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74

The Slasher Primer
Topic by: underdog
Posted: June 27, 2005 - 11:48 AM PDT
Last Reply: July 2, 2005 - 4:42 PM PDT

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author topic: The Slasher Primer
underdog
post #1  on June 27, 2005 - 11:48 AM PDT  
Before sending the kids off to Sleepaway Camp, you may want to take a peek at GreenCine's latest film primer: Slashers. Liz Cole cautiously steps into the domain of Freddy Kreuger, Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, Norman Bates and all their twisted cousins - along with a few underrated examples - in the horror genre that continues to put people in the seats with one primary purpose: to make 'em scream. Read it, if you dare.

And then discuss the primer here, in the safe confines of this discussion thread. Any other films you'd suggest? Your own favorites? Best/Worst? Scariest moment?

maggieandjoe
post #2  on June 27, 2005 - 4:36 PM PDT  
Whoever wrote this primer doesn't seem to know or like slashers- so why is she the one to write it? I'm stumped.
Eoliano
post #3  on June 27, 2005 - 4:51 PM PDT  
> Whoever wrote this primer doesn't seem to know or like slashers

Ouch! That really cut to the quick!
underdog
post #4  on June 27, 2005 - 5:11 PM PDT  
> On June 27, 2005 - 4:51 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > Whoever wrote this primer doesn't seem to know or like slashers
>
> Ouch! That really cut to the quick!
> ---------------------------------

Heh. Touche. Except, Liz really does like slashers. But I think it's fair to be critical of some of them - a film critical essay about a film genre so erratic as that one would be hard to take seriously if it embraced them all. Imho. But she did point out some underrated examples of the genre - including one I'd never even heard of, The Last Horror Movie, which I now want to see.

Anyway, I don't think that's a real fair appraisal of a primer that says things like " The Toolbox Murders in 2003 (a remake of the 1978 original). It's basically Jason with a toolkit, but with satisfyingly gritty and grimy Chainsaw atmosphere." And so on.

Which films did you think deserved more praise? Just curious...

C
jross3
post #5  on June 27, 2005 - 6:06 PM PDT  
I liked it well enough - but then I'm not much of a slasher fan, either :-P
I think there were a couple minor ommissions from the "Slasher Rennisance" (that's a great phrasing, there :-)
The one that came to mind was "Urban Legend" (and it had a sequel, too, right?)... that was popular, right? Kind of a unique premise for a slasher-type film, too. Kind of.
This rennisance kind of flowed into movies like Final Destination, which is like a slasher movie in a lot of ways, IMHO (random people being killed for reasons unknown, the eventual "final girl" type thing, except there were three of them... but only one girl) but lacks the actual slasher. Then there were some other highly derivitive movies like that, weren't there?

Oh, another Slasher Rennisance film: Idle Hands. It had a lot more comedy and a little less screaming, but it counts, right?
Battie
post #6  on June 28, 2005 - 12:37 AM PDT  
> On June 27, 2005 - 4:36 PM PDT maggieandjoe wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Whoever wrote this primer doesn't seem to know or like slashers- so why is she the one to write it? I'm stumped.
> ---------------------------------

I thought it was a very well-written primer. I'm a huge fan of horror {as many know by now ;)}, but I'll admit...most of it is really bad.

I still think Freddy is the best of them all. There was something utterly charming about the way he toyed with his victims and all the clever ways he devised to kill them. :P He was a slasher with personality. ^_^

Does Chuckie count as a slasher or a monster?
Battie
post #7  on June 28, 2005 - 3:10 AM PDT  
And I agree with her. Freddy vs. Jason dumbed down Freddy. I walked out of the theater ticked off, which is fairly rare. I've nearly walked out because of a digusting horror scene, or just a really awful movie...but I don't think I've been ticked off before or after that one. :P
underdog
post #8  on June 28, 2005 - 3:17 PM PDT  
> On June 28, 2005 - 12:37 AM PDT Battie wrote:

> I still think Freddy is the best of them all. There was something utterly charming about the way he toyed with his victims and all the clever ways he devised to kill them. :P He was a slasher with personality. ^_^
>

Yeah, I think Freddy K was definitely one of the best slashers/villains.

> Does Chuckie count as a slasher or a monster?
> ---------------------------------

Good question - maybe it's something about him being a puppet, it's almost like he's more of a killer critter than a straight "slasher" and there's a level of cartoonishness there that most other slashers kept away from, but an argument could certainly be made for including Child's Play, yeah.

I'll ask Liz what she thinks.

Anyone want to see a zombie primer? We may have that in the pike, too.

jross3
post #9  on June 28, 2005 - 3:39 PM PDT  
> On June 28, 2005 - 3:17 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Anyone want to see a zombie primer? We may have that in the pike, too.
>
>
> ---------------------------------

I'd love that. Maybe then I could find out why everyone keeps chanting, "Brains! Brains!" whenever someone mentions "zombies!" I've never seen a brain-eating zombit movie, just lots of biting...
Would it include the "they're not really zombies, they're infected with something weird" movies like Resident Evil and 28 Days Later? I'd like someone to draw the line...
underdog
post #10  on June 28, 2005 - 4:14 PM PDT  
> On June 28, 2005 - 3:39 PM PDT jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------

> I'd love that. Maybe then I could find out why everyone keeps chanting, "Brains! Brains!" whenever someone mentions "zombies!" I've never seen a brain-eating zombit movie, just lots of biting...
> Would it include the "they're not really zombies, they're infected with something weird" movies like Resident Evil and 28 Days Later? I'd like someone to draw the line...
> ---------------------------------

I'm quite certain those two will be in the primer. ;-) (Hm, is there a zombie emoticon? 8-o )
Battie
post #11  on June 29, 2005 - 12:36 AM PDT  
> On June 28, 2005 - 3:39 PM PDT jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I'd love that. Maybe then I could find out why everyone keeps chanting, "Brains! Brains!" whenever someone mentions "zombies!" I've never seen a brain-eating zombit movie, just lots of biting...
> Would it include the "they're not really zombies, they're infected with something weird" movies like Resident Evil and 28 Days Later? I'd like someone to draw the line...
> ---------------------------------

LOL! It's from the movie Return of the Living Dead and it's less cool sequel...and third-quel. Return of the Living Dead is classic, man. You gotta see it. It's full of horror and cheesey humor, plus the special effects were actually really good, especially when considering it's an 80s movie. :P

But yes, I would love a zombie primer.
Cinenaut
post #12  on June 29, 2005 - 9:38 AM PDT  
> On June 29, 2005 - 12:36 AM PDT Battie wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> LOL! It's from the movie Return of the Living Dead and it's less cool sequel...and third-quel. Return of the Living Dead is classic, man. You gotta see it. It's full of horror and cheesey humor, plus the special effects were actually really good, especially when considering it's an 80s movie. :P
>
> But yes, I would love a zombie primer.
> ---------------------------------

Yeah, Return of the Living Dead has the "braaaains" zombie in it. It's one of my favorites, too. A great mix of humor and horror, although I haven't seen it since it came out in theaters.

Cinenaut
post #13  on June 29, 2005 - 9:41 AM PDT  
Oh, and a zombie primer would be dandy!
vexkitten
post #14  on June 29, 2005 - 2:47 PM PDT  
I can see Maggieandjoe's point. Not because the author of this piece is critical (Sturgeon's Law says ninety percent of everything is crap, and in this genre it's more like ninety-eight) but because of some silly errors.

"while Leatherface is beating his first victim to death with a sledgehammer, the man's screams are substituted with hog squeals."
The squeals were used for Leatherface himself, not his victim.

"Fans loved its iconic psychopath Michael Myers and the soft-core sex"

One scene of humping under sheets qualifies as soft-core sex? And this is why I like Halloween? Little did I know!

Don't Look Now...there's a memorable sex scene.
(Depressing news - apparently a remake is slated. I'm guessing two WB TV performers in their early twenties will star, they'll stay dressed for the sex scene and at the end, Venice blows up. )

"The first Friday the 13th was churned out in 1980... and brought the mute, ski-masked knife-wielder Jason Voorhees to the world of merchandise."

The F13s are ALL crap in my opinion, but come on.."ski masked"? Not to mention that he wasn't the killer until part 2 and didn't wear the mask until 3. This series doesn't deserve much respect, but at least get the details right.

And Shocker was a defining blockbuster? On what planet? It was a miserably failed attempt for Wes to make some of the dough he was cheated out of on the Freddy franchise. I had completely forgotten that it even existed, and I actually saw it in the theater (feel free to send condolences.)

As for Freddy, he was a novel idea poorly executed. He could have actually been scary without the sweater, hat and wisecracks. Instead, Craven made him into a clown, especially during the slapstick ending in which he gets beat up by booby-traps like Wile E. Coyote. The first film had its moments, but the "After School Special" quality of the acting and dialogue kept it from being on the level of The Exorcist or Halloween. The sequels were just cartoons with the occasional clever effects sequence.

So, Psycho, Halloween the first, Texas Chainsaw..Hooper's Funhouse wasn't bad...Candyman had some scary moments...still haven't seen Haute Tension (hint, hint). After that, you have mostly pale retreads, I'm afraid...or more accurately, not afraid.
underdog
post #15  on June 29, 2005 - 3:29 PM PDT  
Thanks Vex! You caught a few things that, frankly, we the editors should have picked out. We are humbled and will don a hockey mask as punishment. ;-) But seriously, through the magic of the Web, we'll make a few tweaks based on your suggestions. Some things are really up to the discretion of the author and a matter of personal taste and/or open to debate, but for a couple of the more egregious errors, we'll fix 'em.

Thanks again.
Battie
post #16  on June 29, 2005 - 3:35 PM PDT  
> On June 29, 2005 - 9:38 AM PDT Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Yeah, Return of the Living Dead has the "braaaains" zombie in it. It's one of my favorites, too. A great mix of humor and horror, although I haven't seen it since it came out in theaters.
> ---------------------------------

Hmm..was that a hit in theaters, or did it tank? I'm actually surprised most on-line places carry the DVD of Return of the Living Dead (almost as surprised as I was when I found out there was a DVD of it!).

"I want your braaaainnnnss!"

"Sheilaaaa! Don't you love me anymore?" (I think it was Sheila?) Heh, I always thought it was rather amusing that she was tempted to give in and let him eat her brains. :P Also rather amusing that the movie showed the government as evil and careless of peoples' lives, considering it was just a funny zombie movie for teens.
Battie
post #17  on June 29, 2005 - 3:46 PM PDT  
> On June 29, 2005 - 2:47 PM PDT vexkitten wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> One scene of humping under sheets qualifies as soft-core sex? And this is why I like Halloween? Little did I know!
>

Perhaps she was referring to Michael and all his remakes? :P

> Don't Look Now...there's a memorable sex scene.
> (Depressing news - apparently a remake is slated. I'm guessing two WB TV performers in their early twenties will star, they'll stay dressed for the sex scene and at the end, Venice blows up. )
>

...It'll tank, even if they find good actors. :P The people who liked Halloween won't want to see the remake, and everyone else won't care either way. ^_^ Well, I suppose it won't utterly tank. There will still be teenagers in theaters hoping for soft-core sex and some gore. >_>

> And Shocker was a defining blockbuster? On what planet? It was a miserably failed attempt for Wes to make some of the dough he was cheated out of on the Freddy franchise. I had completely forgotten that it even existed, and I actually saw it in the theater (feel free to send condolences.)
>

I'm actually gonna agree on that. >_> I caught it on DVD...and it sucked badly.

> As for Freddy, he was a novel idea poorly executed. He could have actually been scary without the sweater, hat and wisecracks. Instead, Craven made him into a clown, especially during the slapstick ending in which he gets beat up by booby-traps like Wile E. Coyote. The first film had its moments, but the "After School Special" quality of the acting and dialogue kept it from being on the level of The Exorcist or Halloween. The sequels were just cartoons with the occasional clever effects sequence.
>

Well, there are two kinds of horror, really...The funny stuff, and the irritatingly serious stuff like Halloween. ^_^ Each to their own.

I thought the point was to give a monster that didn't seem so scary...skinny guy with a weird sweater and a PERSONALITY. It deviated from the silent, emotionless killers of Michael and Jason.

> So, Psycho, Halloween the first, Texas Chainsaw..Hooper's Funhouse wasn't bad...Candyman had some scary moments...still haven't seen Haute Tension (hint, hint). After that, you have mostly pale retreads, I'm afraid...or more accurately, not afraid.
> ---------------------------------

I've seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and it's remakes...the remakes were less horrid than I'd expected, but I generally have a really bad expectation of remakes. I didn't like either. The first one seemed more like a movie that Rob Zombie took some pointers on, and the second was just...Blah. A wee bit creepy psychologically, but not so much so I didn't find time to hit pause.

Event Horizon was a movie that freaked me out. I'm really disturbed by movies that have characters stuck with their killer or whatever. You can't scream, "Just get out of the house!" at them. ^_^ The Cube, for instance, was slightly novel and actually pretty cool in its horror. I think EH disturbed me for that reason, and probably because it was the first truly gory movie I'd seen. I personally think a true sadist was involved in the making... >_>
Cinenaut
post #18  on June 29, 2005 - 4:51 PM PDT  
I don't think Return of the Living Dead was a huge hit. It made me happy, though. It was a good time for horror comedy, with movies like American Werewolf in London, Evil Dead, and The Howling coming out.
vexkitten
post #19  on June 29, 2005 - 4:57 PM PDT  

> ...It'll tank, even if they find good actors. :P The people who liked Halloween won't want to see the remake, and everyone else won't care either way.

It's a "Don't Look Now" remake, not a "Halloween" remake.


> Well, there are two kinds of horror, really...The funny stuff, and the irritatingly serious stuff like Halloween. ^_^ Each to their own.

Just like there are two kinds of comedies: funny and not funny. And two kinds of action movies: exciting and dull.

I suppose some people prefer "not funny" and "dull." To each their own.


> I've seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and it's remakes... I didn't like either. The first one seemed more like a movie that Rob Zombie took some pointers on

I'm sure that was Tobe Hoopers primary motivation in making it. Now that's thinking ahead!

I just saw The Seven Samurai recently. It just seemed to me like a movie Battle Beyond the Stars took some pointers from.

I'm going to go take some migraine pills now.
vexkitten
post #20  on June 29, 2005 - 5:02 PM PDT  
> On June 29, 2005 - 3:29 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Thanks Vex! You caught a few things that, frankly, we the editors should have picked out. We are humbled and will don a hockey mask as punishment. ;-) But seriously, through the magic of the Web, we'll make a few tweaks based on your suggestions. Some things are really up to the discretion of the author and a matter of personal taste and/or open to debate, but for a couple of the more egregious errors, we'll fix 'em.
>
> Thanks again.
> ---------------------------------

My pleasure! Though I think you should have to watch Shocker again as punishment.
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