Starring: Matthew Laborteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett, Anne Ramsey, Anne Twomey
“Wait, she’s dead? Hey, what the hell are you doing? You didn’t say anything about a dead body, we were supposed to save her life.” (Tom, Deadly Friend)
I never get tired of saying this, but God bless the 1980s. No other decade could give you a film with a plot that begins with “a boy, his mum and his robot move into a new house” and not have that be the oddest thing about it by the time the credits roll.
Starring: Ashlyn Gere, Steven Baio, Jerold Pearson, Jody Gibson
“These things don’t happen in New York. I just hope a guy in a hockey mask named Jason doesn’t show up.” (Barney, Evil Laugh)
Sometimes when I’m in the mood to watch a completely random horror film, I tend to use two qualifying questions: 1) Is it from the ’80s? and 2) Does it have a weird name?
It was this vetting process that led to my discovery of Evil Laugh, a 1986 slasher that has somehow slipped between the horror cracks over the years. This surprised me because I found it pretty bloody entertaining.
In it, a group of medical students (all of whom look much older than they’re probably supposed to be) travel to a large secluded house to help their friend fix it up and turn it into a foster home.
Sadly, there’s a slight issue with the house: it used to be an orphanage. That’s not the problem, mind. The problem is that ten years ago, all the adults and children living in it were slaughtered by a madman who then set the house on fire, dying himself in the blaze. Continue reading “Evil Laugh (1986) review”→
Starring: Kane Hodder, Kari Keegan, John D LeMay, Steven Williams
STEVEN – “Duke! The part about being reborn through a Voorhees woman, does it have to be a living woman?” DUKE – “No.” STEVEN – “Duke, that thing is in the basement with Jessica’s dead mother.” DUKE – “Mother of God.”
Step forward New Line Cinema, who owned A Nightmare On Elm Street. New Line had been itching to make a film pitting their own Freddy Krueger against Jason for a while, but the fact that they owned Freddy while Paramount owned Jason meant it was a logistical nightmare.
Starring: Kane Hodder, Jensen Daggett, Todd Caldecott, Tiffany Paulsen
“I think the time has come for your first swimming lesson. You don’t wanna end up drowning like that Voorhees boy, do you? He never learned how to swim, either. And he’s still at the bottom of this lake.” (Charles, Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan)
By the time the Friday The 13th series had reached its eighth incarnation it was clear ideas were running a bit thin on the ground.
After all, there’s only so many times you can recycle the whole ‘masked killer stalks horny teens through the woods’ routine without eventually jumping the shark.
Starring: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy, Alf Humphreys
“Roses are red, violets are blue, one is dead… and so are you.” (killer’s note, My Bloody Valentine)
Valentine’s Day can be a pain in the arse at the best of times.
If you’re single it can be a thoroughly depressing affair as you hear countless tales of lovebirds wooing each other with gifts and other tokens of their adoration.
Meanwhile, being one of said lovebirds is no picnic either, what with the stress of having to buy your partner a present and hoping it’s the right size, or the right colour, or the specific type they asked for.
Starring: Paul Le Mat, William Hickey, Irene Miracle, Jimmie F Skaggs, Robin Frates, Matt Roe
“Metaphysically speaking, I killed myself.” (Neil, Puppet Master)
Over the past few months many of my reviews have been dedicated to films by Full Moon, one of my favourite B-movie studios.
Full Moon were responsible for a raft of low-budget 80s and 90s horror films and while the majority were as atrocious as you’d expect (hence exhibits A, B, C, D and E here), every so often they’d come up trumps with a gem.
Starring: Paula Sheppard, Linda Miller, Niles McMaster, Mildred Clinton, Brooke Shields
Also known as: Communion (original title), Holy Terror (re-release title)
“Maybe you are afraid that God will send St. Michael to take another of your loved ones. When St. Michael took my little girl, I only thought of how cruel God was.” (Mrs Tredoni, Alice Sweet Alice)
It’s generally a bit of a taboo in film to combine children with murder. Usually that means filmmakers are wary of killing a kid in a movie – that’s crossing the line – but it also works the other way too.
That’s why it’s difficult to come up with a sizeable list, off the top of your head, of films which feature a scene in which a child murders someone.
Alice Sweet Alice isn’t scared of such taboos. Not only does it include a child being killed mere minutes into its runtime, its entire plot also revolves around the notion that another child may be killing people. Continue reading “Alice Sweet Alice (1976) review”→
Starring: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Jason Alexander
“They never found his body, but he survived. He lives on whatever he can catch. Eats them raw, alive. No longer human. Right now, he’s out there. Watching, waiting. Don’t look: he’ll see you. Don’t move: he’ll hear you. Don’t breathe: you’re dead!” (Todd, The Burning)
Although there were a number of slasher films before Friday The 13th (most notably Halloween and Black Christmas), it was that film’s success which led to the birth of a sub-genre that was by far the most oft-imitated during the ’80s: the camp slasher.
(Obviously, by that I mean slasher films set in a summer camp, as opposed to films where a killer prances around going “oo-er missus” before stabbing someone.)