Tag Archives: Nu-di-ty

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.

Warm Desert Nights

mirage-dvdMIRAGE

2.5 Stars  1990/18/84m

Director/Writer: Bill Crain / Writers: Chuck Hughes & Michael Crain / Cast: Jennifer McAllister, Todd Schaefer, Kevin McParland, Kenneth Johnson, Nicole Anton, B.G. Steers, Laura Albert.

Body Count: 8

Laughter Lines: “Oh, I’m sorry my karma ran over your dogma.”


Mirage begins with a classic American red pickup speeding driverless through the desert, a box holding down the gas pedal, while two blonde teens disrobe and have sex in the back. Their fooling around is watched by the occupant of a modern black 4×4, who then torments a second couple driving in the same area.

Both couples convene and a third come by on a motorcycle: Brothers Greg and Kyle are kinda fighting for the love of Chris, one of them having hired his companion to pose as his dim-witted new girlfriend to try and make Chris jealous. It fails.

They toss a football, flash boobs, discuss metaphysics (!), and the black truck. Kyle and his pretend-girlfriend leave and she goes off home safely, while he decides to ride around on his bike for a bit.

mirage-1Before long, the black truck returns to reap chaos, first leaving notes that say “You are all going to die,” and then kidnapping one of the boys and burying him up to his neck before leaving a grenade next to his head. Another girl is found with her throat violently cut, leaving the two remaining teens to traipse across the desert all day, all the time stalked by the truck and its mysterious off-camera driver.

Eventually it’s down to Chris and the killer, whose face is finally revealed and just happens to be a desert-cruising psycho, sort of a California proto-Mick Taylor, and played by B.G. Steers. Whether or not this is Burr Steers of Intruder fame I cannot discern: They look and sound quite alike, but the low picture quality of the copy I watched has cloaked this in mystery.

mirage-2Mirage is a bit of a drag given there are only seven people in the whole thing, with very long shots of nothing happening. The minimalistic desert setting lends itself to both low-budget filmmaking and a grim sense of agoraphobia, but it would work far better as a 45-minute short. As it is, the pace is way too sluggish to keep you on edge and the allusions to Duel too infrequent to be rousing.

But, it’s a bloody little affair that doesn’t hold back on flashing the gruesome denouements – and for all those people who complain the genre is misogynistic, the sole female victim is killed entirely off-camera – so at least there’s that. So-so.

The Blood Baths

pooldvdTHE POOL

3.5 Stars  2001/15/92m

“Evil has surfaced.”

A.k.a. Swimming Pool: Der Tod Felert Mit

Director/Writer: Boris von Sychowski / Writers: Lorenz Stassen & Ryan Carrassi / Cast: Kristen Miller, Elena Uhlig, Thorsten Grasshoff, John Hopkins, James McAvoy, Jason Liggett, Jonah Lotan, Isla Fisher, Cordelia Bugeja, Maximilian Grill, Lynda Rybová, Bryan Carney.

Body Count: 11

Laughter Lines: “Forget it, Frank, I’d put an end to your sex life before it even got started.”


Beware! Spoilers ahead.

The triangular formation of pretty young faces tells us where the influence for this collaborative European venture hails from. The Pool even starts with the old girl-tormented-in-house routine, as a planned dinner date is crashed by a skull-masked machete-swinging schizo.

At the International Highschool of Prague, exams wrap up and everyone wants to party, which is the big thing for rich, popular man-about-campus Gregor, who is renowned for his amazing secret after-parties. Obv heroine/American Sarah is smart and nice, everyone’s friend blah blah blah, while her German BFF, Carmen, is the promiscuous siren. There’s also Scottish bloke, British bloke, American bloke, German bloke, Australian girl, Czech girl, and girl-whose-accent-I-couldn’t-place.

pool7Scottish bloke and Australian girl are boyfriend/girlfriend, and also happen to be played by bona fide Hollywood A-listers to be James McAvoy and Isla Fisher. No big name should go without having been in a teen horror film before hitting the big time. It’s law. Anyway, She’s screwed up her final and is a bad mood, which lends well to her storming off and being the next one to meet Mr Skullface, who stalks her through the woods in an effectively pumped chase scene.

After the official school graduation ball thingy, the gang meet up and Gregor leads them convoy style to a pool complex outside the city. Swimsuits are provided, nobody knows they’re there, and they successfully jimmy their way into the bar. Awesome times ahead.

Well, awesome times would be ahead were it not for one of the group having stopped taking their meds, slaughtering his own stepsister, and is now among them at the party. But who, who? A grumpy detective in on the case, but he inexplicably speaks English to his Czech colleagues and says “damn kids” a lot. He’ll be useful.

pool1Sarah doesn’t swim and she doesn’t talk about it. Although later, when the issue is forced, her big secret warrants a one-line exposition of “oh… is that it?” gravitas. She lets the others have fun, flirt, pair off, la de da…

Up next is the infamous waterslide murder. An inventive set piece I’m sure we’ve all worried about at one time or another while sliding down the inside of a plastic tube towards God-knows-what. What if there’s crap in the splash pool? Or a dead body? *gasp* what is something sharp penetrated the floor of the slide!? See the results in this old Icky Way To Go. Ouch.

The murders are discovered and the group find that they are locked inside. Spitting into two groups, as numbers deplete, Sarah’s friends try to convince her that Gregor (elsewhere) is the most likely suspect. He brought them there. He made loads of suspicious statements earlier. One half of the group attempts to escape through the venting system, only for the killer to start piercing it with the machete.

pool2By this point it’s fairly obvious who the killer is, and it was a bit of a ‘that old chestnut’ situation as it’s revealed to be – yawn – the British guy, but the actor does a fine job of camping it up as he goes head to head with hydrophobic Sarah.

One distinguishing feature of The Pool is that not everyone else dies, there’s quite a number left intact by the time the credits roll. It’s helpful, as it offsets the weight on Kristen Miller’s shoulders, as she’s something of a cookie-cutter final girl, all deep trauma and niceties. Normally, the promiscuous girl who, it turns out, bedded Sarah’s boyfriend, would be sliced in no time, but she actually ends up saving the day here.

pool4The refresher comes from the cross section of accents and looks; the film was initially going to be a German-language homegrown production (evidenced by three of the five surviving characters being German), but cottoned on to the global market well enough, is produced with enough gloss to rank well as one of many Scream knock-offs, and doesn’t shy away from the bloodletting in favour of laughs. One eyebrow-raiser is the “advanced age” of several of these “teens” – some of them look like they should be thinking about retirement rather than graduation.

A fun diversion, aided abundantly by Prague’s beautiful scenery, and some ambitious ideas. The sort-of sequel is merely a re-edited Do You Wanna Know a Secret? with some new scenes tossed into the salad. As there’s no way in hell I’ll ever subject myself to that film again, I’ve not exposed myself to it.

Take a dip.

Blurb-of-interest: Miller was the bitchy girl, Cindy, in Cherry Falls.

pool6

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!

 

Stay Single

newlydeads_webTHE NEWLYDEADS

1.5 Stars  1988/77m

“Till DEATH do them part.”

Director/Writer: Joseph Merhi / Writer: Sean Dash / Cast: Jim Williams, Jean Levine, Jay Richardson, Roxanna Michaels, Scott Kaske, Captain Mike, Rebecca Barrington, Michael Springer.

Body Count: 9


This often laughably inept Troma has a skewered moral compass among it’s many, many problems. Beware spoilers…

A lodge owner makes a play for the hot blonde who’s just checked in, only for a wig to slip and reveal that she is in fact a he. A fight breaks out and the owner kills her.

Fifteen years later (never fourteen, never sixteen), the owner’s own wedding day is disrupted by the appearance of the ghostly transvestite, who proceeds to begin killing guests at the lodge in between tormenting him, laughing like Freddy Krueger through a worn out microphone, three rooms down the hall during an electrical storm.

A psychic woman who pieces bits of the story together stops by with her skeptical husband, as well as a dim-witted couple, oversexed couple, an aged, deaf couple, and two rockers/stoners – all of them guests at The Newlywed Lodge. But in the case of one couple, it’s a surprise trip for him to propose, despite the name of the place, his girl has no clue!?

newlydeads1The film is a complete mess, with one guy driving off to find a functioning phone, the psychic woman realises he’s in danger and goes off on foot to find him, but makes it to the same place in seconds, whereas it took him some while to drive there. She finds him dead in front of a crowd of people, but returns to the lodge as if nothing has happened and resumes helping the remorseless owner.

Several characters completely vanish from the film and, come the end, there are seven people running around the woods at the same time, as well as the ghostly killer. Eventually, psychic woman sacrifices herself to save the murderous owner, WHO GETS AWAY WITH IT!

Objectively bad in every way, but some of that bad at least seeps over to slack-jawed amusement. Double-bill it with Honeymoon Horror.

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