“Five Dolls for an August Moon” is a wonderfully entertaining example of massive style over substance. The gleeful Bava was peeved at not getting what he asked for so he delivered something entirely different than anyone expected.
“Pieces” is an unapologetically sleazy and gory slasher film without any socially redeeming qualities to hide behind. It’s misogynistic, overall in bad taste and, in the end, completely gonzo so there’s no way of taking it seriously. It’s there for the bloody set-pieces and the gratuitous nudity and so it goes all out in delivering those.
Give “Night School” the benefit of the doubt is you’re a slasher fan. It’s very competently made, has some inventive kill scenes, a killer looking head chopping villain, some good dialogue, overall solid acting performances and a polished look. The meanness of the villain and some sleaze compensate for the lack grisly gore on display.
A maniac dressed as Santa Claus is picking off the citizens of the Midwestern town Cryer he deems as naughty. Sheriff Cooper (McDowell) is understaffed so he calls in Deputy Aubrey Bradimore (King) to work on Christmas Eve. Aubrey has a host of personal issues to deal with, not least the fact that this will be her first Christmas since her husband’s passing.
“The Dark Half” is definitely a second tier Romero film when you think of his classics and it’s most certainly a middle of the road novel for King. But the film improves markedly on the book by making some subtle changes and further cementing the otherworldly relationship between author and his fictional creation which (with no agreeable explanation in book or film) suddenly springs to life.
I’m not going to suggest that “A Kiss Before Dying” is some forgotten masterpiece but this little studio title has become somewhat of a cult item and it’s a film that I keep revisiting at regular intervals. The end product shows obvious signs of post production tinkering; the engrossing story leaves a number of interesting avenues unexplored and it’s overly rushed.
“The House on Sorority Row” is slowly becoming one of my all-time favourite slashers in the “best of the rest” category. It only gets better with repeat viewings and the atmosphere combined with a mixture of gratuitous kills alongside some that are bloodless but big on the build-up; this film gets most things completely right.
Back in 1998 (or so) I heard about this upcoming slasher flick, directed by the same man who brought us “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (1997), and starring none other than big time A-lister Sylvester Stallone alongside such veterans as Kris Kristofferson, Robert Patrick and Tom Berenger. Described as a combination of thrills and slasher elements from the likes of “Friday the 13th” with a setting that reminded you of Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians” (with a nod to The Overlook Hotel); my interest was piqued and then some.
“Opera” is fairly giallo-esque with the black gloved killer, his black hood and preferred use of a knife but Argento basically uses the story as a springboard for some over the top set-pieces, wild and horrific imagery laced with bombastic music ranging from sweet ballads to famous opera numbers to heavy metal, tons of images of ravens and some incredible camera acrobatics.