After watching and loving director Maurice Devereaux’s End of the Line, which I blogged about here, I had to check out some of his earlier stuff. He’s a uniquely versatile creator in the horror genre, because no movie is like the other.
LADY OF THE LAKE (1998)
Lady of the Lake stars a beefy cutie named Erik Rutherford, who has a young Val Kilmner look. He’s adorable and naked through much of the movie, including frontal. Amazingly, this is the only image I could find of him online, so you’ll just have to watch the movie to see everything he has to offer.
Lady in the Lake is a low-budget film that’s part paranormal romance and part erotic horror. Erik inherits his uncle’s home on a lake so he heads up there alone. He paints a woman—a woman he keeps seeing in his very sexual, very wet dreams. He has nightmares about a freaky demon pulling him into the water. He runs around in his black boxer briefs. And finally, he meets the lady of the lake in the flesh…sort of.
She brings him to visit her ”world,” which is simply the Medieval period. We learn the backstory of occult dabbling that made her the lady of the lake. Once they return to modern times, the evil follows them…including fricking zombies in the water!
Lady of the Lake is a humble, quiet effort that tells a paranormal love story with the added thrill of some creepy horror elements and some effective eroticism. Romantics might want more of the passion, while horror fans might yearn for more terror (both sides get plenty of nudity!). But I could watch the movie over and over again simply to see Erik Rutherford in action.
You would never know that Slashers is by the same director. And as indie as it may be, it is possibly one of the most unique deconstructions of the slasher genre I’ve ever seen. It keeps you watching because it’s such a major undertaking.
When you first hear the Japanese techno track and see the campy video that opens the film, you’ll feel like you’re playing Dance Dance Revolution. It’s actually the intro to a Japanese “reality” show like Survivor, and the goal is to escape three crazed killers! Think Running Man if it were a slasher film.
In the special “all-American” episode we are watching, there are 3 guys, 3 girls, and 3 freaky masked men: Preacher Man, Chainsaw Charlie, and Dr. Ripper.
Slashers is filmed totally in a “live” video look (think Big Brother) and is virtually a single-camera POV throughout (one camera man is following them). Devereaux pulls it off quite impressively. Even in bright light, the gore is awesome. And the sets feel like a haunted house attraction.
Slasher conventions are called out: character stereotypes, obligatory nudity, horror music manipulation, audience expectations, and more. And reality shows and love of violent entertainment are mocked as well, my favorite being the pauses in the action—often right before a kill—when the contestants are forced to wait for the show to return from commercial break before they are slaughtered.
I’ve really seen nothing like Slashers before. It may have some spotty acting and run slightly too long, but overall, this is how you do a low-budget indie slasher and bring something new to the table.
Also, casting this shirtless guy as one of the leads doesn’t hurt….