If you love movies with body counts, here are three films you may want to check out—or not, depending on what you’re into: low budget indie, old school slasher, or dark comedy.
This odd little indie focuses more on character drama than horror. A young man gets into a car with a drunk driver behind the wheel, and they have a horrible car accident. Six months later, he struggles to deal with the damage to his body and mind, and spends all his time getting lost in horror movies.
Suddenly, every time he watches a horror movie, there’s a scene in which one of his friends is killed by a guy in a mask. Naturally, they begin dying in real life. He tries to warn them of what’s going on, but no one believes him. While some of the clips of the murders are a little creepy, overall, this is a fairly plodding film with nothing in the way of scares or suspense.
There are a couple of weird moments that seem to imply his mother’s sleazy boyfriend would like to bang him (in the hot, mean, “I ain’t no faggot” way), but that never fully pans out. At the end, the main guy kind of snaps, leading to the reveal of what’s really been going on. It’s a clever but cliché twist, so don’t expect anything memorable here, in terms of either horror or story.
FENDER BENDER (2016)
After making the eerie but overlooked adaptation of Stephen King’s The Night Flier in the 90s, director Mark Pavia disappeared—until now. He returns with the slasher film Fender Bender, both a nod to 80s slashers (complete with a cool synth score) and the sleek style of films from the Scream-era slasher revival.
A teen is rear-ended at a stop sign while driving her parents’ car and swaps info with the driver. As punishment, her parents make her stay home while they go on vacation. As strict and mean as they are portrayed, you have to wonder why they would even let her use the car in the first place.
While home alone, our main girl starts to notice the car of the other driver lurking around her house. She gets texts from him. And she finds clear and mega creepy signs that someone has been in her house. So she has some friends over to keep her company. Um…what? Hello! 911!
Anyway, the guest list is small, so the body count is as well. There’s the “edgy” chick and the gay BFF. And yes, he’s the kind of stereotypical gay guy that will have straight viewers (as well as gays that hate flamboyant portrayals in movies) cheering for his death. Also showing up is the main girl’s asshole ex-boyfriend.
That’s when shit gets good. The killer just appears in all his glory—wearing a gimp mask. Hey, it makes sense in my gay horror novella Scream, Queen! from my book Wet Screams, available here in paperback and ebook format, and free to read on Kindle Unlimited if you have Amazon Prime! (plug, plug, plug)…
…but I don’t quite get its significance here. And while the rest of the film plays out in good old fast-paced slasher style (brutal kills, body reveals, chase scenes), there’s really nothing in the way of clarity by the end beyond the “motive” in The Strangers. Good news is, Fender Bender pretty much demands a sequel, and I’m all about it.
COTTAGE COUNTRY (2013)
A dark comedy with horror elements, this playful film has cutie pie Tyler Labine (Tucker & Dale vs. Evil) and his girlfriend Malin Akerman (The Final Girls) heading to his family’s cottage so he can propose to her. When his loser brother (Dan Petronijevic of Todd & the Book of Pure Evil) shows up with his weirdo girlfriend, tensions rise. During a physical altercation between the brothers, Petronijevic has an unfortunate “accident.”
Malin, unwilling to have her engagement weekend ruined, insists they cover up the accident and go on with everything as planned. Their comic attempts to clean up and hide the mess without leaving any loose ends cause a domino effect that—you guessed it. Requires them to kill more and more people.
To add to the horror aspect, Labine’s guilt causes him to start seeing the rotting corpse of his brother.
But the final act of the film pretty much turns into The War of the Roses, with Labine and Akerman pitted against each other in a battle to the death. Funny stuff as long as you don’t go into it expecting a film that’s purely horror comedy.