I bought the biggie in this bunch on Blu, and the other three I watched on Amazon Prime. Surprise, surprise–the one I bought is the best of the bunch. Let’s get into them.
FAT TUESDAY (2018)
Filmed during the actual days of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Fat Tuesday definitely has the realistic feel that it’s going for, right down to the most terrifying moment of all–footage of a Make America Great Again Trump float. Like who the fuck would want their creation permanently branded with that shit?
The film itself starts off intriguing. A seemingly nice young woman comes to Mardi Gras alone and starts to see the sites.
But then she beats in the head of the first person she meets with a hammer!
After that she hooks up with a group of friends that lives in New Orleans. She then proceeds to get each of them into an isolated spot one by one and kills them.
That’s it. That’s the whole movie. Nothing suspenseful or scary at all.
Obviously due to copyright infringement issues, this recent slasher hit couldn’t be titled Freaky Friday the 13th, but that’s exactly what it is. And it comes to us from the director of the Happy Death Day movies, so it’s no surprise it’s a lot of fun.
The plot is simple. A high school girl is attacked by an infamous masked killer with a supernatural knife that causes them to switch bodies. It’s up to her (in his body) to convince her friends she’s really her, and then do what needs to be done before midnight to switch their bodies back.
Plenty of humor and some gory kills are the icing on the cake of…the cake being Vince Vaughn. Just as Jamie Lee Curtis did in the remake of Freaky Friday, Vince absolutely steals the show here as the female teen trapped in a killer’s body. Sure, the supporting cast holds their own, but he definitely elevates the film.
The good news is there’s a gay character, and he does get one of the funniest scenes later in the film.
As for how he’ll be embraced by gay horror fans, I can guaranteed there will be at least two sides: a) the “Yay! A gay lives to see another day!” crowd, and b) the “why does he have to be so stereotypically gay?” crowd. You can’t please everyone, but you can please me when you deliver a movie to add to the does the gay guy die? horror movie list.
REDWOOD MASSACRE: ANNIHILATION (2020)
Coming six years after The Redwood Massacre, this sequel doesn’t require a viewing of the first film unless you’re anal about stuff like that like I am. I think the first one is overall a better traditional slasher, especially since this one opts to go in a different direction rather than continue with the classic slasher formula.
A hunk with some information about the Redwood killer connects with a man that lost one of his daughters to the killer and wrote a book about it.
The author’s other daughter is Danielle Harris, so they gather together a small group of friends to head into the woods to investigate their new lead.
They end up in an old facility. The horror atmosphere is strong because of the dark setting, but things just plod along for about 54 minutes as the group explores, finding some gruesome signs of it being the killer’s lair along the way. Some edits could have shortened the running time and fixed the pacing.
The next 40 minutes offer up cat and mouse games and some gory death scenes as the masked killer finally appears and hunts down members of the group, but it feels very low energy. Plus, it kind of goes the “manufactured killer” route, changing the mystique of the killer entirely.
ALPINE LAKE (2020)
This isn’t really a movie to turn to if you’re looking for a slasher fix. A lot of heart is put into checking off all the cabin in the woods expectations, but the film simply doesn’t deliver on any juicy slasher action.
It is clear how unsatisfying this is going to be right from the super generic opening scene of a woman running and being killed in the woods at night.
Next, a group of friends heads to a cabin in the woods. Naturally they have a run-in with a crazy person along the way.
I was psyched that one of the guys is nice and thick and doesn’t hide it, wearing snug jeans and a T-shirt to show off his cuddle bod.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a sex scene. I need to see that big booty in the buff.
There is an old caretaker lurking around, and there’s a great intro shot of the killer that’s like a classic VHS cover, complete with a backlit silhouette of a crazed killer carrying a machete.
Sadly, there’s no payoff on that promise. We never really get any good look at the killer, there’s no gore, there are clumsily choreographed kills that show nothing, and it ends up being just a bunch of girls running around screaming.
And I honestly can’t even comprehend what the ending in a classroom was all about.