Fuck. I just finished Hellraiser IV, and I already spent the joke about pain surpassing pleasure writing about Hellraiser III. If you want to read my thoughts about the first three (read: the best three) Hellraiser films you can find them here for Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, and the link for Hellraiser III is above.
Hellraiser IV: Bloodline is directed by Alan Smithee. That’s all I need to tell you. Turn off your computer, go outside and do something productive. For those of you who don’t know, Alan Smithee is the pseudonym a director uses when they don’t want to be associated with a film, typically because of studio interference. It traditionally means the film is hot garbage.
Hellraiser IV is Hellraiser in space. Hellraiser. In. Space. Sounds awesome right? Like, Event Horizon but not as good, which is still pretty good. But, unfortunately for us, Bloodlines is an origin story for the Lament Configuration, the puzzle box that opens a gate to Hell and summons Pinhead and his Cenobites when solved. This film follows three different generations of a family known as the Merchants: an 18th century French toy maker, a 20th century architect, and a 22nd century space…man? It’s not really clear what he does for a living. Anyways, Hellraiser IV follows the Merchants across space and time, showing how the Lament Configuration has been intertwined in their lives since its inception. (more…)
Not too long ago I dipped my toes into the New French Extremity movement by watching the home invasion gorefest, À L’interieur. Seeing how Shudder has given me access to the big three French Extremity films, I decided to check out one of the ones that blew the door wide open for films like À L’interieur and Martyrs to enter horror’s filmography, Alexandre Aja’s twisted slasher: Haute Tension.
Haute Tension (High Tension in English, and sometimes known as Switchblade Romance) is the second full length film by Alexandre Aja who is best known for directing the 2006 remake of The Hills Have Eyes. It stars a tomboyish Cécil de France and Maïwenn Le Besco as the punk rocker Marie and the preppy Alex, two college girls who are retreating to Alex’s family’s country home to study for their upcoming exams. Horror movie does and horror movies do, and their peaceful, quiet time away from civilization turns into a Hellish nightmare.
A mysterious man invades Alex’s family’s home, systematically slaughtering them before kidnapping Alex and driving off with her chained up in the back of his rusted truck. Marie stows away in the back of the vehicle and it’s up to her to figure out how to get her and her friend away from the killer and off to safety.
So I know I literally just wrote about how well crafted horror movies can be elevated past dumb schlock that appeals to the lowest common denominator audience, but sometimes you just want to turn your brain off and watch some dumb, raunchy horror. As someone who loves the slasher subgenre, more often than not, I’m watching sleazy trash flicks. And boy, did I just watch a sleazy trash flick.
Pieces is a Spanish slasher made to cash in on the success of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Sure, it came out almost a decade after Texas Chainsaw, but between the marketing “You don’t have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre!” and the fact that this was released pretty close to the height of the slasher craze of the ’80s, all the ingredients were there to make a stand out exploitation flick.
Pieces (also known by it’s much better title, A Thousand Screams in the Night) is about a mysterious killer on a Boston university campus who has been brutally killing beautiful young women with a chainsaw and stealing various body parts from their corpses. A handful of cops have determined that the killer is either a member of student body or the faculty, and they need to figure out who’s behind the murders and the theft of dead body parts before whatever grim plan that has been put in motion can be completed. (more…)
We did it! We made it to the end of the original run of Halloween films! Everybody come get drunk with me and celebrate one great movie, a couple okay ones, and a whole slew of shit. I don’t have much else to say in my preamble here, I’m just excited to move away from an old, dated slasher franchise and start working my way through an old, dated, rebooted slasher franchise.
Halloween: Resurrection is the eighth film in the Halloween franchise and the first before Rob Zombie infamously took the reigns. It’s directed by Rick Rosenthal, the director of Halloween II, one of the better in the series and stars Jamie Lee Curtis (!), Katie Sackhoff (!), Tyra Banks (?) and Busta Rhymes (!). Regardless of the quality of this entry into the Halloween series, you’ve got to be interested in how a cast like that would work in a slasher film.
Halloween: Resurrection takes place a few years after the events of the tragically titled Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later. Michael Myers is hunting down his sister Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) before returning to his childhood house to terrify a group of young actors participating in Dangertainment, an awful early 2000s reality TV show. (more…)
Back to the grind. I’m so close to wrapping up the original Halloween series that I can taste it. All I have left to watch is Halloween Resurrection before I start on the duo of Rob Zombie flicks that I can say I hate because it’s cool to hate on Rob Zombie even though a majority of the films in the original franchise are awful (fight me, Halloween fans). I’m actually curious if I might like Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II more than most people because I don’t have a zealous devotion to the almost 40 year old series. I’m getting ahead of myself, here. I’ve just cleared the seventh of the eight original films, and I’m rearing to go fly down the home stretch.
Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later is the worst titled slasher film ever, and was a nice change of pace to the Halloween franchise when it came out. Directed by Steve Miner (Friday the 13th parts 2 and 3), H20 made a point to completely ignore the giant, incoherent mess that was Halloween 4, 5, and 6.
H20 follows a disguised Laurie Strode twenty years after the events of John Carpenter’s Halloween and Halloween II. Jamie Lee Curtis makes a return as Laurie Strode, now living as Keri Tate, the headmistress of a private school in California. Her son, John (Josh Hartnett) is also there, whenever the plot demands it. Michael Myers tracks Laurie down and makes a sweet road trip from Illinois to California to confront her and try to kill her again. It’s pretty much just a direct sequel to 1981’s Halloween II, but Jamie Lee Curtis was twenty years older than she was in the original, so they obviously had to push that aspect. Also, LL Cool J is in this movie. (more…)
is was an interesting point in the timeline of slasher movies. We’ve seen the rise (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Black Christmas, Friday the 13th) and fall (Jason Takes Manhattan, Silent Night Deadly Night 2) of the subgenre in the late ’70s and ’80s, its revival and the introduction of the meta-slasher in the ’90s (Scream), then the shortlived wave of slasher reboots in the mid 2000s, and finally the meta-meta-slashers (Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, The Final Girls) of the later 2000s and the 2010s. Turns out after 40 some odd years of masked dudes killing people with every sharp, blunt, and pointy object known to man, the one blood-filled well has run dry. Or has it?
It has. Fender Bender is a slasher film written and directed by Mark Pavia (slightly known for his rendition of Stephen King’s The Night Flier), starring Makenzie Vega (The Good Wife, Saw, and Sin City) and Bill Sage (a throwaway character in American Psycho). You know you’re in for a treat watching a movie with such a distinguished horror pedigree.
Fender Bender follows Hilary, a young woman who gets into a small car accident in her mom’s new car. After exchanging insurance information with the man who hit her, she suspects him of following and stalking her and her friends over the weekend when her parents are away. Stalking turns into murderin’, and Hilary’s got to fight for her life if she wants to survive.
Settle down folks, settle down. I know you’ve all been waiting for this one. I know out of all the things I write about here, the thing I know as an objective fact, is that everyone wants me to continue watching and reviewing the Hallowe– oh, you don’t care about a late entry in a dying (some would consider it dead by the time this film came out) slasher franchise? Well, uhh, too bad. I watched it, so now I’m going to write about it.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is the fifth sequel in the Halloween series that nobody asked for. I’m surprised that it took six whole movies for the producers to stop tying a number to the title, usually that ends at the third or fourth movie when they’re embarassed by how many sequels they’re shitting out for a quick buck. To be honest, I’m a little tired of the subtitle of these movies being The [Insert Thing Here] of Michael Myers.
I’ve honestly been trying to write this review for months (my last Halloween review was in June) and that paragraph is the only thing I’ve managed to conjure up about the movie without rolling my eyes so hard I get brain damage. Since this will stay in my Post Draft folder forever unless I delete it or post it, I present to you a review of comparable laziness and shittiness to its subject. Here are the unedited notes I took while watching Halloween: The Curse of Neverending, Sub-par Slasher Sequels.