entranced by the TV is golden, as is the vice-death guy who tries to ‘do ghetto’ and ponders aloud in the street why girls only want him for his brain while clasping his package. In spite of these offerings, Offerings doesn’t offer up much else.

July Face-off: ‘Comedy’ porno slasher vs. ‘comedy’ porno slasher

Long ago, before I’d polluted my delicate mindset with the body count details of 496 slasher films, I was watching Caroline in the City, remember that? There was a scene I’ve always remembered where Caroline’s maneater gal-pal went to the video store where she encountered Matthew Perry in his Chandler persona. He made a big deal out of the store not having The Piano and said to her, as some kinda lame line, that he didn’t like all the guy movies with sex and violence and then queried maneater girl as to what she was renting. ‘Sorority House Massacre II,’ he reads and the scene ends in some other way I’ve now forgotten.

I always thought they’d made up that movie title. But no, when I got my first film almanac, there it was in print, together with its entirely unrelated predecessor. That book was a 1997 guide to video (them were the days) and twelve years have elapsed between the realisation that the film is, in fact, real and me seeing it.

CONTESTANT ONE

shm2

1 Stars  1990/77m

“It’s cleavage vs. cleavers and the result is Delta Delta Deadly!”

A.k.a. Night Frenzy; Nighty Nightmare

Director: Jim Wynorski / Writers: James B. Rogers & Bob Sheridan / Cast: Robyn Harris, Melissa Moore, Stacia Zhivago, Michelle Verran, Dana Bentley, Jurgen Baum, Karen Chorak, Bridget Carney, Peter Spellos.

Body Count: 5

Dire-logue: “Oh my God, our clothes! They’re still upstairs!”


Five “teenage” girls purchase ‘the old Hockstatter place’ for their new sorority house and find out that the patriarch of the family murdered his wife and daughters there, which we are shown through flashbacks, which are actually murder sequences from The Slumber Party Massacre! The girls disrobe, have showers, we see all of them naked and then, one ill-advised seance later, one of them is possessed by the spirit of Clive Hockstatter and begins hooking the others to death. The girls, in their panic, believe the killer to be freaky neighbour Orville Ketchum, who intercedes, takes a lot of damage from knives, bullets and what have you but still survives.

CONTESTANT TWO

hardtodie21 Stars  1990/77m

A.k.a. Tower of Terror

Director: Jim Wynorski / Writers: Mark McGee & James B. Rogers / Cast: Robyn Harris, Lindsay Taylor, Debra Dare, Melissa Moore, Bridget Carney, Peter Spellos, Forrest J. Ackerman, Don Key.

Body Count: 7

Dire-logue: “I just wanna get my clothes on and get the hell out of here!”


Five young agency employees are sent to take inventory of Acme Lingerie’s stock in an office tower. When a parcel containing a strange box is mistakenly delivered to them, it unleashes the Hockstatter spirit, which takes control of one of them and the inevitable occurs. The girls find an arsenal of firearms in the tower and begin shooting the place up. In their panic, they believe the killer to be freaky janitor Orville Ketchum, who takes a lot of damage from crossfire but still survives.

OK, so how on earth do you decide which is the better film out of two films that are pretty much photocopies of one another, but, you know, when someone copies the copy over again it looks worse and worse… Arguably, there’s not much wrong with the production values in either. As they hail from the Roger Corman library, both take footage from The Slumber Party Massacre for their own foul use and have bad intercut footage of grainy lightning.

Quite who these films are aimed at is a mystery: in both, virtually all female characters appear – at the very least – topless, with gratuitous shower scenes and odd squidgy-rubber sound effects as they soap themselves. Nudity and slasher flicks are like conjoined twins and that’s fine so long as the filmmakers remember they’re supposed to be producing a horror film and don’t keep forcing the nude scenes, they should appear incidental like in the good ol’ days. 77 minutes of tits, rubbish gore effects and fucking Orville Ketchum (…it just isn’t funny) makes for a tedious experience in both cases. I think Sorority might have been slightly more tolerable and it was nice to see northern lass Harris as the final girl (if one could call her character such) in both films, still, both were crap I never want to have to sit through again.

WINNER: NEITHER!

You’re screwed.

loverslanedvdLOVERS LANE

2.5 Stars  1999/18/89m

“You’re screwed.”

A.k.a. I’m Still Waiting For You (U.K. DVD)

Director: Jon Ward / Writers: Rory Veal & Geof Miller / Cast: Erin J. Dean, Riley Smith, Sarah Lancaster, Anna Faris, Billy O, Matt Reidy, Suzanne Bouchard, Richard Sanders, Ben Indra, Megan Victoria Hunt, Collin F. Peacock.

Body Count: 14

Dire-logue: “You are gonna fuck me right now, or I’m gonna kill your faggot ass!”


Back in the late nineties when everyone and their grandma decided that slasher films were the way to go all over again, there were a lot of attempts to take what worked on the big screen and smallify it for the straight-to-video market, ‘cos, remember, DVD was still a bizarro pipedream which none of us could afford.

Lovers Lane is a mid-level combo of a blender sludge made up of three parts I Know What You Did Last Summer, one part Urban Legend and one part of the then-incoming Cherry Falls. Picking out Valentine’s Day for its calendar-day-to-dread, a couple of horny teens are tormented by a hook-handed fiend and, in a little twist to what we expect will happen, successfully escape to raise the alarm and then stumble on two dead bodies. The psycho is duly picked up by the cops and all is well again.

Thirteen years later, hook-handy bloke escapes from his asylum, leaving the overly personal insult of “Prison Food Sucks” written on the wall in blood. Now, his shrink is half-brother to the Sheriff/widower of the female victim from years ago, and father to bitchy school queen bee Chloe, who is thus cousin to Sheriff/widower’s lonely daughter Mandy. Male victim from years ago was husband to the school principal, who is mom to Michael, Chloe’s long suffering boyfriend – and he and Mandy avoid one another. Naturally, there’s awkwardness between Sheriff and Principal as it’s believed their spouses were having it away when they got slaughtified.

lovers lane 1999 anna faris

The teens have some dramas: Michael dumps Chloe, who has serious anger management issues, and she hatches a plan to win him back via the olde jealousy schtick of taking his buddy Brad up to ‘Lovers Lane’ where they’ll be caught by Michael blah blah blah… Mandy is invited ‘to party’ with the others, including Janelle (Anna Faris) who wears nothing but her cheerleader uniform for the whole film, Billy O as Mandy’s horny date and another couple we don’t really care about.

Hook-dude kills a store clerk and a cop and then goes after the teens, stalking them to a deserted farmhouse and offing them one by one until Michael and Mandy put aside their differences and face “THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PAST”, which is quite different from what we’ve been led to believe. To its credit, Lovers Lane has an almost-smart twist. I say almost because it’s difficult to follow and you have to pay attention to the Scoobying of Sheriff and Principal in their scenes to understand some stuff about incest, jealousy n’ shit. Principal becomes slightly annoying; when there’s violence unfolding before her, she stands there and watches, not helping, not even when her own son is in danger!

lovers lane 1999

There’s not much bloodshed and the budgetary limitations make the scenes set in the dark (i.e. most of them) difficult to see, possibly as an homage to all the no-cash productions of the 80s where minutes would tick by without being able to tell what the hell was happening. And what’s with the UK title? I’m Still Waiting for You? Who is? Hook-guy? Waiting for who? The teens who were four-year-olds at the start? No, no, no – it’s a stupid attempt to fool people into renting it. The box even says “in the tradition of I Know What You Did Last Summer! There are no Last Summer-style letters sent to anyone here, it’s purely the hook-myth thing.

If you want to watch it, I’ll not stop you (like I could!?) But try to appreciate it’s unintentional sense of mirth: the scrawling of hook-guy on the wall not being enough, Janelle snatches four knives from the block to defend herself when she believes the killer is after her… Inoffensive slasherama that is not easy to hate, you’ll be like “aww…they tried”, even though at times they clearly didn’t. You could do worse.

Blurbs-of-interest: the fab Faris later married co-star Indra (who played Brad) and then divorced him, but she also starred in Scary Movie and it’s increasingly dire sequels and also May; Billy O was later in Shredder.

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