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

“Jason” lives

fridaythe13th5FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING

3.5 Stars  1985/18/87m

“If Jason still haunts you… You’re not alone.”

Director: Danny Steinmann / Writers: David Cohen, Martin Kitrosser & Danny Steinmann / Cast: Melanie Kinnaman, John Shepherd, Shavar Ross, Richard Young, Marco St. John, Corey Feldman, Carol Locatell, Jerry Pavlon, Juliette Cummins, Tiffany Helm, John Robert Dixon, Debisue Voorhees, Vernon Washington, Tom Morga.

Body Count: 22


The parallel universe in which Friday the 13th exists is a place where ones build, height and entire facial structure can change over a single day, and where knowledge of current events is so minimal that folks vacation in the same spot where dozens of murders have taken place a matter of hours earlier. Time jumps along at a merry old pace as well, as shown here. Boy-hero of The Final Chapter Tommy Jarvis sprouts from a weedy 12-year-old into a super-buff teen of no determinable age, but I’d guess between 16 and 18 – and only one year in real time since his last outing!

A New Beginning is just that (unless you count the presence of old characters); Tommy is carted off to the Pinehurst Institute for troubled teens with bad hair:

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Naturally, Pinehurst is in the middle of the woods (pine, I guess), affording many a place for a masked, unhinged psycho to stalk mentally unstable kids.

No sooner does Tommy arrive then a particularly angry resident embeds an axe into the back of a porky fellow inmate. Shortly after, locals begin falling victim to a psycho killer: An utterly surreal couple of leather-clad boys are first, then the requisite horny couple, local rednecks, and eventually the Pinehurst kids.

Is it Jason, who Tommy seems to keep seeing all over the show? The Sheriff seems to think so too, much to the chagrin of the dreadful actor who plays the mayor.

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Murders continue and when only staff member Pam and cook’s grandson Reggie remain, the killer is revealed to be the hockey masked, machete bearing legend that is JV. Can Tommy save them and stop his arch-enemy all over again? And here comes the spoiler

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No.

Because it’s not Jason, just some schmuck donning a hockey mask (complete with different design), taking revenge on Pinehurst and all who dwell there for the axe-murder…of his son!!!

This is flawed for many reasons: if Dad was so local, why was there no relationship between them? Porky’s killer was already arrested and carted off – why kill everyone but the assailant? Why have a random photo of yourself in your wallet? Oh right, in case the audience are so fucking stupid they can’t put it together.

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A New Beginning is commonly known as the worst of the Friday crop; which is a fair assessment on some levels – it’s one of the laziest films, with a body count so stupidly high (including dream sequences) that the killer virtually teleports his way around town, perfecting the chess game of slasher movie killers’ ability to always be hiding behind the right tree or picking the right bedroom to stalk a victim into…

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According to the wonderful Crystal Lake Memories book, ex-porno director Steinmann’s intense paranoid moodswings made for a tense set and some questionable sequences: Are the leather boys supposed to be gay? One of them does get a phallic road flare rammed into his mouth… There’s a vicious streak to some of the homicidal dénouements, which personify abject cruelty as the troubled teens are brutally wasted without any care for their individual stories. They’re just wastable problem kids.

As with most of the earlier instalments, the MPAA insisted on several cuts, with the BBFC advising further shots removed.

It also has the worst score out of all the movies, a swirling attack of strings that belongs in a made-for-TV hurricane movie.

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In the ‘for’ arena, Friday V showed a jump forward in terms of production quality; much of the grainy, underlit scenes of The Final Chapter have been replaced by clearer visuals. The pure 80s-ness of it all is irresistibly amusing and Kinnaman makes for a gutsy heroine with the help of Ross, of Diff’rent Strokes, and Shepherd is suitably traumatised as Tommy, even if he only utters about 20 words the whole 87 minutes.

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Probably the cheesiest Jason venture (in spite of his absence) but definitely a fun ride if you don’t care about that minor fact.

Blurbs-of-interest: Juliette Cummins appeared in Deadly Dreams, Slumber Party Massacre II and Psycho III; Debisue Voorhees was in Innocent Prey and Appointment with Fear; Tiffany Helm is the daughter of Brooke Bundy, who was in A Nightmare on Elm Streets 3 and 4; Dominick Brascia was in Rush Week and directed Evil Laugh; Mark Venturini (Victor) was in Mikey in 1992. Bob DeSimone (Billy) is the brother of Tom DeSimone, who directed Hell Night. Danny Steinmann directed The Unseen under the pseudonym Peter Foleg.

DEVON’S GHOST: LEGEND OF THE BLOODY BOY

devon2 Stars  2005/18/83m

“Only his victims know why…”

A.k.a. Sawed (UK DVD)

Directors: Koichi Sakamoto & Johnny Yong Bosch / Writers: Karan Ashley, Ron Day & Tim Grace / Cast: Karan Ashley, Johnny Yong Bosch, Reza Bahador, Jonathan Cruz, Kristy Vaughan, Matt Moore, Paul Taylor, Allyn Carrell, Aleisha Force, Joel S. Greco, Jana Edele, Chip Joslin.

Body Count: 11

Dire-logue: “First day of school and we have a double homicide. How’s this going to look to the school board?”


“Only his victims know why…” – I think I might have a clue too. Could it be that the two leads, who also wrote and directed, are secretly Power Rangers? Laugh at me not, both the Green (Turbo?) and Yellow Rangers of olde lead this merry oddity of a slasher film, which calls itself “a young adult action thriller,” which is, y’know, like when snobby directors insist they’re making more than a body count film. Yes…you are. You really, really are. Ooh look, tits and blood 4 minutes in!

Anyway, in the small town of Canyon City, famed only for the unsolved disappearance of a child a decade or so earlier, there’s a body count problem occurring. Devon’s parents were the main suspects until they were found slaughtered a year later… His childhood friends saw a bloody boy wandering around at the same time. They’re now high school seniors, confoozled by a razor-lined baseball bat toting killer who beats the shit out of amorous couples about town. Nightmare-plagued heroine Symphony (!) and her buddy Josh (the Power Rangers - yeah!!) end up becoming the ones who face off with Devon and use their inexplicably last-second gained martial arts abilities to save the day – with a little help from their friends Freedom, Genesis and, uh, Craig.

Flashing MTV editing does little to counter balance the dismal looking picture quality but the action sequences are well choreographed but remain wildly out of place like a cactus on an iceberg or, as Icelandic crooner Anggun had it, like Snow on the Sahara… It does serve to remind us that nobody’s really tackled a chop-socky slasher flick yet, that could be cool. A fallen Kung Fu protege on a Ralph Macchio mission of DEATH for those who beat him at the crane or whatever it was.

Devon’s Ghost isn’t a total loss, it’s just weird. Really weird. I half expected that evil witch thingy from the Power Rangers to appear, spouting dubbed lines while the Rangers try to organise a bake sale or something. The UK re-titlementization – and its box art – was undoubtedly some half assed attempt to pass it off as a member of the Saw family.

X-RAY

xray3 Stars  1981/X/78m

“You have nothing to fear… Until they operate!”

A.k.a. Hospital Massacre / Be My Valentine…or Else! / Ward 13

Director: Boaz Davidson / Writers: Boaz Davidson & Marc Benim / Cast: Barbi Benton, Chip Lucia, John Warner Williams, Jon Van Ness, Den Surries, Gay Austin, Karyn Smith, Elizabeth Hoy, Billy Jacoby.

Body Count: 10


Like most of the slasher films from this era, X-Ray with all it’s also known as’s, the massacre to be is born out of the childhood trauma that opens the film. Gorky Harold gives his neighbour Susan a Valentine’s Card, which she laughs at and her brother David tears it up. Subsequently, Harold (having seen this through the window) sneaks in and murders David while Susan is out of the room.

Nineteen years later, Susan (now played by Playboy model Barbi Benton) stops by at the city hospital to pick up some test results, unaware that said results have been swapped for some really bad ones!!! The hospital staff, all demonstrating as much competence as a McDonalds trainee, practically imprison Suze in the building, telling her she needs an operation now. Now! NOW!!!

Elsewhere, doctors, nurses, receptionists and custodians are being stalked and murdered by a looney-doc, resulting in syrupy blood squirting all over the place. There’s a decapitated head in a candy box, a corridor-sized sheet that envelops a woman and a murdered administrator shoved hilariously into a closet on a wheelie chair.

Meanwhile, Susan’s doctor skulks about with a couple of slutty nurses, looking like an early Human League video gone askew and eventually enough people are dead so that only Susan and nice doc Harry remain. Are they seriously trying to fool us with that cunning cover-up? Was that the most subtle clue they had working for them? I kind’ve expected a championing twist but there…just…wasn’t.

As far as Halloween clones go, Israeli-shot X-Ray is hopelessly inept. Everything about it sucks and yet it was so much fun and never got boring, which is always a good sign for these flicks (Visiting Hours take note). That said, the version I watched may have been heavily cropped for the UK release, which was awarded an X-rating and never resubmitted.

Blurbs-of-interest: Kid actors Hoy and Jacoby were two of the homicidal sprogs from Bloody Birthday; Jon Van Ness was in Tourist Trap; director/writer Davidson primarily works as a producer for Nu Image, who make cheaper-than-chips Sci-Fi DVD films with such imaginative titles as Crocodile, Octopus and Spiders as well as crud slasher flick Skeleton Man.

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.

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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.

SLAUGHTER HOTEL

slaughterhotel2 Stars  1971/18/86m

“A place where nothing is forbidden.”

A.k.a. Asylum Erotica (UK DVD); The Beast Kills in Cold Blood; The Cold-Blooded Beast

Director/Writer: Fernando Di Leo / Writer: Nino Latino / Cast: Klaus Kinski, Margaret Lee, Rosalba Neri, Jane Garret, John Karlsen, Gioia Desideri, Monica Strebel.

Body Count: 11

Dire-logue: “Your desire to make love is obsessive; compulsive… Go and take a shower.”


Supposedly, men cannot go more than six seconds without thinking about sex. I don’t disagree with this assessment, but in a typical day of 16 waking hours, that’s 9,600 thoughts about sex. So…how many of those thoughts are bit sleazy?

In spite of itself, there’s nowt wrong with a bit of sleaze. It’s probably healthy! Ergo, how about this early Italian giallo that is practically dripping with sleaze? It’s certainly no Argento or Bava outing though; an institution in an old castle – seemingly only for glamorous, beautiful women – is the hunting ground for a cloaked killer who offs his victims with a variety of medieval weaponry.

Slaughter Hotel is less a horror film than some bizarro porn flick with interracial lesbian romps, endless scenes of naked women in bed, writhing with night terrors while doctors Kinski and Karlsen move around dishing up pop-psychology hypotheses’ for their fashionista patients. Bouncing along to a Loveboat-esque samba rhythm of flutes and various woodwind instruments, there’s precious little dialogue, most of which is badly dubbed and nudity far outweighs any violent content. In fact, half the body count is racked up in the last couple of minutes of the film, all of it female bar one poor schmuck who’s pushed into a handy iron maiden and skewered therein.

Kinski gives an uncharacteristically restrained performance in his thankless role while all the female characters simply drape themselves around set pieces waiting to be fucked of filleted. It’s a direlogue haven, as one man drives his gorked-out wife to the venue, she lunges for the steering wheel and, as if questioning an item on the shopping list, he says to her: “killing me is one thing but why commit suicide?” Indeed. Di Leo reportedly admitted never having researched institutions prior to the shoot, which is subtley evident in the finished product. A weird, weird experience that must be seen to be believed.

Blurbs-of-interest: the film is available on a variety of cuts, some with more of the sexual content cut than others. Kinski also played a shrink in Schizoid.

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