If you’re looking for something that strays from the typical slasher formula but still has a body count, juicy gore, and quirky dark humor, you might want to check out Slaughter Drive or Some Guy Who Kills People. Which one gets my vote? Let’s take a look.
SLAUGHTER DRIVE (2017)
Ben Dietels, director and star of Slaughter Drive, appeared in indie horror flick Everyone Must Die! and CarousHELL, so Steve Rudzinski, director of those films, returns the favor and makes a cameo in Ben’s movie.
The basic premise of Slaughter Drive is unique thanks to some odd twists and turns, and the practical gore effects are fantastic. A wannabe filmmaker accidentally films a killer in action in the park, and now the killer is after him. The filmmaker and his friends are determined to figure out whodunit and put a stop to the murders before it’s too late.
Unfortunately, like many indie slashers, there’s a frustratingly weak thread holding the film together. Despite the lack of respect slashers get, plot, pacing, and the script really do matter. A killer, victims, and attempts at goofy humor simply aren’t enough to make a horror comedy a standout.
Slaughter Drive feels virtually like everyone ad-libbed their lines. Problem is, aside from the sound mix making it hard to hear much of the dialogue, the banter between the group of friends—and there’s tons of it—just isn’t funny very often. It kind of feels like you’re sitting in a basement for 102 minutes with nerds who all think they’re funny but are mostly just funny in their own heads.
And 102 minutes? No. Just…NO. Especially when all the dialogue filling the gaps between kills does nothing to entertain or propel the story forward. I implore aspiring horror directors who don’t have a strong background in writing to collaborate with actual writers when making their films. If you have a plot idea, that’s great. Just let a genuine writer compose all the details that bring it together. Narrative and dialogue matter. They really do. Narrative creates the pace and defines the story. Dialogue sets the tone and is crucial for developing characters and making them people we want to love or hate.
There’s not much more I can say here. The kill scenes aren’t atmospheric or scary, but the gore is outstanding. There are knife, axe, and drill kills, plus a bear gets hammered in the eye socket. I’ve always wanted to say that.
And just when you think the messily staged final battle in the woods is the end, there’s a totally bizarre revenge finale that is about as weird as it gets.
SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE (2011)
The director of the silly creature comedy Monster Island takes a whole new approach to horror with Some Guy Who Kills People. While it delivers some humor and kick ass kills, it’s actually character driven, with an unusual and totally engrossing plot.
I don’t frequently enjoy films presented from the perspective of the lunatic, but here it’s endearing because the main character, played by Kevin Corrigan (of sitcom Grounded for Life), is such a nice fricking guy.
He’s fresh out of the loony bin and living with his mom. He’s scored a job at an ice cream parlor, works with a good friend, reconnects with his young daughter, and begins dating a nice woman (fricking Aunt Hilda from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina).
He seems to be getting his life together, but he’s still haunted by a past that gives him a vengeful streak…
And that’s when the bodies start piling up. Barry Bostwick is the sheriff on the case, and to complicate matters, he takes a shine to the main guy’s mother, played by the one and only Karen Black.
The story keeps you watching, and the kills are just icing on the cake. They’re well orchestrated and campy gory good, with Bostwick bringing his shtick to the crime scene after each murder. On top of that, the daughter inserting herself into the main guy’s life adds a refreshing complexity to the usual portrait of a serial killer plot.