Stream and slash

I was due for a good fix of simple slashers, but with the three recent ones I watched, only one satisfied—and it even lands on the does the gay guy die? page.


I’ve been a fan of Scream Team Releasing movies because they usually capture the spirit of 80s slashers, but lately it feels like they’re just distributing any indie release that is 80s related and has a synth score.

There were a few immediate bad signs for this movie. First, after a hit-and-run, a dude just sits in his car laughing for way too long before the opening credits role. Next, we meet girls in shorts talking about school being over, but in this movie called Cruel Summer, the sky is gray, there are no flowers anywhere, grass is brown…it looks like it is early spring at most.

A group of amateur actors–I mean—friends heads off to a cabin in the woods for an 80s slasher murder mystery weekend.

There’s a nice old groundskeeper.

There’s a neighbor that comes complaining about the noise.

And there’s a guy without a mask knocking off random people that are walking around in the dark at night. Once we see him, it seems kind of pointless, but he does eventually don a mask.

There’s nothing scary here, but at least there’s an effort to deliver some bloody kills. It’s mostly just messy chaos, and the kids in the cabin eventually uncover a killer backstory—a long-winded, complicated one with too many layers. There are so many indie slashers out there, so I don’t really see the point on settling on this one. The highlight for me was this girl, who totally sold her kill.


Yes, I went back for more. The upside to the sequel is that the film quality looks more cinematic. Downside is that the rest of it is just as messy as the first film.

Although it takes a while, the survivors from the previous film decide to participate in a theater production of their experience as trauma therapy. They also determine the killer is probably still out there.

We get more people being murdered by the masked killer with plenty of references to popular slasher movies—a clear reminder that these types of low budget slashers are more often made by fans mimicking their favorite horror movies than the product of creative filmmakers.

I was impressed that a character dropped a Lords of Acid reference, I liked that a victim blinded in the previous film is targeted in the eyes again by the killer (mean!), and there are once again several killer related twists, but I saw the most “shocking” one coming from the beginning.

THAT’S A WRAP (2023)

The director of the Blood Feast remake and Blind saves my slasher triple feature selection with a film that has the more mature styling of adult-oriented Euro slashers of the 80s, complete with classic setup shots and incessant neon lighting. Awesome.

Perhaps running a little long, the film basically vacillates between great kills and heavy-handed dialogue. Sure it gives us plenty of character development and a bevy of suspects, but it’s not all that necessary in a hack n slash flick. Even the killer’s monologue at the end drags and just sucks the life out of the final scene. However, it did give me Scream 4 final dialogue flashbacks.

Having said that, not only does the film deliver brutal death scenes, it also has hints of underlying dark humor and meta references hardcore horror fans will appreciate.

This shot alone is reason enough for me to add it to my collection if it’s released on physical media.

The premise is simple—cast and crew at a wrap party for a horror film begin getting stalked and slasher by a killer in a red leather coat and a blonde wig. The look totally gives off gender-bending killer vibes, and I’m pretty sure that’s reflected in what appear to be homages and nods to films like Psycho, Dressed to Kill, and Sleepaway Camp (beware that hot curling iron!).

Best of all, there’s a gay subplot that involves one of the best exchanges of dialogue in the bunch, as well as a gay kiss and a blow job. Yay!

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
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