There are only seven slasher flicks I’d give five out of five stars to and conversely only nine that are so bereft of merit that I only afforded them a dismal half-a-star, some of which necessitate some more extensive explanations (Ax ‘Em, for instance) but for March’s face-off, here are four such horrors (in the other sense) that there’s really little to say about besides whatever the opposite to superlatives is…
“Your past will ALWAYS come back to haunt you.”
Director: Rae Fitzgerald / Writer: Beverly Beaton / Cast: Stephanie Beaton, Paul Zanone, Wil Matthew, Katrina McCullough, Alonzo F. Jones, Mikul Robins, Lorelei Shannon.
Body Count: 8
Dire-logue: “You can’t intimidate me by yelling!”
A group of friends are tormented by a sack-headed loon who was ‘drowned’ by one of them when they were kids. Dreadful shot-on-video production quality and largely inaudible dialogue – despite most of it being shouted by the cast of sub-amateurs. Horror regular Beaton is the only one who stands a chance but the ridiculous suicide ending does nothing for her career options. Harrowingly atrocious.
“The legend of Quiltface!”
Director: Massimiliano Cerchi / Writers: Massimiliano Cerchi & John Polinia / Cast: Dean Paul, Molinee Dawn, Sean Wing, Melissa Brown, Mike Paulie, Mack Hail.
Body Count: 6
Dire-logue: “My mom says I’m toothily challenged. She says when I get my braces I could be a model.”
If Carnage Road were a physical experience, it would surely be a wisdom tooth extraction with simultaneous rectal surgery. With no anaesthetic. And blind surgeons. For this is truly painful viewing at its most antagonistically awful.
What scraps of story there are concern a quartet of photography students who need some extra credit, which shouldn’t be a surprise as, between them, they have only one camera, which looks like it was issued in the 50s. They drive out to the desert but end up just taking commemorative shots of one another stood in front of bits of junk and sand. A+
The driver of their minivan warns them of a local maniac known as Quiltface – Eiderdownhead was already taken – and they all laugh at him, but not before a phenomenal shot where said killer is stood approximately ten feet away from the group in broad daylight with nothing in between them and they still fail to notice… When they finally do realise he’s stalking them, they jog away at snail’s pace until one girl falls over and sits there until he can catch up and struggle with her! Another one dies from an inch-deep cut to the hip.
The only trace of originality in Carnage Road is that elects a final boy, one who miraculously survived a machete blow to the head earlier in a film where a small cut to your hip can be fatal. He spends the final twenty minutes squealing in a high-pitched voice before the predictable closing. Worse than The Bagman? Mmm…could be!
Blurb-of-shame: Mack Hail directed and starred in Mr Ice Cream Man and Switch Killer.
“Three strikes you’re dead!”
Directors / Writers: Yvette Hoffman & Guy Crawford / Cast: David Heavener, Monique Parent, Joe Estevez, Sean Dillingham, Lesslie Garrett, Paul Moncrief, James Patterson, Harley Harkins, Jeff Sorenson, Mike Kepple.
Body Count: 9
A baseball slasher flick sounds interesting, right? Fool! Think again. A young boy beats his nasty dad to death with a baseball bat and, X years later after the last game of the season, a catcher-masked psycho starts to off the members of the losing team.
The weirdest element of this cheapo film is that it sets itself up to be a mystery and then bows out with ‘and the legends were TRUE, Johnny MacIntosh did come back for revenge!’ Estevez is the dead-dad who appears only to him to spur on his killing.
A godawful cast and some of the worst editing going contribute additional nails to the coffin of this film, which also features a bizarre butt-fuck metaphor with a guy taped to a table while the killer literally shoves a bat up his arse! The characters are so dumb they surrender their weapons to try and reason with the zombie-like killer and considering their profession, can anyone run slower than these folks and why is their blood black!?
Blurb-of-shame: Joe Estevez was also in Sigma Die!, Scar and Axe Giant.
“A cut above the rest.”
Director / Writer: Simon Sprackling / Cast: Tim James, Benny Young, Christopher Lee, Matthew Devitt, Pauline Black, Ingrid Lacey, Rhona Cameron, Chris Walker, George Morton.
Body Count: 8
Christopher Lee – what the fuck is he doing here? – loses his eerie mansion to a selfish record company producer in a poker game. He moves his family in and they manage to summon up a jester-demon who toys with and tears them apart before a group of freaky hitchhikers stop by.
Less a slasher film than a pastiche of gory vignettes centring on the doomed weirdos – amongst whom there is a Jamaican ‘Psychic Commando’ and a Velma-from-Scooby Doo a-like – and the wisecracking jester with his variety of regional English accents and to-camera asides, which kill off any suspense and much is stolen from the more comedic Elm Street entries but without an ounce of the subtlety, just misguided attempts at making the text so unbelievably surreal its funny, all of which fail miserably, rendering it one of the worst horror films in existence.
Blurbs-of-shame: Lee was also in Mask of Murder and Sleepy Hollow.
Worst of the lot? Oh God, it’s so hard to choose, they’re all so awful but I think Funny Man barely fit together a coherent plot so it can be burnt at the stake this time. At least the other films were considerate enough to be really quite short.