PRIME TIME: kiss all your friends goodbye

It’s a trio of movies featuring kids looking for fun and finding fear instead. But do we get any fun or fear out of them?

CLOWNERY (2020)

Clownery often feels like it is trying way too hard to be an artsy horror film, which tend to work against the fact that it’s a basic slasher at its core.

The opener delivers great promise, with a guy masturbating before being plunged into a short but highly effective suspense sequence.

Then we meet a young woman on her birthday. We slowly see through flashbacks that she had a traumatic experience with clowns when she was younger. Therefore, she’s not a fan of her birthday, and she has recurring delusions that she’s being terrorized by a couple of clowns.

Maybe if she’d stop continuously stepping voluntarily into Argento mood lighting she’d be okay.

Eventually, friends that wanted to throw her a party begin getting sliced and diced by the two clowns. They are most definitely creepy, the gore delivers, and there are sexual situations in true classic slasher style.

However, I could see very quickly who the killer was going to be when it was time for the big reveal at the end. I imagine anyone with any experience in this genre would.

ALL THE WRONG FRIENDS (2016)

For no discernible reason, this one takes place in 1998. It doesn’t even try to go for a 90s retro vibe, unless you consider kids heading to a music festival a 90s thing.

I’m really not going to get into this one much, because there’s not much to get into. It’s mostly a film about kids behaving badly towards each other, not a horror movie.

This gang has tension from the start, and it only gets worse once they reach their weekend house in the woods. Especially when they find a dead body in the tub.

It all becomes a game of who can be trusted and who killed who as they mess with each other’s minds and bodies pile up. The sad part is, a gun plays a major role, so this isn’t exactly a slasher.

MANGROVE SLASHER 2 (2011)

This 47-minute spoof is not an actual sequel. The only thing wrong with it is the spoof part. Buried within the excessive, lowbrow goofiness is an ominous killer and some quite satisfying kills and gore.

Lowbrow comedy is not a problem for me when it works, but here it feels derivative. If you’ve been watching trash cinema for any length of time, you’ve seen most of what you get here.

The nonsense that comes before the kills includes the usual adolescent humor–jocks torment geek, gym coach seems sort of gay, drag queens flirt with coach, girls pillow fight, and everyone heads to the beach for a big party, where the ridiculous caricatures live on…until they start to die.

The first kill is 25 minutes in, and the slasher scenes are taken seriously and tightly orchestrated.

It’s a jarring contrast to the continuing silliness in between. But hey, the film is only 47 minutes long, so you might want to check it out just for the fun of the slashing.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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