“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.
“Prom Night” is one of my personal favourites and this flick can stand up to multiple viewings. The plot is as simple as they come but that doesn’t prevent director Lynch from trying his best to serve up red herrings as to who’s doing the killing. It takes it’s time in the build-up and firmly establishes it’s characters and the film is all the richer for it.
“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.
Halloween is approaching and it’s that time of year that horror junkies start popping in John Carpenter’s “Halloween” (1978) and some of it’s sequels. While some horror franchises have colourful continuations (say…”Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday the 13th”) none have the insane history of reboots or re-imaginings as “Halloween”. It’s easily a novella length task of compiling the franchise history of the series but recently I checked out the two separate reboots; the 20th anniversary “H20” and the 40th anniversary “Halloween” (both headlined by Jamie Lee Curtis) and wanted to put some thoughts down and compare the two.
“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.
I was quite saddened by the news that genre legend Rutger Hauer passed away on July 19th. The local papers covered his passing and mostly mentioned that he had had a memorable turn in Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” (1982) but for me he will always be best remembered as John Ryder; the infamous hitcher in director Robert Harmon’s 1986 B-movie “The Hitcher”.