Time for some comfort slashers

This foursome of films definitely satisfied with a variety of slasher tropes and familiar plot templates, so let’s get right into them.

CRAZY LAKE (2016)

If you’re longing for the cheesy turn of the century slasher era, Crazy Lake is the way to go. This throwback makes it feel like 2002 all over again.

After a couple of opening kills, including an awesome death scene in which a tent is treated like a pincushion with a machete, we meet a whole lot of pretty people heading to a cabin in the woods.

The boys get just as much revealing screen time as the girls…

There’s killer POV in the woods, a sleazy religious freak, partying montages set to techno music, boy bods and girl boobs, some meta references, and fun kills spread fairly evenly apart to carry us along, with a fair share of gore.

I guess there are some “unexpected” plot twists at the end, but I wasn’t exactly in this for any mind-blowing surprises anyway.

The only real gripe I have is that there is no clearly defined final girl. Suddenly one forgettable girl is the final girl simply by the process of elimination.

THE CATCHER (1998)

Before I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer, there was low budget baseball slasher The Catcher in 1998. And considering the killer catcher is targeting just men on a baseball team who are often in the locker room, it gives the terms catcher and pitcher the whole other meaning…

It starts in 1981 with the Sheen/Estevez clan’s indie horror staple Joe Estevez abusively pushing his kid so hard to up his game that the kid becomes a pro swinging that bat…which lands him in a mental institution.

Years later, well, you know what happens. There’s a baseball team. There are a lot of shirtless guys in the locker room.

There are a few shower scenes and some man butt. There’s a guy in a catcher mask stalking them.

At first, some of the kills are subdued and some not even shown on camera, but then there are a few rockin’ brutal death scenes, including the catcher playing pitcher and sodomizing a pretty boy’s ass, and another guy taking it in the mouth from a pitching machine—the two best kills in the film.

And yet despite all the men in the cast, there’s still a final girl! WTF? Anyway, there’s a chase scene, body reveals, and a totally goofy bat battle on the baseball field.

It’s one of those low budget slashers that came in the wake of Scream, so don’t expect a work of art, but it does have some unforgettable moments. I would have missed it completely if a Boys, Bears & Scares follower hadn’t turned me on to it…along with two of the other three films in this blog!

THE GREENSKEEPER (2002)

80 minutes long, totally 80s direct-to-video vibe, meta references, lots of guys in Speedos, campy gore—I was so feeling this silly golf course slasher.

The premise is basic—a dude works at his parents’ golf course. A bunch of friends decides to have a pool party at the resort after hours. They tell a story of a horribly burned greenskeeper who now lives in a shed in the woods.

There’s a side story of immigrant girls working at the resort, the kids watch a horror movie called “The Milkman” and mock all the traits of a bad slasher movie, there’s a pool party montage…

And wouldn’t you know, as the kids have sex, someone in greenskeeper attire and a mask starts killing them off.

The film does slow down in the middle, but when it picks up with 30 minutes remaining, it is classic slasher fun.

Lightning is used to great effect, there are girl boobs and boy butts, the kills are over-the-top fun, there’s a chase scene, this lands on the does the gay guy die? page thanks to a gay cop scene…

And the denouement is cheesy slasher twist fun. This was a must-add to my movie collection.

A PSYCHO’S PATH (2019)

A Psycho’s Path gets fairly compared to Halloween I’d say. Difference is, while it has some good kill scenes and suspense, it focuses on a detective trying to track down the killer, so we don’t get to connect with any group of friends as in standard slashers. The victims in this film just come and go (in a body bag).

After a good opening scene, the detective narrates about his quiet town and how it all changed when this crazy killer escaped.

We get a big flashback to why he was locked away along with his escape from the loony bin. Do these people never watch Halloween? Never transport him. And if you do, don’t antagonized him on the way. The whole scene feels right out of Rob Zombie’s Halloween films.

There are plenty of kills of random victims, but the footage is exceptionally dark and shadowy, which is a bummer, because they are the highlight here.

The story doesn’t do much, and there are manipulative moments to get us to connect with characters. For instance, one guy is on screen just long enough to tell his story about how he became a cop to feel worth…so…you know exactly what’s going to happen to him and how we’re supposed to feel about it when it does.

The killer doesn’t wear a mask, which might be why they kept him shrouded in shadow (you have no idea how much I had to lighten these stills). There’s no final girl, but there is a final little boy!

Overall, I just needed a distinct, memorable character to carry me through the film, and I didn’t get it here since the killer wasn’t quite targeting anyone specifically.

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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