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Laser Moon 1993 Review

Laser Moon 1993

Directed by: Douglas Grimm

Starring: Harrison Le Duke, Bruce Carter, Traci Lords

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Review by Luisito Joaquín González

Whilst everyone with even a passing interest in horror films would agree that the eighties was the most popular period of the 67554545667slasher, perhaps it was wrong to state that the genre had completely died before the beginning of the next decade. Shifted maybe, but not died.

You see, watching as many of these films as I do, allows you to spot the patterns that a part time viewer would miss out on. I’ve noticed that there were a lot of ‘thrillers’ released following the closure of the initial golden times that continued the slasher tone throughout the 99887676787989years that horror had given up on it. Titles like, The Babydoll Murders, Extramarital, Dead End, Out of the Dark, Whisper Kill et al took elements of the slasher genre, dunked them in a ‘cop on the case’ coating and then marketed them as suspense flicks. With lashings of nudity, a masked killer, lingering POV shots, stalking set pieces and a brazen final girl, many were not all that different from our favourite brand of horror that’s seen here on a SLASH above.

But where does the dividing line of separation come in to effect? When do we say that a film lacks the ingredients to 98876765656578798join its siblings on this site? Let’s take for example the obscure ‘thriller’ from 1999, Resurrection. It was released obviously to cash in on the craze started by Se7en, but it includes a killer in a VERY cool mask, has a large amount of gore and a typical slasheresque revelation scene. You could maybe mention that it differentiates itself by focusing more on the Police and their hunt for the maniacal madman, but ladies and gents let’s not forget Night School from 1980, Pieces from ’82 and countless others that have included hardened detectives.88767656787898

If you look up serial killer films on Wikipedia, you’ll find many stalk and slashers listed there, which proves that I’m not alone with this theory. Nevertheless, I would never call Se7en a slasher, or Silence of the Lambs, Citizen X, Zodiac, The Bone Collector, Just Cause etcetera 8876754546567etcetera. I guess that the crux of what I’m saying is that with such a huge similarity between the two styles, the structures can become blurred from time to time and leave interesting results.

Laser Moon has a masked killer stalking bunnies too, but instead of going all out for slasher 9887676555465classification, it’s tried to make itself into something of an engaging mystery. It tells the tale of a media personality whose ratings have dwindled excessively over a recent period. Add on top of that the fact that his marriage has crumbled and you could comfortably look at him as the perfect advert for anti-depressants. Things get worse when he is targeted by a loon who claims to be the elusive killer that has been offing young women around town. Can he pull himself together in time to help bring the madman to justice?

Cigarette smoke fills a dimly lighted room as a low key jazz song accompanies the opening credits. It was an intro 98876765656that brought to mind those old cabaret places that you see in the movies of yesteryear. Places a downtrodden cop goes to drink a shot of bourbon and fill up his ashtray. In fact, there’s a skit in one of the Naked Gun sequels that involves one of these bars and makes fun of the fact that they have become totally passé. Admittedly, these are great settings in filmland to develop a character’s feeling of depression or solitude. The problem here is that once the director sets that dreary tone, he forgets that it’s not a good idea to keep us there.989876656788

I’m no stranger to tedious movies, because maintaining a good momentum is a hard to come by skill in filmland. I couldn’t escape the bizarre feeling though that these filmmakers were well aware of the snooze-inducing pace and were actually quite comfortable to paddle within it. There’s a murder in the first five minutes that gives us the impression that we are going to see a few more, but to the best of my 876765545467675454recollection the masked maniac only turns up once again before the showdown. Between that we get a mid-section filled with the development of flat characters and a couple of strange sub-plots that don’t go anywhere at all. It became more and more frustrating as the runtime rolled on and in the end I fast forwarded through to see how long I’d have to wait to see another killing. I obviously had to spin it back after to watch through for this review, but if I hadn’t seen the masked maniac again, I definitely would have just turned the TV off and gone to sleep.

The main issue here is that writer/director Douglas Grimm has filled the movie with dialogue that attempts to be moderately intellectual. There’s nothing wrong with that you may think, but it makes the film play more like a 9898876765546767character study, which clashes with the concept of a thriller. We end up getting rapped up in the breakdown of the protagonist’s marriage and an obsessed fan called Maria, which makes us loose track of the nut job on the streets. I forgot to mention by the way that said nut job here is armed with a surgical laser and that is a new one for me. To be honest I assumed that such devices were used much in the same way as a scalpel and not a ray gun that can blast a hole in someone’s head instantaneously? Anyway, the majority of the slasher parts are weak and 89876765545465uninspired (kudos for the lovely LOVELY babes that play the victims though) and I was astounded by the low level of authenticity on display. Let’s see how many films you can name in five seconds that have a serial killer calling a radio station? I managed three (City in Panic, Open House, Play Misty for Me). And you…? Yawn.

So this film is undeserving of the amount of words that I’ve given it. I was actually eminently frustrated in places whilst I was waiting for some action. It all ends with an incredibly far-fetched twist that borders on 887676554656767the incomprehensible. (Without leaving a spoiler, I’d have to say that it would be impossible that no one would notice). It’s become a platitude to call a film a ‘cure for insomnia’, but Laser Moon 998876756578787would work perfectly in that way. Whilst it does generate a slight level of interest, it fails miserably by advertising itself to the slasher and thriller crowd, because we like our shocks fast and slick. Moon has the speed of a Easter Mass when you’ve had one too many red wines beforehand.

Co-star Traci Lords, who tries her hardest and looks great here, has spent years trying to erase her porn star past. I can imagine that this picture does not improve upon the worst of her memories from those times. It’s not only that the film is lazy, it’s that watching it makes the viewer feel the same way. Fantastic sleep aid, but little else.

Slasher Trappings:

Killer Guise:√√

Gore √√

Final Girl

RATING:a-slash-above-logo11 

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Mirage 1989 Review

Mirage 1989

Directed by: Bill Crain

Starring: Jennifer McAllister, Laura Albert, Kenny Johnson

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Review by Luisito Joaquín González

Bill Crain’s rarer than a bus in the rain ‘slasher’ movie certainly doesn’t follow the standard guidelines 9827267265652that have become so common in its counterparts. The bogeyman this time around uses grenades and small arms as 983873673673well as an awesome array of melee weapons; – ingredients that are rarely seen in most post-Halloween genre pieces. Thankfully, there’s still just enough familiarity to keep slasher buffs from checking the rule book and the plot never strays too far from the path that you’ve grown to expect. I was truly flabbergasted to learn that this has never been released in its country of origin, which is strange for me as it seems to be a picture that has been well financed and produced. I would love to understand the reason behind this, but with so minimal information available on the www It’s hard to uncover any trivia. Nowadays, Mirage has become something of a phantom on the VHS market and a highly sought after piece for true collectors.

It all takes place in the middle of the dessert, which as I’m sure you’ll agree is a unique location for a slasher. Four 8736736733Youngsters head out for a night away from the commotion of the city. Chris (Jennifer McAllister) and her boyfriend Greg (Kenny Johnson) meet up with amusing new age hippies Trip (Kevin McParland) and Mary (Nicole Anton) at a make shift camp site in the midst of the dune-like 1872672672672wilderness. Greg’s older brother Kyle (Todd Schaefer) and his buxom girlfriend Bambi (Laura Albert) soon turn up to join the body count applicants in their quest for an early grave. Kyle used to date Chris before his younger brother took the liberty of stealing his squeeze – something that Kyle doesn’t seem too keen to forget. Sound like a motive for a massacre? Well what did you expect? Before long an unseen someone driving a truck with tinted windows joins the gathering with a unique set of tricks up his sleeve. Will any of the kids survive to turn up for a sequel?

Due to the fountain of (false) information that is the IMDB, I was confused for ages as to who directed this film. It’s listed there as being directed by Bill Crain, but he has been given a separate profile to William Crain – the man behind Midnight 1873267236522192528252382982Fear and a few popular TV shows. I quickly found out that both are one and the same person and that explains why Mirage looks so confidently put together. It’s certainly been stylishly photographed with some superb work from DP Michael Crain, and there’s a real talent for building suspense on display from the man in the hot seat. R. Christopher Biggs’ gore FX are imaginatively created and bloody, and a big thank you to the half-hearted employee over at the BBFC who inexplicably let this pass through UNCUT on a usually stringent 18 rating. A couple of the murders are indeed extremely gruesome. One guy gets buried up to his neck in sand before coming face to face with a grenade, while another ends up literally legless after loosing a 3873873763653battle with a chain and a pick up truck! We 723652542672872spend the majority of the runtime seeing only the killer’s boots as he steps out of his vehicle and stalks the youngsters. Later, he is revealed to be someone that completely shattered the image of what I was expecting. I mean that in a good way, obviously. There’s a unique mix of moods here and the atmosphere manages to be creepy, brutal and mercilessly unforgiving in places. The stand off between the maniac and the final girl seems more mean-spirited than usual. He seems to thoroughly enjoy taunting her and looks as if he wants the torture to drag on as long as possible.

The screenplay earns points for not overdoing the use of stereotype with its defined characters. There are two brothers who 21872672562652bicker very much how you’d imagine siblings would argue, and then there is a couple of lovers whose 983873673673873conversations and jesting reminded very much of the kind of jokes that I share with my partner. It’s that level of realism that makes Mirage play like it is more focused and believable. The majority of slasher films that I watch are filled with personalities so shallow and situations so extreme that you never feel true sympathy or recognition of the terror that you are watching on screen. Bambi, who is one of the girlfriends, is a real beauty. I have previously mentioned that I am attracted mainly to busty girls and she has a figure to die for. There’s an ambition here to involve the viewer in the action and I think that it allows Crain’s effort to separate itself somewhat from the more common-or-garden entries.

What I also found credible, were the restrained and controlled performances from a cast who overcome weaknesses in 1827825252672the level of their emotional dramatic competence by playing things straight. I remember a conversation that I had with Christian Veil after he had completed the slasher movie Evilbreed.

Mirage is a good late entry to the cycle that was somewhat unfortunate to miss a boom year 873673673673placing amongst the slasher elite. When you consider that this was made with just a cast of seven and a pick up truck, you have to say that they did a damn fine job. Any slight dramatic flaws don’t detract credibility from the net result. I especially liked the subtle homage to Halloween during the conclusion, which I really advise you to look out for and see if you can spot. Unfortunately you’ve probably got more chance of finding liquid gold in your coffee mug than you have of ever tracking down a genuine copy of Mirage. If, however, you are lucky enough to find this one covered in dust on the top shelf of your local video store, then make sure you pick it up straight away. Recommended.

Slasher Trappings:

Killer Guise:

Gore √√

Final Girl √√√√

RATING:

16716726526526

Savage Water 1979 Review

Savage Water 1979

Directed by: Paul W. Kener

Starring: Ron Berger, Bridget Agnew, Pat Comer

Review by Luisito Joaquín González

I never used to write the abbreviation, lol. Then I started texting with a female friend who would use it constantly. Lol this and lol that and eventually, it grew on me. I work in sales, and I have found that it is really an ingenious tool at times for breaking the ice in a business sense. You can write a statement and make it seem as a joke, but get your point across. For example: “For a moment there Mr Client, I thought you were serious about looking at one of our competitor’s lesser products lol”. 74784764It’s called planting the seed my friends.

Anyway, I have found another use for this wonderfully versatile three letter acronym. Ask me what I think of the film, Savage Water and my answer, both verbally and written will be, LOL. You see, of all of cinema’s B-movie genres, there’s certainly no doubt that the slasher cycle has the largest percentage of virtually impossible to locate titles. Movies like Houseboat Horror, Cards of Death, HauntedWeen, Streets of Death, New York Centrefold Massacre and Savage Vows have become so impossibly obscure that tracking them down has become a serious hobby to fans of the category like myself.

It’s amongst those rarities that you’ll find Paul Kener’s low budget, low grade, low quality, low brain-cell’d, low life 895785785785cure for insomnia. A movie so far down the pecking order that it failed to even get released in its country of origin. I came across it in a small video exchange shop whilst on a day trip to Devon. When I asked the storekeeper if it was worth watching, he told me that I was one of the only people that had ever paid any attention to it. The signs were good.

They say that when a film completely disappears, it’s never without a damn good reason. But to be fair, titles like Terror Night, Satan’s Altar, Too Beautiful to Die and Bruno Mattei’s terrific Eyes without a Face have certainly raised a strong enough case for the defence to that age old fallacy.

A group of holidaymakers have booked themselves a dream trip with the Wild West White Water River Boat Company. Their journey will take them along the great Colorado so they can experience first hand the beauty of the Grand Canyon and the ferocity of the water crashing over the rapids. Once they are well away from civilisation, things take a turn for the worse as it’s realised that someone on board has their own reason for wanting to be stranded in the Canyon without interference from the authorities. Before long, the group begin getting bumped off one by one by an unseen maniac with a hunting knife and a murderous agenda. It seems that the killer wants to turn the mighty Colorado into a river of blood…

If Terror Night acts as a good example of an innocent slasher obscurity that don’t deserve to disappear, then Savage Water is as guilty as a suicidal convict begging to be frazzled in the electric chair. A truly wretched time waster, it’s as soggy as the life jackets worn by the boaters of the feature. I should’ve known that I was in for a stinker as soon as I heard the heinous country twanged theme tune over the opening credits, which was so awful that it almost took my mind off the shaky work of the cameraman as he panned the cliffs of the canyon. And yes I mean awful. A-W-F-U-L. Lyrics from the mind of a four-year old, two chord guitar and the vocal talents of Satan’s pit-bull. I was in shock.

When I was finally introduced to the cast of nincompoop boaters, I realised that I was heading for a shocking 105 minutes of unforgivable bile. The pick of the gang of brain-dead river rats include an elderly pair of (ahem) ‘Germans’, whose accents are as convincing as a politician’s promise. Then you have a dodgy psychiatrist who fancies ‘pushing his mind into the boundaries of insanity’ and looks like he still digs the era of The Monkees. I can’t forget to mention the bubbly blonde who reminded so much of Deborah Harry circa ‘Heart of Glass’ that I kept expecting her to drop the oar and kick off a musical rendition. Hot Chica by the way.

Although it was unfortunate that such a moment never came, she was at least responsible for by far the best of the films laugh out loud bad movie blunders. Whilst sharing a drink with an Arabic businessman that was along for the ride, the saucy starlet gave him an unexpected kiss. All of a sudden he jumped up like a bare footed basketball player on a vat of hot ashes and gaffed, “You kissed me, you kissed me, they told me it would happen but not so soon!” “My cousin told me that American woman would do it.” “Will you marry me?” To add to the hilarity of his bemusing reaction was the fact that this guy was about thirty-eight years old!

There’s really no reason for anyone to want to see Savage Water. It’s over-long, boring and filled with heinous acting and pathetic dialogue. The Screenwriter seemed to believe that film fans would be interested in watching a ten-minute example of how to put on a life jacket, or a dozen or so lectures on the dangers of eating wild plant life. You’d probably get about as much enjoyment out of watching a plank of wood float down your local river as you would viewing this mind numbingly tedious excuse for a murder mystery. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the lump of timber would probably deliver a more convincing performance than the obscurities featured within.

In honesty, I am not sure that the ambition here was to cash in on the success of Halloween. I think this way, only because this was released in 1979 and it may have been a tad to soon, seeing as THE slasher classic hit screens on the last day of October the previous year. It is probably more of a stab at making a thriller, but with a knife-clenching killer as the antagonist. What did interest me though, was that it did seem to have a similar ‘make out and die’ theme going on. Despite the fact that there are no sexual embraces in the film, the flirtiest of the girls does get slashed. This is something that would become a trademark of the stalk and slash genre over the next decade and onward and was very prominent after John Carpenter’s choice of virginal final girl. 

To cut an over-long review short, there’s no gore, nudity or anything remotely interesting to be found here. It just makes you wonder how director Paul W. Kener actually felt about his creation when he watched it back after the shoot? Let’s just hope he had a sense of humour and it was along the lines of: LMFAO, ROTFL, ROFL…. Peace

Slasher Trappings:

Killer Guise:

Gore:

Final Girl:

RATING:

8784764

The House on Sorority Row 1983 Review

The House on Sorority Row 1983

aka House of Evil aka Siete Mujeres Atrapadas

Directed by: Mark Rosman

Starring: Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Harley Jane Kozak

Review by Luisito Joaquín González

In 2009, there was a great, but brief, period of revival for the slasher movie. What with My Bloody Valentine 3-D doing impressive business at the box office and the special edition DVD of the original feature providing fans with all those eagerly anticipated gore scenes during the same week, it was most definitely the freshest breath of life for the category since the release of Scream in 1996.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the special edition of MBV and it motivated me to dig through my collection and re-visit a few other cycle entries that had been gathering dust on my shelves. It seemed then to be the latest trend to remake eighties slasher movies and The House on Sorority Row was another that was picked to receive an updated re-birth.

If titles such as Madman and The Prowler were rivals to the gore-led Friday the 13th films of the early eighties and were inspired by Sean Cunningham’s visually graphic depiction of the slasher formula, then Mark Rosman’s bizarrely under-rated entry took its lead from Carpenter’s ‘less is more’ approach. Sorority Row does not boast a bunch of outrageously gory kill scenes and its bogeyman does not sport an audacious mask. It does, however, offer a slick suspense-fuelled runtime of classy directorial embellishments and down-to-earth and believable characters.

In order to get revenge on their unforgiving house-mother, seven sorority sisters plan an audacious prank. Unfortunately, the joke backfires and the elderly owner of the house ends up dead. The youngsters do their best to cover-up the ‘accident’, but it seems that someone witnessed the killing and begins to stalk and gruesomely slaughter them. Who could be behind the murders?

Slumber Party Massacre is generally recognised as the key sorority slasher, which is a shame, because The House on Sorority Row is much stronger and infinitely more deserving of that status. From the off we see that this is a cool and classy thriller thanks to Rosman’s razor sharp direction and some tightly edited scares. The film successfully juxtaposes the innocence of child-like imagery such as clowns and dolls with the dementia of a revenge-fuelled maniac and creates a deeply macabre atmosphere. There’s some chilling flourishes spaced frequently throughout the feature, which include the victims finding toys before they are slaughtered and the classic ‘decapitated head in the toilet’ trick.

The director skilfully utilises John Carpenter’s use of shadow-play to build suspense and the bogeyman remains mysteriously shrouded in the darkness of his non-identity. Perhaps one of the film’s key strengths is the realism of its characters. Many of the latter Scream-inspired slashers would fail because of their persistence in attempting to make a cast of purely beautiful people seem factual. Let’s face it, we don’t all look like glamour models and we don’t all have a rich mummy and daddy a phone call away, so how can we relate in any way to a story depicted using that methodology? Rosman recognised this and instead of a giving us a synopsis full of brainless-bimbos, the characters here are natural and in effect, not without their flaws.

Rosman had previously worked alongside Brian De Palma and was the Assistant Director on Home Movies from 1980. He learned a lot along the way and some of the stylish photography was particularly impressive considering that this was the twenty-four year old’s feature début. The hallucination scenes towards the climax are creative horror-imagery at its finest and the operatic score is at times pulse-raising. That final scene, which sees the killer raise from the shadows in creepy clown attire, is as iconic as anything from the life-span of the genre and the fact that the heroine is heavily sedated only adds to the plausibility of her chaotic state of mind.

Credit also must be given to the cast who carry the plot comfortably and Kate McNeil was superb as the easily-manipulated Katharine. Eileen Davidson puts in a good stint as Vicky and the dramatics remain competent right the way through. Like many eighties slashers, the final version that was released was not as the director had intended and an extension to the ending was filmed and re-edited just before release. Let’s hope that one day we will get a special edition disk with all the deleted scenes restored.

The director has stated in the past that he was not a particularly big fan of horror cinema and that he made this feature just to get a foot on the Hollywood ladder. That’s somewhat tough to believe as House is a movie that’s well-aware of its genre trademarks. The links with Halloween are too numerous to be coincidental and its doubtful that such stylish horror-imagery could be conveyed by a half-hearted auteur. The fact that Rosman was executive producer on the remake must prove that he still has a place for terror somewhere in his heart. Luckily, said rehash turned out to be good enough not to be an embarrassment to the legacy, but it still never got close to the classy style that was delivered here. One of the key attributes to the original’s strength is its realism and the sympathetic motive of the bogeyman, which was somewhat lost in the recent bigger budgeted update.

This is by a long way one of the best of the early eighties slasher flicks; if you haven’t already seen this suspense-marathon, you need to be asking yourself why not???

Slasher Trappings:

Killer Guise: √√√√√

Gore: √√

Final Girl: √√√√√

RATING:

1038363

Dead Girls 1989 Review

Dead Girls 1989

Directed by: Dennis Devine and Steve Jarvis

Starring: David Chatfield, Jeff Herbick, Brian Chin

Review by Luisito Joaquín González

Dead Girls puts us back in killer stalking heavy metal group territory, only this time it’s an all girl gang of head bangers put to the sword…

With the amount of rock bands that have been stalked since the launch of the slasher grouping during the early eighties, it’s amazing that there’s any of them left recording. It all kicked off with movies like Shock Evil Entertainment, Blodaren, Terror on TourHard Rock Nightmare and Rocktober Blood, which were the first hack and slashers to feature a band as the body count material. Even the Australians got involved with the sub-genre giving us Ollie Martin’s insipid Houseboat Horror just before the turn of the decade. The theme ran extremely sporadically throughout the nineties, because the slasher cycle began to fade due to poor sales and even poorer production qualities. But after the Wes Craven inspired re-invigoration in 96, movies like Slash and Backlot Murders have given the category a new lease of life to build upon. There are even websites that are scattered around dedicated to the ‘Heavy Metal Horror Movie’ and include the likes of Rock and Roll Nightmare, Blood Tracks and other such intriguing pieces.

This slash and roller was released by Cinematrix films, a Los Angeles based independent studio with a fantastic story. Key members Denis Devine and Mike Bowler had run in to Jeff Hathcock, the director of Night Ripper and Streets of Death. After offering to help write scripts for his films, Hathcock would give them ideas and they would take them away to work long hours to make them viable for a film. Whenever they went back with their best efforts, Jeff would have already given up on that concept and would offer them something new and so the process would start again from scratch. This happened on four or five occasions until Steve Jarvis stepped in and said that instead of them trying so hard for no obvious gain, why don’t they all put their pennies together and finance their own feature. The result was the pretty decent Fatal Images and it launched the label that went on to release a fair few 6747647478473783874874874873873memorable budget hits. This is arguably one of the best of them.

Lucy Lethal, Cynthia Slayed, Nancy Napalm, Randy Rot and Bertha Beirut are all members of the heavy metal band Dead Girls. They have found notoriety with a gimmick that revolves around murder, death and lyrics that glorify suicide. Bertha Beirut is the lead songwriter and would like to try and move them in a more uplifting direction, but her band mates just don’t think it would work. “We’re the Dead Girls not the Shirelles,” remarks Lucy Lethal sarcastically. Looking at the clearly bemused songwriter, she continues, “You call yourself Bertha Beirut and strangle yourself with the American flag every night, so we’re not gonna break out in a chorus of Stand by your man!” I’m pretty sure that Tammy Wynette would certainly agree…

Just as the group are about to embark on a nationwide radio, television and stage tour, Bertha receives a shocking letter via special delivery. Her younger sister Brooke has attempted to commit suicide whilst repeatedly listening to their morbid album and she is currently comatose in a hospital bed. After visiting the youngster, Bertha decides that the band need to be alone together for a short time to clear their heads and maybe start afresh. They head out to a remote cabin in the woodland to find some peace and serenity away from the pressure of their superstar status. Meanwhile, an ominous stranger dressed in a black raincoat, gloves, fedora and skull mask has decided to follow the band to their retreat and is sadistically slaughtering the musicians one by one. It seems someone else has taken the death gimmick a tad too seriously…

Director Dennis Devine admits that Dead Girls is widely regarded as the best of his B movie output. He also notes that it was possibly the most difficult and frustrating project that he has worked upon. This was mainly due to the size of the script that he had to squeeze into a fourteen-day time-scale. Apparently the abysmal weather conditions didn’t help, as he had to shoot a lot of scenes outdoors and it kept snowing at all the wrong times. Snowing in California – now that was bad luck!

Despite these production challenges, Dead Girls is a pretty decent late entry to the cycle. It takes a little while to step up a gear, but once the victims are stranded in the realms of woodland wilderness – struggling to uncover the maniac’s identity – it provides a few cheesy thrills. All the essential slasher movie regulations are intact, including a tad of nudity, some tacky gore and a soundtrack of ear numbing heavy metal that seems only to be found in these kind of pictures. There’s even a gooey finger-lopping scene, which looks to have been inspired by Tony Maylem’s The Burning.(Although co-director Steve Jarvis swears blind that it wasn’t!) The killer himself looks pretty creepy in a decent rubber skull-mask and traditional Giallo-like psycho garb and there’s more than enough suspects to keep viewers playing the guessing game until the film’s lengthy climax.

The only real problems with Dead Girls are those that plague almost every other genre attempt from this period – uneven performances. It’s a shame that the dramatics continuously blow so hot and cold, because in this particular movie it really does hold back the chance of a higher rating. Some of the potential shown by the leads was hampered by unconvincing work from the supporting cast, which never allows the motion picture to go to the heights that it could have done. Some have also said that the film is too long and at an hour and forty-five minutes, it’s reaching omnibus status. To be frank, I didn’t really have too much of a problem with the runtime and I actually enjoyed the film quite a lot.

A while back, I attended a horror festival type thing in London. Some of the ‘stars’ in attendance were Alan Birkinshaw, George Dugdale and Caroline Munro to name but a couple and I watched Killer’s Moon for the first time on a big screen. On the way back I got talking to two guys about horror in general and more specifically, the slasher genre that we know and love. The thing that sticks in my mind most about our conversation is that they really took issue with my liking of Dead Girls. I have also noticed that not many websites give this one the thumbs up and there’s a fourteen-minute review on YouTube by a guy (bit of a douchebag) who tears the film to shreds. But this got me thinking about my idea of a rating. Well let’s put it this way. What do you expect to gain from watching a slasher flick? A few bloody kills? A chance to guess who’s killing everyone? For me that’s what make these things so much damn fun in the first place and on both those counts Devine’s slasher delivers. It’s a bit over-long, it’s definitely not going to win awards for its dramatics, but it does exactly what you expect it to. Most importantly, I think it does it very well.

Dead Girls is hilariously cheesy and gratuitously gruesome in the same breath and adds just the right amount of both to end up as one of the better belated genre entries. Recommended to fans of rare-ish slasher movies that enjoy gore and decent killer disguises.

Slasher Trappings:

Killer Guise:√√√

Gore √√√

Final Girl √

RATING:

6747478438738738389389329822