Just like the many masked killers they’ve spawned, slashers will never die. Good or bad, they are always nice to have around when you just need some mindless massacre madness to break up the monotony of quality horror that stimulates the mind.
I watch a lot of slashers. Like these four…
THE WINDMILL (2016)
The Windmill is the kind of flick you watch when all that matters is that it has a gnarly, cold-blooded killer and the death scenes are splatastic.
After a babysitter is busted for not being who she says she is, she does some busting herself and is on the run from the police. So she hops on a tour bus to get away…and is soon stuck with a bunch of other strangers in an old windmill after the bus breaks down.
The Windmill wastes little time in showing us what it’s all about – the hardcore kills!
It appears every time someone has some sort of weird hallucination of something sinful they did in the past, this ominous killer shows up and just tears that person to pieces.
Sure, the “pay for your sins” part is so tired, but the gore fricking rules. No need to say anything else about this one.
AMERICAN SLASHER (2014)
This film is as simple as its title: kids go to abandoned summer camp to clean it up, have sex, and do drugs, masked killer takes care of business. The opening kill scene makes it very clear right down to the music that this is pretty much a playful homage to Friday the 13th.
The killer is wearing a black raincoat, a mesh mask, and a hat, and the weapon of choice is one of those hand rakes.
The kids head to the camp knowing pretty much exactly what happens to kids who go to a summer camp to have sex and do drugs. They even poke fun at exactly how it all goes down, yet don’t bother turning back when things start going down…well, I was going to say faster than me when I’m drunk, but I don’t drink. However, I do swallow. There’s a riddle for ya.
They even do exactly what you shouldn’t do when you know all about horror movies…such as telling scary legends about killers around the campfire. Of course, that’s always a good excuse to cuddle up close…
Sure American Slasher is silly, low budget, direct-to-wherever people steal their movies from these days horror, but it’s done with so much love for the genre that it’s done pretty much right and loaded with kills. Hell, even the practical gore effects are better than the CGI shit most indies default to these days.
It’s the blatant sloppiness of this film that kept me watching, because I simply never knew what would happen next.
It opens with an absurdly bizarre mental institution scene complete with a chick giving prostate exams.
Corey Feldman handles the big famous horror person cameo duties, doing one of his really weird “characters.”
Next, we’re at a fetish bar, and our main guy, who owns the bar, is trying to negotiate some sort of deal with two leather gays he apparently owes money.
So much potential for action, but sadly, a whole lot of nothing goes on at the bar for a while. Meanwhile, the killer – who escaped the mental institution from the first scene – is knocking off a few victims in between.
Finally, this turns into a simple “cabin in the woods” slasher in the second half when the main guy and his friends head to a weekend getaway to…um…re-enact The Big Chill, maybe?
The first guy to get it is annoyed, not scared, when he comes across the killer in a closet. Okay, despite the POV below, I swear, I’m not the killer.
Once the victim is at the killer’s mercy, his tune seriously changes. This is a damn good scene for such a messy movie, shot from the victim’s POV as he groans in misery while the killer goes at him.
But then the camera shifts back to standard POV and we get some gross out gore when we see exactly what is being done to him.
Forget steady pacing with the kills. After that first one, the killer pretty much just comes right out in the open to announce himself to the others. This is the highlight for me, because the two girls are suddenly a comic duo and their reactions to the killer and each other are damn funny.
Yes, she’s trying to fend him off with a “dirty” knife in the picture above. The girl-on-girl action is a brief blip of entertainment, because the film moves pretty quickly after that.
There’s a long chase scene that leads right up to the big, shocking twist. Despite, the POV above, again, the big twist is not that I’m the killer.
HACK HOUSE (2017)
It sounds like an idea for a new reality show—violent criminals have to shack up to see who survives the night. That’s the premise of Hack House, in which a bunch of really bad boys (and one chick) are living together in a halfway house when someone in a mask starts to brutally slaughter them. Bigger question than whodunit is…how is this poor woman still even able to walk?
The gruesome intro showing a carved up woman during a news report is enough to keep you watching, but once we’re introduced to the guys in the halfway house, things move slow for quite a while.
It’s heavy on the talk as we get to know each character and they just sort of…hang out. Sure, they’re a little weirder than the usual bunch of friends in a horror film, but they still just pal around mostly. But hang in there, because shit gets gooooood.
A naked chick dancing to the kick ass, Carpenter-esque synth score kicks off the killing.
Hack House live up to its title. It’s a hack ‘n’ slash flick, plain and simple.
Perfectly lit in 80s neon colors, with long, shadowy, maze-like halls, the film takes off as soon as the first victim gets it…up the ass.
The death scenes also happen rapid fire, leaving just a handful of survivors to either cooperate and work together to stay alive, or be a bunch of dumb asses and go it alone.
You gotta love dumb asses when it comes to horror movies. Especially in Hack House, because some of these psychos are kinda sexy once they start flexing their muscle and showing off their bad ass sides, including director Brandon Fisher.