I love me some backwoods slasher indies with that 80s throwback feel. So I had to make Gore, Quebec and Sledge a double feature based on the titles alone! But they’re two very different experiences.
GORE, QUEBEC (2014)
Gore, Quebec is one bizarre slasher. It sounds typical—a group of kids goes to a cabin in the woods and gets knocked off by a guy with an axe.
However, this one chooses not to follow a straightforward slasher formula. The narrative jumps back and forth in time, scenes come out of nowhere (some having seemingly no connection to the plot), and kills are thrown in randomly, leaving you wondering when exactly they are supposed to have happened.
The movie also starts off as “found footage” for no apparent reason then shifts to standard third person cinema after the initial kills…the killer makes sure to do away with the found footage personally! And speaking of the killer, no creepy mask or anything—he’s simply a regular looking dude in glasses with an axe.
If you’re looking for anything cohesive to keep the movie on track, focus on the main guy and girl. They were brought together by the friends as a blind date and soon find they are the final two who really need to get past how bad the date is going if they want to survive.
Watch out! There’s an average Joe behind you in broad daylight!
Whatever the reasoning behind editing Gore, Quebec together as a series of non-sequential scenes, it pretty much kills any buildup or suspense and gives us no sense of the characters. Plus, the conclusion is just as confusing as everything that comes before it. On top of that, the entire movie pretty much takes place during the day. But the kills are cool (those we actually get to see) and live up to the “gore” in the title, the cast is strong instead of the kind of low-budget bad you might expect, and the guys are really cute…and a hairy beary one shows off his big booty!
Sledge is all about being a self-referential horror comedy. As low-budget and indie as it is, there’s just something so endearing about it if you’re a decades long lover of slashers.
While the main story is the usual—a bunch of kids goes camping and gets knocked off one by one after a scary urban legend is told around the fire—there’s other zaniness going on here.
For starters, the movie features a “horror host” in the form of a lumberjack puppet on a TV show some chick is watching in her house. She’s watching Sledge, of course, so periodically throughout the film, it cuts to her in her living room, commenting on the movie…and pretty much trashing the it yet loving it at the same time. Don’t be surprised if she’s saying everything you’re thinking.
As for the slasher part, the kids are your usual bunch. You’ll either love or hate the dominant male in the group. I thought he was adorable with his dry, chauvinistic humor. But the real one-liners are given to the masked killer, Adam Lynch! Sledge is pretty much about a backwoods killer who talks to himself, getting very frustrated with how annoying his victims are as they foil his attempts to do his “job.”
The combination of killer Adam Lynch, the main alpha male, and loads of horror geek talk, including everything from Child’s Play to Dead Silence, make this one that horror fans can appreciate. It may be a little too quirky and silly for some, and there’s also a whole lot of boring talk before things finally happen (the action mostly takes place in the last 24 minutes) but you can just tell that Sledge comes from a true love of the genre. And really, If you’re not going to make a “serious” slasher film, you’re better off going totally over-the-top, of which Sledge is quite guilty!