• 13 Feb 2010 /  Face off, Reviews

    One day I’m going to make a slasher movie calendar, which suggests films to watch on any given day. Naturally, there’ll be times in the year when killers aren’t up to much. August is looking good. But for the time being, here we are on February 13th, our hands forced by society to pick out over-priced pieces of folded card with a stupid message of “love” on the front of it.

    Psshh! What can a card tell my beau that I can’t? You remind me of puppies and candy?

    Anyway, for those of you who are crow-barred into feeling depressed at this time of year – whether or not you’re happily single, how else are your attached friends going to make you feel miserable and unloved – here are some personal ads to ease the pain. Choose carefully…

    mbvName: Axel

    Age: 29

    Occupation: psychotic miner

    Message: traditional sorta guy WLTM budding Canadian twentysomethings for heart-removal surgery with pick-axe in non-clinical surroundings. Leather/S&M interest helpful. Quirky SOH essential! Please bring own bodily organs and replacement arm.

    Ideal Date: romantic stroll around the idyllic town of Valentine Bluffs, perhaps meander down into the old mines and see what action’s going on down deep.

    ________________________________________________________________

    xrayName: Harry

    Age: 29

    Occupation: phony doctor

    Message: Hunky Israeli with a far out SOH WLTM unconvincingly naive childhood sweetheart for revenge scheme involving equally unconvincing urgent surgery requirements – all because of a screwed up Valentine’s card.

    Ideal Date: we find the most under-populated hospital in Israel the “Continental United States” and see what fun can be had running around finding decapitated heads in candy boxes!

    ________________________________________________________________

    valentine-box-cover1Name: Jeremy Melton

    Age: 9

    Occupation: reformed school nerd

    Message: I used to be a 70 pound weakling at Junior High, now I’m a six-foot plus uber-hunk of angelic proportions; sensitive yet masculine; slight drinking and nosebleed problem I’m working on.

    Ideal Date: my heart really only belongs to Buffy Kate, but until we can be together I’ll send a nice card, turn up unexpectedly, sometimes with roses, sometimes with a powerdrill or a scalpel. Either way, we’ll have a good time!

    ________________________________________________________________

    mybloodyvalentine3dName: Tom Hanniger

    Age: 1

    Occupation: I’ve been “away”.

    Message: VGL ex-miner with guilt-laden past seeks to hook-up with high school sweetheart again. Failing that, I’m happy to kill everyone around her until alternate choices are null and void.

    Ideal Date: your new husband is dead; your childminder is dead; hell, you’re child might as well join that club. Then it’s just you and me…you and me…you and me and Harry Warden.

    ________________________________________________________________

    VeVo’s advice: stay single and be happy with it.

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  • 12 Feb 2010 /  Reviews

    bachelorpartymassBACHELOR PARTY MASSACRE

    2006/18/85m

    “Everyone’s getting cold feet…”

    Director: Schumacker Halpern Overdrive / Writer: Brandon Baker / Cast: Michael Capes, Joshua Breeding, Kate Huffman, Bay Bruner, Lisa Sproul, Zoe Taylor, Jamie Marie, Eric Von Doymi, Kyle Powers.

    Body Count: 11

    Dire-logue: “Are you fucking letting that bitch stab you?”

    ____________________________________

    Make no mistake, any film called Bachelor Party Massacre is going to be naff. But, surprisingly, things aren’t quite as bad as they probably should be…

    Four buddy boys gather together to send their friend Addison off in style. In actuality, this means sitting around in a dingy, abandoned bar, drinking and letching over a couple of strippers they called in. Meanwhile, a poncho-clad schizo chick goes about murdering those who stray from the pack.

    Why does she do this? No particular reason. She’s your cookie-cutter escaped loon, nothing more. No feminist subtext to her hobby. Boooo…

    While the film is dirt cheap and not especially engaging, there’s an appealing undercurrent of enthusiasm that keeps things ticking along okay, although it runs about ten minutes too long and wouldn’t it have been good if there were a few more guys at the party? How unpopular is Addison?

    Eventually, the groom’s fiance and nagging sister-in-law turn up to make sure things haven’t gotten out of hand and the real slashin’ begins, accompanied by some almost funny one-liners. Bride-to-be Lisa finally takes charge and manages to find a sword in the bar (!) and dukes it out with history’s least threatening killer, whom three people run away from as she totters drowsily towards them with only a knife…

    Bother if you will, maybe we can prompt “Schumacker Halpern Overdrive” to make a sequel: Bachelor Party Massacre II: The Wedding’s Off!

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  • 07 Feb 2010 /  Reviews

    trainTRAIN

    2008/18/91m

    “You’re in for one hell of a ride.”

    Director/Writer: Gideon Raff / Cast: Thora Birch, Gideon Emery, Kavan Reece, Derek Magyar, Gloria Votsis, Konya Ruseva, Valentin Ganev, Todd Jensen, Vladimir Vladiminov.

    Body Count: 10

    Dire-logue: “Screw you, you un-circumsized little fuck!”

    ____________________________________

    Bored of torture porn? Sick of Hostel and Turistas? Me too! Let’s throw ‘em on the next train to Eastern Europe! Oh bugger, American college teen alert…

    Train was originally slated to be a remake of Terror Train, with Thora Birch donning Jamie Lee Curtis’ role. Fortunately, the idea was derailed and the film became independent of such comparisons, bar the choo-choo setting. Thora is part of an American college wrestling team on a tour of Europe. In the unspecified country of their most recent match, she and four others sneak out to a party, thus missing their connecting train in the morning.

    train4

    Their retentive coach is offered a ride on another train, which they merrily skip aboard. Something ain’t right about this loco though, which we soon learn is actually a sort of mobile donor clinic, taking people in need of black market operations out into the country and taking advantage of dopey lost tourists, who get sliced up carefully for some organ harvesting…

    The conductor, a Bond-villain type lady doctor and some hulking goons are all in on it, picking off the kids one by one for some eyeball-plucking, spine-severing, penis-chopping and leg-hacking before carrying out the operations in the onboard clinic! Yes, there’ surgery taking place on a rickety ol’ train. We’re later expected to believe that the recipient of an eye-transplant could recover within a day!

    train1

    Birch’s reluctant girl-wrestler Alex is predictably the last one standing and must try to save the day and herself, while her boyfriend, coaches and pals are cut up whilst still alive, save for the other girl, who is instead ‘given away’ as a bribe to some horny soldiers and, presumably, left in Europe to be repeatedly raped.

    Hostel had some gross parts, which made me cringe. Part II upped the ante somewhat. Turistas was tamer, but a bit crap. Train trumps all three in terms of gruesome bloodletting: while the on-screen gore is carried out only against male characters, there were one or two moments where I looked away (…plus I was trying to eat a sandwich) and I actually placed my hands over my eyes at least once! It’s quite sick and pushes the boundaries of acceptable entertainment.

    train3

    Fortunately, Alex’s revenge on the fiends is quite delicious, as she takes on towering goons and is challenged over her morals! Birch looks disinterested for the most part though, with little to do but sneak around and hide. Her co-stars’ roles pale by contrast as they fulfill their obligations as pieces of meat to be hacked up and defiled in other ways. The set of villains are interesting enough but you can’t help but feel that these films are sponsored by some stay-in-America tourism foundation. Maybe it has a mantra like; “leave our borders and you will DIE!!”

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  • 14 Nov 2009 /  Reviews

    gb&bot 2007/18/109m

    “Some things should stay in the closet!”

    Director/Writer: Jaymes Thompson / Cast: Mari Marks, Michael Soldier, Georgia Jean, Robert Borzych, Hilary Schwartz, Vinny Markus, Shannon Lee, Denise Heller, Derek Long, Allie Rivenbark, James Tolins, Lisa Block-Wieser, Jim Polivka, Noah Naylor.

    Body Count: 12

    Dire-logue: “You will no longer yearn for the engorged penis of a well-muscled man in uniform! From this point on you will embrace the light of God and dream of the sugar-sweet Holy vaginal walls of your soon-to-be wife!”

    ___________________________________________________________

    A lot of gay men like slasher flicks, they provide a kind of sanctuary where the misfit final girl (who is normally sexually repressed and ‘outside’ of the microcosm of society that she exists in) outlives the nasty cheerleaders and fag-hating jocks to best the killer and save the day.

    This said, gay characters have always been few and far between, normally wasted with prejudice or revealed to be the killer of the ‘normal’ heterosexual teens, overtly camp, in drag or completely ignored altogether. Gay-centric slasher films are almost as rare: Make A Wish pandered to fantasies around lesbianism and set it to a Friday the 13th-lite baseline, Hellbent got it mostly right by playing it, ahem, “straight” and going for the octane-over-aesthetics route and now to join the ranks is a kind of mash-up of the two, it’s The Gay Bed & Breakfast of Terror

    gb&bot1

    After a cabaret song about watching out for straight people adorns the credits, several gay couples drive up to the Sahara Salvation, having left it too late to book accommodation for a gay festival. The Sahara is run by mum/daughter oddball duo Helen and Luella, and the former wants to convert a gay fella from his “Satanic ways” to be a husband to oppressed-lez Luella. There’s also Manfred; a boy-slug hybrid who lives in a cage and likes to eat sinners.

    The guests include an arty lesbian couple, a drag queen and his leather-daddy BF (played by director Thompson), an older guy and his buffed boy-toy, a couple of ‘normal’ gay guys and their fag-hag and a guitar-strumming hippie lesbian. Some of them soon fall victim to Helen’s Biblical-spouting and her crucifix-shaped dagger or Manfred’s green fangs. Then there’s partner swapping, sex, flashbacks to Helen and Luella’s homicidal-prompting experiences and a bloody finale of camp carnage.

    gb&bot-uscover

    So it’s cheap and cheery, similar to But I’m A Cheerleader in its tone and execution (‘scuse the pun) with some funny lines and mannerisms: Helen screams her anti-gay diatribe at an en-dragged intended victim, to which he responds “if God hates us so much then why did he make all the beautiful people gay!!!!” There’s a hidden shrine to Reagan and Bush, a merry lesbian nun, hot players all around and a sense that those involved were having a great time.

    As entertaining as I found The Gay B&B of Terror to be, it’d be unfair to ignore its less charming elements. Gay films still appear to lean towards stereotypical characters all too easily and there are an excess of in-jokes that those unfamiliar with gay culture will be bamboozled by. This is a fun party flick, if not a little overlong, but for an audience outside of the intended demographic, it’ll sink harder than a Bible verse in a pride march.

    And who’s that woman at the beginning…?

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  • 10 Nov 2009 /  Face off

    Have you ever watched a slasher film and, when the murderous fiend is unmasked, thought, “I’m strangely attracted to that person?” As you’ll see, it happens to me a fair bit. Are we as demented as they, or is there just something a bit sexy about a knife-toting loon? Here’s my Top 13:

    MAJOR spoilers follow…

    SEXY PSYCHO #1

    sexy1Film: He Knows You’re Alone (1980)

    Name: Ray (Tom Rolfing)

    Story: Seemingly jilted by his girlfriend, he kills her on her wedding day and then proceeds to stalk brides-to-be. Needless to say I was on his side fairly early on.

    Why-so-sexy? Brooding loner type, nicely cropped hair. Hates weddings.

    SEXY PSYCHO #2

    terrirandallFilm: The Initiation (1983)

    Name: Terri Randall (Daphne Zuniga)

    Story: Terri is heroine Kelly’s evil twin. How freakin’ cool is that? Answer: so cool. Anyway, she’s mental but has decided she wants to kill Kelly and become her to go travelling and stuff. Quite reasonable really…

    Why-so-sexy? Just look at that cute face! Even with no make-up she’s adorable! Works a good gardening fork too.

    SEXY PSYCHO #3

    howardFilm: Silent Madness (1984)

    Name: Howard Johns (Solly Marx)

    Story: incarcerated for nail-gunning a group of sorority girls in the 60′s, Johns is released in an administrative error (John Howard was the patient they should have released – duh!) and so returns to the sorority house to kill. In 3D.

    Why-so-sexy? Premature balding aside, those green eyes are quite nice, as is his mutedness. No office talk to bore you over dinner. Has mother issues though.

    SEXY PSYCHO #4

    mickeyFilm: Scream 2 (1997)

    Name: Mickey (Timothy Olyphant)

    Story: Mickey is Randy’s film student friend, who films a lot of things, thus enabling me to guess his identity two thirds of the way through. I didn’t get Mrs Loomis though. Bad times. Anyway, he likes killing people, no more, no less.

    Why-so-sexy? The QT-lite hair aside, intense stares, lots of film quotes could get annoying though. Nice meaty arms. Straight-up loon, no prissy motives here!

    SEXY PSYCHO #5

    brendaFilm: Urban Legend (1998)

    Name: Brenda (Rebecca Gayheart)

    Story: Brenda is fake-best friend to heroine Natalie (Alicia Witt) but secretly hates her for being present at the accident that killed her boyfriend, David, despite it really being someone else’s fault. Now she wants Jared Leto all to herself.

    Why-so-sexy? “Looney-psycho-bitch” Brenda is a real smouldering femme fatale once revealed as the killer. Super big hair that would’ve made the hood she donned difficult to get over her head though… Probably wouldn’t take her home to meet Mum.

    SEXY PSYCHO #6

    larsFilm: Psycho Beach Party (2000)

    Name: Lars / Larry (Matt Keeslar)

    Story: Lars pretends to be a Scandinavian exchange student but is secretly killing people with disabilities or exterior health problems. He murdered his family because they were freaks. So he thought.

    Why-so-sexy? When the glasses come off Lars becomes Larry, all confidence and homicidal intentions. Points gained for Keeslar being in Scream 3, then lost for only racking up 4 murders.

    SEXY PSYCHO #7

    jeremyFilm: Valentine (2001)

    Name: Jeremy Melton / Adam Carr (David Boreanaz)

    Story: He’s the geek-turned-sex-god, transforming himself from weedy Jeremy who was humiliated at his school dance into sexy – but alcoholic (understandably) – Adam, boyfriend of the final girl, the only one he doesn’t hate.

    Why-so-sexy? It’s Angel for one thing. He hath touched Buffy. But contrary to what Denise Richards says, he is capable of an intricate revenge plot, passing the blame to an innocent party and doing it all looking hot.

    SEXY PSYCHO #8

    frankFilm: The Pool (2001)

    Name: Frank (John Hopkins)

    Story: Revealed to be the machete-wielding nut at the end, Frank is just mental and forgot to take his pills. He blames girls for everything and wants to kill them.

    Why-so-sexy? It’s never a stretch to peg the British guy as the villain, must be our evil sounding accent. He’s buff and sweaty but loses points for resembling Simon Cowell.


    SEXY PSYCHO #9

    hellbent_devilFilm: Hellbent (2004)

    Name: Killer (uncredited)

    Story: ??? He just turns up at Mardi Gras in West Hollywood (a.k.a. Halloween) and scythes gay blokes for no apparent reason. Maybe the sickle is phallic?

    Why-so-sexy? It’s all to do with the physique: not many slasher movie killers go to work in nothing but spandex pants and a devil mask. Thus, he lures in his horny victims by looking so good.

    SEXY PSYCHO #10

    leslievernonFilm: Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

    Name: Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel)

    Story: Les is a typical guy-next-door who happens to be planning a murder spree at an old farm and invited reporter Taylor (Angela Goethals) and her film crew along to document it. They can’t help intervening and it becomes clear Leslie has thought things through more than they have…

    Why-so-sexy? The boy-next-door image notwithstanding, like Hellbent man, Leslie is nicely buffed and that little under-lip beardy thing is nice.

    SEXY PSYCHO #11

    mandylaneFilm: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

    Name: Mandy Lane (Amber Heard)

    Story: Killer final girl Mandy reveals herself to be a loon just like her patsy, Emmett, who gets the blame for it all while she rides off into the sunset with man-toy Anson Mount. Who knows what’s up with her? Being beautiful and popular obviously has consequences to consider.

    Why-so-sexy? She adheres to the blonde, boobular thing without fault. Plus she’s nicer than the other bitchy girls who go on vacation with her. Who’d ever think she was a psycho, eh?

    SEXY PSYCHO #12

    fentonFilm: Prom Night (2008)

    Name: Richard Fenton (Jonathon Schaech)

    Story: For some reason Mr Fenton was obsessed with terminally-dull heroine Brittany Snow, kills her family and then breaks out a few years later to stalk and kill people at Snow’s senior prom. Yawn.

    Why-so-sexy? Designer stubble, good athletic build, full lips. He kills boring teenagers freely but bloodlessly.

    SEXY PSYCHO #13

    jensenFilm: My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)

    Name: Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles)

    Story: Tom caused an accident, which caused cannibalism, which caused homicide then more homicide and so on and so forth… He went mad over a decade and returned to town to kill people for absolutely no reason, thus exposing how crap the script for this film was.

    Why-so-sexy? All-American good looks as per subjects Fenton, Vernon and Melton, impressive biceps when shown and evidently so angered by lack of substanceĀ of plot that he wants to kill all associated with it, especially scribe Todd Farmer.

    VICTOR: It’s probably best to pick your own winner this month. Alone. In the privacy of your room.

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