Tag Archives: gay stuff

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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Spread your wings and DIE!

JEEPERS CREEPERS II

2.5 Stars  2003/15/100m

“He can taste your fear.”

Director/Writer: Victor Salva / Cast: Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck, Nicki Aycox, Travis Schiffner, Garikayi Mutambirwa, Eric Nenninger, Marieh Delfino, Lena Cardwell, Billy Aaron Brown, Kasan Butcher, Justin Long, Luke Edwards, Al Santos, Thom Gossom Jr., Diane Delano, Tom Tarantini, Josh Hammond, Drew Tyler Bell.

Body Count: 11

Laughter Lines: “You were waving pom-poms at people this morning and now all of a sudden you’re a psychic hotline?”


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

All the artwork for this film has a 2, but the film itself has a II. A II! Aggravating.

The original Jeepers Creepers dealt with the road trip from/to hell for a couple of college siblings, who encountered an organ-harvesting demon that wakes up every 23rd spring, for 23 days, to eat people. Well, the bits of them it wants.

This time, creator Victor Salva changes gear quite drastically. As we now know the beastie can fly, Jeepers Creepers II doesn’t have an ace up its sleeve. A few days after the events of part one, The Creeper’s final day of feasting, a school bus full of basketball jocks and their quartet of cheerleaders (you have to look for the fourth, but she is there!) is disabled along the East 9 highway.

The adults are instantly jetted away to unknown fates so The Creeper can dine out on the youthful members of the group, while he is hunted by the distraught father and brother of a young boy snatched at the very beginning of the movie in one of its more effectively spooky scenes.

Much of the ‘action’ orbits around aggressive debates inside the stalled bus. The film’s best scene, where The Creeper ‘selects’ who from the group he wants to nibble on, ushers in droning ‘high drama’ about whether they should kick off the bus those who are chalked for a chewing on, thus comes racism, brotherhood, all of which goes on way too long and involves too many unlikeable characters.

After what seems like four hours, Ray Wise, his son, and dog, arrive and unleash some homemade weapons on The Creeper, which echoes Quint’s fishing trip from Jaws. Things then skip over the escape attempts of a trio of teenagers who are accosted by the fiend until all parties come together and The Creeper’s final day draws to an end. This .llows for some of the awesome makeup work of the critter right up in your grill, and he’s still pretty scary.

There’s enough to like in this second outing but it pales massively when compared to the first, suffering from the absence of The Creeper’s frankly petrifying truck, and overloading things with waaaay too many teenage characters, a lot of whom are indistinguishable, lack the acting chops to support the majority of the picture that rests on their shoulders, and too few of whom die. Onscreen, at least.

Whereas we had the concerned psychic in the first movie, here a teenage girl falls under convenient clairvoyance (see Laughter Lines), which is truly crowbarred in to paper over the enormous cracks left by a script without the characters having this knowledge. Though it does allow for a cameo from Justin Long, which is a plus point. The film also runs a good 15-20 minutes too long.

There’s a lot of subtextual analysis of this one, which is often cited as a gay horror movie, for it’s villain who favours the bodies of cute teenage boys over nubile girls, although The Creepers is at least coded as a male character, so that kinda makes sense. It’s good that a sexually ambiguous character is included, better still that he’s not gruesomely killed off and plays his part in saving the day.

Attempts to make this into the Elm Street-style franchise it seemed to aspire to are flawed by both Salva’s 23-year rule (designed to avoid such an outcome, according to him) and a general flatness. Still, the third film, set in 2024, looks like it’s eventually going ahead in the next couple of years. Hopefully it will take the opportunity missed here and provide some backstory to The Creeper as well as adding it to a good scary tale.

Blurbs-of-interest: Jonathan Breck was also in The Caretaker and Mask Maker; Kasan Butcher was in Drive In; Josh Hammond was also in 7eventy 5ive and Dead Above Ground; Al Santos was in Killer Movie.

Trite horror, shite horror

HEAD CHEERLEADER, DEAD CHEERLEADER

1.5 Stars  2000/18/78m

“Two-four-six-eight who do we decapitate?”

Director/Writer: Jeff Miller / Cast: Tasha Biering, Daniel Justin Roach, Andre Walker, Bob Carter, Debbie Rochon, Bobby Cerutti, Bill Roberson, Noelle Manuel, Amy R. Swaim, Beth Hunt, Amber Coker.

Body Count: 9

Laughter Lines: “A little gratuitous violence never killed anyone.”


The awesome title and tagline combined with the appearance of Debbie Rochon makes me want to love this film. Really, it does. But I tried to love the later seasons of Lost and look what happened there.

Instead, what we have here is a crappy regional production with a killer axing bimbo cheerleaders in Briar Creek, South Carolina, on Halloween: the night before a big game. Chief pom-pom waver Heather is worried about her cat, while all her friends fall victim to a loon who can manage to chop boobs off girls who are wearing tight tops.

Most of the “action” is centered around Heather’s house, where a dozen random people come knocking at the door, or call her, including a sleazy prankster in a flatlining send-up of Scream, the film everybody was still trying to copy at this point in time. Could the killer be the football team’s pervy coach? One of Heather’s THREE ex-boyfriends? Or maybe its that weird religious girl who’s angry that she didn’t make the squad?

When revealed, the outcome plays like a parody of the end of fucking Scary Movie rather than Scream, or – heaven forbid – thinking up an original twist of its own. THEN a couple more twists are heaped on top in an effort to paper over the gaping plot-craters. It’s misogynistic, anti-gay, and trashier than a Honey Boo Boo marathon at a trailer park.

The only reason this gets that extra half-star is for the possibly authentic answerphone message that plays over the opening credits, from a concerned mother who thinks the production of the film will place real life cheerleaders – including her own daughter – in danger! No, honey, real psychos operate with a lot more class.

Blurbs-of-interest: Cheap horror-fixture Rochon is also in American Nightmare, BleedBlood RelicFinal Examination and Varsity Blood.

The title itself is more witty than anything I can think up to write here

STUPID TEENAGERS MUST DIE!

2 Stars  2007/76m

“Excessive violence, gratuitous nudity, zero budget…”

Director/Writer: Jeff C. Smith / Writer: Curtis Andersen / Cast: Jovan Meredith, Ashley Schneider, Cory Assink, Jonathan Brett, Lindsay Gareth, Will Deutsch, Renee Dorian, Jamie Carson, Christina DeRosa, Devin Marble, Matt Blashaw.

Body Count: 8


Another one to ‘thank’ Phil M for…

Winning one of those frankly generous two stars for its title and the first title card, which reads: “Long time ago in a time of pure evil…” and, after a few seconds, adds: “The 1980s…” Stupid Teenagers Must Die! is plausibly the worst made film I’ve sat through, though my recent ordeal with Horror House on Highway Five could well rival it.

In spite of the sub-camcorder quality look and that it doesn’t remotely resemble anything from the 80s, STMD! is more of a diary of fun on behalf of the cast and crew, who at least put some effort into a few lines of dialogue and lampooning dead-teenager film cliches.

There’s not much to tell; several high schoolers gather for a seance at the home of Murder McGee, who slaughtered his family years earlier. They do something wrong because one by one they are possessed and start to kill each other.

It’s as stupid as the characters, with that increasingly annoying hot lesbian thing crowbarred in YET AGAIN, rubbish acting, direction, production, and sound. But it’s like watching your old school friends’ attempt at a movie years after they made it, so credit where it’s due – they at least tried to do something fun.

Kids go to class… Kids might learn proper English

kidzgo-2KIDS GO TO THE WOODS… KIDS GET DEAD

2.5 Stars  2009/83m

Director / Writer: Michael Hall / Cast: Leah Rudick, Andrew Waffenschmidt, Eric Carpenter, Amanda Rising, Kristen Adele, Seth Stephens, Meghan Miller, Kevin Shea, Joseph Campellone, Carly Goodspeed.

Body Count: 14

Laughter Lines: “You’ve got the transformation from victim to victor by the lead character, usually a girl, which, in itself opens a whole new realm of social and political undertones.”


Thanks to Phil M for this one.

Grammar pedants will be annoyed by that title. ‘Get Dead’ indeed. Surely, it should be ‘Kids Become Dead’ or ‘Kids Obtain a State of Death’!?

Anyway, trivialities aside, as far as no-budget homages to the classics go, you could do a lot worse than this twee little number, which appears to err on the side of Friday the 13th (check the fonts used during the credits).

It’s Casey’s birthday and her boyfriend Derek is taking her with some friends to the requisite cabin in the woods. Her younger brother Scott tags along, much to the annoyance of Derek, a similarly destroyable jock Tommy, who’s pot-toking uncle owns the cabin. There’s three other girls too, naturally any cheap teen horror film made in the 2000s wouldn’t be complete without a hot lesbian couple.

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Scott’s reading a book with the same title as the film and it seems to prophesize the events that follow. An interesting idea but nobody ever decides to explain why or how, so don’t dwell on it.

They flirt, try to have sex, call each other ‘bitch’ and ‘pussy’ a lot, drink beer, play with a Ouija board and mercifully soon start falling victim to the gas-masked killer, who, like Scott’s book, is never revealed, drawn out, or even named. But at least he has the decency to burn, slash, and repeatedly stab these assholes.

In addition to the usual shenanigans, Kids Get Dead (ugh…) has several sort of Grindhouse-lite ‘commercial interludes’ and is presented by Candy Adams (Goodspeed) as if it’s being aired on a late night horror show. It’s mildly amusing but the breaks tend to occur at peaks of tension, and as those are scarce anyway, these skits are like a vacuum cleaner set to ‘suck pace’.

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Ultimately interesting for genre geeks and not horribly made considering the budget, but Bloody Bloody Bible Camp riffed on Friday so much better.

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