It’s time to look at three slashers from the first decade of the 21st century, not all of them exactly as polished as the more popular competition of the era.
Heartstopper is pretty indicative of its release date in the new millennium, a time that brought us loads of supernatural killer films like Boogeyman, Venom, Darkness Falls, and Stay Alive. It was a fairly paint-by-number subgenre of the era—good for some cheap slasher fun but ultimately forgettable—and this one is no different.
Robert Englund is a sheriff overseeing an execution of a killer. Things are immediately supernatural (this killer has a pre-existing condition), so once the dude is fried in the electric chair with weird results, he’s carted off to a hospital for an autopsy.
A suicidal teen girl ends up in the same ambulance as the dead body, and once she’s delivered to a dark, creepy hospital on a stormy night, she just know in her heart that this dude is back from the dead and coming for her.
The killer nasty creepy cool with his fried face, but that doesn’t last long. He rips out someone’s heart and is immediately returned to human form! Yawn. He spends the remainder of the film pushing a gurney around the hospital (it’s his calling card) looking for the teen girl.
Aside from one mass mutilation scene that delivers some grisly good gore, most of the movie has the main girl, a cute stabbing patient/classmate, and a terrified nurse running around the hospital trying to avoid this generic killer.
CUTTING ROOM! (2006)
When a movie begins with a Lloyd Kaufman cameo and is glaringly shot on video, I immediately want to skip watching and blogging about it. BUT…I watch. And I blog.
This one begins with Lloyd as a producer, surrounded by movie posters, telling a filmmaker that her film sucks. He also mocks Troma films (wink wink), praises universally loathed films, and mentions that the director of the Psycho remake is a homosexual.
Then we cut to a chick getting in the shower and bending over to stick her ass in the camera twice, after which, she masturbates in the camera (fingers under undies, but something definitely ends up peeking out). And yet…I kept watching.
In this awful film, the rejected filmmaker loses her shit, invites everyone involved with her film to her house, and then hacks them to pieces.
Yes, it looks and feels like a student production – a student not in film school – but it has graphic gore (made campy because the scenes are overlit), lesbians, and three guys who are actually quite funny and deserve to be in a better movie.
Each of them is pretty much painted as gay, but the funniest of all has a scene in which he shows off his body and penis to the other two while swearing he’s not gay.
The crazy filmmaker chick doesn’t where a mask—until she all of a sudden wears a mask for the last few murders.
Kill scenes include standard knife stabbings, the old buried up to the neck and run over by a lawnmower trick, a hammer claw to the face, dismemberment by chains connected to a car, drill to the head…and then out comes the chainsaw for the usual horrible thrash metal soundtrack scene.
Finally, there’ s a guy who gets a machete through the ass, which pops his dick and balls out the other side. Later, he wields the dick as a weapon when he and the other victims come back from the dead to attack the killer.
Yes, there’s a zombie scene. Honestly, if this trash didn’t look quite so amateurish, it would be a winner.
The basic plot of this dark, grainy indie reminds me of the psycho stalker flix of the 80s. While distracting flashes, shaky camera, and choppy editing techniques are used to give it a visual grittiness not unlike that of the Saw films, it’s a pretty tightly put together low budget film.
A young woman moves into an apartment building with very few tenants. Most of them seem to be young women that are perfect targets for our killer – the maintenance man. He has no control of his urges and kills often. However, only the first kill is particularly brutal, with him sawing away at a woman while she’s still alive in a bathtub.
After that, the movie gets a bit repetitive. The killer’s more generic kills are followed by him trying to hide the bodies and going into panic mode when a detective begins snooping around.
His mental state is actually better developed than his obsession with the main girl, who gets very little screen time for a majority of the film.
The killer does eventually give her all his attention. Not that he has much choice since he pretty much went through the few other girls available. The final act is the best part of the film, with a kick ass battle and chase scene that goes on for quite a while, leading to a final twist that doesn’t really deliver much of a punch.