Well, hello once again, everyone. It’s that time of year again. The Halloween season. The best season. Yeah, I’m still saying that and I refuse to be told otherwise. And you know what that means? That means it’s another year for some sort of weird horror subgenre that I talk about that will most likely result in a bunch of trash over quality but I will come out with a sort of middling respect for some of these films. How great. And one genre that has piqued my interest so much was the slasher movie craze of the 80s. Lots and lots of slasher movies came out that decade. You got Jason Vorhees, Freddy Kruger, Michael Meyers, and more. All of them wanted to slip their slimy little fingers into the slimey horror pie and wanted to achieve success just like those killers. Cause trust me, when you’re a big horror movie monster, you are big forever. Merch all over the place, cameos, games, crossovers, crazy shit like Jason appearing on late night talk shows and Freddy even getting a horror themed game show. And of course, sequels galore. So naturally, fuck all those big name horror killers. Who gives a shit about Jason Vorhees when we can talk about The Prowler. Fuck Freddy Kruger, cause we got Shocker? Move over, Michael Meyers. I think possible racism is the true terror here tonight. So yeah, we will not be looking at all the big serial killer slasher films. Instead, we’ll be taking a look at all the lesser known, lesser appreciated, and ust forgotten slasher films from the 80s. I don’t have a set order. I’m mostly just going in the order of the stuff from least interesting to most interesting. Not that exciting, but, hey. Maybe that means the stuff near the start can really surprise me. That also means the stuff at the bottom can really, really disappoint me, but, eh. You live and you learn. So let’s start with the first slasher film on the list and see just what the fuck I’ve gotten myself into.
#31: Moonstalker (1989)
Ya know, for a movie that I had the least excitement for, I came away very much surprised. MoonStalker is nothing special, like at all. It’s very run of the mill slasher stuff. But, for what it is, it’s alright. Very middle of the road. The movie is set on a snowy mountain, my favorite, where a group of campers of different walks of life are being hunted down by a mentally unstable killer lead by a crooked old man who uses him psychologically to terrorize victims while he just steals shit. A rather simple reason for a mass murder, but one I’ve not heard of, that’s for sure. The film really has a lot of characters throughout, and every one of them is pretty much loathsome. The family at the start is really judgemental and kind of bordering on dysfunctional, but are killed off by like the first twenty minutes, and then we get the camp characters, oh boy. Each of them are as uninteresting or just as awful as the last. Complete with them all just being sex fiends, pretty homophobic, or just plain unlikeable. Honestly, the killer, Bernie, is the most sympathetic one here. He’s not evil. He’s just scared of going back to the asylum and now that his caretaker, or rather manipulator, is dead, he’s just stuck on this path of chaos. That said, his initial design is pretty lame. He’s just wearing a bedsheet with some chains. It’s doing too much and not enough at the same time. But once he takes on the appearance of the cowboy, that’s what brings it up from a D to a C for me. I don’t know. Something about seeing this cowboy prowl the mountains at night killing people is just funny to me. This movie is mostly just standard slasher fare, but there are brief moments of just pure good scenes and flat out madness. Like the horror cake, when this scary movie stinger plays over the shot of some cake. I don’t know why that’s funny to me. Or seeing the camp counselor's girlfriend dress up as a slutty commando for foreplay. I know there’s a lot of weird fetishes, especially in slasher movies, but I never thought I would see slutty commando as one of them. You also get some pretty good kills near the end. The movie is very stingy with kills, lots of them being off screen with some low violence. Shit, the violence isn’t even the worst I’ve ever seen. But when it happens, it is pretty cool with the practical effects. This was an independent film, so I imagine the effects were cheap for budget reasons. But you do get to see this killer set up insane shit like a set of corpses that are swinging back and forth while playing “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain' ' on a stereo just to hang a woman and kill another guy. How did he have time to set up these bodies and this fire? Where’d he get the stereo? Why all this to lure in two people he can kill? It’s dumb, but it does look unnerving. And for the first time in any slasher movie that I’ve seen, this is the first slasher villain I have ever seen to use a gun in one of his kills. That was the most shocking thing to me. I was honestly surprised and kind of impressed. And hey, those horror movie tropes that are in all the big name horror movies, they at least make sense here. Yeah, people are gonna trip while running. They’re in the dead of night up to their ankles in snow. Running in snow is hard. And yeah the car won’t stop. The killer ripped out the wires in the engine. Ya know, little touches like that go a long way. That said, while the kills and spills pick up in the third act, it’s still a mess in it’s own way. The movie is all about building up by this point, so when you realize there’s like only twenty minutes of the movie left, it’s gotta start making that body count. Except now we suddenly get a third plot line with this detective character who knows who Bernie is and his previous murders and is now involved with two other cops. What the hell, movie? You can barely keep up with the cast you got now. Why introduce a new cast of characters? Imagine if in Halloween, Dr. Loomis was not in the film at all until the very last scene. No build up, no connection to Michael Meyers, and the film is already at its climax. But oh well, at least the film was not boring. It wasn’t special, but I was expecting this one to be pretty bad. But no, it was a rather pleasant surprise. That said, it’s still pretty average. It has moments of surprise here and there, and can be entertaining with the hammy acting and just weird moments spread out, but it’s just okay. Cowboy Bernie is still a B tier killer, though. Can’t take that away. You can do better than MoonStalker, but you can do much worse. A pleasant surprise, but there are definitely going to be better movies along the way.
6/10: Horror Cake was the scariest part of the film.
#30: He Knows You’re Alone (1980)
Okay, yeah, this is the kind of movie I was expecting to start out with. While MoonStalker was pretty average, it was still a surprise with how much it offered. But after He Knows You're Alone… Oh god, I wish I was back to stuff like MoonStalker. He Knows You're Alone is such a dull film. Okay, let’s get some good stuff out of the way. The first five minutes are pretty neat. I was tricked with the movie starting with another slasher movie before going into the real movie. I thought that was neat. I like the horror house scene. It’s the most visually interesting part of the movie if only because it’s a horror house. I like some of the music when it’s not trying to be too eerie. It almost sounds like prog rock at some points. Um…. yeah, that’s it. Oh, oh, I almost forgot to mention. Uh, Tom Hanks is in this movie. Yes. That Tom Hanks. One of the best, if not the best and most well known and respected actor in American cinema. Yeah, this is where it all started. This was the first film Tom Hanks was in. And he definitely kills it in this movie. He plays as this odd character who gets into psychology with such awkward timing that it is almost comedic. He was in fact the best character in this movie even if he was only in it for ten minutes. Even with a trashy script, he was able to do some good stuff. Okay, yeah, that’s it for the positives. Everything else in this movie sucks. The way that this movie just drags out these tedious scenes as a sort of tension just doesn’t work. For tension to work, you gotta do more than just drag out a scene and make it dark. It takes good cinematography, good lighting, a good set of music, the whole thing. You gotta put an atmosphere in that shit. But there’s no atmosphere to seeing our leading lady walk with her friends after a ballet class, walking to the ice cream shop, walking to the dress shop, literally spending the entire time putting her dress on, and then suddenly, “Oh no, the shopkeeper was murdered”. Like you gotta do more than just drag it out for so long. I heard on Wikipedia one critic said that you’d be checked out by the sixth kill. Bruh, I was checked out before we even got to kill two. I can forgive bad, corny fake out jumpscares as long as they aren’t excessive. And even if they are, I just get mildly annoyed. But with the boredom of the film, and how the killer stalking this lady just laughably disappears without a clear trace, I was getting genuinely angry. I was screaming at my TV, “Come on! Fuck this movie!”. And speaking of the killer, ladies and gentleman, Ray the Murderous Incel. He just kills brides because he had his engagement broken off. Except no, despite being his modus operandi according to the detective, it’s not, because he kills a shopkeeper, a professor, and pretty much anyone just to get to this one lady who is engaged. And he is just so bland and boring. He’s just some guy in a suit who just stands around and tries to look creepy. But he just looks bored. A killer so bland and uninteresting, his actor, Tom Rolfing, doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Okay, that’s not entirely fair. The man was only able to be in two movies, one for TV, and a TV series before passing away in 1990. It’s just a shame that this was his film debut too, though unlike Tom Hanks, he wasn’t given much to do. Didn’t even get a speaking role. And yeah, the kills are boring. No blood, just weak stabbings, not even a bit of blood on the body. There is one scene, one mildly scary scene, where the girl gets her head thrown in the fish tank. Yeah, the head prop looks ugly, but it’s something! It’s fucking something, in this movie that is eighty five percent nothing. Yeah, He Knows You’re Alone is just dull. Aside from interesting trivia for Tom Hanks and how it inspired Scream, nothing is going to remind me of this movie. Doesn’t even have a murdering cowboy. But yeah, it’s so far in second place. I don’t see it staying very long.
3/10: Yes, Tom Hanks did bump this up from a 2/10
#29: Madman (1981)
So here’s some interesting trivia to start out with this one. Madman was a movie that was made by first time filmmaker Joe Gionnane who was working on the New York urban legend, Cropsey. Unfortunately for him, Madman was being made at the exact same time as The Burning, which was also doing a movie that was directly based on Cropsey. So, not wanting to be outshined, they made their own movie about a different urban legend like being, Madman Marz. Funny enough, I was planning on checking out The Burning for this article since it was the more popular one, most recently because it was the first movie produced by Harvey Weinstein. Fun times had by all. But none of the streaming services had it, even the king of trashy horror flicks, Amazon Prime, had none. So instead, I went with another cult classic slasher film. And how was it?.... Eeeeh. It’s a step above He Knows You’re Alone, that much is certain. But other than that, it’s typical slasher fare. Horny teens in the woods who get involved with a crazy murder and all sorts of wacky hijinks ensue such as getting decapitated and having your head shoved in the car hood. What the movie does right, I will say, it does very well. The kills are pretty bloody. Cheap, but they are present. It has some nice build up, unlike the last movie. It gets a bit slow at points, even for an hour and twenty minute movie, but it makes up for it with good sound design. These sound like real woods, man. Owls hooting in the dead of night, the cold wind blowing, the leaves crunching underneath boots. Dude, this is what I think of when I think of the perfect Halloween sound. It’s so perfect, this sound design. And here are some good creepy scenes, like seeing the killer, Madman Marz, ripping the rusted axe from an old tree trunk and splitting it in half. If that axe is that rusty and old, he’s gotta swing really hard to cut someone's head off. Ironically, the most disturbing kill has the least amount of blood. Seeing this one guy getting hung by a noose, gagging and screaming through choked vocal cords, trying to hang onto the branch just to breathe in vein. It’s a really unnerving scene. Maybe I’m just squeamish to strangulation from a noose that you can’t control, who knows. But yeah, other than that, the movie is typical slasher fare. Lots of tropes and cliches that you’ve seen before. It can be forgiven because this was in the 80s, but this doesn’t predate Friday the 13th, sadly. Just one year too late. It does predate Friday the 13th Part 2 though, and that’s what counts. But even still, it’s just kinda meh. The effects are pretty neat, but the kills are few and far between, and most end up being beheadings anyway. And that fucking truck. Every single trope ever happens near that fucking truck. I swear, that truck is raditing something, because every camper gets dumber when near it. It doesn’t start, they trip, they run around the car for a good minute, and when they do finally get it moving, the one passenger falls out after the driver is taken out and the car crashes into a tree at five miles per hour, enough to sprain her ankle. This truck is the real slasher villain. And as for Madman Marz himself? Well… He’s a typical dead guy murder. He’s got a cool beard. That’s something. It’s nice to see a slasher villain that runs. I find it kinda funny that you can hear him getting kinda annoyed when campers just ignore him or actually getting hurt when his hand is smacked. That’s kinda funny. But other than that, he’s just kinda okay. He’s not as bland or boring as that guy I already forgot about from He Knows You’re Alone, but he isn’t as laughably absurd as Cowboy Bernie. I said MoonStalker was average, but I think I spoke way too soon. At least with MoonStalker, we got a killer cowboy. Madman is the definition of average. Perhaps I shouldn’t say that in case we get an even more generic slasher film. Yeah, sorry, I know this one has a cult following, but it did not interest me as much. As one of the first of its kind, it’s fine, but even then, there were better slasher films. I actually still prefer The Burning since it had some character for the killer and really fucked up gore. Madman is very meh, man.
5/10: The truck killed my family
#28: Death Spa (1989)
Ah, now this is the kind of entertaining schlock trash that I’ve been waiting for. The previous movies were meh at best and He Knows You’re Alone at worst. But Death Spa is where we finally get to see the trashy fun in all its glory. First and foremost, this movie has a fucking Blu-Ray release. Of all the movies out there, Death Spa was able to get a release on Blu-Ray. Obviously, that’s not how I watched it, but hey, it’s there. Alright, on with the movie, despite this being the newest of these movies, as new as an 80s movie can be, this manages to be the most dated. This thing is so fucking 80s, it’s amazing. Complete with crazy fashion, stinky 80s synth pop that you would hear in gyms, it’s so comedic. Which is weird because the world outside of the gym doesn’t have that. It’s like the gym is locked in a sort of time capsule. But holy shit, you would think a premise as dumb as a hunated spa, it wouldn’t be so hard to follow. But no, this movie has like twenty subplots. The main guy who runs the spa needs to keep it up for Mardi Gras, despite the murders. His wife died because they had a kid, but lost it, and she also lost the ability to walk. She got depressed, then thought he was cheating on her, then burned herself alive. Her brother hates her and wants revenge but he is also a hacker. And so he dresses as his sister to cause murders, except she’s also a ghost, except she’s also associated with computers. Is Catherine (Her name’s Catherine by the way) a ghost, a computer virus, a split personality of her brother? Why does she kill all the people in the spa if her only goal is to get to the owner. I can get it if she wants to kill his new fiancee, but she doesn’t even kill her. Everyone else though, horrible murder. And speaking of, while the world is dated, the special effects are great. They’re hard to see cause of poor shots with some cutting away too fast, some in between scenes missing before non-gore and very-gore, or some blood taking place off screen. But what we do see is pretty good. I think my favorite is a toss up between the fish coming to life and attacking the investigator or the mirror exploding and blowing up the lady. And that all happens in the third act, one of the most insane I’ve seen in a slasher film. It’s so crazy that it almost makes up for the movie’s stupidity. Complete with the best gore effects, the plot just absolutely shittting itself, questionable homophobia, still on the fence about one, some really nasty puppetry of the burnt body of the ghost wife, and you got the main character dressed as a clown… Yeah, I don’t even know how to top that. This movie is so fucking stupid and I love it. Death Spa is not a good movie. Not even a little. But it’s so fascinating and weird and dumb that it turns around and becomes fun. When I rate these movies, I want to be clear that I rate it not on quality, cause Death Spa is far from it. I rate it on entertainment. And I think 6 to 7 out of ten’s are a place for pretty good stuff as well as so bad it’s funny movies. And Death Spa is a highly entertaining dumpster fire. Easily the best of this pretty mediocre bunch so far.
7/10: Are you beta or BHS?
#27: The Forest (1982)
Ooooh boy, this one did not have a strong start. The movie has a lot of these day time killings, which, really? You couldn’t even shoot at night? There are night scenes in this movie and only one kill is done at night. It doesn’t look remotely scary during the day. And all of the characters have this sort of bad acting that I don’t like at all. I can handle bad acting, but this acting just sounds really snobbish and annoying and I can’t stand it. With the movie starting with these two married couples arguing about how men can camp and women can’t and the women go, “Nu-uh, we can do that too.” It’s so annoying. I hate the Boys Vs. Girls trope so much. Everyone sucks equally. Get over it. Everything down from the dialogue, the acting, the soundtrack, the cinematography, it feels like it’s shot like a sitcom. A bad one at that. Then we get to our serial killer character, John… Okay, this movie is amazing now… Well, maybe amazing is a bit much. It’s still kinda mediocre, but John easily elevates the movie once he comes in. He’s a crazed cannibal who lives in the woods and is haunted by the ghosts of his dead children and the wife he murdered. Also yes, this movie has ghosts kids in it. And they are just so weird, as well as being hard to hear with the echo. But John makes this movie, played by famous stuntman Gary Kent. Once he comes into the movie, it gets better. His backstory about how his wife cheated on him and beat his children, resorting to him killing her in anger, is both tragic and unintentionally hilarious. The way this man just pulls out a giant saw to kill the repair man is hilarious. Also, of all the movies to have survivors throw down, why was it The Forest? Characters in this movie don’t run or trip. Nah, they start swinging. And they do pretty good too. They manage to get some hits in. John is not some super powered dead guy or an evil spirit, he’s just some regular crazy guy. I also just love the scene where the two husbands meet John in his cave for shelter. He doesn’t immediately jump to murder. He humbles them, tells them his story, and feeds them some meat. Yeah, I’d trust this guy who talks in riddles and probably hasn’t bathed in a century to feed me some food. Why not? But really, it’s so nice to see a killer that doesn’t go murder crazy at every opportunity. John is just here to chat in this scene and eat some of this freshly killed woman that he fed the husband. Yeah, that’s fucked up. And yes, the ghost stuff is just as absurdly stupid. But John just steals the show for being such a lame dork of a killer that he kinda becomes fascinating. I’m glad we finally got a killer to share the spotlight with Cowboy Bernie. I was scared we got the best one too soon. So yeah, The Forest. The first half is ungodly terrible, but once John shows up, it becomes less terrible. So He Knows You’re Alone is still the worst. How lovely.
5/10: Imagine you haunt this world just to continue being an abusive parent to your ghost kids. What kind of miserable life do you gotta lead to end up like that?
#26: April Fool’s Day (1986)
So here’s a thing, this was a movie that ended up getting a remake back in 2008. It was direct to DVD, a fate only slightly worse than made for TV, but that was a good sign. Only beloved classic horror films get terrible remakes that spit in the face of the original. And sure enough, that was the case here, as we have the first movie on this list that I genuinely enjoy. Not ironically. This movie is actually pretty good. Now it could just be that I had to endure a lot of low budget, poorly edited stuff, or it’s the high budget, but the cinematography, the gore effects, all of it is all better. Even the acting which, while not the best in the world, it’s still entertaining and pretty alright for this kind of movie. And the laughs in this movie are genuine. Like the comedy of it actually works well in its favor. You get these dumb lines that are followed with sneers, awkward pauses, all really intentional. And it’s great, cause this movie has a good sense of mood whiplash. There’s build up in this movie. And not the boring ass sitcom build up from The Forest, or literally everything in He Knows You’re Alone. No, this is good build up. The characters start talking about stuff when there alone, about having relationship issues with their parents, a possible abortion, and the comedy in this film slowly shifts to unnerving suspense right before the murders happen. You see the mood change with the characters as the movie goes on. It’s not just dragging out scenes for no good reason. There is actual good ass build up. Finally! Thank you, April Fool’s Day. But the comedy can get a bit much, especially in the darker moments. I mean, it’s still kinda funny, but maybe don’t turn on a dime to sex jokes after seeing the severed heads of your friends in a well? Well, I guess it can be forgiven, considering the ending. Now a lot of people have issues with this movie's ending, at least at the time of its release in ‘86. I think that it’s so absurdly insane that I can’t help but laugh. I won’t spoil it, but it’s something else. It kinda feels like a twist of the slasher genre before Scream came along and made it common to make the slasher genre satirical. But man did people hate it. Even one Jay Maeder gleefully spoiling the ending for fun. Yeah, I’m sure you feel like a big man. Apparently the ending was supposed to be much darker, but it was cut out because they wanted a happier ending. While I am all for creative liberty and not listening to the shit producers say, I still think the ending is hilariously absurd in the best way and that maybe a crazy twist is alright from time to time. Though when they did it again in the last thirty seconds, I did roll my eyes. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I’m retarded, they say. But yeah, April Fool’s Day. It’s a strange little “slasher” film but it’s got a unique idea to it, it’s entertaining, it’s funny, the build up is nice, the gore effects are pretty good, which considering that ending, is both impressive they’re the best and sad that this is better than the movies that have their killings. Easily the best one thus far.
7/10: Is this an out of season April Fool’s joke?
#25: Terror Train (1980)
So I was really not hyped for this one in the slightest. The way this movie was describing itself in production as being just Halloween but on a train, down to even getting Jamie Lee Curtis to star in it, I rolled my eyes at the idea. And the reviews that made it out to be a generic mediocre slasher film didn’t set my hopes up too high. But holy shit, Terror Train really did surprise me. It’s not incredible, but damn is it a step above the rest. First off, the setting. A New Year’s Eve costume party aboard a train. A perfect setting. I didn’t think it would go well, but how crowded the train can be gives it a sort of claustrophobic feeling, in a good way. The way the camera subtly shakes as it’s on a moving car is also nice. And being a party, you know this movie has some classic slasher movie bad dancing to it. It’s not going to top the Crispin Glover dance from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. Nothing will ever top the Crispin Glover dance from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. But it’s still kinda bad here, which means it’s pretty good. Second, Kenny, our happy-go-lucky killer. One, you get some character with him. He was a troubled kid who already had issues and was bullied horribly after being tricked into getting some sex time with Jamie Lee Curtis only to end up in bed with an actual corpse from the actual morgue in this actual medical school. You don’t think that would get them in a fuck load of trouble? Not just with school, but also with the law? But whatever, he’s traumatized over a sick joke and institutionalized and now he wants revenge. Motivation. That’s good. But what really makes him interesting for me is how he jumps from costume to costume. When he kills someone, he changes costumes and dresses as someone else. The masks are different, and he’s always able to blend right back into the crowd even when he’s caught prior. So yes, Terror Train is a better Hitman movie than the Hitman movies. But the survivors aren’t stupid. Well, not all of them. A good chunk of them really don’t question why their costumed friend is suddenly a mute. I get they’re probably intoxicated, but maybe ask them a question? And also the big dickhead of the group is super ready to fight this killer, but the second he loses his footing, he’s screaming for his mom. Kinda weird, but he’s a dickhead who treats his friends like shit, treats his girlfriend like shit, jokes about mentally destroying a classmate and heckles a magician for literally no reason. So fuck him, it’s fine. But Jamie Lee Curtis is actually able to stand her own. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but her character in this movie was a much more endearing and smart character than the one in Halloween. She gets the drop on the killer, stabs his eye, sprays him with… stuff. She doesn’t hesitate. But nah, the real bad ass in this movie is motherfucking train conductor Carne. I don’t usually care for the names of characters in this movie unless they’re the killer, but Carne was a fucking badass. He was played by the late Ben Johnson, famous western actor, stuntman and actual real cowboy, so you know he’s a badass. This dude can go from being a sweet and kind old man one second, and then he can be laying the fucking law down the next. When he sees a dead body, he doesn’t scream, he doesn’t lose his composure, he is just ready and waiting to get it all together to find this guy. When he knows there’s a killer, he keeps everyone safe and gets weapons to fight this guy. When these dumb kids who are out of their element asks to join the hunt, he tells them if they’re sure, if they think they can take on someone who did that to their friends, and they back down. Does Jamie Lee Curtis get the final shot on the killer? Fuck no. Carne comes up and smacks this bitch around with a shovel. Kenny may have killed like eight people, may have missed a few, but Carne fucking killed it as a character. So yeah, Train Terror was really nice. It has a lot of the tropes for slasher movies, and the ending is a little dragged out near the end and it’s kinda trying to wrap things up but does it messily, but there is enough good in this movie that I enjoy it. I genuinely don’t understand why this movie is so hated. I’d say it’s way more than 30%. Like 50% at least. Yeah, Train Terror was a nice surprise. I’m glad I watched it. Easily a favorite so far.
7/10: Did you know the train car is still operational today? Among greats like the Halloween house and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre house.
#24: Slaughterhouse (1987)
Here is yet another movie that I was not really expecting much out of, since it was trying really hard to be like another slasher movie, this time Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But thankfully, this movie was also pretty good. It helps that this was yet another movie to get a Blu-Ray release. I swear, they will have the weirdest stuff on Blu-Ray. That may sound common, but of all these so far, according to my knowledge, it was Slaughterhouse and fucking Death Spa. Anyway, this movie is just kinda meh throughout. A lot of the basic characters messing about at an old slaughterhouse that they shouldn’t be messing with. A cranky old man who owns the land is fed up with the town trying to kick him off his property, so he and his mentally unstable son seek vengeance on the town, killing anyone who comes by. The movie, for the most part, is standard fare. Nothing is too crazy. You got this giant psychopath, Buddy Bacon, who is messing with dead animals for a disgustingly long period of time, led by his father, Lester, to kill anyone who comes on his property as well as the people trying to foreclose his land. It’s nice that we got more hometown killings going on. People know of the slaughterhouse, some know of the residents within. But no one knows that it’s housing corpses. The acting is pretty hammy at times. It can be good here and there, but other times, like with the deputy, it’s like a PSA about road safety. It’s kinda charming in a lame dad teaching kids about fire safety sorta way. But while the movie is pretty okay, the kills are a step above the rest so far. These kills are fucking brutal and chunky. I mean, hey, if you’re gonna take inspiration from Texas Chainsaw, take the gruesome kills. Course, this movie has its own share of them. Like when the deputy gets his hand cut off and it starts spewing blood, it keeps spewing blood. It doesn’t just become a wet stump. It’s still going until he bleeds out. Or the one with the guy getting his head crushed by the giant brute Buddy. But the hammer scene is the worst. While Texas Chainsaw had a more subtle and unnerving hammer kill, Slaughterhouse has one that’s just brutal. But it still has convulsions. That’s the thing that gets me. You don’t even die from a smack to the head. You just start convulsing from the brain damage. That is what disturbs me. That said, this movie is not funny… let me explain. On the Wikipedia for this movie, it describes this film as a black comedy slasher film. But this movie is barely a comedy. Is it the music? Is it the dialogue? I think the one scene that was trying to be funny was when Buddy took the deputy’s clothes and took his car for a joy ride. I assume that was funny, but it ends in a roadside murder. So I don’t know. Slaughterhouse, you’re not funny. But, on the plus side, another surprising film. It’s nothing too special, I’ll probably forget all the survivors by the next film, but it was one that was really gory and pretty fun to watch throughout. Good job, Slaughterhouse. You were slightly above average. But only slightly.
6/10: Is this offensive? It probably is.
#23: Night of the Demon (1980)
Okay, here’s another movie I had no expectations for. Night of the Demon was a movie that was forgotten by time, insanely low budget, it was considered another video nasty by the UK and was banned for years until it got a censored version with kills being trimmed, two taken out entirely. No one is credited with a Wikipedia page other than the musician, Dennis McCarthy, who has worked on Star Trek, and one actor credit, Joy Allen, which states and I quote “Joy Allen is an English actress”... Fascinating. So yeah, this movie was not exactly exciting. Especially when the premise is about a scientist and his class looking for Bigfoot. But holy shit, did this movie try so fucking hard to do something insane. Now, Night of the Demon is not… good… But neither is Death Spa. But holy shit, the insanity of the plot, the twists, the actual unsettling stuff, the kills in this movie. This is a movie that is really passionate and while it’s hard to love, it’s harder to hate. The acting is pretty laughable, music actually sounds like sitcom music from time to time, and the movie is slow with it’s beginning, with a lot of the kills taking place in flashbacks, even though this movie is in a flashback. Flashbacks within flashbacks. That is rarely a good sign. But holy shit, does this movie pick up by the second act. Suddenly, a cult is introduced out of nowhere, ready to rape and sacrifice this lady. The woman in question was already raped by the monster at the start and gave birth to a monster mash baby that was killed by her abusive, religious father. The monster is ready to fuck to continue his race and then starts a fucking murder combo in the climax. This movie has it all, cults, rape, incest, cannibalism, human sacrifices, child abuse, child murder, child rape. Yeah, the British were not fond of the silly gore in this film, but the rape of a fifteen year old was a-okay. That said, the flashback (within a flashback) of the girl and her preacher father with the demon baby is actually unnerving. Like it was legit disturbing to me. Seeing the father freak out about his religion, as well as just casually calling her a bitch, seeing the hybrid monster baby screaming. If this it’s own thing, it could be a good movie. Something like The VVitch crossed over with Rosemary’s Baby. And the kills in this movie are really good. All mixed with some good music like the calming piano for the sex scene becomes distorted and menacing once the monster attacks. Some of the music is sitcom level, but it can pull out some great tracks from time to time. Gonna assume that was Dennis McCarthy’s work. And the kills can range from, “Oh, I got a bad paper cut and now I’m dead” to literally grabbing a dude's dick and twisting it off. This was one of the two kills that was removed from the censored version. The other was at the end when all the main characters get combo killed by the monster, trying to get a Monster Kill, as he rips open one of them, tears out his intestine and swings it around. This is insane… I love it. Yeah, what the fuck? I was ready to trash on this movie, but now I’m kinda compelled by it. It’s so insane, yet so giddy about how insane it is that I kinda get giddy with it. Yeah, it’s not good and it’s a slow burn, but that second act really picks it up and the third act is a joy. Easily the best so bad it’s good movie thus far, and honestly my favorite movie so far. I can’t believe this trashy film took the spot of April Fool’s Day. Go figure
8/10: The Amazon Prime listing for this movie calls Professor Nugent Professor Nugget. I felt that needed to be said.
#22: New Year’s Evil (1980)
So this one was another movie that had low expectations for me. It’s so weird, we are like four combos so far with movies that I had no expectations for, all for different reasons, and yet here comes New Year’s Evil to surprise me. Okay, this movie is a mess. It is not good. But it is so good. So the idea of a killer killing women at the stroke of midnight at every time zone on New Years Eve all while this punk venue is going nuts. It’s weird because a lot of 80s movies, not just this one, had punks acting as vulgar, rude and even violent when that was very rare. It was funny to see them screaming and heckling the detective near the end of the movie. That is a very punk thing. And this movie sure has a lot of punk music. Yeah, it’s crazy, the wikipedia for this movie has a pretty barebones plot for the movie. Meanwhile, the soundtrack is big enough to be its own article. Lots of praise for how punk rock it is. I went through a punk phase when I dropped out of college, and yeah, this is something I would listen to. It even has its own theme song. I love cheesy rock themes for these slasher movies. He’s Back for Friday the 13th is my favorite. And yeah, this theme is a bop too. I can see why it got a following. But the movie it’s self is so dumb. In a good way, but it’s so fucking dumb. Why would the cop tell the venue or the woman about the killings? I get that she was said to be the last victim, but do you really think that would fly. At least have the manager try and stop them or something. How the fuck did no one realize her husand was in an asylum until the very last minute. How in the fuck does this killer have a voice modulator? It doesn’t even make sense. He just shoves it in his mouth sometimes. Also, the asylum New Years party… Is this offensive? Is this in bad taste, cause it feels like it. Oh, and the killer himself. This fucking guy. This fucking dork of a serial killer. Where do I even begin? His fucking name is Evil, for starters. And he says it so often. He talks like a chain smoker. He is attacking women and calls his victims naughty girls. He influences a young boy into being a borderline school shooter, piercing his ear with a sewing needle… which is gone in the next scene… which then comes back in the next… and then it’s gone again in the next. And in the climax, no spoilers for the killer’s identity, but his motivation for killing women is because he is tired of women treating him like trash and wants to kill them. This guy is a literal incel. During his big speech, I was expecting him to call himself a “nice guy”. And Evil has to be the most incompetent killer ever. He is always screwing up his timing on the clock, he sounds like a dork, he gets chased around by a biker gang that he crashes into, lets one of his victims get away even when he had her right in the palm of his hand, but instead stops for two drunks like ten feet from him when he could have just gone around them. And the girl he let get away, he was already making threats. Everyone else, he was playing it cool, trying to get their trust. But not her. Literally waves a knife around for fun. Evil is a fucking idiot. But whatever, this movie is an idiot. It’s such a mess, but it has so much fun in it. The music is fun, Evil is a hilarious loser, and some parts of this movie are fun, like the car chase and the shoot out in the hotel. Probably more fit for an action movie, but whatever. New Years Evil is not good… but it was very entertaining throughout. I’ll give it a pass.
6/10: Evil isn’t like those OTHER killers
#21: The Ghost Dance (1982)
This moving fucking blows, man. So I think it’s safe to say that, while I try to keep it low, offensive humor does come out from time to time in these articles. I definitely don’t try to be a big edgelord school shooter boy, at least not anymore, and try to keep these things somewhat mature. But sometimes, you see a movie like Ghost Dance, and you read the description to see it involves a murderous Native American warrior ghost and you want to see just how offensive it is to mock this film. But now I kinda wish it was in poor taste just so I can have something to talk about. I mean, the movie isn’t extremely racist, so that’s good. But this movie is just fucking boring. Every setting is just either a lab, an office, or the desert. Cause boy, I sure do enjoy school and work. And this is more of a personal preference, but I hate desert settings too much. It’s the same all the time and it just makes me feel bored and miserable looking at it. I know that they’re supposed to be lifeless, but I prefer more lively settings. Like a forest. The dialogue is as interesting as a history lecture, which is good since this movie likes to discuss a lot of Native American stories and mythos. A lot of scenes are just talking and exposition and trying to figure out who this killer is. And the killer, the spirit of Nahalla, is… alright. He gets kills done. Nothing too crazy, but nothing on the level of boredom like Ray. And on the topic of He Knows You’re Alone, The Ghost Dance is… slightly better? I think? He Knows You’re Alone had one good scene on top of a bunch of bullshit. Meanwhile, The Ghost Dance had a few okay scenes on top of mediocrity. I like the scene where the guy gets possessed. I like the colors there. I like the part where Nahalla just stands in the road menacingly, hands on his hips like a disappointed father. I like the part where the kid gets his stomach ripped out… I’m not sure what the context is to that at all, but the effect was nice. I like how the climax is like a classic monster movie with the threat falling in love with the human woman. Why the fuck did the monster have to be a Native American ghost, I don’t know, but whatever. But other than that, this movie is just boring. I was playing this sped up cause by the halfway point of this hour and a half movie, I felt like I was watching it for three hours. So yeah, The Ghost Dance… It’s not the shittiest movie on here. Well, we had to break the entertaining movie combo streak eventually.
3/10: I am the first person to review this movie on Amazon Prime. That is my contribution to this earth.
#20: Intruder (1989)
Ya know, I knew Night of the Demon would not stay at the top, simply cause I only love it cause it’s so insane. But I did not expect it’s spot to be taken this soon. Intruder is the best movie on here, made by Sam Reimi’s house pet, Scott Spiegel, known for being in many Sam Reimi’s films, and directing sequels to films that were never as good as the first. But the Intruder is a special film, mostly because it is the best film on here thus far. Now I may have a bias towards this film, one cause I love the skewed shots and long shots that were common in Evil Dead, though not as much, but also because I too work at a store on night shift. Every night I think to myself someone is gonna come into this store and knife me to death. I can’t wait. The movie is a real slow burn. You don’t get a single kill for the first thirty minutes in this hour and twenty five minute movie. But it’s great because what we get is built up. Lots of it, too. You get to see the characters interact, know their relationships, see what their roles in the store are and how that’s pretty much going to be their death later on. They joke without being too perverted or homophobic or shitty. These are just regular workers just doing their job. I remembered characters like Jennifer, Linda, Danny, Randy, Bill, all of them. I actually genuinely cared about these characters because they have a connection. They talk. They have characters that aren't shitty. In most slasher films, you really don’t care about the characters in these movies. One because you know most if not all of them are going to die by the end. And two, because they are always a bunch of fucking assholes you want to see get choked the fuck out. But I genuinely do enjoy these characters. And it’s a shame too, because not only does this make their deaths more shocking and tragic, but of all the movies thus far, these guys get it the worst. The kills in this movie are fucking brutal. And it’s never just clean kills. And even if they are, the killer really feels the need to chop them up and leave their body parts all over the store for the fun of it. But the final act kind of gets messy, I’m sad to say. First off, the killer’s motives make no sense. No spoilers, but his plan falls apart when he kills anyone but Danny. I know it’s a slasher movie, but Danny was your target, not anyone else. Shit, Danny wasn’t even the first kill. And near the end, the movie plays a fucking Spongebob stock music. Specifically the House of Horror music. Now, obviously, to judge it is unfair. It came out before Spongebob and this was stock music even then. But it’s still impossible not to hear. It’s like when Deadly Premonition uses the stock stinger during a murder scene. I love that shit. Though all I can think of during that scene is the Hash Slinging Slasher being a slasher villain. Then we get to Craig. I really hate this character with a passion. He’s a fucking creep who beats on employees to get to a girl he is constantly creeping on, beats on his friends, sexually harasses his ex, tries to think he’s hot shit. Oh, but when he’s one on one with one guy, he can’t do shit and gets pummeled in a second. He can beat on three guys no problem. But one guy, ONE fucking guy, he falls like a bag of shit. Craig tries so hard to act like the hot shit when he’s just plain shit. Also, the marketing on the Director’s Cut for the DVD is pathetic. It advertises it as “From the producer of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs' ' even though no one usually likes producers. And it boasts of having Sam Reimi and Bruce Campbell in it. Sam Reimi didn’t even have top billing in the original film. He was in it, sure, but not much. And I fucking love Bruce Campbell, but he was in it at the last minute. Literally one minute at the end of the movie as a nameless cop. But despite the weird fifteen minutes, it doesn’t take away from this movie. It’s still the best one here by a long shot and most likely Scoot Spiegel’s best film. Whether you want a good set with characters or some good gore effects, Intruder is for you.
8/10: I bet the dude that called in sick is feeling really damn lucky now.
#19: The Carpenter (1988)
So let me start by saying that this movie is not a slasher film. Or at the least, this isn't like standard slasher movie fare. It was advertised as one, but this is more of a haunting or even a psychological horror. The movie follows this character Alice who, after returning from a mental institute, is brought to a new home by her husband, which is haunted by the ghost of a carpenter who kills anyone who tries to harm the house or Alice in any way. At a certain point, I was starting to question if the killings were done by an evil spirit or if it was all done by Alice. And that is what the movie feels like it’s hinting at. Then we get to the killer of the movie, Edward the carpenter, played by Wings Hauser. The man is playing as this friendly carpenter who is so nice to Alice and is just chatting with her about carpentry, house work, all that good stuff. So it makes his sudden turns toward brutal murder down to buzz sawing a mans hands off and drilling into another man pretty vicious. The kills in this movie are few and far between, and most of the time feel kind of brutal. The hand one with the buzzsaw was silly, but when he staples a man's eyes shut and then drills into his throat, it’s kinda unnerving. The lack of over exaggerated gore and the low quality of the camera kind of gives it a snuff film vibe. And as Edward progresses into a violent moment all while keeping his calm and friendly demeanor, it’s actually kind of disturbing. Wings Hauser was legit the best part of the movie. Lynne Adams was also great in her role as Alice and the more the film went on, the more I wasn’t sure what to believe and if she was going to progress to straight up murder by the movies end. When these two were on screen together, the film was amazing… but… unfortunately, as much as I really, really want to love this movie, it has problems. When they aren’t on screen, when it’s anything from Alice’s job to literally anything with her husband, the movie is a bore. This does not feel like a slasher movie. This feels like a melodrama. Oh my, the professor husband is having an affair with one of his students and the wife who came out of an asylum is forming a blooming romance with the friendly strong carpenter. While that would be a great mood whiplash to change it up to, “Oh, but the friendly strong carpenter is actually a serial killer” and could make for some good fun, and it certainly does, the parts that aren’t the carpenter are so fucking boring. I don’t care about her conversations with her sister, I don’t care about any of the subplots or anything involving the dickhead husband. Thankfully, Wings Hauser is in it quite a hefty bit, so the movie is still vastly enjoyable, but at least 40% of it I just don’t care for. When the movie’s great, it’s fucking great. When the movie is not, it’s pretty uninteresting. If you can handle some dull moments, I implore you to check out The Carpenter. I just wish it was more than all that.
6/10: The dream sequence featured Wings Hauser unzipping his pants and had a drill sound effect. It’s weird to say that this isn’t the first movie I’ve seen with a drill penis. Thank you, Tetsuo: The Iron Man.
#18: Luther the Geek (1989)
Now I was really banking on this movie being something truly special. When I found out that it was produced by Troma Entertainment, the lovely independent film company that made Toxic Avenger and other low budget movies for the sake of entertainment, I was really hyped up. Sure, the movie was hated by critics, but that doesn’t matter with Troma. They are here to be stupid, have fun, and make the movies I want. And I was like “Boy, I really hope my bias doesn’t peek with this movie”. Fortunately, or unfortunately, it didn’t. This was not a Lloyd Kaufman movie, but rather a Carlton J. Albright movie. And I gotta be real with you, I have no strong feelings for this movie one way or the other. Luther the Geek is a perfectly average movie. Nothing spectacular, nothing terrible. It’s so weird, this and Slaughterhouse are both advertised as horror comedies, yet I barely laughed in any of them. And even then, it was more like an exhale from my nose. MoonStalker was more of a horror comedy with Cowboy Bernie patrolling the scene. That was more comedic. Here, I don’t get the comedy routine. Is it because Luther makes chicken noises because he likes to eat the heads off of chickens? Cause that’s not really all that funny, especially when he does it throughout this entire hour and twenty minute long movie. I like the idea of the killer. A crazed carnee that has metallic dentures and bites the flesh of people. Certainly more interesting than axe wielding maniac number 37. But this movie has a lot of parts that are very interesting and yet does very little with it. The gore effects are pretty gnarly, as is expected with Troma films. It’s not as brutal as Intruder, at least until you see the boyfriend get his entire body eaten with his beating heart. But that’s as unique as it gets. Most if not all on screen kills are just Luther biting people’s necks. First time is neat, but come on, you gotta mix it up a little. Also, I hope you like farmlands, cause this entire movie is set in one house. Now this can work if the mood is right, the atmosphere is perfect and the build up is good, like with Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But there is no build up from Luther attacks the family, and the mood is kind of Luther running around fucking with these people before actually killing them. And not even in a scary way. Just in a “I’ll tie her up, and then I’ll fuck with this motorcycle for fun” kind of way. Like if you’re gonna kill them, Luther, fucking kill them. I do like the gore effects, I like how creepy it can be at times, I like the arn scene with the lighting. But what this movie does right, it just does okay. And with the bad stuff, it’s just a shrug for me. Luther the Geek is a movie I don’t particularly love yet don’t have the energy to hate. It’s just a nothing movie for me in all honesty. Just painfully average. So it gets an average score from me. Still better than He Knows You’re Alone though. At this point I doubt we’re going to see something worse than that one. I’m really glad we got it out of the way early.
5/10: Citizen Toxie was better
#17: Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge (1989)
Well, well, well, it would appear I spoke way too soon. If it wasn’t already clear, I’m kind of writing these out as I go along day by day. That’s why I have so many comments that have no predictions of later films aside from, “I’m looking forward to this one” or “I’m not looking forward to this one”. Mostly so I don’t overflow the page with over thirty articles, as well as editing and making cards every day for a month on top of my real job. And yeah, I’ve been shitting on He Knows You’re Alone for like fourteen days straight, deservedly, but it’s time we put this joke to bed. Cause here’s the thing. He Knows You’re Alone had one good scene. One good scene and also Tom Hanks really trying. Phanom of the Mall has fucking no good scenes that I can remotely remember. And instead of Tom Hanks, we got the polar opposite, Pauly Shore. Yes, that Pauly Shore. So I want to make it very clear that when it comes to classic horror, I’ve actually never seen Phantom of the Opera, which this movie is loosely based on. I never got around to it. So I can’t judge this film as how it compares to the original work. I can only judge Phantom of the Mall as its own thing. Which is great, cause it fucking sucks as its own thing. Phantom of the Mall is a movie that is trying to be so many things at once and fails at literally everything. It’s trying to be really suspenseful with who is the killer of the mall. Who could it be? I wonder if the tagline Eric’s Revenge has anything to do with it. Hmmm. Okay, maybe it could have been like a relative or someone close to Eric who was enacting vengeance in spirit. But no, it’s Eric. Movie was very adamant about that. Oh, but it can have a hundred million plot threads and twists. Oh no, Eric’s house fire wasn’t an accident. Oh no, Eric wasn’t buried in his grave. Oh no, the security guard was the killer. Oh no, Eric lives under the mall. Oh no, you mean the mayor who wanted the neighborhood torn down to build the mall was actually a villain? Wow, slow down, movie. I can only handle so many revelations. But none of them work. The movie is trying to piece them all together with characters constantly asking the same questions over and over and even when the answer is right in their face, they ask them over and over. It’s uggling all these plots and as it goes on, it falls apart more and more. And the special effects are… fine. They’re okay. The make up on Eric’s burnt face is fine. The fire at the end is fine. The snake in the ventilation shaft is fine… wait, what is a snake doing in the ventilation shaft? So yeah, the version I watched on Youtube was heavily censored. No blood or gory kills. But guess what? This movie is not on any other streaming service that is known to the common man. I had no choice but to watch this movie for free on Youtube.. Which means I had to watch the fucking movie again, yaaaaaay. Does the gore help it? Not really. I mean, I like the flamethrower kill and the snake kill. But these are nonsensical and pretty gory while the rest of the movie is trying to be super serious. You have all these dumb kills, all this scenery made for a good dumb comedy slasher film. If this was something like Idle Hands, which revealed its own stupidity and had fun with it, it would be incredible. You are in a fucking mall in the late 80s, this movie should have been a cheese fest. I expected poor acting from Pauly Shore, so much machismo, so much dated references. I was expecting this to be the next Death Spa. But no, this movie failed to be so bad it’s good. It’s way too damn boring to be worth anything. I am literally forgetting this movie as I am writing it. He Knows You’re Alone and Ghost Dance are still pretty damn bad, but there were hints of something there. Phantom of the Mall is the most nothing waste of time I’ve ever seen. When you can’t even blame the failures of this film on Pauly Shore, you really fucked up.
1/10: Side note, I found that the movie’s budget was estimated to be 3 million and this film also used a Spongebob stock song. When Intruder does it and it’s fine with it’s messely $150,000 budget and has better gore effects and is also in a store. Fuck you, Phantom of the Mall.
#16: Prom Night (1980)
Well, we’re now slowly getting into the B tier slasher films. We’ve had a lot of C tier stuff, a few D tier stuff, and Phantom of the Mall, but now we’re slowly getting to the stuff that the average slasher fan might have heard of. The B tier slasher villains that you look at and go, “Oh, I saw that on TV as a kid once, I think” and then never remember it. Prom Night is one of those movies. It had a remake that I actually watched and remember nothing about. I assume it was terrible as all modern horror remakes are. I heard that a lot of people didn’t really like Prom Night all that much. And I gotta be real with you, I don’t understand the hate. I mean, yes, the movie is really slow with it’s build up, but the build up is just fine. You get to see the kids in high school who are coping with the memory of being responsible for the death of the sister of our main character, played once again by Jamie Lee Curtis. And Leslie Nelson is in this, what the fuck?! Anyway some of them are riddled with guilt while others are so petty that not only do they feel nothing but also want to bully the sibling of the kid they murdered. This is a movie in which when the dickheads die, you root for the villain. I never wanted to see kids die so badly in my life. But other than that, you get a decent set of who would be the killer, from the dick head bully who wears the same costume as the killer, the traveling sex offender which we all know is a red herring, and a few characters. Won’t say who the killer was, but you’ll have to trust me when I say I called that shit from minute one. But I can see people getting bored with this one. The slasher doesn’t strike until no joke a full hour into the movie. By the time he does strike, the movies only have thirty minutes left. And there are scenes that can drag a little too long. I do think this film could have been used with ten minutes less to cut out the fluff. But when the killer does strike, it’s like mood whiplash, in a good way. This guy is not a trained murderer ready to kill. This guy is fumbling all over the place, misses his targets, and gets his ass kicked even by the nerdy stoner. But unlike Evil who was just an incel, the killer in Prom Night has a decent motive. And it’s not a pretty lackluster motivation, like I can see where the killer is coming from. This shit is fucking tragic. Also seeing him cut the head off the dickhead bully while trying to kill the last target while fucking disco music is playing in the background. I don’t know, there’s something about that I just love. Reminds me of Hotline Miami or something. Prom Night, it’s fucking slow and I can see people getting bored, but I liked it. I think it’s an alright slasher film. It had two sequels and, once again, a terrible remake. So far the only movie on here to get sequels. But surely we’re not going to look into those things….. Right?
7/10: Let this be a lesson to you, kids. Beat your children. Wait, I mean… no, that’s right
Hoo boy, this article is getting a bit too long and too crazy. We got fifteen more movies to check out and plenty of time to do it. So join me again on Halloween night to see what we got left. Will they be good? Will they be bad?... fuckin I dunno. Read the article and find out.