Tag Archives: slasher films that aren’t supposed to be funny but are funny

Slashdance

lastdanceLAST DANCE

2 Stars  1992/18/80m

“An erotic thriller featuring the hottest young dancers, but the prize will go to the sole survivor.”

Director: Anthony Markes / Writer: Emerson Bixby / Cast: Cynthia Stanton, Elaine Hendrix, Kurt T. Williams, Kelly Poole, Kimberly Speiss, Allison Rhea, Erica Ringstrom, Marci Brickhouse.

Body Count: 9

Dire-logue: “Was that your mother I ran over in the parking lot? You should teach her not to chase cars.”


If Angela Lansbury turned up – to visit another of her numerous relatives – Last Dance could easily be mistaken for an episode of Murder She Wrote.

Five sexy female dancers competing for the ironic title of Miss DTV (Dance TV), a launchpad for dancing in music videos and movie roles, are being summarily danced off stage forever by a mystery killer, who could be bitter choreographer Meryll, jilted barman Rick or club owner Jim, who is screwing around with most of the girls. Softcore porn inserts aside, this could easily pass for a lower certificate.

As the killer is finally revealed (and it’s not hard to guess who it is), new-girl/heroine Jamie protests her innocence by whining “it’s not fair!” like a seven-year-old having a tantrum but still manages to defeat the killer with a glitter ball (of course!) until they later return with a Phantom of the Opera facial for another go after Jamie wins the crown, somehow disguising themselves as a busboy, despite gaping scars down their face!

Random, bizarre and so bad you’ll laugh yourself stupid. Stupider. More stupid.

Blurbs-of-interest: Director Markes had already helmed Bikini Island and had also cast Kelly Poole in it. Kimberly Speiss was in Psycho Cop Returns. Elaine Hendrix had some moderate success with roles in Romy & Michele and The Parent Trap remake amongst other things.

March Match: Half-Star City

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…

bagmanTHE BAGMAN

0.5 Stars  2002/15/81m

“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.


carnageroadCARNAGE ROAD

0.5 Stars  2000/15/70m

“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.


catcherTHE CATCHER

0.5 Stars  1998/18/77m

“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.


funnymanFUNNY MAN

0.5 Stars  1994/18/89m

“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.

Nightmares on Cliche Street

heartstopperHEARTSTOPPER

2 Stars  2006/18/85m

“Each beat may be your last.”

Director: Bob Keen / Cast: Vlady Pildysh & Warren P. Sonoda / Cast: Meredith Henderson, James Binkley, Nathaniel Stephenson, Robert Englund, Laura De Carteret, Michael Cram, Lori Hallier, Scott Gibson.

Body Count: 19

Dire-logue: “Get back here you Christ-infected bitch! When I’m inside you I’ll make you hell’s slut!”


Check out that Dire-logue! This film gains 75% of its stars from that alone.

The execution by electric chair of psychopathic killer Jonathan Chambers (Binkley) coincides with the suicide attempt of depressed high-schooler Sara (Henderson), whom everyone is calling a slut for the usual schoolastic reasons. i.e. none.

Chambers’ corpse and an injured Sara are both taken to a dilapidated hospital in the same ambulance after it nearly runs Sara over, where the loon is unaccountably resurrected and begins a heart-gouging kill spree in the hunt for Sara, whose body he needs to be reborn into. Or something.

heart1

Robert Englund appears as the arresting sheriff but doesn’t make it far through the film – well, enough to appear on the DVD box as if he’s the star. Mucho killage ensues while Sara’s mom (Lori Hallier from My Bloody Valentine) visits and gives her daughter sod-all sympathy.

Alas, a big body count does not a good film make and at least two thirds of the film are made up of the whittled down group of survivors hobbling up and down corridors, looking for hiding places, and performing a fucking blood transfusion in the dark with the aide of one nurse. Sara and Chambers eventually face off, there’s a handy tornado and a final scream moment that neither confirms nor denies any ongoing threat.

heart2

Plenty of arterial spray on show, including an operating theatre massacre where Chambers manages to do in half a dozen people in about two minutes. It’s one of those stupid scenes where there are approximately seven or eight people who could gang up on the lone killer and instead just cower next to small pieces of furniture instead.

The seriousness with which everything is played is what stalls the motor at the end.

Blurbs-of-Robert Englund: 8 appearances as Freddy aside, he can also be seen in Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Hatchet, The Phantom of the Opera (1989) and Urban Legend.

When a subtle title WILL do, but inadvertently sums up the quality of the film as a side-effect…

choke-dvdTHE CHOKE

1.5 Stars  2005/18/88m

“This is not how rock stars die.”

A.k.a. Axe (UK DVD)

Director: Juan A. Mas / Writers: Jessica Dolan & Susannah Christine Lowber / Cast: Wonder Russell, Sam Prudhomme, Sean Cook, Bee Simonds, Thomas Olson, Brooke Bailey, Andrew Parker, Jason McKee, Damon Abdallah.

Body Count: 7

Dire-logue: “Why do you have to be so obsessed with death? Why can’t you be fascinated with kittens or something?”


Call a film This Film Sucks, chances are it might suck. Call a film Reeker, chances are it might stink up the screen. Call a film The Choke about a band of the same name, then you’re juggling twice as many liabilities…

So we meet punk rock band The Choke, who are on the brink of a split as the pretty-boy lead singer and the guitarist conspire to break away to pursue their own record deal. On the night of their final gig together at Club 905 – more of a warehouse than a bar – they and a handful of hangers-on find themselves locked inside and up for the chop as a mystery killer knocks them off in ‘ironic’ ways, like a drumstick in the eye or the stupid goth-girl (who’s name is London – what???) being hacked by a spike-studded bass.

The script panders to a cookie-cutter treatment of its own origins; this has to be the first film in a long time where the final girl is a virgin and it’s easy to pick who’ll live and who’ll be bludgeoned to death with a microphone stand. Worse still, the film plods along at an excruciatingly slow pace with a rinse and repeat approach that sees characters suggesting they all stick together only to separate moments later! The killer is eventually revealed, along with their motive, in a fashion so boring that you’ll likely not even notice it happen.

While it’s nicely made (albeit shot like nothing more than a 90 minute music video), it’s just so terribly pointless that it chokes to death on its own worthlessness. Maybe watch it on a double bill with Dead Girls for more reasons to avoid shite-rock-rooted slasher films or endorsements for suicide.

Every Loser Wins

fatalgames2FATAL GAMES

3.5 Stars  1983/18/81m

“The second prize is death.”

A.k.a. The Killing Touch / Olympic Nightmare

Director: Michael Elliot / Writers: Rafael Bunuel, Christopher Mankiewicz & Michael Eliot / Cast: Sally Kirkland, Lynn Banashek, Michael Elliot, Christopher Mankiewicz, Sean Masterson, Michael O’Leary, Teal Roberts, Marcelyn Ann Williams, Melissa Prophet, Angela Bennett, Nicholas Love, Lauretta Murphy, Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens.

Body Count: 6

Dire-logue: “I’m going to have to disqualify you…now!”


Here’s a javelin-tastic flick that’d be great on a double bill with Graduation Day. At an exclusive athletics training academy, a group of promising young Olympians – known as The Magnificent Seven – are threatened with extinction by a hooded maniac who tosses a mean javelin.

Amongst the array of convenient suspects are their strict coach, their steroid-prescribing doctor and the lesbian swimming coach, who’s involved with one of her proteges. Or it could be an envious ‘friend’? The sprintin’, tossin’, bar-spinnin’ teens are eliminated for good as they find themselves alone, usually working out or relaxing in the steam room afterwards – a fate which befalls one very unlucky young lady, who runs buck naked around the entire school trying to escape from the loon!

Points are lost for shaky editing, horrible incidental music, “uneven” performances and just a total lack of credibility – especially during the killer’s exposition, which is given away in most reviews of the film, robbing it of the actually-okay mystery element it trades on. As it turns out, I love the identity of the killer and how ludicrous the motive is.

Elliot’s direction is pedestrian but adequate, shooting some action from about three miles away from where’s it’s happening. But the killer is so accurate with the stick that he could skewer a teen from the other side of the Atlantic, yet the final girl (Annie) fleeing down a corridor proves more than a match.

Likeable characters, some funny humour and a general feeling of unrewarded effort don’t mean the film is as fatal as it’s largely made out to be. Yeah, it’s crap, but it’s lovable crap. Like a manky dog. Linnea and Brinke only appear in the background briefly.

Blurbs-of-interest: Sally Kirkland was later in Fingerprints and Jack the Reaper; Nicholas Love was in The Boogeyman. Marcelyn Ann Williams, under the name of Spice Williams-Crosby, was in Dead End Road.

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