Bikini Swamp Girl Massacre 2014
aka Hell Glades
Directed by:Aiden Dillard
Starring: Ted Vernon, Nicole Soden, Jenny Scordamaglia
Review by Luisjo González
Unfortunately, I’ve been working a lot and I’ve not been able to continue covering the Strip & Slashers for this Saturday. There’s a couple left to watch and review, but I don’t know where they’re located, so so maybe I’ll continue next year. I went for a stalk and slasher that still includes a gang of girls. Two of my favourite slashers from the peak period were Scalps and The Ghost Dance. Fred Olen Ray’s Scalps was extremely mean spirited and gory, whilst Peter Buffa’s The Ghost Dance was astoundingly brutal in places. The link between the two is that their antagonists were Native Americans. As a Libertarian, I’m definitely not WOKE, but I wonder, would the WOKE brigade allow such a film – a Native American maniac, to be released today? Interestingly, mitochondrial DNA tests show that Native Americans aren’t actually native to that land. They’re originally from regions of Siberia. What can’t be denied though, is that they were definitely in the US before us Europeans. I wonder how they got there initially? Walked? By horses? By boats? We know the Neanderthals, our ancient cousins, were mariners 100,000+ years ago, so why not tribes from Russia? Anyway, when I found out that BSGM had a Seminole assassin, I couldn’t wait to watch it. The working week really dragged with anticipation, knowing that this was going to be my Friday evening movie. I gave the Mrs some money to go out, so the coast was clear and I put the DVD on to my plasma.
This film, believe it or not, was released twice under two titles. It was completed in 2011 and then came out in 2013 as Hell Glades. The following year, it hit shelves again as BSGM. Why they unleashed it a second time I can’t say, but it’s unusual to be released two times so soon. It’s studio was Troma, and I’ve already told you how much I dislike them. Despite their flair for toilet humour and crapola, they’ve given us a large amount of slasher trash and I have to give a thumbs up for that.
On Friday October 5th 2007, during the Columbus Day weekend celebration in the USA, a group of young chicas go camping in the Florida Everglades. There they come across the spirit of a Seminole warrior named Coowahchobe. They must fight to survive against the fierce assailant.
Wow man. I mentioned Scalps and The Ghost Dance above, but in the slasher genre there’s also Camping Del Terrore , Demon Warrior and Ghostkeeper, which can be listed as Native American genre entries. That’s four titles that are pretty damn good, all things considered, so I was eminently excited about Bikini Swamp Girl Massacre. Seven attractive women, including a sexy Latina, a killer armed with a tomahawk and a huge forest to slaughter the septuple within; you’d have to be retarded not to make a great motion picture out of those ingredients. I haven’t met director Aiden Dillard, but this was his last shot at direction and looking at what he put together, ‘retarded’ is me being overtly kind to him. When the final credits rolled, I sat there in silence and shock. I was dumbfounded. Tumbleweed flew across the living-room floor. I was thinking to myself, what happened? How could someone get so much so wrong? Critics often state that they were in pain whilst watching a certain motion picture as an insulting slur, but with BSGM, I truly was in agony.
Firstly, the movie started incredibly well for like 30 milliseconds. We get a great boob shot immediately, two murders straight after and the cinematography looks bright and clear. Being that I’m a slasher fan since the eighties, I dislike maniacs that converse whilst killing and things started getting silly when the assassin here kidnaps one girl and puts her in a cage whilst stating that he wants her to be his wife. If you’re going to give your antagonist extensive dialogue, then there are filmmaking rules that can never be ignored in the horror genre. A good example is the original Black Christmas and the psycho from that piece. The calls from the 1974 thriller were effective, because the guy on the phone sounded eminently deranged. Coowahchobe in this picture looks and talks like a f**ling buffoon and if we ignore the fact that a white guy shouldn’t play a Seminole warrior, it gets worse when he even starts cracking jokes. The runtime is eighty-three minutes, but the dialogue is so tedious that it felt like I was viewing an entire mini-series in one sitting and I’m not talking about The Sopranos. If you can imagine watching a conversation between a group of people that you don’t know discussing their laundry basket, then you’ll get a good idea of the pace of BSGM. The performances were as bad as you can imagine, but one or two of the actors were at least trying; and the gore effects were bottom of the barrel at best. I guess, if I had to give a plus, then I can say that there is a mahoosive body count and a lot of blood. There were also a couple of hot chicas played by Nicole Soden and Latina Jenny Scordamaglia, who both gave up on the acting dream after this catastrophe. Can you blame them? I actually thought Scordamaglia played being in agony (she was caught in a bear trap) quite well, but she wasn’t given the chance to flex her ‘acting chops’. On top of all the negativity I’ve listed above, the feature is also cack-handily edited and the nutjob has that often seen ability to teleport to whatever location the script requires with no explanation. The package description describes the killer as a ‘spirit’, yet he bleeds and dies like a normal human being, with no ghostly abilities. We get a final girl, but it could’ve been any of the female cast members. She wasn’t exceptional in the story and wasn’t given expositional scenes as would a Jamie Leigh Curtis/Neve Campbell. It all ends as stupidly as it started with the most weird, bizarre and pathetic ‘defeat the antagonist’ gimmick in the whole history of moving pictures. F**k it, I’ll give away a spoiler, it won’t ruin anything because most of you would’ve f**king turned it off by that point. The aggressor, the main reason to watch a f**king horror flick, actually kills himself!!! You read correctly, the antagonist commits suicide for no real reason…??????
Another year goes by, another sh*t Troma movie. I don’t know why that studio hasn’t gone bust already, but they’re still here as large as ever. The track record of American Indian slashers is so good, this one should be sued for destroying the reputation. F**k Aiden Dillard and F**k Bikini Swamp Girl Massacre. Take care peeps, see you next week… ¡Viva la revolución y viva Cuba!
Strip Club Slasher 2010
Directed by: Jason Stephenson
Starring: Sarah French, Rachel Grubb, Elske McCain
Review by Luisjo González
I’ve told you guys & gals before that I’m twice divorced. My older brother met the love of his life 20 however many years ago and they’re still married today. My younger sibling likewise is living with his mrs, leading a settled existence. All my cousins (I have 22) are in the same boat too. Me, Luisjo González, I’m a f**king nightmare. I bounce around from girl to girl, engaged to be married on nine occasions and EVERY SINGLE TIME, I say this IS the one. Within a year, I’m bored of her and already dating someone new. You must understand, this is not how I want to be, it’s just my DNA. I was born like this and I hate it, but you can’t change what you are.
Anyway, I mention this, because Strip Club Slasher caused a riff between wife number 2 and I. I was in Vegas for our first anniversary in 2011 and we went for a meal at a restaurant on the strip. My ex, bless her cotton socks, could argue with someone if she was alone in a padded cell and so she fell out with the waitresses (it’s likely because I was flirting, but I don’t recall). It all kicked off in a major way and we were forced to leave (without paying 😜). Anyway, outside, in a closed shop window, I saw the cover of Strip Club Slasher. The next day, my wife swore she would not go to that segment again, but I had other ideas. I WANTED Strip Club Slasher! It wasn’t even listed on the IMDB yet, so I rented a car and drove, you guessed it, straight back to that restaurant and went to buy myself SCS. Now you’re beginning to understand why I’m a two time divorcee.
After the murder of a stripper, the cops close a local strip bar, whilst they investigate, because they think that the motivation could be the topless women. The remaining girls decide to spend the weekend together to reflect on the loss of their friend and try to keep safe. A maniacal masked assassin however is in hot pursuit.
So I told you motherf**kers in my review of Dance With Death that I was going to cover all the strip & slash movies and I’m a man of my word baby! If you pick up a film called Strip Club Slasher and there’s a busty blonde on the cover, your mind (or my mind) automatically envisions a bunch of voluptuous beauties being stalked by a masked maniac. What we ended up with is a group of average looking, vulgar tongued babes getting taken out whenever they step outside for whatever reason. In my review of Pool Party Massacre, I criticised the level of the vomit inducing dramatics. The guys and lassies in SCS aren’t much better, but the changer here is, you can see these peeps are really trying their hardest and that makes all the difference. There’s a moment late on, where the fat sherif (an eighties slasher trademark and he’s played by Joel D Wynkoop from all three Truth or Dares) gives a speech about the murder of his stripper sister. The credibility of the ‘performance’ is minimal, but the effort, the passion and the feeling portrayed is top class. Thumbs up for giving it your all!
Screenwriter Joe Knetter (who also plays the killer) had obviously seen his share of eighties slashers and the visual tributes are numerous. The final girl, played by Sarah Jensen, really includes all the classic heroine cliches, which was nice to see. In this feature however, instead of coming across as moral and brave, her attempts to be the most righteous, make her seem like a whiny bitch. I couldn’t make out whether it was poor scripting or bad acting that gave me that impression, but I didn’t particularity like Sarah, the girl left to face the assassin. I didn’t hate her though and I wanted her to survive, so she was doing something right. Just like in Dance with Death, the only babe with a fantastic rack gets killed first, which was eminently disappointing. Check out Eske McCain to see a huge and beautiful pair of bad boys. Director Jason Stephenson had the good sense to leave the best looking sket to be the one that fights the antagonist in the final scene, which I won’t ruin. I can tell you though that the ending is really quite ingenious and simply unbelievably cool. I don’t remember if I’ve seen a masked killer flick that terminates that way in my 30+ años of watching this sub-genre. It was a really grim and credible idea that deserves respect. Ten out of ten for the creativity. The gang here chose to do drugs, which I thought was a more realistic idea than just getting drunk. Growing up in London, drugs were key to everybody’s youth and it’s bizarre that it’s rarely seen in the stalk and slash category. The script uses acid in a really clever way, when an intended victim believes it’s just the LSD that is making him see a hulking killer carrying a body. They smoke ganja and take trips, but I was screaming at the screen, where’s the cocaine? This ain’t no party 😂 I am sure that my readers consider me like the guy from Wolf of Wall Street by the things I have said over the past decade.
In my review of Pool Party Massacre, I called the film cheap. SCS has about 15% of that budget, so you know the level of what to expect. The filmmaking ability here is really amateur. I am not just talking about the acting, but the photography and direction too. I’m pretty sure that they used a handheld camera and there’s a number of shots of someone opening a door and we see the door, not the character in conversation outside, which was obviously apprentice level. The sound is really bad too and you can tell there’s no boom mic and it’s literally just the audio they picked up from the camera whilst filming. On the plus side, the videography or disc-ography is steady and not shaky throughout. Most of the killings are off screen and the effects amount to little more than fake blood, but the mask is pretty cool and the assassin stalks in typical slow-mo Michael Myers style. Interestingly enough, the bogeyman gets a blow job off of the first victim before he kills her. I’ve never seen that before and I thought it was pretty slick. Maniacal killers have to get their ‘tingz’ too, you know 😂! The cops found the victim with his seamen in her mouth, but they didn’t think to do a DNA test to learn his identity??? Why aren’t cops in my area that dumb?
SCS just about works in a cheap jack way. I didn’t hate the characters, a few fun slaughters, there’s some giggles to be had and it manages to reference old skool slashers without bragging about it continually. It’s certainly not fine art, but I could do nothing but smile at it. One day I would love to see a slasher movie in a strip club where the girls truly are beautiful and endowed with huge boobs. Maybe I have to make it myself in the future. Until then, this will have to do. When I was younger, I dated a Polish girl that worked in a strip club. Check the picture to the left. I got to meet some of the other dancers and they all had bras in the plus sizes. Watching slasher movies where the chicas removing their tops have nothing to show literally removes the point in going to such a place? I mean, why? I guess it all depends on taste. Different people are attracted to different things. The net result is that this was one of those cinematics that I knew I shouldn’t have liked, I cringed a few times, but I totally didn’t hate myself for watching it. Check it out. It’s surprisingly entertaining and fun.
Killer Guise: √√√
Final Girl √√
Only Darkness 1999
Directed by: Mitchell Morgan
Starring: Nicole Streak, Crispin Manson, Edmund Dehn
Review by Luisjo González
The two films I get asked about most here on a Slash above are Legend of Moated Manor and Only Darkness as they’re both on my my A-Z slasher list. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I’ve lost count of the amount of emails I’ve received from you guys and gals about that double. Well I’m finally going to post a review of one of them and I hope that it answers some of your questions. Britain doesn’t have a great reputation with it’s output within the slasher genre, so there’s certainly a gap in the market for a decent entry from those shores. Only Darkness came out hot on the heels of Scream, but a traditional slasher movie, it’s definitely not. In fact, it’s barely a slasher movie at all, but it’s more like a giallo and even that doesn’t really describe it.
Paul Salem is a horror author who writes screenplays for slasher movies. Salem wants to write in other genres and move away from the horror stereotype, but his agent tries to convince him otherwise. One evening, whilst he is driving home, he comes across a young girl who is fleeing an assailant. The young girl moves in temporarily to the author’s house, but the maniac is closing in on her…
Out of Darkness is certainly a strange creature and it defies traditional description. It definitely does belong on this page, but it’s not a duplicate of either Halloween or Scream. I prefer silent antagonists that kill without being given a characterisation, but the assassin here has basic dialogue. Another strange thing about OD is that the antagonist flees from the hero, which totally dilutes his fear factor. This is all explained in the big revelation, but what could have been an extremely authentic twist doesn’t end up making a lick of sense. Whilst trying not to give anything away, one murder is explained in the conclusion, but the slaughter of the doctor? What about that? I’ve always said that guns don’t belong in a slasher movie because you can’t ‘slash’ with a pistol, but the nutjob here uses a beretta to murder one victim and it disappointed me. One way that Michell Morgan’s screenplay really succeeds is that it plays with the roles of the ‘final girl’ and the ‘maniac’. I can’t really say much more without giving away the twist, but the open ending leaves interesting questions. I thought it was a supremely intelligent idea to play with the rules that way, but as I said above, the screenwriter made a clear error.
This was shot on video in the late nineties when British SOV flicks were not just a rarity, they totally didn’t exist. It’s IMDB page has zero reviews and no one has even ranked it. What is interesting is that the VHS I own is not in a typical British video case, it’s one of the types of covers used in the American rental market, which begs the question was this only released stateside? A Google search reveals minimal information on this feature and it is completely obscure. It’s all put together in a fairly basic manner and the performances are competent, but not exceptional. I’ve never been able to understand how two directors are able to work on one feature film, but we get a duo in the hot seat(s) here. The pair released two more movies that actually have rankings on the IMDB, but their last effort was over twelve years ago. I didn’t particularly like any of the characters, but I didn’t hate them either, so I was intrigued to find out how it would all conclude. One thing that I loved about ther movie was that every character is seen smoking cigarettes. I miss the old days when people were real in movies. I smoked for many years, but it wasn’t cinema that made me do it. Nowadays, every person in filmland is woke, doesn’t smoke, drink too much or do drugs. Give me Wolf Of Wall Street anyday over Many Saints of Newark. In real life, people I meet smoke crack, snort coke, puff on cigarillos and I’ve met hundreds of racists at work or in clubs. I’ve received racism myself. Producers consider their audiences idiots, but most people don’t want to view fairytales.
There’s not much more that I can tell you about Only Darkness, because it’s the type of film where too much information will ruin it for viewers. It’s a giallo with a pretty small body count, but it’s not a whodunit. There is a revelation in the final scene, but it’s not what you’re used to seeing. I’ve never viewed a movie similar to this and I guess I must praise that.
aka Broken Skull
Directed by: Ricardo Islas
Starring: Stephanie Beaton, Johnny Areola, Dominic Capone
Review by Luisjo González
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! Can you believe it? A Slash above has been online for 10 years! This is our tenth birthday. I agree, there’s been some problems. The fact that I was in hospital a lot of that time, doesn’t help matters and whilst I’m the first to admit that el tiempo usually flies by, I’ve really felt this recent decade. A lot has been lost for me and I’ve definitely changed. No one ever told us that life was going to be easy.
Anyway, the major difference between the slasher cycle of today and the boom years of the early eighties is that it’s much easier to make a movie now. If you had the budget to produce a small feature then there’s not a genre less complicated than the traditional stalk and slash flick. Many of the hundreds of direct to video turkeys that have been released post-Scream haven’t even attempted to revitalise the age old formula, which makes it enticing that a fair majority of them still make a tidy profit. Being a self-confessed avid fan of the category, it’s great to find a poorly financed effort that actually looks to have been made with the inspiration to try something different. Headcrusher certainly carries a great deal of intrigue that warrants it to be seen by aficionados like myself. Despite being one of the few Hispanic-American or Latino cycle-entries, it also boasts a gore-filled reputation and a cameo from a blood-descendant of Al Capone playing a psychotic mobster.
After the credits have rolled, we see prolific scream queen (and all round nudity guarantee)) Stephanie Beaton straddling a soldier named John Ramsey (George Orsini) in a dimly lighted room. Adultery is a bad idea if the wife that you’re playing around with is ‘married to the mob’. Unfortunately for this randy couple, her husband just happens to be a sadistic gangster – and he’s just caught them in an inescapable situation. Before the Lothario has even had the chance to zip up his flies, the mob boss has strung up his flirtatious mistress, snapped a few of her fingers and strangled the last gasp of air from her lungs. It takes two to tango of course, so lover boy gets his head squished in a vice and gives us the explanation for the choice for the movie’s title. (Great brief gore shot!)
Twenty years later, a group of builders are renovating that same room, which has now become an abandoned basement. As the rest of the workers go to lunch, Manolo Santana (Kris Haines) continues digging until he discovers a broken skull lodged behind some re-laid brickwork. As he examines his bizarre find he suddenly begins smashing his head against the wall as if a mad spirit has possessed him. His friend Miguel – who was eating his lunch nearby – rushes to help his workmate, but by the time he arrives Manolo’s head has been crushed to a bloody pulp. Sometime later, whilst being prepared for an autopsy, Manolo’s body re-animates and goes on a bloody rampage. Dressed from head to toe in army surplus garb and sporting a gore-splashed gas mask, the maniac begins killing off the gangsters that were involved with the soldier’s slaughter from the prologue. Manolo’s daughter Sol (Paola Valdes), his friend Miguel (John Arreola) and an inquisitive doctor (Nancy Adams) all begin an investigation to try and discover what strange occurrence has lead to this gruesome massacre…
Headcrusher is possibly the most gratuitous exploitation effort that I’ve seen in 2021. Perhaps you could say that it vaguely resembles the works of filmmakers like Tim Ritter and the Polonias. Richard Islas does look to have a sprinkling of talent and he seems to enjoy pushing the boundaries of what he can display. He worked prolifically after this debut, but since 2018, he’s been quiet. If I had to make a critcism of his style, I’d say that he frames shots poorly and this copy is badly lighted in a large majority of sequences. Make no mistake about it though, this is one gore filled excursion into exploitation that is literally overflowing with blood and extreme scenarios. One guy gets his ‘little friend’ bitten of whilst being ‘pleasured’ by his girlfriend in a scene that’s both painstakingly gruesome and made me cringe at the thought of it happening to me. Another fellow is kneecapped and then squished by a train, a couple of others get their heads crushed and the torture scenes in the pre-credits are fairly hard hitting in how they set a grim tone. Islas manages to get away with the cheap gore effects as they’re only on screen for an extremely brief time. He provides just enough splatter to allow your mind’s eye to grab the full extremity of his intention.
The major problem with Headcrusher is that a lot of things were thrown in wholly unnecessarily, when the feature would have probably played better without the attempts at a ‘shock factor’. There’s a gay sex scene, which seems only to have been included to incorporate homosexual antics. I must mention the Cambodian torture-vixen, who is a female character so inexplicably bizarre that she makes Elvira look like the spectacled church girl that lives next door. There’s also a brief sub plot concerning a government ‘Jacobs Ladder-type’ conspiracy that was immensely intriguing, but was left simmering on the back burner, which is a shame as it deserved a decent conclusion. I really was engrossed in that idea, but it just disappears as the runtime grew.
Although Headcrusher does feel somewhat like a petrol sports car that has been filled with diesel and never manages to hit top speed, the good points just about outweigh the bad. Watching Dominique Capone play a mob boss, when his relative was the most famous gangster in the history of the mafia was a neat touch – even more so when you see how similar Dominique looks to Big Al. Although the dramatics will never be mind blowing in a film of this level, these guys certainly tried their hardest and they deserve credit just for that. Having a Hispanic final girl, even though she wasn’t Meryl Streep, certainly made me happy. I can think of worse ways to waste eighty minutes and it’s certainly better than Don’t Look In The Cellar. I’m not sure about recommending it, because it’s the Adam Sandler of slashers. What I mean by that is, you’ll either love it or hate it. I actually like Adam Sandler, he’s a libertarian like me and knowing that made me start liking his movies, when previously, I didn’t. One last thing I must mention, Stephanie Beaton would get it if I ever met her. She disappeared for sixteen years, (probably being a mum), but I was told she’s got a few projects in the pipeline by a director friend of mine.
Pool Party Massacre 2015
Directed by: Drew Marvick
Starring: LeeAnna Vamp, Alexis Adams, Destiny Faith Nelson
Review by Luisjo González
You know what? I think too much. ‘Think too much you’re asking?’ Well, my brain is always running at 260km per hour, all the f**ing time. If I wake up in the night at 1am somehow, there’s zero chance of me returning to sleep. I’m up until morning, thinking bullsh*t. My job is mentally challenging, so my mind doesn’t wander during the working day, but outside of those hours, I’m always pondering. Stupid stuff like, what started the Avalon and Cambrian explosions? Has Jupiter’s moon Europa got life? Why did evolution create a perfect apex predator in Gorgonopsid and then go backward on itself? Why do people with an IQ above .5 still believe in god, even though there’s a whopping ZERO proof? Why doesn’t every woman I see strip naked and sexually assault me? How did Joe Bidden get elected? Why do people still support Tottenham? Why aren’t I a multimillionaire? It’s pretty draining to have a brain like that, I can tell you. There’s a new conundrum that’s haunted my brain just recently and that is, why is it that only slasher flicks have so many horrendous actors? No other genre of cinema makes movies with hideous dramatics as often.
PPM is one of those slashers that I picked up a few years back on Amazon, put on my shelf and then never bothered watching or paying attention to. Very recently, I was looking for a copy of Bikini Party Massacre online, because I have slasher movies stored in four different locations and they’re in three countries, so I never can be sure of what exactly is where. I typed BP massacre in Google to find a downloadable version and this popped up, available for free on YouTube. I watched about five minutes, loved what I saw and headed to my shed quicker than WOKE people get offended. (I put all my slashers there when I wasn’t updating a Slash above)
Blair’s pool party rapidly becomes a nightmare when a violent killer begins stalking and murdering the bunnies one by one.
I have to admit that PPM started incredibly well. Stupendously so. The first thing on the screen is a busty hottie (LeeAnn Vamp) and she’s saying sexual things that all men adore (unless they’re gay) to a pool cleaner. An unseen someone creeps up behind her in heavy breath POV shots and slices her throat (fantastic gore shot) in gruesome fashion. I loved what I was watching so far and was excited to see more. Sadly, I had to turn off the TV, because I wake up at 5:10am everyday and I’m generally out for the count by 21:00 during the week.
The next evening I put the film on again and I was eminently hopeful. Only problem was, when we get to meet the rest of the characters, the amazing impetus that the film started with totally vanishes and pathetic performances begin to take control. I don’t want to continually say the same things in my reviews, but sometimes I have to, unfortunately. The Scream generation or maybe it’s just the modern era of slasher victims are all eminently unlikeable as Homo sapiens. Once again the cast is filled with conceited, shallow, plastic (and apparently rich) idiots that become painful to watch. You don’t have to be Einstein to work out that films work much better if viewers like the cast and want them to survive. I’m guessing you guys/gals are all slasher or horror movie fans. I ask, what type of heroine do you prefer? Laurie Stroud played by Jamie Leigh Curtis or I can’t remember her name… stuck up girl… hmmm… oh yeah – Nancy (Margaux Némé) from Pool Party Massacre? I admit it seemed the script was deliberately trying to make the cast members people we wouldn’t root for, but the logic of such an approach was lost on me. What’s the sense in deliberately making the people filling your runtime unappealing? Director/screenwriter Drew Marvick attempted to try and make the aforementioned Nancy a virginal type of final girl like the old days, but somehow he doesn’t script it correctly. We witness her drinking alcohol a lot, talking like she’s sexually experienced and I don’t think I’ve seen that previously in the movies from the period that PPM is obviously trying hard to reference.
I must take my hat off to Marvick though, because he chose actresses with decent racks (including porn star Alexis Adams) and as I’ve said here many times, that’s certainly my type. Unfortunately, the slim one becomes the final girl and she has the magic ability to go swimming and emerge from the pool in the next scene with perfect, bone dry and blow dried hair 😂 I honestly can’t say that I wanted her to survive and I didn’t particularly like her either. I won’t ruin what happens to her, suffice to say, the only character that I didn’t hate was the guy that they were all mocking and making fun of (Clay – Nicky Byer). At least he was trying to get laid and it seemed like he had a target that he was working to achieve. The rest were just ladies that I’d do my best to avoid in reality.
Ppm is a low budget movie, but it does a superb job of making itself look higher funded. The way I worked out that it was cheap was that the awesome gore shot in the opening was followed with a lot of basic blood splashing and effects that you or I could create. The entire picture takes place in only one location and whilst that’s not a major problem (entries like Slumber Party Massacre did it to good effect), the same backdrops become tedious after a while. Catching screen scaps for this review was tough because it was always the same group of skets doing the same things until they get killed. There’s a part where we see a pizza guy get gutted and after the slaughter, we see his intestines. Whilst the killing was ok, his bowels looked like the frankfurters that I buy from the Polish shop. Despite the bargain-bucket special fx, I still enjoyed what I watched and it totally did not ruin PPM. The killer uses a number of tools to murder the teens and interestingly enough, we get to view his tool shed/armoury. He returns each appliance after he takes out someone to grab another and we learn what weapon will be next. I thought that was a neat touch, and Drew Marvick has a bundle of superb ideas. He’s not an awful director either and some shots were well planned and slick. I totally didn’t guess the twist, and it plays like a whodunit, with the antagonist’s face off screen. Unfortunately, it turns out to be somewhat unfair and I felt a tiny bit cheated. I can’t tell you more as it may ruin the surprise, but if you manage to guess it, you’re a better person than I am.
I watched this a day after my six-year-old daughter’s junior play at her school and I’m sure that I saw far more credible dramatics there than I watched on display in Pool Party Massacre. Either Marvick has zero idea how to direct actors or this is the most talentless group put together in the whole history of moving pictures. As a slasher fan, I’m obviously used to crap acting, but this stuff was so bad that it ruined the movie in places. Time spent alone with the cast is heinous and it’s not surprising that many of them quit cinema after this one effort. Either that or they got zero role offers, which seems more likely.
I think, to be honest, it may sound like I hated PPM, but that’s not true. It’s got two decent boob shots, attractive females and a lot of blood. There are some great moments that I enjoyed, I would ‘drill’ all the busty chicas and I was never bored. The main issue for me was that I saw most of the things that I hate about modern slashers: conceited and unlikeable cast members, horrendous performances and a flat chested heroine (joke 😂). If you haven’t seen Drew Marvick’s praise peace to eighties slashers, by all means check it out. It’s fun, gory and certainly worth a look. I won’t ever watch it again though, because age has destroyed my tolerance of abhorrent dramatics and I just can’t suffer them anymore.
The Tallaght Chainsaw Massacre 2005
Directed by: Ken Johnson
Starring: Ken Johnson, Julio Mandeas, Frank Sinister
Review by Luisjo González
When it comes to rare slasher movies, I AM THE DADDY! If you disagree and think I’m a loser in terms of rarity in the slasher genre, I want you to write me a letter explaining how and post it to: I don’t give a s**t, lick my ballsack, goofy hijo de puta cabrón, Jupiter’s moon Europa. 666 Satan.
Are we ready to get started now? Ok. This movie is not to be confused with Texas chainsaw massacre, even though they’re both as famous as each other😂. In honesty, this one is in fact so rare, it barely even exists. Try typing it in Google or IMDB. With one of the biggest and most popular blogs in slasher cyberspace, I speak to a lot of directors and many genre gurus. I told one of the slasher ‘names’ that I’m positive you peeps know, about Tallaght Massacre and he said it didn’t exist. In fact, he accused me of making it all up. I can’t tell you more about him, because you’d know who he is.(He will know) I can say, many of you associate with him, whether it be interacting via his Facebook page or contacting him another way. Well, I know that he checks a Slash above, so I ask him, how do you feel now muthaf**ker? You’ve been tangoed! Haters gonna hate and all that.
Two youths are pursued through the forest by a masked, chainsaw-brandishing killer. They’re desperate to escape, but the maniac seems as smart as they are
When my mum and dad split up when I was a nipper and before I moved to London, we lived for a little while in sunny Ireland. It’s a country that I love very much and it’s one of the greatest nations on planet earth. Spain and Ireland have a long history in conjunction and during the days of the Armada, Españoles we’re looking for people who understood the weather of the British isles and hated the English to join them in an invasion. Ireland stepped up and many Spaniards settled in the country in the following years. The term ‘black Irish’ refers to dark haired Irishmen that hail from Hispanic heritage.
Are you aware that 62.3% of Hollywood actors have Irish heritage? Robert Dinero, Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Clint Eastwood, Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, practically every famous actor has the gene. I had a DNA test myself, thinking it’d come back 100% latin, but I’ve actually got a tiny bit of Irish somewhere in my bloodline too. Why do I tell you all that? Well, Tallaght is a city near Dublin and this is in fact, the first Irish slasher flick ever made.
To cut directly to the chase, this is not even low budget filmmaking. This is no budget filmmaking and it’s truly a back garden project. At 35 minutes, it certainly doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, but what was truly shocking was that it actually looked somewhat professional. I was indeed flabbergasted by some of the camera placement and the scoring is really effective, sounding a lot like The 1997 PlayStation 1 game, Resident Evil. It could of course mean that they stole it from that soundtrack, but either way, it worked well.
There’s not much plot involved in the synopsis and I recall about seven lines of dialogue, but the movie is pretty fun and it packs a few surprises. There’s no gore of course, but that’s likely because the budget for this entire production was about €10. Interestingly enough, I watched this after Don’t Look In The Cellar and whilst the people in this short are indeed absolute rank amateurs, I wasn’t getting frustrated watching them as I was during the aforementioned flick.
I can’t really say much else, because it is far too short and there’s a twist that I don’t want to ruin. I understand that this might upset you because you think you’ll never be able to find it, but I did, and I recommend to keep an eye on YouTube and rare movie sites. Not a great movie, but I was entertained all the same. If I had to chose a negative, I’d say I prefer watching buxom women getting stalked, but that’s a minor and I think the whole thing worked in a very fun way. The Mrs liked it too. Why only one star you ask? Well to give it more would be criminal, but it’s not sh**t and it works for what it is.
Final Curtain 2003
Directed by: Mike Goodreau
Starring: Michelle Algarin, Tricia DePaola, Mike Goodreau
Review by Luis Joaquín González
I’ve covered a few obscurities of late, so thought it was about time that I got round to giving this one a blast. Not to be confused with Brett Kelly’s identically themed (and titled) film of 2005, Final Curtain comes with its fair share of trivia. The IMDB lists eleven sequels, but I heard on the slasher grapevine that there are even a couple more and I have no idea how they’re funded because it’s almost impossible to find copies to buy on any format. I tracked down this one on eBay, but a brief scan through the usual purchase sites shows no listings at all.
The collection comes from Mike Goodreau and was shot on video as a throwback to the low budget flicks of the eighties. Goodreau has a few actor credits that I came across, but looks to have dedicated his directorial career to these films. It’s a shame that I haven’t yet managed to track down every instalment, because I’d like to see if they changed with yearly progression.
An ambitious businessman relocates to the small town of Taft, Massachusetts and hatches a plan to open an amateur theatre. Despite some friction from officials, the community are generally happy about the idea and he begins casting locals. It seems though that someone wants to tell their own story and they are willing to resort to murder to do so…
Not knowing anything about Mr Goodreau, I had to go into the film unarmed figuratively speaking. What I ascertained from what I saw was that he’s a big fan of theatre and probably a lot in reality like the character he plays here, Levi O’Neil. The background plot of him opening a small dramatic group is fairly engaging in the fact that it dominates the main chunk of the runtime. When the killer strikes, it comes out of nowhere and leaves us thinking, ‘Oh wow I forgot that I was watching a slasher movie.’ It takes twenty-minutes for said assailant to put in an appearance, but after, we get a handful of murders. They’re rolled out in the typical whodunit fashion, with the antagonist mostly off-screen, but despite their unimaginative nature (sword or knife stabbings), they are set-up impressively. We also get a few brazen attempts at gore that range from el cheapo to actually pretty good. In fact, we have to credit Goodreau for doing what he could on such a pocket-money budget.
That pocket-money budget is certainly visible in Final Curtain and it gives the film a ‘homemade’ sheen. Most of the audio is sketchy at best and the score, which is at least memorable, jumps like a scratched vinyl in places. I’m guessing that it was shot on a camcorder, but overall, it would be unfair to criticise the visuals. Despite some haziness, I don’t recall squinting to make-out what was happening too many times and there are a couple of bigger budgeted films, like Humongous for example, that couldn’t even achieve this level of clarity.
What prevented me from being really impressed was that as I alluded to above, the initial kill-scenes feel like they’ve been bolted-on to a TV show or documentary. When you think about classic scary movies, they’re not built upon much else than a horror core. You can have a mystery, sub-plots, in-depth character development, hidden meanings and even romance; but these elements should always be side-salads to a terrorising main course. Goodreau looked to be putting more effort into the trials and tribulations of the theatre plot branch, which reduced the impact of the murders. I don’t want to come across as being petty, but this didn’t ‘feel’ like a horror film for the most part and that prevented me from giving it a higher ranking. Other similarly funded features like Killer Campout or Bloody Creek managed to sustain a grim environment, but this one sacrificed some of its fear factor (and momentum) for the tale of a ‘theatrical’ journey. We spent a lot of time with the cast members, but never really knew who they were. Because of this, we couldn’t care less when they were killed.
Still, Final Curtain works in a cheapjack way. It’s one that much like Day of the Reaper, you need to be extra forgiving to enjoy, but me, I’m all about forgiveness…
Easter Sunday 2014
Directed by: Jeremy Todd Moorehead
Starring: Robert Z’Dar, Jeremy Todd Morehead, Ari Lehman
Review by Luis Joaquín González
When I launched a SLASH above, I wanted to create an online guide to the truest form of Halloween-alike slashers for fans to use as a reference point. My motivation was that I’d been stung hundreds of times reading a review of a ‘slasher’ movie only to go online and buy it then find out it was nothing of the sort. For me, writing the reviews wasn’t the important part, it was having a complete online list for genre fans. As the site has grown, I’ve had to start thinking more as a film critic and give an honest opinion on the direction, audio, blocking, camera placement etc of the pictures I featured. I took a few filmmaking courses and got an understanding of production from the earliest stages so that I could offer a constructive and informed view.
My earliest exposure to slashers was those of the peak period and therefore I’ve always used Halloween as the prototype. I’ve made my thoughts clear on A Nightmare on Elm Street many times and the reasons why I haven’t posted it here. However, from its success, we did get a host of genre entries that did fit with the category’s trademarks, but had antagonists with a repertoire of wise-cracks. These were the likes of Nail Gun Massacre, Psycho Cop, Doom Asylum, Hollow Gate and Happy Hell Night. Personally, I am a big fan of a macabre tone and don’t see the benefit of mixing slapstick with horror. I’m smart enough to know though that there’s an audience for pictures of that sort, or, well, they wouldn’t exist, right?
Easter Sunday, the yet to be released addition from Jeremy Todd Morehead, plays like something straight out of 1986 and includes a killer with an array of quips larger than his arsenal of weapons. It tells the tale of a vicious psychopath that murders his family on Easter Sunday whilst sporting a creepy mask. Sometime later, an up and coming rock group called, The Heartbreakers, accidentally bring the maniac back from beyond the grave…
I read an interview with director Jeremy Moorehead and he stated that he felt modern horror films had lost the humour that made them so addictive during the eighties. Many times on a SLASH above, I have said that the egotistic brats that populate a huge percentage of the post-Scream entries are no substitute for the goofy teens from the eighties. What Jeremy described as humour though, I would call charm; – and cinematically, there’s quite a difference between the two. After an intriguing and visually impressive credit sequence, Easter Sunday throws a whole heap of moods at us. We go from the throat slashing of a campy victim to a misplaced fart joke (?) and then on to the gratuitous murder of a sweet young child. This jumble of atmospheres continues throughout the runtime and creates a juxtaposition that I just couldn’t bring myself to digest, even though I really tried.
At times the comedic angle would wane and a dark, almost threatening, feel would generate from the scoring and some creative photography. During these parts, I felt myself subconsciously hoping that the runtime would maintain this flow, but alas, something silly would misplace all that’d gone before it. A fine example is when our protagonist (a spirited ‘look at me’ performance from director Jeremy Moorhead) informs his colleagues of how he fled the maniacal menace (a plot point that the viewer had witnessed and didn’t really need explaining). The scene is set-up well and it re-energises the momentum, but we then cut to a close-up of a character gulping down a burger in one mouthful and playfully jeering, which took the sting out of any ominous vibe. This is followed by the troupe discovering the dismembered head of their colleague in a refrigerator (a guy that was murdered then farted upon – no really), but instead of displaying fear or panic, we get a joke about the freshness of half a burrito that was left in the same fridge.
Look, I’m the first to admit that this approach may be one that I can’t personally appreciate and I feel guilty that I have to criticise the valiant work of a fellow slasher enthusiast. I don’t watch horror films for toilet humour and I can’t recall many slasher classics that succeeded with that approach. I almost coughed up ‘half a burrito’ when the lead told another player in a rare moment of seriousness, “No offence, but we’re not in the mood to joke around”!?! – Really? For me, that was likely the funniest part of the movie.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is, if your characters aren’t taking the horror in your movie seriously, how can your audience? Would the grotesque axe-murder of a pregnant woman work in the middle of Naked Gun? It’s a shame, because there’s some sure signs of potential on display here. We get CGI gore by the bucketload, a couple of generally creepy moments and an unexpected shock at the conclusion that I REALLY wasn’t expecting. It’s just that it was, once again, weakened by the moments that followed.
There’s a good slasher movie somewhere inside Jeremy Moorhead. If he sacrifices one tone to focus on the other, he could be a contender. In fairness, Easter Sunday is not a movie I’d ever really buy into due to my personal beliefs and it’s important that other viewers keep in mind that if you like Horror with Porkys humour, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this film. It’s fast moving, gory and fun with moments that are truly commendable. For me though it felt like an express train that kept getting caught in engineering works.
The Night Before Easter 2014
Directed by: Joseph Henson, Nathan Johnson
Starring: April Sinclair, Emily Chidalek, Alyssa Matusiak
Review by Luis Joaquín González
Wow we’re almost in April already, this year has really flown by. So here I have a film that I have to admit that I was interested in seeing. I don’t know directors Joseph Henson or Nathan Johnson personally, but they’re friends of JA Kerswell, the author of the slasher website that motivated me to begin writing-up slasher films. As a geeky teen, before I could afford my own dial-up internet connection, I used to head to my local library to check out Hysteria Lives and it was reassuring knowing that there were other slasher nerds in the world just like me. I was truly grateful when JA asked me to contribute to his website; and from those humble scribbles, a SLASH above was born.
The reason that I was so keen to check out The Night Before Easter was because I can logically relate to Joseph and Nathan; two true slasher fans that finally got the chance to make their own addition to our beloved genre. I’m a person of self-reflection and I would be a liar if I said that I didn’t think about the criticisms I deliver and that it’s easy to talk from afar without ever having made my own motion picture. So how would two equally as prolific slasher critics get on when they jumped in at the deep end?
Some friends decide to spend the night together to say goodbye to one of their group that’s moving to London. Their local town is shrouded in the rumours of a maniac called Alex Sykes who many years back, butchered his family whilst dressed as an Easter Bunny. As the alcohol flows, the revellers are stalked by an identical looking spectre. Has Sykes returned to seek revenge?
I’m happy to say that there’s a lot of fun to be had with TNBE and it’s comforting knowing that the film is in the hands of a crew that understand what’s needed to tick the relevant boxes. We are treated to a storming killer bunny that really brought to mind the hulking maniacs of old. There’s also an abundance of gooey red stuff to keep gore hounds chomping and a couple of extremely creative kill-scenes. Alyssa Matusiak makes for a foxy final girl and the fact that we see her get inebriated means that she’s far more genuine than the stereotypical Laurie Stroud template. I was surprised to see that she hasn’t got any other pictures in the pipeline as of yet, because the actress showed immense potential in her debut role. Henson and Johnson play it safe with their direction, but one scene that I thought really worked was the murder of a partially sighted victim that’d lost her glasses. A blurred screen POV was used to convey her vision as the boogeyman stalked up to murder her and it reminded me of a similar sequence from Nightmare on the 13th Floor.
Whilst there’s truly a heap of credibility to be found in the slasher scenes, the character development parts were where the film struggled to maintain the same level of credibility. Unlike most of the Western world, I’m not a fan of Big Brother, and the reason for that is because I once returned home late from work one evening, and decided to give the show a try, to see what all the fuss was about. Perhaps because it was halfway through a series, I was confused as to the attraction in watching a group of strangers discussing another group of people that I didn’t know or have any interest in. It felt like sitting on a train behind a couple that are conversing about their work friends; – it’s hard to engage yourself to subjects that you have no knowledge of.
After an intriguing opening, TNBE introduces its players with them standing in a circle and talking of their lives at school. I can appreciate that as a concept, this might seem a viable way of unraveling key script members and I admire that these filmmakers understand the importance of character definition. However, there’s only so much of, “Riley dated Kelly, but Kelly’s such a b**tch” that I could listen to, before I had to ask, “Hold on, who’s Riley again? I think I know who Kelly is, but isn’t she with Barney? Hold on, who’s Barney…? Fred? Wilma? Yabba Dabba Dingle, can we get to the slashing please…?” Later, the discussions began to switch to heart pouring from some of the soon-to-be-victims about their weaknesses or whether they’ve been genuine to their friends. I guess that these parts were included in an effort to magnify the personalities, make them more human and build a level of sympathy for their demises, which thus would make them have a bigger impact on the audience. Again, this is a good idea, but I never attached myself to anyone from the story and therefore found these parts to be awkward and unnecessary. I’m not saying that it’s an easy task, but when you think about movies like Halloween or Friday the 13th that mastered the creation of intriguing characterisations in a horror universe, they did so with the simplest of methods that avoided overindulgence. The risk that Henson and Johnson ran was that a lot of time is spent in the hands of uninteresting cast members and it proved a challenge for the film to rediscover its momentum.
Still, when the killer gets to work, the good outweighs the bad and The Night Before Easter overcomes it’s obvious budget deficiency to provide some thrills and spills. I can honestly say that behind the film’s lesser parts was the glaring logic as to why those decisions were taken and even if not everything worked, it was a bold effort all round. I am looking forward to Gory Graduation their next slasher movie … Happy Easter