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Wake me when it’s over

DreamaniacDREAMANIAC

1 Stars  1986/82m

“You don’t have to live on Elm Street to have nightmares.”

Director: David DeCoteau / Writer: Helen Robinson / Cast: Thomas Bern, Kim McKamy, Sylvia Summers, Lauren Peterson, Cynthia Crass, Brad Laughlin, Bob Pelham, Matthew Phelps, Linda Watts.

Body Count: 9

Laughter Lines: “Do I know you?” / “I doubt it, I’ve gone to private schools all my life and I’m rich.” / “Oh that’s right, you’re Francis! I thought I recognised those small tits.”


Back in the 1980s, I bet many a disappointed video renter plucked this one from the shelf, thinking it was going to rival Freddy Krueger for some intense scares.

Not so. This early DeCoteau vehicle is an endurance test: Heavy metal lyricist Adam agrees to let his girlfriend Pat’s sister Jodi throw a sorority party at the house he’s sitting. Amidst weird dreams about naked people in baths of blood and a woman with a decapitated head, he conjures up Lily, a succubus who trades sexual favours for the lives of horny teenage partygoers.

In typical mid-80s style, nobody’s ever seen or heard of a slasher film, so they all wander off alone, have sex, don’t leave when the power goes out, allowing Lily and a possessed Adam to knife, electrocute, and bite the dick’s off the party guests.

Some of them seem to come back as zombies and need to be killed again, but I wasn’t sure about that… The Spanish copy I watched had quite a bad resolution.

dm1A ‘joke’ is added to the end for reasons unknown, it’s a bit funny, but more or less negates the previous 75 minutes and the entire USP of the film, but DeCoteau was churning out these babies left, right and centre so I doubt anyone really cared. There’s a fair splattering of gory denouements and at least he populates it with his trademark array of easy-on-the-eye menfolk with their shirts off.

Blurbs-of-interest: Kim McKamy was later in Evil Laugh; DeCoteau turned in what may be his only other slasher film (?) in 2001, Final Stab.

The 100 Worst Slasher Films: #20-1

worst-stripMy belated Christmas-slash-New Year’s gift to you is the entire countdown of IMDb’s worst ranked slasher films from the 673 I’ve enjoyed/endured.

It saddens me to think of the days spent watching some of these dreadful, dreadful films. If nothing more, I hope this list provides you with a warning of what the avoid next time you’re in the mood for a stack of dead teenagers…

Regardé:

See full commentary for #100-81

100. Fatal Pulse (1988)
99. Blood Cult (1985)
98. Small Town Folk (2007)
97. Axe Giant (2012)
96. Study Hell (2004)
95. StagKnight (2007)
94. Slaughtered (2009)
93. Scar (2005)
92. The Prey (1980)
91. The Jackhammer Massacre (2003)

90. Heebie Jeebies (2004)
89. Hayride (2012)
88. Evil Breed: The Legend of Samhain (2005)
87. Dark Walker (2003)
86. Cut (2010)
85. A Crack in the Floor (2000)
84. Cheerleader Massacre (2003)
83. Blood Reaper (2004)
82. Silent Bloodnight (2006)
81. Shadows Run Black (1981)

Commentary for #80-61

80. The Masque of the Red Death (1989)
79. BreadCrumbs (2011)
78. Adam & Evil (2004)
77. Kill Keith (2011)
76. The Choke (2005)
75. The Graveyard (2006)
74. The Pumpkin Karver (2006)
73. Knock Knock (2006)
72. Goodnight, God Bless (1987)
71. Camp Blood 2 (2000)

70. Drive In (2000)
69. Hatchetman (2003)
68. Switch Killer (2005)
67. A Night to Dismember (1983)
66. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)
65. Horror 102: Endgame (2004)
64. Scared (2001)
63. Terror at Tenkiller (1987)
62. Motorhome Massacre (2006)
61. Deranged (2012)

Commentary for #60-41

60. Bikini Girls on Ice (2009)
59. Dead Above Ground (2002)
58. Camp Blood (1999)
57. The Catcher (1997)
56. The Curse of El Charro (2005)
55. Scarecrow Gone Wild (2004)
54. Paranoid (2000)
53. The Watermen (2011)
52. Blood Sisters (1985)
51. Detention (2010)

50. Seed (2007)
49. Hollow Gate (1988)
48. Splatter University (1984)
47. Devon’s Ghost: Legend of the Bloody Boy (2005)
46. Do You Wanna Know a Secret? (2001)
45. Final Examination (2003)
44. Jolly Roger: Massacre at Cutter’s Cove (2005)
43. Snapped (2005)
42. The Retreat (2005)
41. Memorial Day (1999)

Commentary for #40-21

40. Beyond Remedy (2009)
39. Bloody Murder (1999)
38. Dr Chopper (2005)
37. Bunnyman (2010)
36. Drive In Massacre (1976)
35. The Greenskeeper (2003)
34. Dark Harvest (2004)
33. The Last Slumber Party (1988)
32. Scream (1981)
31. Zombie Island Massacre (1984)

30. Jack-O (1995)
29. Mr Ice Cream Man (1991)
28. Hazard Jack (2013)
27. Stupid Teenagers Must Die! (2007)
26. Roadside Massacre (2012)
25. The Bagman (2002)
24. Carnage Road (2000)
23. Hollywood’s New Blood (1988)
22. The Fear: Resurrection (1999)
21. Night of the Dribbler (1990)

Leaving us with the twenty worst received slasher films I’ve seen according to public opinion.

Wait no longer, fresh in at #20…

20. Blood Lake (1987)

IMDb rating: 2.6
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

Three teen couples (actually one couple are like 13) vacation at a shack by a lake, where a Dom DeLuise-a-like killer lays some of them to waste. Two of them to be exact. And maybe two or three other victims? I can’t remember, but this video-made film has poverty row stamped all over it.

19. Killjoy (2000)

IMDb rating: 2.5
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

killjoyUrban/ghetto slasher films feature heavily up this end of the worst list. An undercurrent of racism? Possibly, but none of the films are objectively any good. In this one, a sub-Beetlejuice vengeance demon is summoned by a dork who is repeatedly beaten up by the nasty local crew. At only 72 minutes, at least it’s over pretty quick.

18. Appointment with Fear (1986)

IMDb rating: 2.5
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

A man who has sold his soul to some Egyptian tree god kills his wife and goes after his infant son, who has been left in the care of the autistic neighbour, Heather, who has a band of purple make-up around her eyes and pretends she lives inside a jar. At a house in the desert, teens are dispatched until the evil-eyed final girl can rescue the bub and defeat the killer. Debisue Voorhees from Friday V pops in for her usual topless scene, and there’s decent use of one of those handheld satellite-hearing-from-afar thingies, but everything else blows.

17. Movie House Massacre (1984)

IMDb rating: 2.5
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

mhm1Teens working at a rundown old cinema where a fire killed loads of people years before are stalked and knifed by the ghost of a geriatric usher, who had murdered the ticket girl the night of the fire. Demented in every possible way, if it’s supposed to be a comedy it ain’t funny. Mary Woronov has a small role (despite top billing) as the bitchy manager’s assistant. Look out for a girl who dies from sliding down a wall!?

16. Spiker (2007)

IMDb rating: 2.4
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

A mute, Albino serial killer who stabs his victims with railroad spikes escapes custody and returns to his old haunt where three teen couples are having themselves a party. All usual tropes are checked off the list.

15. Scarecrow Slayer (2003)

IMDb rating: 2.4
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

The second outing of the shoddy Scarecrow series sees Tony Todd as a paranoid farmer who accidentally shoots a teenager, whose soul is transferred into the scarecrow and goes on a killing spree. By far the worst of the ‘series’, topped off with WWE wrestling between two scarecrows. One good line: “You know, you have a real small penis for a guy who’s a real big dick!”

14. Nine Lives (2002)

IMDb rating: 2.3
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

ninelivesParis Hilton is the first to die in this rubbish flick set in a Scottish manor house where a English-hating ghost kills off nine ex-public school friends. But Paris is American. Uh? A final boy emerges as he’s Scottish and immune to it. Painful from start to finish.

13. Dark Fields (2003)

IMDb rating: 2.3
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

Five teens on their way to a concert get car trouble and end up stuck in the house of a madman. Zero thrills in this cheap video project from the folks who later doubled the misery with Study Hell.

12. The Slaughterhouse Massacre (2005)

IMDb rating: 2.3
VeVo rating: 0.5 Stars

Two annoying couples explore an old abattoir where a man blah blah killed blah was lynched blah… Of course the loon’s name is Marty Sickle. This is the very worst – outstaying its welcome by forever, pandering to girl-on-girl filler because it’s so fucking empty.

11. Zombie Nightmare (1987)

IMDb rating: 2.2
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

zn5Adam West and Tia Carrere star in this demented voodoo revenge slasher, in which a be-mulleted jock is killed by a group of reckless teens in a hit and run, resurrected by the local Haitian priestess, and sets about evening the score. A bad movie dream, with totally different actors playing the zombie in various scenes, cringey acting, but a sense of inoffensive 80s stupidity.

10. Sweet Insanity (2006)

IMDb rating: 2.2
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

Girl’s parents go away for the weekend. Girl has friends over. Friends get stabbed. Cheapo Haute Tension-esque climax is confusing and the audio track is so bad it’s nearly impossible to comprehend what’s going on anyway. Retitled Stranger: A Soul Mate of Chucky for the UK, with a doll on the cover, even though there is no killer doll, no spooky doll, and no mention of dolls in the entire film.

9. Deadtime (2012)

IMDb rating: 2.2
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

dt2Another rock band stalked by another killer whilst making a video for their big comeback. The only distinguishable thing about this one is that it’s British, but this helps none, as it traipses through a bog of bad production unities and a ridiculously annoying killer.

8. Grim Weekend (2003)

IMDb rating: 2.2
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

City folk go to a cabin in the woods, picking up a sexy hitchhiker on the way, where they are tormented by a clown with an axe. Horrible production values and obnoxious characters abound.

7. Cutthroat Alley (2003)

IMDb rating: 2.1
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

The ‘black guy dies first’ cliché is flipped in this urban LA slasher: Most of the cast are black but the white guy gets the blade first. Members of a street gang are being targeted by the masked psycho just as one ex-member is about to go to college after successfully turning his life around. Can he work out who it is before he’s next? A bit more surface polish than the other ‘ghetto’ slasher films make it more bearable and not so deserving of its place here.

6. Skeleton Man (2004)

IMDb rating: 2.0
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

A bizarre fusion of 80s action tropes and supernatural slashings as a Delta force team are sent to South America to put a stop to the skeleton-faced figure who is killing everyone. The body count almost reaches 40, a helicopter is shot down with a bow and arrow, Michael Rooker and Casper Van Dien are in it… An unbelievable film experience.

5. Alice in Murderland (2010)

IMDb rating: 2.0
VeVo rating: 0.5 Stars

alice1Sub-cheap rubbish with sorority girls throwing a birthday party in an old abandoned something or other… Alice is 21. Her mother died exactly twenty years ago that night, aged 21. They theme the party Alice in Wonderland. The killer dresses up as one of the characters from the book. An 86-minute endurance test.

4. Dead End Road (2004)

IMDb rating: 1.9
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

A killer who bases his murders on the works of Edgar Allan Poe does in various unfortunates in this cheap, but not awful film. There’s a good twist on The Tell-Tale Heart at the beginning, a pitchfork in the face, a decapitated head churned out of the bowling ball conveyer-return thingy. It’s low end for sure, but there’s worse.

3. Voyeur.com (2000)

IMDb rating: 1.6
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

College girls are invited to live in a house and be filmed 24/7 by sleazy low-end producers. Their plans for fame are thwarted by a masked killer who does everyone in. All the usual sex, bi-curiousity, pot-smoking stuff occurs and the killer turns out to be the shy girl heroine.

2. Urban Massacre (2002)

IMDb rating: 1.6
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

The entourage of growing rap quintet The Supernatchrals are being offed by another clown masked killer. What it is with urban slasher movies and clowns I do not know… but this one isn’t so bad until the end where the group have the killer cornered, lean in to unmask him and then stop, look at the camera and tell us we have to wait for the sequel. What. The. Fuck.

1: THE WORST RATED SLASHER FILM ON IMDb

Ax ‘Em (1992)

IMDb rating: 1.2
VeVo rating: 0.5 Stars

ax-emAn unsurprising victor, Ax ‘Em is quite deserving of its worst-of-the-worst title. Made by a talentless crew, what you can pick up about the story is a group of friends go to a house in the woods where a killer is at work, using strange metal spring things to kill folks with. Again, it tries to reverse the race suppositions by killing off the while characters and leaving about a dozen black people running around between the trees. Only a few of them die, others just vanish from the film altogether. This is less than camcorder made-a-film-on-vacation quality, it’s head-scratchingly strange, with absolutely no apparent knowledge of filmmaking on show. As someones own private film they made with friends, fine, it will give them a laugh at their ten year reunion, but to give it any kind of home video release…? Unfathomably awful, there are not enough sublatives in our language to justify how bad it is.

*

So there we have it… The 100 Worst. Of course, there are hordes of titles with mysteriously favourable rankings that didn’t make the list, and some that are frankly better than they may seem. Karma.

And the best, you caw, well they’re right here!

 

The 100 Worst Slasher Films: #40-21

IMDb’s 100 worst continues…

See #100-81 here
And #80-61 here
And #60-41 here

40. Beyond Remedy (2008)

IMDb rating: 2.9
VeVo rating: 2.5 Stars

Six young physicians agree to participate in an experiment supposed to help rid them of their fears and phobias, which cover the usual blades, claustrophobia, and vertigo. Too bad that a scrubs-and-chainmail clad killer has crashed the party. Not a bad little Euro-shocker, but dry and contrived, with characters making terrible decisions to drive the plot where it needs to go.

39. Bloody Murder (1999)

IMDb rating: 2.9
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

bm1Bizarre Friday the 13th homage, in which teen counsellors at Camp Placid Pines are targeted by a mystery loon who may or may not be hockey-masked local legend Trevor Moorhouse. The dull heroine has to find out who it really is! About as horror as a Glee Halloween Special, with little claret, a patronising mystery element, and annoying characters. The sequel, however, was way better.

38. Dr Chopper

IMDb rating: 2.9
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

College kids go to the middle of nowhere to check out the cabin one of them has inherited, only to become the prey for a deranged, grey-skinned surgeon, who – with the help of several nurses – likes to cut up youthful people to reverse the aging of cells blah, blah, blah. As soon as the requisite girl-on-girl make-out scene arrives, you know the rest of the film may as well be flushed down the can.

37. Bunnyman

IMDb rating: 2.9
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

The production company behind this endurance test is aptly named No One Cares. Roadtrippin’ teens are tormented by an old truck during the world’s slowest car chase (see that speedometer crank up to 53mph!!), and eventually get stranded in the woods. A guy in a giant rabbit costume turns up with a chainsaw and the stupid decisions continue for the excruciating remainder of the film.

36. Drive In Massacre (1976)

IMDb rating: 2.9
VeVo rating: 0.5 Stars

driveinThis would be Top 3 on my list. I haven’t yet experienced a more painful pre-millennial film than this. Detectives investigating murders at a drive-in fail to apprehend the killer. That’s about it. Random tangents into other plots take over and the film finally fizzles out with a title card informing us the murders stopped and nobody was ever caught. Repugnantly pathetic in every way.

35. The Greenskeeper (2003)

IMDb rating: 2.8
VeVo rating: 2.5 Stars

This fun little flick shouldn’t be here either: Patrons at a snotty golf club are permanently handicapped by a lunatic mystery killer, who prowls the greens with a pair of shears and a bad attitude. Some annoying toilet-humour gets in the way, but there’s still a good time to be had.

34. Dark Harvest

IMDb rating: 2.8
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

Three couples vacationing at a rundown farm are attacked by possessed scarecrows. $0.99c store production values, girl-on-girl exploitation, and no sense of irony only make worse something that was already a pile of shit.

33. The Last Slumber Party (1987)

IMDb rating: 2.8
VeVo rating: 0.5 Stars

lsp1If you thought that the Slumber Party Massacre sequels were poor, give 71 minutes of your life away to this monstrosity, where three gal-pals find their gathering crashed by a psychotic mental patient armed with a scalpel. Bad acting notwithstanding, dead bodies magically appear in mid-air despite being killed several miles away, dreams occur within other dreams, and the main character is an obnoxious, nasty bitch, who would be first to go in any other slasher flick. Everything in this film is terrible and it should be a lot higher up this list than #34.

32. Scream (1981)

IMDb rating: 2.8
VeVo rating: 0.5 Stars

Not that Scream. This dire venture, also known as The Outing, strands a group of river rafters in a deserted town overnight, where the menfolk are slashed to ribbons by an invisible force, which is never attributed to anything or anyone. John Wayne’s son Ethan is one of a few semi-knowns probably hoping this is all but forgotten.

31. Zombie Island Massacre (1984)

IMDb rating: 2.7
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

zimDisappointed zombie film fans probably voted this Troma film down when they realised it’s a thinly disguised slasher film, in which tourists on a Caribbean island are done in by a leaf-clad killer. Not the worst thing ever, but hardly worth recommending either. Harry Manfredini provided a Friday-lite score.

30. Jack-O (1995)

IMDb rating: 2.7
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

A pumpkin-headed warlock thing is unearthed by beer-fueled teens and resumes the killing spree it began 81 years earlier. Linnea Quigley is the babysitter in charge of its prime kill. A frustratingly paced film, but some funny demises elevate it enough above bottom of the barrel scum level.

29. Mr Ice Cream Man (1991)

IMDb rating: 2.7
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

Odd 66-minute Vegas cheapie, with a homicidal ice cream man disappearing naïve kiddies on the streets. Very low budget with questionable acting at best, but a couple of unsettling moments due to said cheapness. Writer/director/star Mack Hail directed Switch Killer and was in Carnage Road. Not the best resume.

28. Hazard Jack

IMDb rating: 2.7
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

hazardjack1From one Jack to another… Assorted college paintballers use an abandoned asylum for their latest game and upset the resident PTSD-suffering hulk who murders people there. In sub-Jason form, he stalks and eliminates them, ticking off just about every awful stereotype of victim available. A lazy production.

27. Stupid Teenagers Must Die!

IMDb rating: 2.7
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

The awesome title isn’t enough to save this cheap looking parody, which at least had the sense to mock itself in a preemptive fashion. Teens gather at the home of a murderer for a seance, become possessed, and start killing each other.

26. Roadside Massacre

IMDb rating: 2.7
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

The teen staff at a rib shack appear to be lobotomized. A patron thinks one of them is her missing sister. She and her friends are chased by a fat bloke with a cleaver and killed one by one. Titled The Texas Roadside Massacre for its UK DVD release, it isn’t set anywhere near Texas and there’s no chainsaw to be seen. Trash.

25. The Bagman (2002)

IMDb rating: 2.7
VeVo rating: 0.5 Stars

More video-made scum about ex-school friends chased by a sack-headed killer who was drowned by one of them years earlier. Much of the dialogue is inaudible due to the terrible sound quality, despite the amateurs shouting most of it at one another.

24. Carnage Road (2000)

IMDb rating: 2.7
VeVo rating: 0.5 Stars

Suffixed The Legend of Quiltface, this is around 25 places too low in this list. Photography students in need of extra credit and one crap camera between them are dropped off in the desert where they are chased around by a completely unscary psycho, often stood about five feet away from them in broad daylight but still goes unseen. One person dies from an inch deep cut to the hip, while another falls over and waits several seconds for the killer to catch up so they can struggle.

23. Hollywood’s New Blood (1988)

IMDb rating: 2.6
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

HNB1989Monumentally cheap LA slasher with ‘actors’ at an ‘acting workshop’ laid to waste by a trio of ghostly brothers who burnt to death there blah-years earlier. Shot in what appears to be twenty feet of woods (probably in Griffith Park), the film makes little sense, but has an endearingly crap appeal about it.

22. The Fear: Resurrection (1999)

IMDb rating: 2.6
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

The first Fear movie dealt – again – with some psych experiment in phobias, which all went wrong, but it wasn’t really a slasher affair. The 1999 sequel brought back the creepy wooden mannequin, Morty, from that film, had him possessed and killing a new group of college kids as they visit grandma (Betsy Palmer!!). All over the place, incoherent, and overflowing with annoying characters.

21. Night of the Dribbler (1990)

IMDb rating: 2.6
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

The director of Zombie Nightmare (coming soon!) churned out this misleading comedy, in which a basketball-masked fiend torments members of a highschool team. It sat largely unreleased for almost twenty years, garnering a small cult appeal… until people saw it. With a bodycount of two and hardly any time allocated to the stalk n’ slash opus, it couldn’t be more of a waste of time if it were a blank tape.

The 100 Worst Slasher Films: #80-61

IMDb.com’s lowliest rated slasher films – blame the general voting public, not me!

Check out #100-81 here.

80. The Masque of the Red Death (1989)

IMDb rating: 3.2
VeVo rating: 3 Stars

Frank Stallone, Herbert Lom, and Brenda Vaccaro all crop up in this 43rd take on Poe’s tale. A young tabloid journalist cons her way into a masquerade ball at an eccentric’s Bavarian castle, where a cloaked and masked fiend begins offing the guests in a series of inventive ways. It’s the alleged ‘travesty’ to Poe that is to thank for the low rating, but it’s not a bad time killer by any degree.

79. BreadCrumbs (2011)

IMDb rating: 3.2
VeVo rating: 2.5 Stars

bc3aA film crew making a porno rock up at a house in the woods where a couple of odd teenagers keep appearing, seemingly trapped in a world of childhood fantasy. Aging star Angie (Marianne Hagan from Halloween 6) is kind to them, which ultimately helps out when people start dying. Likeable characters help this one out in the first instance, but it begin to go downhill at the halfway point.

78. Adam & Evil (2005)

IMDb rating: 3.2
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

Graduating high school friends take a camping trip and begin falling victim to a masked killer. There’s a guy called Adam, who’s the hero, so will the killer be Eve, Yvette, or Yvonne? Every trope of the genre gets a tick in the box. In the UK, the film was retitled Halloween Camp 2: Scream If You Wanna Die Faster. The ‘first’ Halloween Camp was actually Bloody Murder 2: Closing Camp. Way to confuse us, DVD people.

77. Kill Keith (2011)

IMDb rating: 3.2
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

kk3

A very British ‘comedy’ concerning early morning TV, as potential successor’s to the departure of a presenter are done away with. The Keith of the title is British institution Keith Chegwin. The artwork parodied Kill Bill, and is about the only inventive aspect to the whole affair.

76. The Choke (2005)

IMDb rating: 3.2
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

Psycho killers vs rock bands was a popular motif in the 80s and early 90s, but it wasn’t gone – only resting. Punk rock band The Choke are on the brink of a split, due to the pretty boy lead singer and guitarist going off in search of their own deal. One final gig sees them locked in Club 905 and stalked by a vengeful killer. Passably put together but excruciatingly paced and understated.

75. The Graveyard (2006)

IMDb rating: 3.2
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

A sort-of sequel to the Bloody Murder films: Yet another misjudged prank results in a death. Six years later, the others involved in it are summoned to a reunion at a closed summer camp, where a mystery killer hunts them down. Notable only for starring the guy who played Puck in Glee.

74. The Pumpkin Karver (2006)

IMDb rating: 3.2
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

pumpkin-karverNew-to-town siblings become embroiled in a killing spree at a Halloween party in the middle of nowhere, courtesy of a maniac who likes to carve his victims’ faces into Jack-O-Lanterns. The first hour is a very, very slow build towards a ride that houses about as many surprises as a broken jack in the box.

73. Knock Knock (2006)

IMDb rating: 3.2
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

“Answering the door will never be the same again,” promises the tagline for this retarded New York film, where the killer offs teens in accordance with their father’s occupation because of a prank from X years earlier… Clichéd ex-cop plotting and casual sexism only makes it more annoying.

72. Goodnight, God Bless (1987)

IMDb rating: 3.2
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

Another nail in the coffin of British horror, this begins quite daringly with a priest gunning down small children in a playground. The only surviving witness of this massacre is, along with her mother, stalked by the maniac. Some supernatural rubbish is added on, as well as a cop-falls-for-the-mother subplot. Director John Eyres would go on to helm Ripper: Letter From Hell to much improved results. One good piece of dire-logue: “When they put teeth in your mouth they ruined a perfectly good asshole.”

71. Camp Blood 2 (2000)

IMDb rating: 3.2
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

campblood2If it was unbelievable enough that there was a Camp Blood 1, this also-shot-on-cam sequel is merely a continuation of the same dreadful quality: The sole survivor of the first massacre is invited to consult as an advisor on a film being made about the original murders. To the surprise of nobody on the planet, another clown masked psycho pops up and does the usual.

70. Drive In (2000)

IMDb rating: 3.1
VeVo rating: 2.5 Stars

Billy Morrow is your garden variety hulking remedial, who’s never left his house thanks to his overbearing mother. His one connection to the outside world is watching the low-end horror movies that play at the drive in across the street. Eventually he gets out and begins killing various patrons, including burning one person’s face in hot nacho cheese at the concession stand. Cheap but cheerful, this innocuous film isn’t half as bad as others on this roster.

69. Hatchetman (2003)

IMDb rating: 3.1
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

“Mommy taking her clothes off isn’t as bad as hurting people,” says the final girl to the axe-toting murderer of girls from a pole dancing joint. He’s been chopping off their hands while the cop who happens to be dating the Courteney Cox-a-like heroine try to figure out who it is. A diluted take on the myriad of stripper-killer films that were big in the 80s, but not the worst thing ever.

68. Switch Killer (2005)

IMDb rating: 3.1
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

Girl flees her abusive ex and moves to Las Vegas, where she gets a job as a topless dancer and falls in love with another woman. Six months later, boyfriend arrives having had a sex change and stabs all manner of people to get to her. Sixteen of the 84 minute runtime is taken up by the end credits, which tells us just how much thought went into it. The director’s other slasher resume highlights, Mr Ice Cream Man and Carnage Road will feature further up the list.

67. A Night to Dismember (1983)

IMDb rating: 3.1
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

nighttodismemberIt’s not really anyone’s fault that A Night to Dismember blows harder than a Pittsburgh hooker, a studio fire destroyed so much of the original footage, that director Doris Wishman spent years re-shooting and re-cutting it. All audio had to be re-dubbed, leaving the end product a kind of headache on screen, with a narrator struggling to make sense of it all.

66. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

IMDb rating: 3.1
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger are the superstars-to-be looking embarrassed by participating in this totally shitty fourth incarnation of the Sawyer family, with a crossdressing Leatherface. I remember so little about it there’s nothing else to write.

65. Horror 102: Endgame

IMDb rating: 3.1
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

Horror102College students who volunteered for a psychology experiment are locked inside a disused asylum where they are stalked and slain by a hooded killer. Half-a-star better than its predecessor, the non-slasher film Horror 101, both films are rated PG-13, enough to tell you there’s no point investing your time or energy.

64. Scared (2001)

IMDb rating: 3.1
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

This sorry Scream knock-off has a masked killer offing the dopey cast and crew of a slasher film (which they call ‘the next Scream‘). Every scenario presented is fresh off the millennial slasher shelf, with nothing original to offer for itself.

63. Terror At Tenkiller (1987)

IMDb rating: 3.1
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

Two gal-pals go on vacation to a house alongside Lake Tenkiller, to escape an annoying ex-boyfriend. They take jobs as waitresses at the local diner, where the other servers have a habit of walking out and never coming back. There’s absolutely no attempt to disguise the killer’s identity, but with only eight characters in the whole thing, it probably wasn’t worth trying to fool anyone.

62. Motor Home Massacre (2005)

IMDb rating: 3.1
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

Some amusing one-liners aren’t enough to save this vacation-from-hell DVD feature. Seven teens rent a clunky old Winnebago and venture off to the cursed Black Creek Park, scene of a series of murders that, of course, extends to them as soon as they arrive. It takes about an hour for anything to happen. Not the stuff of a legendary road trip.

61. Deranged

IMDb rating: 3.1
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

derangedA group of British women are invited to the bachelorette party of their eccentric Brazilian friend at her villa in Spain. Once there, the hostess apparently dies from a seizure and then somebody begins murdering the others. From the ‘mystery killer’s’ identity being on the fucking DVD cover to characters deciding to go off for sex during the carnage, this is truly deserving of its place here.

After school hang out

The_Gallows_artworkTHE GALLOWS

2.5 Stars  2015/81m

“Every school has its spirit.”

Directors/Writers: Chris Lofing & Travis Cluff / Cast: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown, Ryan Shoos, Cassidy Gifford.

Body Count: 6


I don’t really ‘do’ theater. I get it, I have a couple of friends who tread the boards and have respect for them having to memorise all those lines without the ability for a second take, but I like shots, angles, playful camerawork.

The Gallows is a found footage production that orbits around a seemingly cursed high school play of the same name. In 1993, the lead actor was killed when part of the stage collapsed and he was hanged.

Not hung. It’s never hung unless it’s a Grindr chat, it’s hanged.

Twenty years later – never nineteen, never twenty-one – the school is again staging The Gallows, and leading man/ex-footballer Reese is having trouble with his lines. Filmed/bugged by his very irritating buddy Ryan, Reese soon lets slip that the only reason he’s doing the play is to get close to leading lady, Pfeifer. Some people are superstitious, and nobody is supposed to say the name of the guy who died – Charlie.

Asshole Ryan convinces Reese that the best course of action is to return to school at night and wreck the props so that the play can’t go ahead: He doesn’t have to embarrass himself by screwing up his lines, and doesn’t have to ruin his chances with Pfeifer by dropping out.

gallows1Sneaking in through an unlockable door Ryan found earlier, the two boys and cheerleader Cassidy, start to dismantle things when they hear a loud noise. Turns out Pfeifer was passing by and saw Reese’s car outside and thought he’d come to practice…

The truth comes out and, amidst the arguments it causes, the teens find themselves locked in. Even the unlockable door won’t budge. Then things move, dismantled pieces of the set have been fixed, a TV is found playing to itself – footage of the original incident no less.

It ramps up to doors that slam themselves, Ryan is thrown from a ladder, and apparitions of an executioner begin to manifest – Charlie appears to have woken up and traps each of them alone for a ritual hanging. There’s no slashing in this slasher, just rope.

The real ghost that haunts proceedings is that of The Blair Witch. Ever since 1999, FF horror has cropped up with regularity and a different spin on the same motifs – much like the slasher genre in that sense, it’s cursed by its own parameters, largely unable to evolve very much.

gallows2The real test with any FF film lies in the acting – can the usually small cast shoulder the burden of making their reactions sufficiently realistic? In the case of The Gallows I’d say yes. There’s not a weak link to speak of, and, like Blair Witch, the actors’ first names match their characters, possibly for ease of use in improvised moments where shouting Stacey instead of Joan could necessitate and entire reshoot since the last ‘cut’. Their fictional counterparts could do with a bit of a likeability shot though.

A fair twist surfaces at the end, which ties a neat bow atop things effectively enough. If anything, the entire production suffers from its seen-this-before quality (rich coming from a slasher movie fan, granted), but it’s got a couple of good jump scares and doesn’t grind on longer than is welcome.

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