Monthly Archives: September 2021

Don’t Look In The Cellar 2008 Review

Don’t Look In The Cellar 2008

Directed by: Dennis Devine

Starring: Laura Artolachipi, Shevaun Kasti, Tara Shayne

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Review by Luisjo González

You know, being a critic especially a slasher movie critic is a f**king tough job. I don’t get paid, I’m not making money from adverts and I have to watch some f**king s**t to make sure you guys and dolls don’t ruin your evenings.  I never usually c3complain, but this weekend saw me sit down in front of Don’t Look In the Cellar and it was worse than getting arrested. When you break the law and get caught, they put you in a cell by yourself for as long as 24 hours. You have nothing to read, only one phone call and time moves slower than a disabled tortoise.

Dennis Devine directed this one and if you recognise that name, it’s likely because I’ve previously written about him. He was in the hot-seat for a couple of pictures that I’ve already covered. His debut was the haunted-camera slasher, Fatal Images. He finished the eighties with the decent heavy metal-flick, Dead Girls. He also made the ambitious and thus far unreleased, Bloodstream. Interestingly enough, I used to speak with his filmmaking partner, fellow-owner of his former studio, Cinematrix cinema. Of course, I’m talking about slasher fan, author/director and all-round cool guy, Steven Jarvis. We chatted for a few years and became friends. He sent me some slashers to review, but because of work, it took me a while to get through them. When I emailed him b5three times for his address to send them back in late 2017 and early 2018, he never replied. It’s now 2021 and I’ve heard nada. I’m disappointed, because I liked him and wasn’t sure what I did to make him ignore me. I may have upset him in one of my comments on his work, but I’m never trying to be personal when I explain how I felt from a movie experience. It’s just my honest opinion on whether I enjoyed what they put together. Some of you peeps might not like what I write, but that’s your decision. I try to describe how the average viewer may feel whilst watching a production. If I’m critical, it’s not a direct cuss on their intelligence/personality or life as a member of the homo species. I suppose, you readers can see that I pull no punches in my mission statement to give you a legitimate opinion on what I view.

Anyway, Mr Devine’s downward career trajectory needs to be discussed. He went from making some exciting slasher movies in a back-garden Argento type way, to becoming just another David Sterling hack. He was a talented and energetic filmmaker, but he began knocking out dime-store flicks with minimal quality that received no end of negative publicity. David Sterling, of course, is the guy that refused to fund $20 for a prop that was key to one of his stories. He’s produced almost 150 movies, including Camp Blood, Dead 7 and Maniacal. Interestingly enough, he wasn’t involved with Boris Pavlovsky’s Granny from 1999.

A group of college students sneak into an old asylum on Halloween. One by one they encounter Smiley, a hooded killer who was once a patient there…

So basically, we’re back in the galaxy where abandoned places still have running electricity, zero cobwebs and fresh food. I would love to meet the billionaire that pays the bills for important story locations from this film, Doom Asylum and Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming. In the dimension where this story takes place though, an asylum is identical to a normal house in suburbia. Don’t expect to see wards, sterilisers, medical tables, hospital beds, tablets, stethoscopes, medicines, doctors, surgeons and the like. Here we get ordinary kitchens, cupboards and bedrooms just like the place you live within. I didn’t see any nurses or psychiatrists, but I saw a cat toy next to the front door in the living room. In fact, I was unaware mental institutions even had living rooms. I was in a brain injury place for fifteen months after my accident, and they’re like asylums. I can report that it didn’t have cats, salons, a small family-size kitchen and bedrooms. It makes me ask, how do they treat mental health in this galaxy? You just get placed in some random house for a while? How is that meant to solve your issues?b2

Allegedly this particular sanctuary for the psychologically sick was closed down 10 years ago after two murders. We get to see these killings in the pre-credits. One girl is stabbed three times in the gut and we view her lifeless body splattered in blood. Her buddy is presumably dispatched off screen, because she was warned not to go in the basement, which she ignores, and then we see Smiley (the antagonist) splash her crimson all over the wall. What’s the problem with that, you ask? Well, in the first scene after the titles, both characters, same names and everything, are the main players in the plot once again, even though we just saw them get splatted(?). We’re even later told they left the house alive, but that’s not what we witnessed. If it was an urban legend and they’re not dead, why was the asylum closed down? Also, if this psychiatric refuge is no longer open, why are there still two patients there? Why isn’t it surrounded with a 6ft fence? Why is there no d3demolition team knocking it down? If the pre-credits stuff that I mentioned earlier never happened, why did one of the asylum members recognise the same girls that we saw hacked up in the opening? Answers on a postcard please…??? I’ve got two degrees, including a master’s in evolution, but maybe I’m not smart enough for this crap. I’m just too stupid to handle a killer who’s mask is covered in blood when he chops someone’s hand off, but in he next scene, it’s totally spotless. The whole premise of the story is that the kids are trapped in this place and can’t get out. No escape! Well, we can clearly see handles on the windows and doors, but they only try one of them.

Aside from the fact that my six (nearly seven) year-old, daughter could write a more logical screenplay, the script is only the beginning of the problems here. Only one member of the cast can actually perform a bit and the girls are all ERunattractive and flat chested. The blonde lead is a train-wreck of a human being and the most horrendous ‘actress’ in the 4.5 billion years of planet earth’s history. You could beat the speed of light, go back 300,000 años, grab a Neanderthal, f**k that; you can go further in the past,1.5 million years and grab a Homo Erectus, put him in front of the camera and I bet he’d give a more convincing performance than that blonde, blue-eyed hag. Also, I spent the entire runtime trying to work out if the other mental patient that wasn’t the killer, was a girl or a guy? It had a female voice, but was bigger built than Mariusz Pudzianski and had a bizarre man’s mullet for a hairstyle. I noticed that one of the chicas (the only good looking one who can actually act) had an accent, so I searched on IMDB and found out she’sYT an Andaluza like me. I wrote to her on Instagram, but she hasn’t seen it yet. I’ll update the blog when she does.

IMDB says this feature had a budget of $1,200,000 – WHAT??? What the f**k did they spend that cash on, cocaine? Did they have a huge session in the basement and call 50 prostitutes? Let’s break this down to the sum of its parts. Let’s predict that they rented two cameras for a three week shoot, you’re looking at €60,000. The cast are mainly amateurs and they’re working for David Sterling, so let’s say they got $25,000 each. That’s £400,000 for all of them. The whole thing was 100% shot in some kind of house in Los Angeles, so let’s say they rented said abode for 504 hours, (although it likely belonged to Dennis Devine), $100,000. So we’re missing about half a million dollars for f**k’s sake. On the plus side, there’s a twist that I A1didn’t guess and a huge number of slaughters. Fans of bad movie giggles will like the part where one guy gets his hand chopped off and it kills him stone dead! You can clearly see his fist hidden in his sleeve😂.

I have zero idea why Dennis Devine still makes this tosh; it’s hardly going to lead him to Hollywood. You can mock me, by saying, wouldn’t I do the same thing if I was given the opportunity, and I’ll answer like this. Give me a budget of $1,200,000 and I would not hire one of these flat chested,

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talentless strumpets. I’d also retake each scene multiple times until I got something that looked at least part realistic. My script would have concrete logic and a fearsome killer. If David Sterling is reading and thinks I’m all talk, well you know where my email address is located, try me… I really didn’t enjoy this rubbish. It’s basically a load of average looking, flat chested crap actors, one better looking Andaluza girl and they’re all quoting horrendous dialogue in David Sterling’s house. This film is really the lowest of the low and Dennis Devine, a director that’s usually full of energy, shoots like he’s overdosed on 800mg tablets of tamazipan or smoked grade A heroin. Don’t pick up this one, brothers and sisters. Skip it. I’m off to the mental hospital to have a check up. I posted a picture of it above on the right. 😂😂😂

Killer Guise:√

Gore:√

Final Girl:√

RATING: klag

R1

The House Where Death Lives 1981 Review

The House Where Death Lives 1981

aka Delusion

Directed by: Alan Beattie

Starring: Patricia Percy, Joseph Cotton, David Hayward

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Review by Luisjo González

I must admit that I treat this movie somewhat unfairly. Many times I have written about the first slasher flicks that I came across is in my local video stores in Spain, before I left the country after the break-up of my parents. I never 852569652586have named this one, even if it was one of the first I found under the title of Delusion in España. In the UK, I found the VIPCO VHS under the the name of this review. I refreshed my memory by revisiting it and I even started a review back then for the IMDB, but I never got around to finishing it. That must’ve been around 2002. I bought an NTSC copy of the movie and it was that VHS I watched anoche. Despite suffering amnesia in the accident I told you about in my review of Paranoid, I could clearly remember watching this one and my opinion of it.

One of the main things that initially caught my eye about the UK release was the inexplicable and nonsensical moniker of the feature that made not a lick of sense to the junior me. How can ‘death’ ‘live’ in a house? Think about it: The8525854523 house where death lives. If you’re alive and living somewhere, then you’re not dead, so how can death live anywhere, let alone in a house? During my first view, I awaited patiently for the first reanimated corpse so the name would seem logical, but of course, such a thing never happened. THWDT is certainly a stalk and slash movie and it was released during the peak year of 1981. Thing is though, if you take an entry like Friday the 13th and compare it with this, the differences are astounding. The two are about as contrasting as a pet cat and a smilodon, so how is it possible that they’re in the same sub-genre? Well, allow me to explain…

A nurse named Meredith Stone goes to a house to care for a crippled old millionaire. She is soon joined by the gentleman’s 16 year-old grandson, Gabriel. As soon as the teenager arrives, someone begins killing off the house members and it becomes apparent a vicious maniac is on the property…

I mentioned that this is disparate from Friday the 13th above and whilst they both stick to the same basic principles of 85258524525the slasher rule book, one is pure popcorn ‘jolt’ horror and this is more of a pseudo psychological tale that’s quite involving. Whereas Sean S Cunningham’s entry moved at a fast pace and went for a few bloody deaths, Alan Beattie’s thriller is gradual moving and rather drawn out in what moods it aims for. Whilst watching initially, I was reminded of The Silent Scream from 1979, which had a similar set-up and ended up being a fantastic project. THWDL couldn’t maintain the same momentum and it never gained the correct velocity. It’s also extremely anaemic too and there’s barely any shots of blood throughout the entire runtime. It was released in the United Kingdom as a 15 certificate, which confirms its bloodless visuals. Don’t let that put you off though, because even if there’s no goo on display, the murders are extremely brutal and there’s a couple of really tense jolts throughout the runtime. It’s quite atmospheric overall and boasts a really8541589636852 creepy score, but it’s not particularly scary or a film that you’d watch on a date. 

The story concentrates purely on the mystery and it certainly owes more to Christie than Carpenter in that sense. It’s a very engrossing puzzle to guess who’s wiping out the residents, but people that are experienced at guessing whodunits like myself, will read the clues and work it out within 45 minutes. When the killer is revealed, it’s a smart choice from the screenwriter, but hard to picture after the final credits have rolled. Without giving anything away, it somehow didn’t seem physically possible that the maniac would be able to do it, but there is a visual example that looks really good and convincing. It still doesn’t sit right with me somehow. 852585252Interestingly enough, the marketing media for the USA cinema run gave away the killer’s identity on the posters. If you went to see the movie and became engrossed in the conundrum, you’d know exactly who it was by remembering the advertisement. 

Alan Beattie seemed to have the modus operendai to ‘wow’ them in the end with a big, shocking twist. The obvious problem with that methodology is that I predicted the revelation and so, the climax felt almost like having to pay twice for only one meal. Everything had really built up to the unmasking, but it was lessened for me, because I guessed what would happen. Along the way though, various interesting areas are explored, including Meredith being sexually attracted to a sixteen year-old boy. This is quite a strange story-branch and even if one-six is not an age that’s illegal, Meredith was much older and my hatred of paedophilia made it uncomfortable to watch. It’s really hard to work out what the director was going for with that idea, but go there he does, including a sex852587456 scene. No skin is visible and there was no boob shots in this film, which is unusual as that’s a slasher key ingredient. This was, in fact, an older cast in many ways than the norm, because most of the characters were elderly and even the sixteen-year-old was played by a man who was twenty-two. No screaming teens here. No hot chicas either, although Patricia Percy is beautiful, if you’re a man that doesn’t need big boobs like I do.

The director shoots the scenes comfortably and it’s bizarre that he only had one more directorial credit inside him following this release. There’s some really neat cinematography and THWDL certainly looks well financed. Also worth 9876567890mentioning are some fabulous performances throughout the cast including Joseph Cotton as the cripple. Patricia Percy from Squirm was fine as the protagonist nurse. She’s not a bad actress, but her performance was kind of like a zombie and she doesn’t boast a strong presence on the screen. I was impressed with her physicality in the last couple of scenes and she never came across as unconvincing in a dramatic sense. I prefer actors that dominate the visuals, which she never achieved, often being outshone by others.

As I said, The house where death lives is definitely a slasher movie, but it’s atypical of the rest of its brothers and sisters released around the same time. It is extremely snail paced and some may find It a battle to stay engaged and focused. It takes a while for the killings to start, but they’re quite aggressive when they happen and the killer utilises a9874562 table-leg as his tool for slaughter. I’m not really sure if I can recommend THWDL, because it is lento (slow) in a major way. If you’re looking for a mystery though, you’d find a lot worse on the shelves and 8 is not a small body count. One problem I had with the film is that the busty beauty on the cover doesn’t appear in the movie even once! She was better looking than every other girl throughout the runtime kurwa! A well made psychodrama that is also a slasher, but a bloodless and not a fun-party one

Killer Guise:

Gore:

Final Girl:

RATING: a-slash-above-logo11

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Miner’s Massacre 2002 Review

Miner’s Massacre 2012

aka Curse Of The Forty-Niner’

Directed by: John Carl Buechler

Starring: Alexandra Ford, Karen Black, Richard Lynch

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Review by Luisjo González

What with Штольня and XP3D a few years back, I’d been coincidentally ‘digging’ through the mine-based slashers with a pick-axe at 45an impressive rate. Here we have one that I’ve wanted to add for some time, but there’s always been a title in front of it… until now. Curse of the Forty Niner or Miner Massacre as it’s known round these parts, was the second slasher film from John Carl Buechler after he directed arguably the most ‘gutted’ of the Friday the 13th sequels (part 7). He also provided special make-up effects for a number of eighties stalk and slash films including The Prey and Demonwarp. Known for his visceral gore scenarios, Buechler was something of a cult hero throughout horror’s most cheesetastic decade. Although his directorial efforts never really put him on a level with Carpenter or Craven, he still played an important part in the1 production of numerous entries. After the Scream-inspired slasher rebirth, he returned to the cycle that he had heavily contributed to with this overlooked inclusion.

A group of young adults head off to a remote Southern location where it’s rumoured that a murderous outlaw named Jeremiah Stone stashed a pile of gold. The area is surrounded by the legend of the ‘Curse of the Forty-Niner’, which dictates that if anyone searches for the treasure, the spirit of Stone will return from beyond the grave and murder those responsible. Guess what happens next…

Is sticking consistently to your stereotype always a bad thing? To be honest I’m not so sure. If we erase the past twenty years, I’m a massive Robert Deniro fan. I loathe his politics, but I honestly believe that his Vito Corleone in 9Godfather 2 and his Leonard Lowe in Awakenings are (along with Sean Penn in Dead Man Walking) amongst the greatest performances ever captured on celluloid. His critics will say that he can only play a gangster or a villain, but I disagree, because the best of his work from the past two decades is Silver Linings Playbook and Everybody’s Fine, which are everything but dark characters. It’s a shame that the roles that he’s most renowned for are violent or aggressive, because he has more strings to his bow than he is given credit for. Despite accusations of churning out anything for the paycheque of late, his quality has been mainly evident when he’s played against type.2

In the case of John Buechler though, Miner’s Massacre has the opposite effect. If you’ve got a slasher film from a guy that’s known for making ‘the goriest continuation to Friday the 13th, I guess you build a certain level of pre-view anticipation. Then when said movie has about as much blood as I Know What You Did Last Summer, you kind of feel, well, a bit disappointed. It certainly looked as if, stung by the censorship issues that plagued his entry to the Voorhees saga, Buechler had re-invented himself as a filmmaker more focused on suspense. In honesty, I much prefer the Carpenter methodology and value style over substance, so was keen to see how he’d get on with such a stark change of approach.

On first glance, Miner’s Massacre starts fairly limply, with pancake personalities and plot branches that have minimal 8exposition. Our antagonist is brought back from the grave rapidly with no real explanation and the gang know exactly where they’re going to seek treasure after receiving only half a map and a chunk of gold(???). It could have been a prank by a friend or a marketing gimmick from Walmart, but they merrily pack their stuff and off they go without a second look. Thankfully, when they reach the secluded location, the film drastically improves, due to a tighter pace and an aura that’s subtlety reminiscent of inclusions from the late entries of the eighties. Buechler outshines many of his contemporaries by capturing the charm and wit of the genre heavyweights without over-emphasising the fact in neon lights. He fills his film with archetypal slasher personalities, but I did like a couple of them, which made a real difference to the egotistical tosh that fills other modern slashers. I think that my favorite was the ‘moan-a-lot-bitch-girlfriend-from-hell’ that became the first victim of the zombie assassin. Her OTT Brooklyn ‘My Cousin Vinny’-lite accent really gave her some spark and I was fairly disappointed when she checked out prematurely. She may not have escaped her stereotype, but because she was played with fire, I really thought that she stood out.4

Looking like a cross between Freddy Kruegar and Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, the killer stalks and slashes his way through the group with impressive menace and the murders build up to a tense conclusion in an underground mine. Its fair to say that Buechler directs with endeavor, but there’s nothing outstanding that genuinely transcends the norm. The decision to shoot the night scenes with a tint of blue was a poor one and the lack of visual clarity is surprising considering the budget. That’s not to say that the production had extensive funds to play with, but there were a handful of explosions and OTT effects, which could have been substituted for a better lighting rig. One of my readers, a cool dude from the Philippines posted a comment on Death Valley. He correctly mentioned that it was one of the only slashers that had a Western slant, but I guess that you could say that Miner’s Massacre also counts as a genre entry that owes 7something to outlaws and gunslingers from America’s Wild West.

The movie eventually goes where you expect it to, with most of the cast getting killed off, aside from the final girl and her beau, who end up facing off with the maniac. The main issue I had with Massacre is that it felt incredibly tame. I would’ve never expected subdued and harmless horror from señor Buechler. I guess you can compare him to an elderly rocker like Mick Jagger or Steven Tyler. They were all 24/7 drugs and alcohol in the swinging sixties/seventies, but now that they’ve got their eyes on their health at their ages, it’s shandy, healthy food and cocoa before bed.48

I guess that you could call Miner’s Massacre the slasher equivalent of a film like Con Air. It’s an entertaining stroll that takes the expected route, but doesn’t attempt to uncover an adventurous shortcut. There’s a cute, but flat chested chica (Eve), some exciting stalking scenarios and an authentic antagonist, but I couldn’t help but think that this director is capable of delivering so much more.

I was saying to my mum recently that it’s amusing how so many heavy metal groups from the eighties have ‘reunions’ when the bank balance is looking a bit on the light side. I suppose that in the case of Buechler, he just accepted the odd director’s gig for the exact same reason. Sadly Mr Buechler caught cancer in 2017 and despite valiantly battling with it, he died in March 2019. A real disappointment. Not many of the maestros from the original slasher boom are left alive… it’s a huge shame…

Killer Guise:√√√

Gore:√

Final Girl:√√

RATING: a-slash-above-logo11

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Slasher In The House 1981 Review

Slasher In The House 1981

aka Home Sweet Home

Directed by: Nettie Peña

Starring: Jake Steinfeld, Don Edmunds, Vinessa Shaw

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Review by Luisjo González

Oh mama! Woooh, I need to take a deep breath…. Ok… am I still alive? Where am I? What the f**k did I just watch?

When I was in hospital all that time (check 4567890-09876545Paranoid review), I put on 7kg of weight. 36 months in a bed, 3 meals a day, you can imagine. However when I was released, because I lost all my muscle mass, I went up to 130kg. Everything I ate, no matter how healthy, turned to fat. When you consider I used to be 81kg, that’s obese. I’m too vain to be overweight, so I soon joined a gym, but quickly noticed that cardio wasn’t working for me. 800 calories on the cross-trainer changed nada. What did start to 1AAwork however was weightlifting. Soon, I was bench pressing 80kg and watching the flab drop off my body. I’m no longer 81kg, granted, I’m 99kg, but with only 11% fat, I’m now a hench muscle man. I’ve fallen madly in love with bodybuilding.

I tell you this, because the antagonist of this picture is Jewish personal trainer and overall cool dude, Jake Steinfeld. Now bodybuilding, much like supporting a particular soccer/baseball team or meeting a fellow angler, is a hobby that men and women can bond over. ‘What muscles you working on today, buddy?’ It’s a link that connects people in social circles. Will my love of the gym make me adore Slasher In The House due to its famous fitness trainer bogeyman?

I can’t tell you that I wasn’t warned. On another películas del terror website, there’s a pretty bad review and the general consensus everywhere online is that it’s not great. The write-up on the other horror page is in fact so disrespectful that I almost felt like it was bullying. I promised myself, I’d be a lot more just and fair with my analysis of this peak period Halloween clone. I’ve owned SITH (SITH = Slasher In The House) on VHS since 1987, but the first time I watched it was yesterday. So6789098765567890 what can I say? Well, not much of originality (like the movie) but is it as bad as its hideous reputation would have you believe?

Well, it’s going to take me a little while to explain, because the answer involves every single thing in the movie. In fairness though, things start extremely positively with a killing within about thirty seconds of screen time. A guy is parked up on the freeway, drinking a larger, before driving. (Don’t you love the eighties, when you could see cigarillos and drinking and driving in the movies). Out of the corner of the parked dude’s eye, he catches our killer approaching the vehicle and offers him a beer. His kindness doesn’t get him anywhere, as the muscle-bound jock drags him out of the car, murders him via a method I couldn’t make out and steals his wheels. Next up, the assassin, who has a habit of cackling madly when he’s killing people, runs down an old lady, who looks like a thirty-year-old woman in a grey wig. We hear via the radio in the automobile, that our nutjob is a guy called Jay Jones, bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewho (of course) has just escaped from an insane asylum after being sentenced for murdering his parents as a child. So far, so by the book…

After lots of shots of our bogeyman driving, more driving, erm, holding a steering wheel, changing gears and even more views of him, you know, driving; he ends up pulling up near a secluded house. The abode belongs to the Bradleys, a family that look to have invited over a number of guests for a thanksgiving dinner. Amongst the revellers is is a Hispanic chick named Maria (Lisa Rodriguez) and a guy who has his face painted white like the glam metal band Kiss. If it’s your group’s identity to paint your faces blanco how Kiss used to, it looks pretty cool. If you’re just doing it on your lonesome however, it comes across as, well, a bit weird, freakish and also worrying. Anyway, the white-face guy is called Scott (David Mielke) and he very quickly becomes extremely annoying. He carries a guitar around with him, winding everybody up by disrupting them when5678909876545678I they’re trying to make out and other such boring palaver.

If you haven’t already guessed, people start leaving the house to get some wine, or find those that haven’t yet returned (murdered) etcetera. Well, of course Jay Jones is watching in cheesier than a dairy heavy breath POV shots. It goes exactly where you expected it to and we’re left trying to guess who will survive…

floooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomI’ve told you all before on a Slash above, I got into the slasher genre after staying up to watch Halloween in 1986. I am obviously a Latino-born dude that grew up in London, as my mother was working there. I clearly recall reading a criticising article by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert about stalk and slashers and they hinted that they were racist and said, where are all the black people in these flicks? Well, something about SITH surprised me. They may not have a black character included, but they sure as hell-fire have a Latina, who has a lot of screen time. I was secretly hoping that all the gringos would get killed (wink wink) and the Spanish chica would defeat the maniac. Yay!! The problem with this though, is that I found the character actually more of an offence to our race than a thumbs up.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, I’m not one of those guys that considers everything offensive. However Maria, the Hispana girl in this story, says stupid things in Spanish like Bésame (kiss me) or voy al baño (go to bathroom) all the2345678909876543234567 time and she never converses in English, but she’s with a group of people that do not understand el Español. It’s even hinted her BF is American. How did they converse? Also, were the filmmakers trying to hint that Hispanic people don’t learn languages? To make matters worse, the director could herself be a one of us. Her name is Nettie Peña, but it just seemed a strange thing to have in a movie. Or I personally found it that way. Why would a Hispanic person publically mock her own race?

Anyway, a major problem with the feature, aside from the fact that it’s not very good, is that it moves far too S-L-O-W-L-Y.  A fine example of this is when two of the girls go out to get the wine, or go to the power company, I can’t 1234remember exactly why they left. Anyway, they get pulled over by a couple of cops in a pointless scene (except that one of the chicas has a fantastic rack). Anyway, we don’t just get that nonsensical sequence, the director follows it up with an equally inept conversation between the two Police officers. We watch these movies to see the slashings cabrón!! The performances across the board aren’t heinous, but they’re not good either. I noted a whole heap of unconvincing fear and crud line delivery. At one point, white-face dude begs for his life, whilst offering to sing for the maniac. I’ll let you guess how well that goes. Also worth mentioning, is that this bogeyman talks to victims and at one point, he says that women are worthless. The problem with this dialogue is it seems like something a guy who’s been divorced twice (like me) might say. Isn’t it true that Jay Jones has been in an insane asylum after murdering his padres as a 12 year old? How much experience could he have with women? Was he married at 18 months old? Man, either my flatmate put LSD in my wine or this is the worst screenwriting since Star Wars The Phantom Menace???123

Also before I forget, in the beginning we see the killer injecting angel dust under his tongue. That’s unusual, you may think and I agree. However the main problem with the concept is, where the hell did he get the PCP from? It’s been illegal in the United States long before this film was made and the story says he just escaped an asylum. Did he visit and murder a drug dealer? How did he find the dope peddler? Did he ask around in the ghetto? He must’ve murdered said narcotics man, because he slaughters everyone else. So if that happened, why didn’t we get to see it? I mean going to the ghetto to buy drugs and then taking out the dealer is a unique and exciting sub plot. From what we see here that must have happened, so why didn’t we view this action? My head is hurting, I need to have a lie 56down…

So what’s left to be said? Well, I can say that the antagonist consistently cackling destroys his aura of menace and he’s about as scary as a teddy bear. Mr Steinfeld didn’t do anything bad with the part and he has the right build, but the laughing looks silly, not scary. Also, slashers look much better in a mask. Another thing of note is that SITH is a total career killer. Practically every cast member featured never acted again except Don Edmunds the producer. Mr Edmunds is a name you may recognise, because he directed the exceptionally bland Terror On Tour in 1980. The only person to go on to a successful period was the child, played by Vinessa Shaw. The director totally vanished for 28 years and was substituted to one barely seen documentary in 2009😂.There’s no gore of note and only one of the killings is effectively brutal. It involves a guy trying to steal a battery from an abandoned automobile and our muscle-bound psycho jumps on the hood, crushing his skull.(See it above). Also when the cops turn up towards the end, they seem to know that multiple people have been killed even though they found only2 one corpse. Did they find and read the script before they came across the first body? That must’ve happened.

I guess we can say that Slasher in the house was made tongue in cheek, to be consumed the same way. It’s main problems are its momentum and the idea to make the killer laugh/converse instead of keeping silent like Mr Michael Myers etc. Going back to the review on the other website, I’d say this flick’s not THAT bad. Not great, granted, but an ok eighties slasher throwaway with cast members we don’t hate (unlike modern post-Scream entries). Lastly, I’ll tell you, throughout this review I called the film SITH for short. Well if you rearrange those letters you get the word SHI… Most accurate line in this review. Peace…

Slasher Trappings:

Killer Guise:

Gore:√

Final Girl:√√

RATING: securedownload-1 - Copy (2)

1

Paranoid 2000 Review

Paranoid 2000

aka Frightmare

Directed by: Ash Smith

Starring: Shanda Lee Munson, Summer Sloan LePann, Brandon O’Dell

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Review by Luis Joaquín González

Morning A Slash abovers…. Like Jason Voorhees… I’M BACK!!

I owe all of you, each and every one, a sincere apology. I had a huge number – 177,000 regular readers and other visitors –  at my peak and I conversed with a lot of you peeps. My blog was so popular, some motherfucker stole my web address www. aslahabove .com, puta! If I find him, I’ll chain him to a chair and yaaamake him watch Curse Of Halloween for 24 hours on repeat with tooth picks holding his eye lids open. Anyway, basically, what happened was, I work in IT sales and I’m a pretty successful-ish guy in my industry. Anyway, August 2016, I was promoted to sales manager and I also got into a new romantic relationship around the time (I have two divorces and four kids from four different women) and my new Mrs wasn’t a horror movie fan. So, whilst in the old days I would watch a movie in the evening and write a review on the train to work or at lunch, it became an incredibly busy period for me and there was no ‘slasher time’. During the evening, I was watching normal cinema, such as mafia movies, romantic comedies and dramas et al with my Bulgarian new girl. (I learned Bulgarian too and one of my kids is hers. That means I now speak 7 languages).

Then, to make matters worse, in November 2018, I was a passenger in a tragic car crash that saw two of my friends instantly killed and one died the next day. Due to the shock, I went into a diabetic coma (I’m type 1 with insulin) and the doctors told my mum and brother (in England) that IF I recover (and that was a BIG if), I’d be a total vegetable. I86 wouldn’t be able to move, think or speak. There was an idea to turn off the life support, but my mum knew I’d fight. I recovered with a brain injury and I had to learn to walk/speak again. If you check the photo to the right, that’s me with Oliverio from my family, when I was recovering in 2020, looking pale and rough. I’m slightly different after the crash; but I’m coping well and getting back to my best. By degree I’m an evolutionary biologist and much like Richard Dawkins, I’m completely agonistic and don’t believe in things with zero proof. That means religion, luck, ghosts, aliens, karma etc. I realised however, that life can be incredibly short and I want to leave this world with an impact on our favourite slasher sub-genre. A Slash above of course, is the perfect way for me to achieve that.

After 36 months I was released and I came home to Spain. I have some amnesia, but I am ready to rock and roll once more! I’m back working again and feeling and looking good. The Bulgarian is in her country with my son and I’m with a Romanian beauty and she likes horror movies, so these lifestyle changes mean I’m back for A SLASH ABOVE PART II: The return of Luisjo 😂 . I’m also thinking of a YouTube channel so you can see my handsome chiselled features, but that’s in the future. We’ll see how the website goes first. I doubt I’ll be able to go back to posting reviews once a week, but we’ll see how things go, before we think too far into the future. Are there still slasher fans breathing or will I post reviews to nobody????? Let’s see…

I was actually a bit excited about re-visiting Paranoid. Whilst it’s not a film that I can really remember (last watch was 21 years ago), I’ve always held a subtle fondness for it, because it reminds me of a unique time. I was a slasher fan before the release of Scream and even though I was only a teenager, I knew that during the early nineties, this genre 97had become obscure and unpopular.

This was the general theme, up until 1996 when Craven’s blockbuster (the aforementioned Scream) became the mystical ritual that awoke slasher flicks from their slumber like the living dead from Andrea Bianchi’s Burial Ground. Video stores were once again full of hand-drawn covers with cheesy titles and almost every week I’d come across a different slasher to take home with me. It makes me sad that the MPEG generation will never experience the joys of hunting through shelves for cinematic trash, the way we did back then. I spoke to an a SLASH abover recently that had downloaded his entire collection of 400 slasher films from portals in a few days. I’m conscious of sounding like an12 elderly bore, but for me, finding them so easily, removes the most enjoyable part of being a genre enthusiast.

Titles like Final Scream, Camp Blood, Cherry Falls and Christina’s House were amongst the last of the slashers that could be discovered by rummaging through rental stores, so I’ll always have a soft spot for them, no matter their credibility. Whilst I didn’t recall much about Paranoid, I am quite sure that I wasn’t over impressed with it all those years ago.

A vicious serial killer has been stalking cities of America and ruthlessly butchering students. The media have dubbed the maniac, ‘The Conscience Killer’, due to the haunting letters he leaves at the scene of each crime. Whilst a group of teenagers are preparing to graduate college, it seems that the fearsome psychopath has chosen their remote town…

457Most of the entries from the early noughties are so similar to Scream that they lose some allure due to their lack of innovation. In that respect, Paranoid is no different, but where it does distinguish itself is that it’s a true amalgamation of qualities. If you were to take something hideous like rotten milk and mix it with something mind blowing like Tovaritch Russian Vodka, then and only then would you achieve a combination that might be considered similar to how hard Paranoid is to give an accurate review. It’s a jumble of elements that combine to leave a runtime that plays like a date with a beautiful bipolar schizophrenic.871

It’s clear to see that first and last time director Ash Smith was keen to fill his debut movie with ‘va-va-voom’ and alongside cinematographer Keith Holland, they unleash some energetic and audacious shooting styles. Whilst there are viewers that find more credibility in subtle lens placement, I’m a sucker for visual exuberance and I appreciated the vibrancy. The killer looks suspiciously identical to the antagonist from Cherry Falls, but it looks to be coincidental as they were both released the same year. If I am going to chose one director here to accuse of imitation, it certainly not Falls’ Geoffrey Wright. We get a couple of ominous sequences of the psycho watching news reports of his murders in a candle-lit room, and they reminded me of the deeply ominous tone from Goodnight Godbless   because there was an extremely similar scene in that film too. Robert Albertson’s scoring for these parts is unique and threatening and even though I’m not sure how much of it was strategically planned, the use of audio (and the lack of during the kill scenes) is surprisingly adept. In fact there’s a lot of stuff here that really adds a layer of creepiness to proceedings and Smith displayed a flair for the macabre in various places. He even manages to pull off suspense with two terrific set-pieces that excel with some superb antagonist placement and blocking.

Shanda Lee Munson deserves kudos for the range she showed as our final girl, even if she fades on some of the meatier ‘acting’ parts. Also, I’m not sure if it was deliberate, but wardrobe suitably dressed her down when she was 65depressed and dolled her up when her attitude was more positive, which certainly (at least subconsciously) improved our interpretation of the plot. Sadly the rest of the cast were far less impressive and assisted in demonstrating the aforementioned lack of cinematic balance. The script has some neat ideas to generate momentum (the whole ‘conscious killer’ back story was intriguing), but it loses impact with it’s ropey continuity. There are quite a few examples of lackadaisical screenwriting, but the ones that stood out, were the police brushing off a credible report of the maniac’s whereabouts (he had just openly chased our key players with a chainsaw!). Then we get a late plot development about the protagonist’s sibling that makes little sense with what went before it. It’s like they expected viewers not to76 remember anything we’d seen previously for longer than five minutes. Look, slasher movies don’t need to be intellectual philosophy, but they should, at least, remain logical.

I mentioned the creative photography above because it really made an impression, but the same couldn’t be said about the editing, which was the worst thing about the picture. I was reminded of the saying, “Don’t run before you can walk”, because there was a lot of flashy chop cuts that came at the expense of a linear flow that would’ve best benefited the story. It’s a shame because I really thought Paranoid deserved better, but it became stagnated and cluttered in the editing suite. The overall limpness also had an effect on the conclusion to the mystery, which could have hit us like ‘wow – really!!!’, but instead it just feels like, ‘ohhhhhh…really…. ho hum…’

Paranoid reminded me of my first car, which was an Mk1 Ford Fiesta 1100. I put an XR2 engine in it, slapped on a body kit, performance suspension, a roll-cage, tinted windows and a cherry bomb exhaust. I only had it on the road six-weeks and then the gearbox and clutch totally failed. I took it to the garage, he took a good look and noticed that rust was eating away the wheel-arches and the floor under the driver’s seat. As a slasher movie, Paranoid is exactly the same as that Fiesta. Looks good, but it’s rusty and rotten…

Slasher Trappings:

Killer Guise:√

Gore:√

Final Girl:√

RATING: securedownload-1

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