Way back in 1995 (holy crap!), director Tommy Faircloth made the slasher parody Crinoline Head, about a killer who wears a skirt on his head. I blogged about the movie here, along with his follow-up, Generation Ax, which was my favorite of the two films. Now, Faircloth is back in action with Dorchester’s Revenge: The Return of Crinoline Head.
You don’t really need to see the original to see this sequel. While the original had a very low-budget indie feel, the sequel is a tight standalone flick with a retro slasher/horror comedy vibe. The opening scene shows us the event in 1980 that led to Crinoline Head being thrown in a mental facility…and the reason he wears a skirt on his head. Actually, in this sequel, it’s a skirt and creepy doll mask.
Turns out one of the survivors from the first movie is now a teacher. He’s pretty shaken up when his students announce they want to do a project on the legend of Crinoline Head. But that doesn’t stop him from recounting what happened back in the 90s! There are no flashbacks used from the first movie, which is probably a good thing, because the tone of this film is so different (as is the actor).
You’ll never believe what happens next. The students head into the woods to find the house in which Crinoline Head grew up. Awesome! What follows is a horror comedy full of classic slasher elements, some fantastically campy situations, and hints of Troma-esque comedy with a gay edge (even gayer than Troma). Dorchester’s Revenge is loaded with fun-fun-fun.
– We are treated to a car full of drag queens headed to a show. There’s drag banter and drag bitchiness, and when Crinoline Head comes on the scene, the feathers fly!
– The leading men are uber hot…and both take off their shirts. Yay for gay directors!
– The boys lip-sync to an industrial song during the car ride, and the moment rox.
– There’s a catfight involving tampons! Eek!
– Scream queen Debbie Rochon plays a piece of trailer trash and upstages even the drag queens! Debbie just keeps getting better and better as a campy horror actress. She delivers some of the best dirty lines in the movie.
– In old school slasher style, most of the kills happen off screen while the blood splatters on screen, but what’s being implied will make you go “ouch!” Highlights include a chick popping her final squat in the woods (that would be the ouch moment), a hunk landing face first in his own pee, a human piñata, and death by intestine. And there’s even a slasher staple; the moment when a chick sucks on the killer’s finger thinking it’s her boyfriend’s hand….
– The final sequence features slasher must-haves: body reveals, a chase scene, a promise of a sequel, and of course, a final girl. But which one will it be…?
I noted in my blog about the original Crinoline Head that there was a totally repressed gay vibe going on. Even though the only gay characters in the sequel are the drag queens, Faircloth clearly allows his homo wit to call all the comic shots, which would explain why the raunchy humor is so good (wait until you hear the reason this hottie proclaims he’s going gay).
And finally, the comedy aspects don’t get in the way of the conventional horror feel of the movie, which includes everything we expect and want from a slasher: creepy atmosphere, jump scares, sex, killer POV, tension building camera angles, and of course, an ominous masked killer.
Dorchester’s Revenge: the Return of Crinoline Head has instantly become my favorite Tommy Faircloth film (sorry, Generation Ax) and definitely makes my list of perfect movies to show at a horror party.
And finally, although I’m not usually one to objectify men—ah, fuck it. I can’t say that with a straight face (in any sense of the word). So here’s a gratuitous shot of director Tommy Faircloth.