Tag Archives: grrr men!

Stock Background Characters 101: Doomed Security Personnel

In this feature, we examine the lesser beings of the slasher movie realm, which, if you’re making your own slasher film, could provide a good cast roster for you.

No killer or final girl profiles here, this is a celebration of those underlings who made the most of their fleeting flirtation with stardom. And usually died.


Overview: Doomed security personnel (DSPs) are as old as the hills in the slasher realm. They’re the cop or security guard, hardly ever credited with a name beyond something like Officer Bob, who just happen to get in the way during the killer’s tantrum and commonly end up near the top of the body count list, crumpled and forgotten in the corner with a barbecue fork sticking in their eye.

Linguistic Snapshot: “Hello? Who’s there? This abandoned roller disco, which is rumoured to be haunted after the murders ten years ago tonight, is off-limits after hours!”

Styling: Almost all DSPs are adult males who wear uniforms with epaulets, sometimes hats, the faithful flashlight, buckled belts and – if they’re lucky – holstered weapons (fat lotta good they’ll do). Security guards are quite often overweight and usually seem to bear facial hair of some description.

Hallmarks: A lackadaisical work ethic is a must, there’s no time for motivation in this job. Just hang around with your coffee and doughnuts and dismiss the hysterical teenage girl who says everyone is dead… Hey – she’s a pretty lil thang!

Downfall: Despite being a full grown man, DSP is often more naive than the teenagers who will later die, though it is his job to go and check out that weird noise, but he’ll also squat down to feel for the killer’s pulse and ignore the final girl’s pleas to turn around or follow her in the firm belief she’s just mental and he can best the bastard!

Genesis: The first DSP I can think of is probably Jennings the cop in Black Christmas who is supposed to guard the sorority house but instead is found in his car with a cut throat.

There’s Mr Garrett who makes the fatal error of investigating the basement in Halloween II; Todd the country music loving security guard in The Initiation; the cop who shoots the wrong Santa in Silent Night, Deadly Night (“so far all you’ve done is harm!”) and the campus security cop, Mitch, who we don’t know if is dead or just asleep in Final Exam.

Wake the hell up!

Legacy: In the late 80s, DSP turned up all over the show, such as the ill-conceived ‘comedy cops’ from Halloween 5 who were given their own clown-theme every time they bumbled on to the screen before Michael answered our prayers and did them in with a pitchfork.

When Scream pushed open the floodgates for the 90s rebirth, we all cooed “Noooo!” when Sarah Michelle Gellar’s ride home got out to help a stranded stranger fix his truck in I Know What You Did Last Summer, knowing well in advance of him that this cop was about to eat some hook and even the assigned agents in Scream 2 were swatted away like flies by the killer.

However, there were a couple of exceptions made in both Halloween H20 and Urban Legend where the campus security guards not only lived but were also instrumental in the heroine’s escape and apprehension of the killer. LL Cool J may have survived multiple bullet wounds when mistaken for Michael Myers (they look so similar with their pasty white- …uhhh) but he returned to drag Jamie Lee Curtis away as she stabbed her brother and Loretta Devine’s blaxploitation loving rent-a-cop saved Alicia Witt’s ass, also surviving being shot, and got to kick some major killer-ass in the sequel, and she did it all with sassy one-liners and attitude.

There’ve been plenty more failed attempts of rescue by police academy failures – the poor schmuck ranger who utters but a handful of words to Desmond Harrington in Wrong Turn before an arrow goes through his eye; the nightwatchman of the haunted fairground in Dark Ride who might’ve just saved the day were it not for the head-splitting blade the killer thunked in his noggin and lest we forget the Valentine horndog, Detective Vaughn, far more interested in Denise Richards’ slender derriere than solving a murder case that he quite literally loses his head over.

Yes sirree, anyone considering a career in security should pick their assignments carefully, ‘cos you’re not safe at prep school, university, the woods, the old abandoned fairground, the mall, your squad car, hospitals, dilapidated hotels, factory yards, or even space…

It kind of reminds me of that scene in the first Austin Powers where the poor, unnamed henchman’s wife is informed of his untimely passing… Poor schmucks just trying to make a decent living – let’s hope they’re all drinking buds in the next life, comparing wounds and playing trumps over how prolific a maniac it was who got them in the end… RIP, not-very-good security dudes, if only you swapped shifts with Bob.

Sister Psychosis

psychosisterPSYCHO SISTERS

2.5 Stars  1998/18/97m

“Stay together… Slay together!”

Directors: Pete Jacelone & Michael L. Raso / Writers: Pete Jacelone & James L. Edwards / Cast: Theresa Lynn, J.J. North, Anthony Bruno, Mac Winslow, John Knox, Nancy Alison, Edward Burrows, Michael Devin, Stacy Mathewson, Matthew Fisher.

Body Count: 28

Dire-logue 1: “These bikers have been killing all these kids and sacrificing their dorks to some kind of penis god!”

Dire-logue 2: “Just because I hate men does not mean I wanna munch carpet!”

A man confesses to his Mrs that he once raped somebody so she shoots him and then cuts off his dick before turning the gun on herself.

Their three daughters, Jane, Jackie and Janice, are later gang raped and Janice is killed by one of the assailants, sending her older sisters off to the asylum for X years.

Jane and Jackie are eventually released and pass their time by kidnapping and killing college-age boys and keeping their cocks in jars in a cupboard. All goes well until Jackie begins to develop feelings for some of the captives and, under the advice of the ghost of Janice, decides to give a chance to nice guy Todd, who she meets at the sperm bank where a sign reads: “We’re glad you came.”

Jane is less than happy about this and will do anything to ensure that the sisters who stay together, slay together. Meanwhile, local cops trying to solve the College Boy Slasher case (which, at the beginning of the film has amassed 35 victims!) and a group of greasy bikers are out to avenge the deaths of two of their own.

ps1Psycho Sisters is a rubbish film. Really, it sucks some big castrated cock – but I think it knows that. At the beginning I went in under the assumption-slash-fear that it was going to play it straight or attempt to make me laugh with crap Scary Movie-level comedy. Fortunately, it soon became an amusing so-bad-its-good film with the genuinely amusing moments, such as Jane abusing a neighbour who is aroused by being beaten by a woman (“what the hell is wrong with you!?”) and a scene where the girls can’t decide what weapon to pull out of Jane’s handbag to off a couple of horny bikers.

There’s a hack reporter who keeps calling the cops to inform them that they’ve solved the case and it’s the ghost of a sitcom character and Jane’s attempts to get the attention of a victim who can’t hear her are also pretty funny. Meanwhile, the bodycount goes ballistic, with a huge shootout between bikers and cops at the end and a foreseeable but fun twist ending.

Crap film is rarely this funny.

February Fracas: Hearts Will Bleed

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.

Son, you’ll be a bachelor boy until your dying day… FYI, that’s today.



“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!

“Pain can be fun.”



“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.


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!


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.


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!!”

1 2 3 4