After Scream spotlighted the slasher classics of the 80s, the next decade saw the resurgence of Michael Myers, Freddy, Chucky, Leatherface, and Jason Voorhees in sequels and reboots. It also provided ample opportunity for filmmakers who grew up with these baddies to make knockoff slashers like Bloody Murder. And so, the chainsaw wielding, hockey mask wearing Trevor Moorehouse was born. His name only made it into two films, but a couple more films were planned as sequels, then scrapped to become free-standing slashers. Even so, I figured I’d cover them here.
BLOODY MURDER (2000)
The legend begins when a couple’s car breaks down on a dark road at night, the hockey mask chainsaw killer appears, and the male victim cries out Trevor Moorehouse’s name. Sexy.
Next, we meet a bunch of camp counselors arriving at Camp Placid Pines. We also meet their boss—a hunk in a tank top.
Friday the 13th tropes abound. There’s a pantry scene, a chick falling off a canoe into the lake, death by archery, and killer POV. When the kids play a hide and seek game called Bloody Murder, using a hockey mask for a scare prank, one guy is actually murdered by the killer—in a death scene that happens off screen. That, in fact, is the case with most of the kills that follow. Bloody Murder isn’t very bloody.
It’s also not very thrilling. As people begin disappearing, our main girl drags us through a convoluted investigation to find out what’s really going on at the camp. She pretty much accuses everyone still alive of being the killer at some point. And in the end, introducing Trevor Moorehouse serves no purpose, because from what I understood, he had no connection to the killer or the “I need revenge on camp counselors” plot.
Finally, keep an eye out for the absolutely horrible editing that’s meant as a red herring to make you think a certain character whacked another character over the head with an oar, but which you’re apparently supposed to realize later was not the way it panned out. Problem is, when the movie ends, you still think that character whacked the other with the oar and that the film failed to explain why.
BLOODY MURDER 2 (2003)
Seriously, I would skip the first film and go straight to the second for a slightly better summer camp slasher. Actually, this is an end of summer slasher. A bunch of kids comes up to a camp to help close it (guess all the counselors are dead?). The main girl is the sister of a guy named Jason (wink wink) who died in the first movie. But the Jason murdered by Trevor Moorehouse in a dream she has is a different actor.
The main girl ends up being a real downer. She’s there to investigate (here we go again) what happened to her brother, so she doesn’t want to have sex like everyone else. Everyone else includes scream queen Tiffany Shepis, by the way. She makes up for the main girl’s prudishness, bringing the old school vibe by showing her tits several times.
There’s also some meta dialogue, including a black guy saying the black guy always dies first and a girl saying the girls in slashers always show their tits. Such clever post-Scream writing.
At a campfire, one guy tells the legend of Trevor Moorehouse and how his face became deformed at camp. Then the kids play hide and seek to scare prank one guy, followed by an actual murderer showing up on the scene for a kill. Um…this all feels very familiar. Actually, it’s a much-improved familiar, because the murders are gory, violent, and shown on screen. However, instead of a hockey mask, the killer simply wears a plain white mask and a hoodie.
Once again, the main girl pretty much blames everyone who remains alive, but the killer is revealed after way too little masked killer action. To complicate matters, Trevor Moorehouse actually drops by. An apology for the first film, perhaps?
THE GRAVEYARD (2006)
Originally intended to be Bloody Murder 3, this one takes place at Placid Pines! First, a bunch of kids sneaks into a cemetery to play a scare prank on one of their friends; he’s chased by a “masked killer,” which leads to him accidentally dying.
After the friend who was wearing the mask goes to jail for five years, our main girl convinces the authorities to give him probation so they can all go up to the camp near the cemetery where it happened so he can rehabilitate there. WHAT?
So what do we get besides sex, boobs, and furry armpits?
The recovering convict acts all weird. There’s a masked killer in a hoodie. There’s a scare prank (because they didn’t learn their lesson at the cemetery). There are various clues tossed around that make everyone a suspect. I don’t know why Trevor Moorehouse’s name wasn’t added to the mix at some point so this could be released this as part 3, because it really fits the bill.
One guy’s sexuality is also questioned because he has no relations with women, but his truth is never revealed, making all the speculation irrelevant. The killer does have fun with victims and forces the final girl into a chase scene, which is a bonus. And finally, as our main girl is put in a car to be taken away from the scene at the end of the movie, we get the old cliché of the driver of the car being none other than…well, I won’t give it away.
THE BUTCHER (2006)
Intended to be Bloody Murder 4 and written by the same man who wrote The Graveyard, The Butcher is a standalone film with no references to anything from the Bloody Murder movies. This is pretty much just another crazy backwoods family horror flick.
Partying kids on a road trip to Vegas have a run-in with a jerk in a Jeepers Creepers type of vehicle. One chick peeks out the sunroof to show the driver her tits, and a very inconveniently placed tree branch slices her in two. Her grieving lesbian girlfriend drags her top half back to the car to cuddle with it while all the other friends go to look for help.
They end up in a creepy old farmhouse with the usual—dolls, weird shit in jars, a workbench of scary tools, etc.—and soon, they meet the loony family. The main killer man has a deformed face, but the freaky bitch of the house is my favorite.
I also have a thing for the hunky bald cop who comes along to totally fail in saving the day.
I don’t have much of a thing for the movie, though. It’s about as derivative as they get, and there’s nothing particularly fun or exciting about it. I have to say, my vote for best film in this bunch is Bloody Murder 2.