It felt like 2001 all over again when I watched this trio of flicks about psycho killers with sharp objects slaughtering horny batches of friends. So let’s get right into it.
BLOOD OATH (2007)
David Buchert, the director of 2 segments of In The Dark, follows the old school slasher rules with this one, making for a pretty simple and competent slasher.
Tiffany Shepis delivers the popcorn fun in the opening kills scene. It doesn’t get much better than Tiffany blowing a guy in a car just before they get gruesomely sliced and diced.
We meet our main group of friends. They tell creepy stories around a campfire about murders that took place in the area, reference Sleepaway Camp, then go hiking to find the cabin at which they’re supposed to be staying.
The cabin is creepy and dark as hell. In fact, that’s the main flaw of the film—which also gives it a nostalgic, retro slasher authenticity.
So much of the chasing and killing scenes are too dark to really make out much of what’s going on.
Other than that, the kids find clues along the way that help the backstory unfold, the killer is ominous, there are jump scares, there’s a kick ass tent scene, and the music and suspense are spot on.
Definitely a fun little slasher when you’re in the mood for a marathon.
Co-directed by Anders Jacobsson of Evil Ed fame, this is a unique take on the masked killer film. It’s sort of a slasher, yet it’s much more contained in its approach, focusing solely on a woman terrorized by a masked killer when she stays at a hotel that appears to have no other guests and only one employee.
We’re clued in to the fact that women who stay there find Polaroids in their room of THEM—bathing, sleeping—right before they are killed.
The main girl finds herself in the same predicament, yet the lone employee at first suggests she’s just dreaming…at first.
There are some gruesome kills (thanks to random characters thrown in just so we get some kills)…
The killer does some wild acrobatics during chase scenes…
and eventually the main girl’s sister shows up with her pretty boyfriend.
There’s a great little twist when they finally step into the killer’s lair, and the killer has a flashback that tells a rather icky backstory as to why there’s a need to kill women. There’s also a visually morbid and satisfying Cabin by the Lake moment.
MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT (2018)
Christopher Ray, director of Circus Kane, knows how to make a silly fun slasher, even if it is a bit of a mess. Despite the cheese factor and inconsistencies, the only real issue I had with the movie was some of the “star power.” Serviceable minor roles include Bill Moseley in his usual role as part of the psycho bunch (and pretty much in his House of 1000 Corpses wardrobe), and Christopher Judge, virtually unrecognizable to me out of his Stargate drag. Actually, totally unrecognizable. I watched the entire film and never thought to myself, “Hey, it’s Teal’c!”
Bringing the production level down are the two more prominent roles. Richard Grieco as the sheriff seem like he’s just mechanically reciting his lines while pondering, “How the fuck did Depp become the big star when I even got my own spinoff show?” And while I hate to give Trump credit for anything, he’s more natural playing Alec Baldwin as Trump than the impression of Alec that Billy Baldwin seems to be doing these days.
The plot centers around a group of friends that goes to stay at an empty snow lodge on New Year’s Eve. Yet outside it looks like it’s spring at the most, and there’s a rainstorm that is incessantly referenced as being on its way. However, since the movie takes place in California, I guess the drought isn’t over because it never happens.
Yet there is actually snow…on the ground outside a house during a huge party that gets ravished by the pack of killers in a blaze of strobe lights. Unfortunately, this scene is just dropped into the center of the film and seems to bear no significance to anyone or anything before or after it. Cool scene though. And it’s not a party until you hear thunder sound effects inside…while it a snowy night outside…
NOT THE SNOW LODGE…
We mostly have a burly masked killer like something out of the Playing With Dolls franchise killing people.
A survivalist drifter type dude—wrestler John Hennigan—is lurking around the lodge looking for his missing brother and girlfriend. This makes for some hugely entertaining, ridiculous fight scenes with the main killer.
Meanwhile, the kids in the lodge party and have sex.
Stealing the show in an acting role is director Jared Cohn (Halloween Pussy Trap Kill Kill, Devil’s Domain, Hold Your Breath, Little Dead Rotting Hood) as the goofy drunk guy. He’s funny and cute and could be Danny Dyer’s brother.
While there’s a simple slasher trying to make its way through here, the unnecessary extra psycho “family members” just manage to distract from the awesome main killer and make the movie even more confusing to follow.
Dude, take it outside. This is a smoke-free house.
Really, watch it for the cool killer, cool kills, adorable Jared Cohn, and the occasional nip slip.