Tag Archives: Nu-di-ty

SLAUGHTER HIGH

slaughterhigh1.5 Stars  1986/18/86m

“Marty majored in cutting classmates!”

Directors/Writers: George Dugdale, Mark Ezra & Peter Litten / Cast: Caroline Munro, Simon Scuddamore, Carmine Iannaccone, Kelly Baker, Donna Yeager, Billy Hartman, Gary Martin, Sally Cross, Josephine Scandi, Michael Saffran, John Segal.

Body Count: 12 – or not…

Dire-logue: “We’ll take my car…it starts every time.”


Another one for the filmclub de lá Final Girl

I saw this film a long, long time ago on a date. Said date frowned and shot questioning looks my way throughout, wondering if there was actually something wrong with me. Explanations that “they’re [slasher films] not all this bad, I promise!” notwithstanding, that was possibly the beginning of the end of that relationship.

Curiously, being that Slaughter High was a UK-US combo project shot in Surrey (albeit pretending to be America), it’s never been given a DVD release here and, due to the bitter memories emanating from my VHS copy, I’ve not seen it again. It took three guys to write and direct this bizarro Friday the 13th pretender, which was scored by Harry Manfredini, thereby allowing those who write things on poster art to state that it was “from the makers of” that film.

Slaughter High sports the now classic revenge opus with a clique of popular kids at Doddsville High School, led by a then 34-year-old Caroline Munro (it was apparently shot in ’84), playing pranks on cookie cutter nerd Marty Rantzen, one of which ends with him being horrifically burned by acid. Caroline is sorry, the others aren’t really.

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“Let’s get physic-aaaaarrgghhh!!!”

A decade on, all ten are invited back to a bogus reunion at the now abandoned school where they are quickly locked inside and picked off by the jester-masked Marty, who does them in creatively with acid-laced beer, a pit of sludge and the usual array of axes and knives. He also manages to ensure one chick – spattered in blood – takes a bath in acid, melting off her skin in all of twenty seconds.

Grisly and gory where it counts but entirely inept in almost every other department, the characters of Slaughter High make time to stray for sex after they’ve witnessed several friends DIE! DIE! DIE! Said horny couple are electrocuted during the act, whilst another guy is crushed by the tractor he’s trying to fix (!?), which has a convenient spinning rotor on its underside…

Sooner or later, it’s down to Marty and Caroline. It climaxes slightly differently than one might expect but then there’s the twist. Jesus Wept, there’s that twist! If the inexplicable behaviour of most of the cast had you scratching your head earlier on, you’ll want to dig your fingernails through your skull and into your brain at the end proper.

As you can tell, I’m not a fan. But plenty are and the film has garnered a weird following over the years, partly due to Scuddamore’s subsequent suicide and the presence of bad-horror fixture Munro and the sometimes uncomfortable vibe the film has on parade, from seeing Marty full-frontally nude to the often sadistic deaths (deserved, I guess…), the film suffers from some of the lesser elements of British 80’s productions: grainy and drained of colour, it’s like a horror episode of Dempsey & Makepeace or a Bucks Fizz video that went askew! But they got it right with the jester mask –  it’s damn creepy.

Though it sucks, it’s kind of a crap-classic that I’ll give another spin one day should I require another date to make a quick exit…

Blurbs-of-interest: Munro and Baker both appeared in the even worse Don’t Open Til Christmas; Munro was also in Maniac and it’s sort-of sequel The Last Horror Film. And check out the pair of covers below, IMDb trivia states Cutting Class is a spin-off. Eww.

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SILENT BLOODNIGHT

silentbloodnight1.5 Stars  2006/18/84m

“The terror is everywhere!”

Directors/Writers: Stefan Peczelf & Elmar Weihsmann / Cast: Vanessa Vee, Mike Vega, Robert Cleaner, Alexander E. Fennon, Markus Schlotti, Andrea Stotter, Christine Dune, Christina Conti, Andy Freund, Julia Melchor.

Body Count: 13

Dire-logue: “Daddy, the waitress was allergic to bee stings. Why did all the bees sting at the same spot?”


There are times when things aren’t quite real to me, like the time I ate Space Cake in Amsterdam and my brain seemed to be firing so fast I thought it would short out and explode, then I was convinced I’d be run over by a tram. Bad times.

Self-induced trips aside, when watching Silent Bloodnight earlier today, I was struck by a sort of whatthefuckishappening vibe as the events of this supremely weird Austrian export unfolded before my eyes, which is quite possibly the weirdest film I’ve seen in recent memory, and said recent memory includes both Mr Halloween and Ax ‘Em.

The film begins with a girl wandering aimlessly down the middle of a road in the dark, chanting the lyrics to Mockingbird. She hears some splashing and spies on three guys and a girl skinny dipping in the lake and sits there nibbling the corner of a chocolate bar. Skinny dippers emerge from the water and we see something you don’t oft get in slasher flicks: FULL FRONTAL MALE NUDITY!

silent1The girl then finds two naked people having sex and is approached by two clothed guys (possibly the skinny dippers but who knows what’s going on in this film?) She offers them chocolate. Another couple drive up and begin having sex in their car. A different girl goes to the bathroom and finds blood. Whose? Dunno. Her boyfriend staggers in and is then killed with a spade by a dungaree wearing farmer type.

Back in the sex-car, the girl – Sabrina – sees a terrified girl at the window but doesn’t stop the sex for now. When she chooses to, her boyfriend Matt thinks her screams are climactic and continues humping her. The terrified girl hides in some reeds but spade-farmer comes and kills her. Another guy called Jacob appears and asks Sabrina and Matt – done with sex-car – if they’ve seen a girl called Nina. No. He goes to the lake and cries “nooooooo” for some reason.

The mysterious transvestite-eiderdown killer!

The mysterious transvestite-eiderdown killer!

Sabrina, we learn, is the local news anchor who presents her show in only a bikini. There’s some blah about a discovered piece of jewelry and Sabrina wants to investigate the girl-at-the-window but nobody else cares, including her cop dad. Some more teens turn up to stay at a house or help open a boy scout camp (I couldn’t work it out) and a couple of them die by spade when they go off somewhere. Meanwhile, after being attacked by a clodding transvestite, Sabrina investigates Jacob’s sister Nina, who has escaped from an institution and she and Jacob discuss it over the world’s biggest jug of OJ.

silent2

Jacob confided in Sabrina the truth about his Vitiman C deficiency.

The killer eventually comes to the house where the teens are staying a kills some of them, including another frontally nude guy, whose frontally nude girl ran down the hall straight into a knife… Sabrina’s dad appears to save the day and we learn something to do with Nina being raped and dying somehow. In a handy flashback, mid-rape, one of the guys just says she’s dead and leaves… How did she die? Chocolate intolerance? What? Help! To make matters worse weirder, the killer appears almost straight away at the scene and spins with his spade in hand as if competing for Gold at The Hammer in the Olympics and takes the guy’s head off!

silent3Silent Bloodnight makes little sense and two of the girls look exactly the same so I had no idea who I was dealing with at any one time. Also, the film stock may well have been left out in the rain for a fortnight as it’s so damn blurry, giving it an early 80’s look akin to trash like Satan’s Blade or Honeymoon Horror. It’s actually better than those films though, mainly because the Austrian cast all talk in English. Better than subtitles? Well…yes and no. I respect anyone who can master a language as we English-speaking natives are just too damn lazy to most of the time, but both pronunciation and choice of adjectives constantly had me smirking as Sabrina would try and make points during her terror: “something unexplained has happened!” she caws. Elsewhere, a cop assigned to protect her suggests she order a pizza, to which she responds: “what a mouth! I will complain about you!”

Bless them for trying but I had little to no idea what was happening, who most of the cast were, what they were doing there and why dungaree-farmer killed most of them. Or who the tranny-killer was. Or what became of dungaree-farmer at the end.

If you like tons of mixed-gender nudity, incomprehensible plotting, incidental stingers that sound like you’re receiving a text message, translations assumedly advised by Google and slightly blurry visuals then Silent Bloodnight is for you and nobody else. Stick it in the box under your bed with your porn, it’ll be happy there.

THE RETREAT

silentscream1.5 Stars  2005/15/86m

“When the hood appears…friends disappear!”

A.k.a. Silent Scream (DVD title)

Directors/Writers: Matt Cantu & Lance K.R. Lawas / Writer: Bob Brown / Cast: Melissa Schuman, Scott Vickaryous, Shanti Lowry, Michael McKiddy, Walter Harris, Peter Carey, Cheryl Campbell, Lance Croy, Roger Bergeron, Chrissy Lawver, Courtney Kling, Mike Kinney, Carey Shawn, David Craze, Rick Lundgren.

Body Count: 15

Dire-logue: “Death and lust just don’t go together.”


Look! One of the directors names has ‘can’t’ in it! That’s strange…isn’t it?

In another handsome looking but horribly scripted video slashfest, dim-witted psyche majors celebrate the end of their course with a weekend at their professor’s isolated cabin in snowy Michigan, where they are stalked and slain by a Parka-clad maniac who should probably pay damages to the fiend from Urban Legend.

In a structural anomaly, half of the class travel up on one night and all but two are killed in the first twenty minutes. The rest of them drive up the next day to meet an identical fate, albeit drawn out for the remainder of the running time. High body count notwithstanding, the film drags along at painfully drab rate with acting so dire it makes Eldorado look like a Stanislavsky masterclass.

Too much time is wasted on the dreadful dialogue between are-they/aren’t-they couple Nicole and Mark, who, unfortunately, are the nominal leads. Both of them amass zero sympathy; he intended to cheat on her with two sexy classmates, while she is in an unrelenting bad mood, which would likely make any guy want to skip off for the chance of a menage a trois. However, even during the chase scenes they pause to discuss getting back together.

Once everyone is mercifully laid to waste, the film flicks the twist switch with a trick only marginally less offensive than the ‘it was all a dream’ ending, which makes you want to kick the screen in. Actually, it’s not marginally less offensive, it amounts to the same thing. Kick it!!!

This travesty of Horror 101 accounted for, The Retreat looks like it was written by a couple of twelve-year-olds who’ve just seen their first Friday the 13th movie and think they can do better by chucking in ‘inventive’ deaths (that were evidently too expensive to be shown on screen), pointless girl-on-girl action, that stupid fucking twist, and somehow been lucky enough to land a competent photographer to make it look a thousand times better than it has a right to and a cover designer who probably never watched it and decided it sounded enough like Saw to provide rip-off art.

If you happen across this, beat your own retreat!

Blurb-of-interest: Melissa Schuman (moody cow) was in The Hollow.

SILENT MADNESS

silentmadness2.5 Stars  1984/18/87m

“The screaming never stops.”

A.k.a. Beautiful Screamers; The Nightkillers; The Omega Factor

Director/Writer: Simon Nuchtern / Writers: Robert Zimmerman, William O’ Milling & Nelson DeMille / Cast: Belinda Montgomery, David Greenan, Viveca Lindfors, Solly Marx, Sydney Lassick, Roderick Cook, Stanja Lowe, Ed Van Nuys, Dennis Helfend, Philip Levy, Tori Hartman, Katherine Kamhi, Katie Bull, Elizabeth Kaitan.

Body Count: 11

Dire-logue: “Just because the goddamn broad is so good looking don’t mean we all have to think with our dicks!”


Amazingly cool poster art and 3D aspect side, this no-frills co-ed campus slasher is pretty much a run of the mill two-star effort until it caught me out with a quite unexpected twist, which elevated it above the dime-a-dozen girls’ school terror subset.

A psychotic named Howard Johns (Marx) is accidentally released from an institute in place of the intended out-patient John Howard in the administrative error from hell! He gravitates back to the scene of a seventeen-years gone massacre at a sorority house and begins knocking off the girls who haven’t left for fall break in a re-enactment of the previous slaughter.

Meanwhile, Montgomery is the psychiatrist who believes something to be amiss when the creepy Dr Kruger (who speaks with a ridiculous English accent) claims that Johns is actually dead. So she goes to the sorority house where the nail-gun murders occurred and poses as ex-alumni while Kruger dispatches his duo of equally creepy attendants to catch and kill the wayward loon. Murders are intermittent and sloppy while Montgomery explores the house’s boiler room, which is roughly the size of a concert arena, allowing for drawn out stalk-a-thons therein.

Lindfors is amusing as the slut-hating housemother, whose role was far more obvious when I watched the film a second time. Some of the murder setups are seemingly intentionally funny: one girl is playing a video game and shouting (at it); “look behind you! slash! run!” while her friend is suspended upside down on a piece of gym equipment, Johns wraps one end of a skipping rope around her neck and the other around a barbell, which is then tossed out of the window! Acting, characterisation and credibility are all washed away in a tide of silliness and the roster of familiar faces seem wasted.

Blurbs-of-interest: Sydney Lassick was in The Unseen and was also Carrie‘s English teacher; Katherine Kamhi was the bitchy counsellor Meg in Sleepaway Camp; Elizabeth Kaitan (the skateboardin’ sister) was in Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 and played Robin in Friday the 13th Part VII. Paul DeAngelo, also from Sleepaway Camp, is the first guy killed.

Undo

hal-resHALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION

3 Stars  2002/15/86m

“Evil finds it’s way home.”

A.k.a. Halloween 8

Director: Rick Rosenthal / Writers: Larry Brand & Sean Hood / Cast: Busta Rhymes, Bianca Kajlich, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ryan Merriman, Katee Sackhoff, Sean Patrick Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Daisy McCrackin, Luke Kirby, Tyra Banks, Brad Loree.

Body Count: 10

Dire-logue: “Great legs Donna, what time do they open?”


If somebody came to you and asked you to write a sequel to a movie where the main character’s head was chopped off at the end, what would you do? This must’ve been a dilemma faced by the screenwriters of this much-maligned follow-up to 1998’s ultra-successful Halloween H20, which raked in enough to make further movies a certainty. So how does Michael get his head back? Easy, he never lost it.

We begin impressively enough with the reintroduction of Jamie Lee’s Laurie Strode, now locked up in an institution with a dissociative disorder after she found out that the man whose head she axed off was in fact a paramedic dressed up in her brother Michael’s boiler suit and mask, his larynx crushed to ensure no speaking. Hmmm, we all say and move on. Michael comes to get Laurie at the asylum and duly does so when her confused state of mind prevents her killing him when she has the chance.

hr1This story arc done n’ dusted, we meet our final girl, Sara, a student at Haddonfield U (!?) who has been roped in by her good-time pals Jen and Rudy to entering a content to explore the Myers house during a Halloween night webcast for Dangertainment, a questionable production company run by Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks. Well, the characters they play at least…

hr3

Rappers in horror films, eh? Several have turned up in the shores of the slasher genre; Snoop Dogg in Bones, LL Cool J in H20. Surprisingly, LL Cool J bypassed any issues of ego and did well in an undemanding role and has gone on to carve out quite an impressive on-screen CV, including techno-slasher flick Mindhunters and techno-shark cheesefest Deep Blue Sea. On the shoulders of Rhymes, however, is the nominal lead and to say he struggles with the task is somewhat of an understatement. Banks, on the other hand, has only what amounts to a cameo in a few scenes.

From Halloween to America's Next Top Model

From Halloween to America’s Next Top Model

Six teens enter the Myers house and begin tooling around, looking at dusty objects, all of which seem a little too obvious and easy to find in a house that, according to the let’s-continue-to-ignore-the-sequels policy, has been empty since the sixties. Never mind the family who inhabited it during Halloween 6. Anyway, they pair off and begin to get killed by Michael, who has been residing in a cave-like dwelling beneath the basement. Unlike the previous film, there’s an abundance of brutal bloodletting here with some grisly final outs for the budding cyber stars.

hr4When only Sara is left, she is aided by a group of teen partiers who are watching the show and communicate with her via web text thingies on a device I’ve never seen before or since. Eventually, she and Busta face off with MM, things wrap (thankfully no rap!) and there’s yer usual ‘he ain’t dead’ ending. For both actually as Busta Rhymes seems to be as invincible as Mike. Oh yeah, there’s that line, the one everyone in the cinema groaned at: “trick or treat…motherfucka!”

hr6Despite how ridiculous Resurrection is – and it’s really, really ridic. – and Rhymes sub-dreadful acting abilities, not to mention the martial arts sequence, there’s still some fun to be found here, all you have to do is look for it. Detach it from the rest of the story, pretend it’s a different film altogether, just a slasher flick in an old house with some webcams and Resurrection becomes quite an entertaining B-flick with some good kills, nice chases and the added touch of the remote guides who try to help Sara escape. There’s some decent casting at the teen level too, unfortunately overshadowed by Rhymes’ top-billing: Sean Patrick Thomas, Katee Sackhoff (pre-BSG) and Thomas Ian Nicholas look like they’re having a laugh, even if they might remove this title from their select filmography in the future.

hr5On the flip side, it’s obvious why it’s the likely most-hated of the Michael films, pre-Zombie remakes, there’s little to no respect for what went before, either in H20 or the mid-sequels. By 2002, the reality-TV based horror was already dated, which is unfortunate as the film was due for a Halloween 2001 release but returned for re-shoots when Miramax considered it too unscary.

Some have suggested that it would have been a good move to have Sara turn out to be Jamie Lloyd, not dead after all. I agree with this, it would have served as a good launching pad for the next film or two. Alas, they chose otherwise and when mainstay producer Moustapha Akkad was killed in 2005, all plans for Halloween 9 were washed away and the remake came to be. Bad times.

hr7Blurbs-of-interest: Rick Rosenthal directed the 1981 Halloween II and made a cameo in Lost After Dark; Ryan Merriman later took the lead in Final Destination 3; Daisy McCrackin was in A Crack in the Floor. If you don’t know what other slasher flicks Jamie Lee Curtis has been in then why are you here?

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