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Saturday, October 29, 2011


Well, on this end of things, it's been a crazy few weeks! First, the day after I posted my last SAW, my laptop went haywire, resulting in me getting the motherboard replaced. Then, the same day it was fixed, both the audio and the Internet went bye-bye.(note: the laptop crashed 2 more times after this sentence was typed...both crashes took 3-4 days to resolve) But thanks to the awesome folks at Dell(it's an Alienware), I'm back in action! So, let's curl up together and watch a pretty good one this week, Candyman...and yes, there will be SPOILERS aplenty...

The movie starts out with a soundtrack that sounds like it came from The Omen then we get to see a swarm of bees rise up over a city skyline. The Candyman himself then talks about blood and murder, before the story switches over to Helen, who is relating to us the story of yet another person, named Clara. Confused yet? I am, and I've seen this before.

Anyway, Clara is babysitting for a family, when a guy named Billy rides up on a motorcycle, looking to make out. He's supposed to be a rebellious, bad boy type of guy, but he's played by Ted Raimi, so I'm guessing no one in the casting department has ever heard of Rebel Without A Cause(Hint: Ted Raimi ain't it.)

So, where was I? Oh right, Geek Fonzie and Clara are about to get hot and heavy, but she decides to tell him about Candyman first. Yeah, nothing sets a sexy mood like a guy with one hand "sawn off"(her phrase) who murders people because they know his name.

According to Clara, you summon him by saying his name 5 times while standing in front of a mirror. 5 times? What, does he need the extra time to use Google Maps to find your house? If he doesn't arrive until the 6th time, is your next murder free? I'm starting to get dizzy from the excessive eye-rolling I'm doing here!

Ay-yi-yi, so they make a big production out of the shirtless girl's boyfriend saying the name...4 times. Clara then tells him to go downstairs and wait for her, while she gets completely undressed for him. The second he gets to the couch, she says "Candyman", at which point a slash mark appears in the ceiling above the couch, and blood starts splashing the boyfriend. Uh, say what now? He only said the name 4 times, and she said it once. Neither one of them actually completed the full 5 times by themselves, so how does that work? If I say "Candyman" once, then 4 other people across the world say it once, which one of us does he kill? We're 5 minutes in, and I'm already tired of this film...and this was one I used to love.

In a classroom, Helen hears 2 other classmates discussing a story about a person who was so high, they roasted an infant because they thought it was a turkey. Why the heck are so many of these slasher flicks centered around urban legends? After being told that our film takes place in Chicago, the setting changes to another classroom in which people are talking about urban legends. The legend THIS time is the old chestnut about alligators living in the sewers of major American cities.

Helen sits down, and the class ends about a minute after that. Short lecture. As Helen makes her way down to the professor, it's revealed that they happen to be married. Wow, it gives new meaning to "easy A"! Helen gets jealous over a female student with what may actually be the world's most perfect butt, which is crazy, because Helen is Virginia Madsen, no slouch herself in the looks department.

As it turns out, Helen is angry mostly because she thought her husband would delay his urban legend class until she finished writing her thesis. She storms off to begin typing up the Candyman legend, which is dictated on a tape recorder. As the story gets to the part where his name is said 5 times, a cleaning lady interrupts to tell Helen that she has more details about the killer. For instance, he supposedly lived in Cabrini Green, a rundown area of the city that's dangerous to enter. When the cleaner mentions that her friend knows of a murder there that Candyman committed, Helen asks to speak with the friend.

Instead of calling the friend or scheduling a time to go to Cabrini Green, the cleaning person steps into the corridor and shouts over to another woman that Helen wants to interview her. What're the odds that they all just happened to be within 10 feet of each other? Small world, my ass.

The 2 custodians introduce themselves to Helen as Kitty and Henrietta. Kitty, the one with the story, tells Helen that some woman heard a loud banging noise while she was in the tub. The woman called 911, but no one believed her. Afterwards, she was found murdered, and the supposed murder weapon was a hook. The 2 women tell Helen that the story was in the paper, but that no one really believed that the killer was actually Candyman.

Excited by this new bit of information, Helen decides to verify it by searching through the newspaper archives. She finds articles mentioning over 20 different unsolved homicides, all with a vague connection to Candyman. So much for narrowing down her search.

One pointless research montage later, Helen and her friend Bernadette decide to meet up. When Helen shows Bernie her research into the legend of the killer, she also reveals other strange things. For one thing, Helen's trip to the library revealed that her fashionable apartment was once a rundown tenement building. The grungy walls were plastered over, the exterior got a minor makeover, and the building went from slum to luxury nearly overnight.

Then there's another weird feature in Helen's apartment: the medicine cabinet in her bathroom allows her to access the empty apartment next door. Her theory is that Candyman used secret passages like the one in the bathroom to claim his victims. To drive her point home, Helen has Bernadette stand in front of the mirror with her, and re-enact the Candyman summoning. After the 4th repetition of the name, Bernadette chickens out, but Helen completes the chant. Uh oh...

Later that evening, Helen is woken up by a strange sound. She realizes that the bathroom light is on, then is attacked in the bedroom by someone wearing dark clothes. Oh, it's only her husband, behaving like a jackass. He's drunk, so after a quick apology for scaring her, he passes out.

The next day, Helen and Bernadette decide to check out Candyman's old stomping ground, a slum called Cabrini Green. Bernadette tries to convince Helen that Cabrini Green is much too dangerous to visit, but Helen insists on going there, to prove that she isn't afraid to do what it takes to complete her paper.

Their arrival is noticed by several unruly teens, who assume that the women are cops. They ignore the catcalls and sexual comments and walk up to the floor of the building where most of the news items took place. Helen takes out a camera to photograph the graffiti on the walls, including 1 particular phrase that catches her eye: "SWEETS TO THE SWEET".

They find an apartment where one of the murders took place, and the layout matches Helen's place, right down to the hole behind the medicine cabinet. Helen snaps a few pics of the other apartment behind the cabinet, then decides to crawl through and explore. Frustrated, Bernadette just sits down to wait for Helen's return.

Helen, meanwhile, is off on an adventure. She keeps discovering holes in walls, and she continues to step into them. The last hole leads into a room with a pile of candy on the floor...oh, and the hole has been painted around to form a screaming mouth in a giant face. Freaky. As Helen examines the candy and discovers razor blades in the wrappers, Bernie finds a creepy, discarded baby doll.

As they meet up again, in a lame jump-scare, they see another woman watching them. Her name is Anne Marie, and she actually heard Candyman committing one of his murders in a nearby apartment. She also tells Helen that she lives in fear of Candyman

That night, Helen, Bernadette and several members of the college faculty dine at a ritzy restaurant. A pompous professor wants to mock Helen's thesis, but she replies that her Candyman research is going to blow him out of the water.

The fat, pompous professor then bores everyone with Candyman's full origin story. which began in 1890. Candyman was the son of a slave, but he was raised among the wealthy, because his father made a fortune from an invention he mass-produced. Fascinating, Spock.

Anyway, Candyman was an artist, and he was often hired to do portraits by the local, wealthy families. One such painting was going to be of a landowner's beautiful, young daughter, but she and Candyman had a secret affair. When her father found o8ut about the affair(she got pregnant), he paid some thugs to saw off the young man's right hand, then smear him with honey, so that an angry hive of bees could sting him to death.

Helen tries to visit Anne Marie again, but she's not home. A young boy named Jake knows what happened to her, but is afraid that Candyman will kill him if he talks to her. Helen talks him into showing her where Anne Marie is, and on the way he points out a mountain of garbage that will allegedly be a bonfire.

Jake points out a small brick building, and says that it's where one of Candyman's victims was found, a mentally disabled boy who had wandered away from his mother to use the toilet. The boy began to scream, so a bystander went in to rescue him. When the Good Samaritan found the boy, his penis had been sliced off, and there was blood everywhere. Oh, and supposedly the rescuers hair turned white from the frightening scene.

Helen decides to photograph the tiny restroom, and the boy promises to wait outside for her. Once inside, there's graffiti, as well as an odor that makes her gag. She opens each stall, discovering nothing in the first two. The third toilet is disgusting. Written in what I assume is feces, is the phrase SWEETS TO THE SWEET. Inside the toilet are a multitude of bees.

Outside the toilet, someone approaches Jake, and Jake calls him "Candyman". As Helen obliviously keeps snapping pictures, the bathroom door opens, but it's not Candyman who enters, it's a quartet of local gang members. They beat the crap out of her, then leave her there for Jake to find.

This is followed by Helen picking her attackers out of a lineup. The cop who helps her also informs Helen that they believe that the same gang killed everyone who had supposedly been murdered by Candyman. They hope that, with Helen's testimony, the Candyman killings will now be over and done with.

Jake isn't as convinced. He's pissed about Helen making a police statement, because he firmly believes that Candyman will come after him next. Helen tells him that it's over, but he doesn't look too sure of that. Then we get a scene that I guess takes place several days later, because Helen's injury is almost gone as she has dinner with her husband.

Bernadette welcomes her back to the campus, then gives her a gift. The gift turns out to be the roll of film they had taken at Cabrini Green. Bernie also tells her that a publisher has expressed an interest in publishing her findings.

After a successful return to work, Helen is walking to her car and examining some pictures and slides while she walks. Candyman calls her name, then appears in front of her. He tells her that, by having the gang members arrested and charged, she was weakening the strength of his legend. As such, he promises her that he will go after "innocent" victims, and that she will suffer. Helen passes out.

When she comes to, Helen finds herself in Anne Marie's apartment. Helen is in her bathroom, covered in blood, and Anne Marie can be heard screaming and wailing in another room. After checking to see if the blood is her own, Helen leaves the bathroom.

The severed head of the family dog is waiting to be found in the hallway. In a move defying logic and sanity, Helen sees the murder weapon in a pool of blood, so she decides to pick it up. Brilliant deductive reasoning, Helen. Maybe you should spit on the dog and tear some of your hair out, in case they need DNA evidence to go with your fingerprints.

Helen opens the door to the baby's room, and finds Anne Marie in there. She chases Helen into the kitchen and pushes her to the floor. Anne Marie starts bashing Helen's head into the floor, so Helen fights back, until she manages to straddle the other woman. Grabbing the bloody meat cleaver off the floor, Helen holds it above her head...until a small army of cops arrive on the scene, to corner and arrest Helen.

At the police station, Helen sobs and undresses while a stern female cop collects her clothes for evidence. After that, Helen asks to speak with Detective Valento, the cop who helped her earlier when the gang members beat her. He reads her the Miranda rights, then describes to her, in detail, what they think she did: Anne Marie came home from work, found the dog beheaded, and the baby missing. At that point, Helen came in, armed with the cleaver and covered in blood. They ask her where the baby is, but Helen still insists that she doesn't know anything about the missing tot.

Helen asks for her 1 phone call, but Trevor isn't home. She leaves a message, but then finds out that it's 3 a.m. She freaks out in her cell, then has a disturbing vision of Candyman, keeping the infant in his lair. Hey, at least the kid is still alive! Probably.

Hey, Trevor finally arrived! He posted bail, brought Helen some clothes, and also hired a lawyer. Wow, pretty nice work for an unfaithful husband. You better hope Helen doesn't ask where you were at 3 a.m., dude...

Helen tries to help the lawyer with her defense, but her memory is about as fuzzy as a hillbilly cheerleader's armpits. In the tub, Helen asks Trevor where he was when she called him from the station. He lies through his teeth, saying that he slept through the sound of the phone ringing. He leaves, and Helen poses seductively in the tub for a few more seconds. If time travel is ever developed, I'm going back to meet, young, seductive Virginia Madsen...and about a hundred other actresses from the same time period. Hubba.

Helen, oblivious to my leering, wanders into her kitchen and decides to look at her developed slides once more. She drags everything into the living room, draws the shades, then sets up the projector. One picture in particular draws her attention, an image Helen snapped of herself in a reflected window. She improves the focus of the picture to enhance the reflection, and realizes that she captured an image of Candyman in the photograph.

After sipping some coffee, Helen decides to do something unbearably stupid: Sher heads to the bathroom, to try to summon Candyman in her mirror. Before she gets the chance to try it, Candyman plunges his hook-hand through her medicine cabinet, scaring her out of the bathroom.

Helen runs through the apartment and races into the hallway, but Candyman is waiting there for her. She rushes back inside, but he teleports in right behind her. Candyman makes her an offer: if she will allow him to kill her, he will return Anne Marie's baby to her. He even reaches for her with his hook, scratching her neck enough to draw blood.

Then Bernadette shows up. She knocks and rings the bell, but Helen begs her to leave. When Bernie enters anyway, and Candyman pretty much disembowels her. Before we get to see that though, we get a repeat of the previous crime scene. Helen wakes up on the floor holding a knife, the cops find and arrest her, Helen cries, has a vision of Candyman and the baby, then passes out.

When Helen wakes up again, she's in the psych ward. They strap her to a bed, lock the door behind them as they leave, and Helen is left alone with Candyman. He's hovering over her bed, promising her that he will take her soon. Then Helen is given some Happy Juice, and goes for a Happy Nappy in Dream Land...

When she wakes up again, Helen is brought by a pair of orderlies to her doctor's office. The doctor, named Burke, informs her that she has been out of her gourd for about a month. They've been dosing her with Thorazine, which is why she has no memory of her time in the hospital.(Fun Fact: Thorazine not only gives you memory loss, but it also cuts your hair, as Helen is shown with a shorter hairdo than she arrived with. Neat.)

Dr. Burke then shows Helen a security tape, showing the night she was admitted to the psych ward. When they get to the part where Candyman was floating above Helen, she can clearly see that there was nothing above her. She watches the tape in disbelief.

Helen tells Dr. Burke that she can prove her sanity, by summoning Candyman. Uh Helen, quit while you're ahead...Nope, she insists on doing it. Facing a mirror next to her, Helen starts the Candyman chant. She says the name three times, then Candyman stabs Burke through the back, and looms behind him while his body spasms.

Wait, 3 times? What happened to the legend of having to say it 5 times? By this logic, I should be able to summon him just by saying "Can". Oh, and if you watch this one with me, pause on Helen's face after Burke is stabbed. She looks like he just let out a Godzilla-sized fart. It's comedy gold, that expression.

After making Burke flop around a bit more, Candyman tells Helen that he will finish her off that night, then he uses his hook to cut the straps holding her arms down. She does what anyone would do after summoning a ghost to murder her shrink--Helen steps out onto the window ledge, and starts sliding around the building to look for another window to enter.

She finds one and bangs on it with the palm of her hand, and a woman in blue scrubs opens the window for her. Helen is so grateful that she knocks the woman out(or maybe kills her), then steals her clothes. Helen gets into an elevator just as the search begins for her, and somehow gets outside.

She runs back home, and finds everything covered in plastic. A young woman is repainting the walls, and Helen startles her. As I predicted, Trevor had a mistress, and he wanders in from either the bathroom or the bedroom to confirm as much. Me am smart. Trevor does a double-take when he sees his wife, and tries to get his girlfriend to call the hospital. By the way, the actress playing the girlfriend is so bad, I honestly can't tell if she's laughing or crying in this scene.

Helen puts down the phone, then begins to sob over her marriage crumbling. She leaves Trevor and his bimbo, and Trevor immediately calls someone, to alert them about Helen's visit. Helen stands on a bridge as Candyman tries to convince her that she is alone in the world.

She makes her way back to Cabrini Green, and crawls through the passageways to Candyman's home. She finds a hook and grabs it, becoming "Candywoman", I guess. She finds yet another hidden room, filled with murals and other artistic representations of Candyman, before discovering the killer himself, taking a freaking nap.

Helen prepares to kill Candyman, but he wakes up and she misses her chance. Then she faints, and he carries her, Frankenstein-style, to a grungy-looking sacrificial altar. She begs him not to kill her, and he responds by puking bees at her and revealing that his body is covered in them.

After giving Helen a bee kiss, Candyman grabs the abducted baby. Then Helen wakes up and finds a sign that Candyman wrote on one wall:IT WAS ALWAYS HELEN, along with a drawing of her face on the wall. Candyman seems to be trying to pin his crimes on her.

She makes her way outside, then realizes that Candyman placed Anne Marie's baby on the bonfire. She climbs the mountain of trash to get the child, unaware that Jake is watching part of the climb. Since Helen is partially obscured by trash, Jake thinks that he's seeing Candyman, so he decides to set the structure on fire, to protect himself from the scary killer.

Helen grabs and rescues the baby, as others gather, and help Walter soak the trashpile with gasoline. Before Helen can get away, Candyman grabs her. She accuses him of lying to her about letting the baby live, and Candyman responds that it doesn't matter, because she will die soon either way. Helen's response is to impale Candyman with a flaming stake, then attempt to save the baby.

A burning pile of debris knocks Helen over, and she crawls, while aflame, to Anne Marie. As Helen burns from head to toe(literally, because her scalp is on fire now too), Helen manages to give the baby back to Anne Marie before she dies from her injuries. Inside the bonfire structure, Candyman also burns to death.

In the days following the bonfire, Trevor, his mistress, and 2 other members of the college faculty hold a funeral for Helen. As the funeral comes to a close, Trevor is shocked to see a huge crowd of mourners marching toward them, led by Anne Marie and Jake. At the grave, Jake drops a large metal hook on top of the casket.

At home, Trevor's bimbo is concerned when he locks himself into the bathroom. She eventually goes into the kitchen, and Trevor remembers Helen in happier times. Trevor starts to cry in front of the bathroom mirror, and thnere's a sudden power outage...but only in that room.

The light in the bathroom flickers like lightning, and Trevor sees Helen's vengeful, bald visage in the mirror glaring at him. He turns and nearly bumps into her, and Helen kills him with the hook she was given. Then the bimbo girlfriend finds his corpse in the tub(and most of his blood everywhere else) and screams. As the credits roll, the scene switches back to the alter where Candyman gave Helen his bee kiss. On the wall, he has painted a mural of Helen, looking angelic. THE END.

Well. 3 computer crashes and about 2 weeks late, I finally managed to finish Candyman. It definitely wasn't as good as I remembered it, but the unintentional laughs were worth it. I don't remember if there were 3 movies in the franchise or 4, but I'm pretty sure they don't get better after this one, so it'll be entertaining to make fun of those as well. I'll give Candyman an average 3 killer trees out of 5.

And what did I learn after watching Candyman?

-I have the hots for Virginia Madsen.

-You can say a ghostly killer's name as many times as you want to, he'll show up regardless of what his rules are about the summoning. Heck, you can even have more than 1 person say it!

-If you live in a city apartment, look for a tunnel behind your medicine cabinet. It's there!

The next slasher coming in is something called R.S.V.P., and I have no advance knowledge of it at all. As long as my computer remains stable, I should be able to post it in a few days. Hope to see you guys soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Prom Night(1980)

Well, it took Netflix 5 days, but they finally sent me this week's slasher flick, the original Prom Night. The recent-ish remake was so dull and bloodless, it felt like a Lifetime Channel movie. Will the original manage to be more interesting? Man, it better! SPOILERS beyond this point...

The film begins by showing an abandoned-looking brick building. As we see countless windows and doors, children can be heard chanting, "The killer is coming, the killer is coming!" Nice game, kids. I'll bet that, instead of playing "House", these little demons play "Manson's House"...

Anyway, now we get to see several random shots of the interior of the building. Is this a movie, or a screensaver? Ah, here's a group of children. A long-haired female faces a wall and counts, as the rest run and hide. After the other kids find hiding spots, the blond girl announces that the killer iks coming to find them.

Inexplicably, the movie decides to switch gears, and we see 2 young girls and a boy walking through a field of tall grass. WTF, movie? Are these new kids, or the same ones, but shown at a different time of day? 2 minutes in, and I'm already confused. That has to be some kind of record. Oddly enough, the boy and one of the girls are dressed in matching outfits. Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dummer. The girl, Tweedle Dum, points at the building, where it appears that one of the other kids is standing on a ledge on the second floor. Jump! Jump!

The kid on the ledge is named Nick, and the girl walking with the Dum Twins waves at him, clearly to distract him and make him plummet to his death. Nick just waves her away, and gives her the international sign for, "Shut up, Dumbass, I'm pulling a prank on someone!"

Anyway, the girl dressed differently, Kim, tells the other 2 kids, Robin and Alex to continue home without her. Alex tells Robin to go home with him, but she decides to linger at the building instead. As Robin walks to the front entrance, the credits begin to roll. In addition to Jamie Lee Curtis, this thing apparently also features Frank Drebin himself, Leslie Nielsen!

Robin puts down her schoolbooks, then enters the building. While wandering the halls, she accidentally knocks a door to the ground, and makes a frightened face so exaggerated, it would make blind folks say, "That looks weird."

Another girl, in pigtails, ducks around a corner to hide. Robin nearly finds her, but decides to go back the way she came instead. Robin runs upstairs, and finds another girl sitting on the floor in a gross restroom. Can we give some of these kids names please? Robin runs down another corridor, then hears something crash nearby. She returns to where the girl in pigtails was hiding, only this time she spots her.

A small chase begins, and Robin somehow backs into another hiding kid, a guy in a baseball cap. He loudly alerts the other players that he has Robin in front of him, and all of the children surround her. As they all chant "Kill! Kill!", the frightened girl gets pushed by all of them, until she escapes into the hallway again. They pursue her yet again, until she reaches a dead end.

The 4 others hold hands to form a wall, preventing her any access to another escape route, and Robin backs away, seriously frightened now. She climbs up onto a shelf and pushes herself against a window, only to discover that the window swings outward. Before she can brace herself, Robin falls out of the window, and is killed when she lands on some type of metal frame on the ground. The 4 kids all stare at her corpse in shock.

The 4 kids-Judy, Kelly, Nick and Wendy make a pact, swearing never to tell anyone about the role they played in Robin's death. As they quickly leave the crime scene behind, another pane of glass falls, stabbing the corpse several more times. Geez, it suvcks to be Robin, huh?

Well, maybe the kids are getting away, a shadow passes over poor Robin, and someone inside the building stares at her killers through a window. The mystery person then walks away.

Hey, it's Leslie Nielsen, and it looks like maybe he was the one who found the body. The police are there as well, restraining a woman who Is apparently Robin's mother.

Robin's headstone(her last name is Hammond, by the way...I guess it's a good thing she never met and married a guy named Walter Eggs) gets a nice closeup, and the movie tells us that it's now SIX YEARS LATER!!! Wow, the subtitles are incredibly a brick to the forehead. Robin's mother is at the gravesite, delivering a nice floral arrangement on the anniversary of her daughter's death.

Leslie Nielsen's there too; surely, he must have solved the case(No he didn't, and don't call him Shirley!). Also at the grave are Kim and Alex, who were Robin's siblings. Oh, and the Leslie Nielsen character is their father, as well as the principal of their high school. Wow, this movie is like that 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon" game! Except that the game is actually fun and interesting.

Well, now that we've pruned the Hammond family tree, let's watch them at home. Dad's consoling Mom, while Kim is trying to convince her brother to take her friend Jude to the prom. He reminds her that he won't be much of a date, because he was put in charge of the audio equipment for the prom. Hey, let's leave these dorks behind and check out the school!

Through the magic of wish-granting, we find ourselves transported right outside of Alexander Hamilton Senior High School. While the Hammonds enter the building, Mr. Sykes, the school groundskeeper is whackin' his weeds. Alex and Kim mention to their father that Sykes frightens them, but he dismisses their worries without even a second of hesitation. After they enter the school, Sykes raises his tool, looking even more like a lunatic.

Then there's a montage of rotary phones and cables. I shit you not. Someone actually sat down at a typewriter, wrote a movie script, and exclaimed, "Hey, this movie NEEDS several shots of telephones and telephone cords at extremely close angles! YESSS!"

The anonymous caller decides to contact Jude first. In a raspy whisper, the stalker asks her to come out and play, then promises to see her at the prom. Nope, nothing wrong here! Heck, Jude even smiles at her mother after the call, like she won the lottery or something. Weirdo.

As she leaves home, Jude encounters a fat kid in a van. Apparently, Jude was never warned about guys in vans, because she has a chat with him. His name is Slick, although I would have guessed that he was Willy, and HE needed "Freeing". Defying all logic, Jude gets in the creepy kid's van, and asks him to take her to Hamilton High. I have a feeling that her face might end up on a milk carton by the time the movie ends.

Another of the kids, Kelly(the one with the pigtails as a child), gets a call from the stalker. He doesn't toy with her, simply telling her that she's going to die that night. After the call, her doorbell rings, so she decides that it would be smart to put herself in danger right after somebody just threatened to kill her.

No one's there, of course(of course!), so Kelly shuts the door and backs away, right into the arms of her boyfriend Drew. He looks like Owen Wilson, so I doubt he'll survive the evening. After assuring Kelly that the caller wasn't him, they go to school.

Up next on the killer's call list is Nick, but he refuses to answer his phone. He tells his dad that the call is from his ex-girlfriend, Wendy, who apparently has a stubborn streak. They both laugh over his girl troubles, while the stalker slams the phone down in frustration.

Then we get a flashback. In this one, we're shown that a suspect in Robin's death was found, but was badly injured during a car chase that ended with the suspect on fire. The doctor who treated him believed that they had the wrong guy for the crime, but the cops disagreed.

After that, the deranged patient, named Leonard, escaped from the mental hospital he was sent to, and remained missing. The cop, promoted to lieutenant, asks the doctor if he believes that Leonard might be capable of carrying out his revenge for what happened, but the conversation is interrupted by a phone call: the body of a nurse Leonard had taken as a hostage was found, and she was mutilated.

Next up on the revenge list is Wendy, who thinks that the caller is a prankster that she knows. She tells him to get lost, hangs up, then leaves for school. She seems kind of bitchy, so maybe we'll get lucky, and get to see her die first.

At school, Jude tells the other girls about her van ride. Then Kim catches her maybe-ex kissing another girl, and she refuses to hear his apology. Granted, every 5 feet or so, there seem to be people making out, so maybe that's just how they say hello in this school.

Next up is a crime scene. The lieutenant asks about the body and evidence, Then the cop and another man on the scene discuss whether or not to keep the murder quiet. It's like that scene in Jaws between Chief Brody and the mayor, except that it doesn't make as much sense. I mean, why wouldn't you want people to be more alert when a killer is on the loose?

Back at school, Kim is practicing her dirty dancing all alone. She stops when a spotlight is put on her, by the bitch-queen, Wendy. Wendy tells her that Nick belongs with her instead of with Kim, and they nearly have a classic 1980's catfight-brawl, like the characters on "Dynasty" used to have. But alas, no such luck.

The stalker is then shown cutting the pictures of his victims out of a yearbook. Then we get more jibber-jabber in the school cafeteria about how cool the prom decorations look. A guy in a ski mask then assaults Kim in the lunch line, so Alex steps in to punch the guy out. They fight, and another kid helps the one in the mask by strangling Alex. The fight is eventually broken up by faculty members, who unmask the attacker, who looks like some generic thug. One of the adults calls him by name, something like Farmer or Fowler, but there are no subtitles on this particular DVD, so damned if I know who the heck he is.

The principal calls the thug Lou, so I'm going with that. Lou accuses the principal of going easy on Alex because they're family, but the principal reprimands both of them. Hey, is it just me, or does this movie seem to have a lot of filler? I mean, we're 30 minutes in, and besides the opening murder, the only other person who has died so far was killed offscreen, and discovered later, also offscreen. When do we get to the friggin' prom???

More yammering on about the killer and his motives, followed by more recycled footage. Then we see Kim and Alex talking about how stressful the prom is, since it falls on the anniversary of their sister's death. Alex tries to open up to Kim about his own inner turmoil regarding the death of their sister, but Kim abruptly leaves before he can say a word about the murder.

At a drive-in burger joint, Lou is treated to lunch by Wendy. They seem to be in cahoots to sabotage the prom, or maybe Wendy is just trading sexual favors to greasy men for fast food. Either way, this movie is giving me heartburn.

On a tennis court, Vicki flashes her ass at Sykes. Still no death scenes. Then the girls shower up, and no one dies. This is what a slasher flick written, directed and produced by Buddhist monks would look like. I can't fathom how this monstrosity spawned 3 sequels AND a remake!

Wendy finds a picture of her yearbook photo inside her gym locker, placed by the killer. Yay. Nothing happens, until Kim and one of her friends are scared by someone shattering the wall mirror in front of the sinks. A long, jagged piece of the glass is missing.

While rehearsing something for the prom, Kim and Nick are brought onto the stage. While they practice being crowned King and Queen of the prom, the janitor is seen sweeping up the broken mirror's shards. I hate to say it, but this movie is putting me to sleep. Is the killer stoned or something?

After the rehearsal, Kim thinks she is being chased down the hall. Her two female friends find pictures of themselves in their lockers too, attached to shards of the mirror. Then we FINALLY get to Prom Night. I feel like I've been watching this interminable snoozefest for months.

Kim and Alex compliment each other on how sexy they look, which is kind of pointless and icky, given that they're siblings. Then the doorbell rings. Thank God. It's Nick, who seems mesmerized by a picture of Robin. Then Wendy is picked up by Lou, who also brought along 2 other thugs to tag along.

The prom is very..."disco", for lack of a better description. The murderers are there, the cops are there...Hell, even Slick made it! Yup...a fat kid with a van has now had more screentime than the killer. Wendy and Lou are spotted by Kim, who decides to show them up by putting on an elaborate impromptu disco dance routineandFORFUCKSAKEWILLSOMEBODYPLEASEBEMURDERED?!

Okay, I got it out of my system. I'm better now. The idiotic song they're dancing to is called Prom Night, and just like the film, it meanders and seems endless. Also, and this is just a random thought that occurred to me, but isn't it kind of weird that Kim's brother and her boyfriend look so similar? Makes you wonder if maybe she ever made out with the wrong one.

Yeesh, that song goes on forever. The lieutenant gets an update on our escaped Crispy Critter, and the gist of it is that there is no update. So why the heck did we need that scene in the movie then? Anyway, Kim and her friends decide to check their makeup and hair in the restroom, and have an inane chat about dancing. Was there even an editor for this thing?

Bitchface and Thugboy dance, then she just sort of wanders away. Hilariously, Lou continues his weird caveman gyrations for several more seconds before realizing that his dance partner has vanished.

Then we see 2 teens, Drew and Kelly making out. It all comes to a crashing halt, however, when Drew tries to pressure Kelly into giving him oral sex. He stomps off to find a girl with looser morals, and she stays behind to try to get dressed again.

When he leaves, the stalker finally shows up.He sneaks up behind Kelly, then uses one of the shards of glass to slit her throat. It's about time, man. In a nice touch, the screen goes red, which segues back to the prom.

Out in Slick's van, he and Jude are making the beast with 2 backs, if you catch my drift. The killer waits outside, until Slick exits the van to pee. After peeing, Slick lets Jude talk him into moving their lovemaking session to "the bluff". They do, and the killer follows.

Slick hears a twig snap, and suggests that they return to the safety of the van. While Slick shows Jude his hiding place for pot, the killer gets closer and closer. As the unlikely couple promise to remember prom night for the rest of their lives, the killer, dressed head to toe in a black body suit, swings open the double doors of the van, and Jude's heads falls back. The killer swings a mirror shard at her neck before she can even react.

Slick pushes the killer out of the van, then hops in the front to drive Jude to the hospital. The killer regains his footing, and grabs the open window next to Slick. As Slick swerves around to try to shake the killer off of the van, he crashes the van over a cliff. Hilariously, the van starts to burn up BEFORE it hits the rocks below the cliff. I guess the van was suicidal.

In the sickest, most inhumane, perverse moment of the film thus far, we're forced to watch and listen to more Disco Fever crap. Then Wendy enters the restrookm by herself, to re-apply her makeup. Someone else slips in as she's distracted...hmmm, I wonder what will happen?

The killer shuts off the lights, then sneaks up on Wendy with an axe. He misses, and the weapon gets stuck in the countertop next to the sink. Wendy runs away, and the killer pries the weapon loose before chasing her. Wendy tries calling out for help, but the music in the auditorium drowns her out, so she decides to keep running.

She ends up in a dark gymnasium, then gets to a stairwell. The killer spots her, so Wendy dodges into a classroom, some kind of science or health class. When she sees the killer's shadow outside the door, she swiftly ducks under a desk and waits.

The killer opens the door, gets the arm holding the axe inside the class, then changes his mind. He backs away and shuts the door, so Wendy stands up and decides to walk backwards to the rear exit of the class, if there is one. She backs herself right into an anatomy dummy, and it crashes to the floor. Great. She's not just bitchy, she's also dumber than a sack of doorknobs.

The noise brings the killer running back in, and Wendy rushes through the other exit. After another chase down the stairs, Wendy finds herself in the school's auto shop class. She tries a set of doors that lead outside, but they're locked tight. Then she searches for an unlocked car, finds one, and ducks under the steering column on the floor of the vehicle.

For a few seconds nothing happens...then, the killer enters the area. He begins to examine each vehicle, before using his axe to shatter the passenger window of the car Wendy is hiding in. She tries to get away yet again, but with all the locked exits throughout the school, her choices are limited. As she stands in a janitorial supply closet, we see almost subliminal shots of a red stain on a white floor. Weird.

She waits for the killer to either pass by the closet or find her, and then she sees the red stain on the floor too. A red trail ends at the dangling, bloody arm of what used to be Kelly, and Wendy screams her head off. She flings open the closet door to escape, and the killer is right there, waiting with his axe. He swings the blade, though most of her death remains off-camera. Damn.

The lieutenant meets another cop, who informs him that the escaped mental patient/burn victim was apprehended. They both celebrate, and the lieutenant leaves. Then Kim is told that it's almost time to crown the King and Queen of the prom, but her father has gone missing. In a nice bit of irony, the song playing is the disco classic, "I'm Still Alive". Heh, maybe the writers deserve more credit than I gave them.

Well, before anyone is given a chance to worry about the principal's disappearance, it's time to begin the crowning ceremony. If the procession music is more disco, I'm going to do what the hero did in that Val Kilmer crapfest a few weeks ago, and shove sharp object into my ears. Oh, and Lou pulls his 2 thugs aside and tells them that it's time to start their sabotage. The pair sneak backstage and knock out Nick, and Lou prepares to take his place. Wait, was that the entire plan? Geez, this is the most unambitious film ever made.

Also waiting backstage is the killer. As both Lou and Kim wait at opposite ends of the stage for their cue to step out, the killer gets right behind Lou and decapitates him, sending the crown in one direction, and Lou's severed head in the opposite direction. I actually paused the film on that exact moment to write this paragraph, and the special effect is really phenomenal-looking. I'll bet that this scene was where most of the effects budget went.

Kim walks onto the stage, and Lou's head rolls out beside her. The crowd flips out, and everyone starts running and screaming. Kim goes backstage again to find Nick, who is woozy, but alive. They stagger off the stage toward an exit, only to be blocked by the killer.

The frightened couple back away, then fall on their asses. As Nick and the killer struggle over possession of the axe, Kim tries throwing a chair at the maniac. The killer cuts off Nick's oxygen by pressing the handle of the weapon into the poor guy's windpipe, so Kim decides to jump on his back. He throws her off, but also loses the axe, which goes sliding underneath a table. Kim scurries under the table to find it.

With Kim distracted, the killer decides to finish off her date first. They roll around on the dance floor, until Kim returns with the axe. She hesitates, then swings the blade at the killer's face. He weakly crawls away, as Kim checks on her boyfriend.

They watch in horror as the killer staggers back to his feet, and turns to face them. He glares at Kim for several seconds, and she gets a sinking feeling about his identity. Then the killer runs away. Being idiots, they follow him outside.

Luckily, the cops have arrived. The killer sees the frightened crowd, the cops, and Kim, and begins to have flashbacks to the day of the cover-up. Kim asks them not to shoot, then catches the killer as he collapses. Removing the mask reveals that the killer is actually Kim's own brother, Alex(my money was on their father). He begins to sob, explaining to his sister that the others deserved to die for what they did as children. Then, as Kim holds him, Alex dies in her arms. Nice downer ending. THE END

Well, that was pretty terrible. Almost nothing happens for the first hour, then we get an ending that manages to be depressing as heck. Plus, we never did get to find out where Kim's father went. Was he killed? Did he get bored and go home? They should do a second remake, up the body count(or at least put a few in the first half of the film), repair all the plotholes, and get rid of the disco. Now THAT would make for a good Prom Night film! 2 killer trees out of 5, and the only thing that earned it the second star was the rush of kills in the last half hour. I hope they learned something about pacing and timing from this one.

And what did I learn after watching Prom Night?

-Disco is cruel and unusual.

-Having a van is the quickest way to get laid. In other news, I'm buying a van.

-A killer who has a specific vendetta in mind always has time to kill a few random nobodies as well.

Coming in later this week is Candyman, featuring the great Tony Todd. That one should be good, the character didn't really start to suck until around the third film.. See ya then!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sleepaway Camp

This week's slasher is one of the more infamous ones in the genre, Sleepaway Camp. As always, I'm giving you my usual warning about SPOILERS...However, the ending is probably the most famous SPOILER in slasher history, so chances are that you won't need the warning this week.

Anyway, the film begins with a shot of the camp, and the most annoying theme music I can remember in ages. Oh hey, look, the nerdy guy from The Langoliers is in this. Other than him and Felissa Rose, I don't know any of the other actors in this.

The annoyingly, loud music continues. Clearly, the killer believes in deafening his victims before killing them. Small snippets of dialogue fade in and out, but so far, the campground seems pretty dang empty. The credits end on a closeup of a's a "for sale" sign for a property called Camp Arawak.

Then we see a family on a boat. 2 annoying children are yelling at each other, while their father looks like he wishes he had used 2 condoms at the right times. As he chats with them, we see a couple in a motorboat speeding along, as a frightened girl is water skiing and begging them to slow down. The guy at the wheel, Craig, tells his girlfriend, Mary Ann, that he can't let her have a turn at the wheel, even though she's begging for it. Craig's a lifeguard, and the boat's not his, so I can see his point.

The little kids see their dad standing on the edge of their boat, so they figure it would be fun to push him into the water. "Pushing" consists of standing there and sort of giving Dad an ass-grab, until all 3 just sort of throw themselves toward the water. Yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds.

Craig gives in to his girlfriend, and lets her have the wheel. At the same time, Dad is told by another guy that he needs to meet some family members for a meeting soon, Aunt Martha and Ricky. The kids seem excited, until they learn that Ricky is spending the weekend with his father. Behind the kids, you can see the motorboat heading straight for them. Uh oh! Gosh, what do you think is going to happen?

The water skier tries to shout a warning to her friends, and the dolts both turn around to look at her. There should a version of the Darwin Awards for characters in slasher flicks. Dad tries to get the kids out of the way, as Craig and Mary Ann FINALLY watch where they're going.

Craig grabs the wheel and turns, but it's waaay too late for that. The boat uses Dad as a ramp, and goes ricocheting off of his body, as everyone is screaming at everyone else. Fun times for all!

The story picks up 8 years later. Angela is now living with Ricky and Aunt Martha. Where's the brother? Wait, was he the one who died? No, because then Angela wouldn't be an orphan. Hell, I dunno...maybe they BOTH died! I better re-watch that sequence again.

Aunt Martha hands Ricky a bag filled with "goodies", and she's yelling to beat the band. Seriously, was this a horror film intended for deaf folks? Anyway, the kooky aunt declares that she forgot something, then proudly displays a string she tied around her finger to remember it. Um, I don't think her elevator reaches the penthouse, if you know what I mean.

She comes back, holding some medical records for them to bring to summer camp. They leave for camp on a schoolbus, and find an army of screaming kids waiting. Two middle-aged guys are yelling instructions to all of the running maniacs, but they pretty much drown each other out. Behind them, some of the staff look on with expressions of abject misery on their faces.

One of the workers, Art, makes a comment about the female campers being too young to have pubic hair, and an elderly black man cracks a joke about his "interest" in young girls. Art doesn't say much else, but grins as more young girls run by. Geez, 10 minutes in, and I already feel dirty for watching this.

Angela and Ricky encounter a boy who knows Ricky from a past summer. Before he leaves them, the kid tells Ricky that the girl he had a crush on the previous summer has, uh, "developed" in the chest region. Angela just stands there like a statue, not saying a word. A very flat statue.

Ricky shows Angela around the camp, then encounters Judy. She's definitely developed, but she's also become a major ice queen. She and Ricky have a short, tense chat, then Judy enters the same cabin that Angela entered. There, we meet some of the counselors, Meg and Susie. Megb is just an older version of Judy, but Susie seems nice.

Angela watches Judy unpack, and her zombie-stare freaks the other girl out in a big way. Before tensions can escalate, The counselors we just met defuse the situation. Awww, I wanted a chick fight!

In the mess hall, Meg summons one of the head counselors, Ronny. Angela won't eat, she just keeps sitting like a lump and staring at everything. Ronny turns on the charm, and takes Angela to the kitchen to see if she can find another meal that she might like.

In the kitchen, Angela is introduced to Ben and Artie. Ronny leaves her with Artie, who takes her into the food storage area. Once they're alone, Artie almost rapes Angela, but cousin Ricky saves the day. After the cook threatens them not to tell anyone what he tried to do, they run away.

As the kitchen staff start to close up shop later that afternoon, Ben leaves Artie in the kitchen alone. Somebody unseen sneaks in, and they quickly hide when they hear Artie coming back into the kitchen.

Artie uses a small stepladder to peer into a large cooking pot, and stirs in some ingredients. The unseen killer sneaks behind the portly cook, and shoves him roughly towards the boiling pot of water. Artie manages to grab onto a shelf before getting too off-balance, and asks the unseen attacker to help him stand up. The killer responds by kicking the small step away, then just yanking it, causing the portly cook to pull the boiling container onto himself, and toppling to the floor. Artie, now horribly scarred by the boiling water, screams until Ben comes running in to see what happened.

An ambulance is called, and Artie is still screaming as they take him away. Ben gets promoted to head chef, as long as he and the other kitchen staff agree to stay silent about what they saw. Yay, a promotion! Ben, you have no soul.

The next scene shows some kids playing a prank on another boy, in the guise of a magic trick. It ends with his face in some other kid's ass. This somehow transitions into a baseball game with more betting than Atlantic City on any given weekend. Ricky manages to psyche out some of the players on the other team, most of whom look at least a decade older. Ricky and our protagonists win, but there are grumblings about "payback" overheard.

That night, there's a dance. How bad is it? Well, Angela is approached by a couple of the guys. When cousin Ricky overhears them mocking her shyness, a brawl ensues. The fight gets broken up, and a boy named Paul decides to try to befriend her. He tells her that he and Ricky are close friends, and he starts telling her wild stories about their past exploits. When a counselor tells Paul that it's time to go, Angela speaks her first bit of dialogue so far, wishing him a good night.

After the dance, a group of counselors go out for a late-night swim. 2 of them, Leslie and Kenny take a canoe out to a remote area. Kenny decides to prey on Leslie's fears, first by mentioning all of the creatures in the water that could bite her, then rocking the canoe from side to side. Clearly, Kenny knows the way to a woman's heart. The canoe tips over, dumping both of them into the lake, and Leslie swims back in the direction of the camp.

Swimming under the tipped boat, Kenny seems unaware that Leslie has left. Someone bobs up in front of him, and Kenny recognizes the person, but seems perplexed by their presence. The person grabs Kenny's head, and holds him under the water.

As the other male counselors mock both Leslie and Kenny from the shore, they leave as a group. One stays behind, and approaches the overturned canoe when Kenny stops responding to jeers and taunts. Then the scene just crashes to a halt, leaving us to wonder whether Kenny was discovered, the other lunkhead maybe died, or if perhaps the movie just ran out of steam. And what about Leslie?

Nope, no answers here. The next day, one of the counselors finds the dock trashed. As he's complaining about the lack of discipline Mel has over the counselors, he inadvertently uncovers Kenny's watery body. The authorities are called, but Mel tries to keep the incident as quiet as possible.

Angela watches the other girls play volleyball, and Paul strikes up another conversation with her. He asks her on a date, and Angela agrees to meet him later that night. The other girls(well, mostly Judy) get catty while watching them chat, of course, and one of them tells her off. Then Susie comes to her rescue.

That evening, after whatever festivity was held, Paul gallantly offers to walk Angela back to her bunk. Judy decides to follow them, even after Ricky attempts to talk her out of it. At the cabin, Paul gives Angela a quick kiss, then another, before she scurries inside. Judy stops Paul before he returns to his cabin, and teases him.

In the boys' cabin, a prank leads to a knife-fight, and it gets disrupted by a counselor named Gino. This somehow leads to a scene where Paul sneaks up behind Angela, after swimming, holds his clammy hands over her eyes, and makes her guess who it is. Geez kid, at least towel off! Judy tries to mock them, but Paul deflects her ridicule.

As soon as he leaves, Meg approaches Angela. Her method of "reaching" Angela involves insulting her, shaking her like a rag doll, then screaming in her face. Ronny comes to the rescue yet again.

Later, Angela is harassed even further by Judy. Susie and Judy have an altercation, then Angela leaves. She walks over to the boys' side of the camp to find Paul, and some of the boys hurl sponges at her from the roof. Ricky sees the incident, and the shouting match brings out Mel. He penalizes the boys on the roof, but also Ricky.

The sponge-flinger. Billy, goes back to his cabin, and announces that he needs to take a dump. Fascinating. He goes into a stall, and we see someone jam the door shut with a broom handle. As the camera slowly pans up, a hand holding a knife cuts through the window screen in the bathroom. As Billy gets annoyed by the distraction, the killer uses a branch to drop a nest of bees into the stall with Billy, who eventually keels over, horribly scarred and bleeding from his injuries.

His death leads Mel and Ronnie into a debate over whether or not to close the camp. Apparently, many parents have already pulled their children out, and Mel worries that these "accidents" will force them to close up forever.

Angela is wandering around late that evening, and Paul scares her when he comes up behind her. They run to the lake together, and begin making out. Angela makes him chase her for a bit, then they fall into the sand, and really start to go at it. This causes Angela to have a flashback.

In the flashback, Angela and her brother are giggling. Apparently, Dad was gay, and his "friend" in the first scene was his lover. Angela and her brother are then seen in bed together, with him pointing at her. When the flashback ends, Angela runs away from Paul.

The next day, the small group of campers left are divided into teams, to play Capture The Flag. Angela tries to cool things off with Paul, and he doesn't take it well. When she walks away, Judy steps in, hinting to Paul that she knows something about Angela that he doesn't.

Ricky catches up to Angela, and gets her involved in some kind of scheme to win the game. When he and his cousin split up, Ricky spies Judy kissing Paul, in an attempt to seduce him away from Angela. Angela also sees them, and runs away before Paul can explain the situation. Wait--is this Sleepaway Camp, or General Hospital?

Back at the lake, Paul tries to apologize to Angela, but she's back to clamming up. Judy also turns up yet again, and starts to hint at having a physical relationship with Paul. Angela seems like she's about to explode, but she manages to remain still until the Bitch Queen leaves.

Mel talks to Ricky about the way most of the campers have left early, and Judy and Meg return to taunt Angela together. Meg grabs Angela and hoists the screaming girl over her shoulder, the plan being to throw her into the lake. Geez, they should rename this place Camp Majorlottapsychos.

When cousin Ricky hears Angela, he tries to help her, but Mel grabs his arms and keeps him from interfering. Also, Mel accuses Ricky of committing the murders and attacks on people, since he was present every time that Angela was humiliated by the victims. Angela gets pushed into the water and begins swallowing water and flailing about, until a lifeguard helps her back onto the dock. As the other 2 girls laugh, the lifeguard calls Meg a peckerhead. Good call.

As usual, nothing else happens that day, so the next scene occurs that night. The counselors have an informal meeting, and Meg is given the night off, along with some guy named Jerry. Another counselor, Eddie, is assigned to be in charge of a large group of children who will be camping outside that evening. Meg, being herself, tries to proposition Mel, and they make a date for later that night.

Meg tries to take a quick shower, but there's a long line of girls before her. She picks up her outfit and towels, and announces that she's showering elsewhere. Angela watches her exit the cabin, and practically begins licking her chops.

The next time we see Meg, she's in a shower, lathering up. Yay! Someone else enters the empty cabin, and they appear to have a knife. Double yay! As Meg leans away from the water, the killer stabs her several times through the shower curtain, and Meg contorts and makes an "Ugh!" sound every time. Then the killer reaches into the shower, washes off the knife, and shuts off the water.

Eddie, stuck with a small group of brats, tells them to set up their sleeping bags and supplies while he searches for firewood. At that night's dance, Angela bumps into Paul outside, and they reconcile. After making up, they see Judy leaving with another boy, and Paul makes a snide remark after she leaves.

Eddie is woken up by a couple of boys who want to go back to their cabin. He gives in, and offers to drive them. Then someone enters the clearing, and fixates on the axe. Subtlety is definitely not this movie's strong spot.

Mel shows up at the dance, and starts asking about Meg. Mel tries to find her, but he ends up with Judy instead. She pretends to be reading a magazine until he leaves. Then her date, who was hiding under the bed, also leaves.

Mel goes to the empty washroom to find Meg, and her body falls out of the shower at his feet. Mel is convinced that Ricky murdered Meg, and runs off to find him. That doesn't stop the old perv from taking another long look at the naked body, though.

Judy is busy with a curling iron when the entrance to the cabin opens. The figure silhouetted in the doorway looks like either a little boy or girl, hard to tell. They approach Judy, knock her unconscious, then use the curling iron to do things to her nether regions that make even ME cross my legs.

Eddie gets back to the kids he left in their sleeping bags, and discovers that they were all slaughtered in their sleep. He pukes, then runs back to camp, screaming all the way. Back at the main camp, Ricky tries to enter the dance, but a counselor named Jeff stops him. After pleading that he's starving, Jeff shows pity and lets Ricky go in for some food.

Inside the mess hall, the lights go out, and Ricky comes out with 2 handfuls of candy bars and other junk food. On the way back to his cabin, a hand grabs him by the neck. Buh-bye, Ricky. It's Mel, and he's apparently lost his mind. He throws the boy to the ground, accuses him of murdering Meg, then starts slapping, punching and all-around flailing at poor Ricky.

A brief scene where Ron is looking for Mel is shown, then we go back to Mel murdering a child. Nice. When he calms down, he stumbles back to camp, and finds himself on the archery range. He sees the camp killer holding a bow, then Mel gets shot with an arrow to the throat.

The police come to the rescue, and Ron has every surviving counselor divide into pairs, to search for all of the missing folks. Paul meets up with Angela by the water, which is now deserted, and she suggests that they should go skinny dipping. Paul gets started taking off his clothes, moving like a Tasmanian Devil on PCP.

The cops find Ricky, who is still alive. A the same time, a female counselor finds Judy's body, and runs outside, sobbing and screaming. A cop who ran in to have a look, comes back out looking like he's been shell-shocked.

As Ronny and Susie look for more missing people, they find Angela sitting on the ground, naked as a jaybird. She's running her fingers through Paul's hair. As they call Angela's name, one last flashback starts up. Aunt Martha is welcoming "Angela" home, but it's not her, it's her brother. The Aunt dressed him as a girl, and brainwashed him into thinking that he was a she.

Then Ronny and Susie see Angela stand up, and as she makes this spooky face and a weird animal growly sound, we get a full shot of her penis. Okay, okay, we get it. She's a dude. THE END.

Wow, that was a mind-bender, huh? Some pretty good kills, though, and one of the best surprise endings in horror film history. 4 and-a-half killer trees out of 5 for Sleepaway camp.

And what did I learn from my time at camp?

-Guys only think about 2 things: Sex and committing murder.

-Never live with your aunt. She's kink-ay!

Summer camps only have enough time in the day for 1 morning activity, and 1 night activity. No more, no less...

Later this week, I have the original Prom Night coming in, the one before all of that "Mary Lou ghost" nonsense. Now, I never actually attended my own prom, so I'll be wearing a tuxedo as I watch this one. You should wear a prom dress! And send me the pics! Heh, see you later in the week!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Another change...

Okay, so I watched NL's Class Reunion last night, and it's not really a slasher fact, it's not really ANY kind of movie, as the gags are pretty random. So, in place of that movie, I'll be watching Sleepaway Camp instead.

How non-slasher was Class Reunion? Well, a possessed chick and a preppy vampire had more screentime than the killer. And the few actual kills were supporting characters...the one time the killer attacked one of the main characters and supposedly killed him, he just woke up a few scenes later as if nothing had happened. Incidentally, the only time I laughed during the film was when the possessed chick was front and center. She deserved her own film.

I'll watch it a second time, to see if maybe I misjudged it, but don't hold your breath. If you want to see a slasher spoof done right, rent Student Bodies. Or Pandemonium. Or the first Scary Movie. Or, hell, even that crappy spoof that starred Tom Arnold. But skip this one, you'll just be disappointed by how much potential they squandered.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

He Knows You're Alone

Well, as promised, this week's SAW is a classic from 1980. Also, it features the debut of some guy named Tom Hanks. That guy could be famous someday. Anyway, it's SPOILER time, one last call for movie time, so finish your popcorn and beer!

All right, let's get down to business. The movie begins with a couple making out in a blue car that seems like it's parked in the middle of a field. That seems pretty random. While he tries(and fails) to get his hand under her shirt, someone approaches the car. Like clockwork, the girl hears a noise outside, but her boyfriend doesn't. She whispers that it might be her boyfriend.(?) As they resume trying to peel each other's faces off with their teeth, both hear a loud noise. This time, the boyfriend, Don, decides to pummel the person outside.

The girl, now alone, starts to freak out almost immediately after Don leaves. She locks all of the doors, and tells Don that she thinks that he's playing a prank on her. She finds a heavy-duty flashlight in the car, and wipes away some condensation from the car window, then sloooowly unlocks the car door.

As Jane D'oh! steps outside, she decides that it would be smart to roam around in the dark to find Don. The good news? She finds Don. The bad news? She finds him hanging upside down from a tree, deader than the proverbial doorknob. As she is screaming and running...

Ah, it's a fake-out. We see a large crowd in a movie theatre, watching a slasher film. One young woman stands up and announces that she's going to the bathroom. Wow, I'm sure the audience in her theatre really needed to know that.

The woman walks down a staircase that appears to be stolen from a castle in Transylvania, then finds the restroom. She checks herself out, then we're forced to follow her into a stall. If another girl shows up with a cup, I'm quitting.

While she's squatting, she hears a noise. Thinking it's her friend Ruth, she calls out her name, but gets no response. She quietly(after yelling out her friend's name, I don't think stealth is on her side) gets off the toilet, pulls herself back together, then sprints back to the movie. She tries to tell Ruth what happened, but her friend just shushes her.

As the woman gets more nervous about someone stalking her, a person sits directly behind her in the theatre. While she tries to watch the movie, the person behind her sloooowly pulls a dagger out of his coat. At the exact moment that the girl onscreen is attacked, the guy in the theatre shoves his blade into our nervous girl's back, and she screams. As he twists and turns the knife, she dies, then he puts the weapon away and leaves.

Ruth feels her slump against her, and tells her that it's okay to watch the movie. She realizes that her friend, now known as Marie, isn't responding, and sees the blood on her back. Ruth screams, and the credits start rolling. In a brief moment of hilarity, the credits look like the ones from the Police Squad! movies, even down to the font and seeing the police bubble-light thingy driving around. Awesome...if the car drives through a women's' locker room or a Star Wars battle, I'm giving it 5 killer trees automatically.

A detective named Len Gamble walks into the crime scene, and is welcomed by the principal from The Breakfast Club. He's calling himself "Frank", so obviously he lost his job at the high school, and is now living with an alias. Frank leads Len over to Ruth, and asks her to tell them what happened.

After describing everything we just saw, Frank reveals to Len that the dead girl was about to get married. Apparently, Len was investigating a case involving a killer who fixated on young brides-to-be, but the trail went cold. Len decides that this is the killer's way of taunting him.

There's a shot of a bus driving down a deserted stretch of road, and the background music is a blatant rip-off of the theme from Halloween. The killer is on the bus, and has some kind of flashback. It's Len's wedding day, and the killer was there!

He made his way upstairs, and found Len's bride alone. She saw him, and it turns out that the killer is named Ray, and that he used to date Len's wife-to-be. She asked him to leave, then saw that Ray had a knife. He covered her mouth with his free hand, then Ray stabbed her to death. And that's pretty much the whole flashback. I guess Ray's not a "details" kind of guy.

New scene, new day, new couple. Her name is Amy, his is John Doe 1, since most of these characters haven't been introduced yet. She tells him not to have too much fun at his bachelor party, then a bus pulls up, filled with Boy Scouts...okay, what the HELL kind of movie did I rent?

Phew, this isn't Weekend at Neverland Ranch, the kids were just a ruse. It turns out that the women are having a party as well. I have no idea what the kids are for, but I'm not asking any questions. The bachelor party consists of Tommy, who is something of a horndog; Bernie, who I think is the guy who put together the bachelor party; and Phil the groom, whose name I looked up on the internet. The bachelorettes are the bride Amy, of course; Joyce, a somewhat flaky-seeming brunette; and Nancy, a perky, cute preppy-type, based on her appearance thus far.

Back at the police precinct, Len is interviewing people from the movie theatre murder. No one saw anything, of course, because they were watching the movie. Even when the detective asks if anyone was seen leaving, there are no leads at all. Damn, there goes his trip to Dunkin Donuts.

The girls attend some kind of ballet class, where they get pretty disruptive with their chit-chat. After class, as they try to give Amy a pep talk(she's having second thoughts about the wedding), they mention another character, Marvin. He apparently dated Amy before she met Phil, and both of her friends thought he was cute.

As they walk out of the dance studio, they run into a college professor and his wife. Joyce has been sleeping with the professor to get better grades, and he tries to pretend not to know them in front of the wife. Oh, and the professor is a character actor who I recognize from lots of things(the first that came to mind was the Michael Douglas thriller The Game), so "yay me!", I guess.

Anyway, back to the movie. It's been only 20 minutes, but I feel like I've been watching this thing for months. The girls split up, and Amy ends up walking by herself, in a scene that looks like it was also pulled directly from Halloween. She somehow goes from a nice, quiet suburban neighborhood to the inner city in a matter of steps, and finds herself facing a group of televisions in a store window. She briefly admires her own face on the monitors then walks away, oblivious to the stalker standing directly behind her.

Amy stops at a bridal shop to admire the dresses, then nearly gets killed jaywalking. Her next stop is an ice cream parlor, where she suddenly realizes that she's being followed. Oh, and ice cream cones only cost 50 cents in this movie....I'd like to live in their world! As Amy nervously leaves the shop behind, she gets a sudden fright from Marvin, who puts his hand on her shoulder. Nice jump-scare, movie.

Marvin reveals that he knows Amy's schedule like the back of his hand. They argue about her impending wedding, and then Marvin begs Amy not to marry Phil, but she leaves. Oh, and Marvin's studying forensic medicine. Is that a hint about our killer, or a red herring? No, wait...we already know the killer's identity, so that last bit of info was completely unnecessary.

Back at the bridal shop, Amy gets fitted for her dress. The store owner, Ralph, gives Amy a pep talk about marriage, then has her model the dress while he starts taking it in. Back in the dressing room, Amy sees herself in a mirror, and seems more depressed than excited. And that's when she strips. Somebody out there likes me!

Of course, the nanosecond that she gets in her underwear, Amy senses danger. She calls out Ralph's name, but there's no response. Then Marvin pops his head in, and he and Amy share a hearty laugh over his sexual harassment. Man, I'd love to see this movie with today's audiences--I bet the female portion would have a riot over some of this material.

After Marvin leaves, Ralph starts putting away some gowns, and Ray pops out of nowhere to stab him. Amy remains clueless, and leaves the shop without incident. She ends up at the church where her wedding is set to take place, and prays at the feet of a crucified Jesus.

While praying, Amy sees blood trickling down from the statue, and the church organ starts playing on its own. She backs away, and a maniacal-looking priest pops in to frighten Amy half to death. He tells Amy that the "blood" is nothing more than water from a rusty pipe, and the organ music was caused by his pet cat walking on the keys. And his creepiness? Explain that!

As the priest walks Amy back to the exit, he assures her that it's normal to have second thoughts about marriage. While they get further away, the killer stands in a balcony area, watching and listening. With all of the teleporting, this guy must be part-Voorhees.

That evening, Amy is greeted by her bachelorette party. Somehow the group doubled in size, so good luck figuring out all the new names! After a fairly lackluster scene showing Amy opening her gifts, Ray can be seen skulking around outside. Finally!

Joyce leaves the party early, after asking the others to cover for her if her folks call. She leaves the house without incident, and we get whisked back to the cops. Frank tells Len about Ralph's murder, and Len leaves to investigate the new crime scene. After Len leaves, Frank tells another detective that Len went crazy after his bride was murdered, and made capturing the killer an obsession.

Okay, I need to stop here for a sec. This movie has clearly shown the face of the killer numerous times. There's no doubt about his identity as the murderer, right? So why does the script keep bringing up characters who have mental health issues, expertise with criminal behavior, or weird motives for murder? I mean, if they wanted you to doubt the killer's identity, shouldn't they have cut out all of the scenes where we see his face? It's getting freakin' annoying!

*sigh* Anyway, back to the bachelorette party from Hell. The wine is flowing, and Amy reveals that Marvin's been around quite a bit. Nancy tells Amy that she's been flirting with a fellow jogger in the park, and that she really likes him. Yay.

At the college professor's house, Joyce decides to stop seeing him. She tells him so, but he continues to grope her. Joyce runs into the kitchen, and the lights throughout the house turn off. as Joyce hears her teacher moving around, she giggles and back up against an outside window, unaware that the killer is outside watching her.

The professor, named Carl, walks into the kitchen. As Joyce playfully drapes the curtains around her body and sits on the windowsill, Carl closes the window down to her knees, effectively pinning her there. He tickles her until she promises to behave, and Ray is right around the corner, getting ready to kill Joyce. Carl lets her back inside at the last second, where she kicks him in the balls, and starts running again.

With Carl limping behind her, Joyce runs upstairs. They get to the bedroom, and Ray breaks in as they begin making out. Joyce hears the killer moving around, but Carl promises her that it's not his wife...she's away for a few days. Still afraid, Joyce insists on having Carl check the fuses, to see if he can get the lights back on.

Carl uses a lighter to walk through the house, and nearly electrocutes himself trying to fix the fuses. He gives up and returns to bed, where Joyce was apparently murdered off screen. As Carl reaches over to get a response, he finds his hand covered in blood, and then Ray stabs him from behind. The kooky expression on Ray's face almost makes up for the lack of a scary kill sequence. Almost.

The following morning, Marvin shows up at Amy's house holding a bag of goldfish. Not the crackers, but actual goldfish. Apparently, he once told Amy that, if she ever visited him, he'd repay her kindness by visiting her, and bringing a goldfish as a gift. In her fish tank, there are about a million miserable-looking goldfish. Weirdo.

Marvin then tries to get Amy to leave her boyfriend for him, and she refuses. In another blatant rip-off of Halloween, Amy gets ready to brew some coffee or tea, and sees a tall figure watching her house. When she asks Marvin to look out the window, he does, but the stranger is gone. Also just like Halloween.

Marvin runs outside to take a look around the property, but doesn't find anything out of place. Amy hugs Marvin, but her friend Nancy interrupts. He tells some of the hung-over guests about dissecting a cat, and they go off and running for the sink.

Len gets to the bridal shop, and the detectives on the scene tell him that they think it was a simple robbery. After they leave Len examines the body closer. He finds a ripped piece of fabric in the dead guy's hand, and matches it to one of the dresses hanging up. Checking the tag on the dress gives him Amy's name and address, so off he goes.

Meanwhile, Amy and Nancy go jogging in the park. We finally get to meet Elliott, played by Tom Hanks. He trips Nancy, and they strike up a conversation. And that's about all that happens. That really wasn't worth the wait, was it?

Amy continues jogging by herself, and starts to think that she's being pursued. She finds a large tree and hides behind it. Sure enough, someone shows up...but it's only another jogger. She follows that person along the path, then runs home.

Len tells Frank that he has a new lead, and balks at the idea of letting the Feds have the case. Then the scene shifts to an amusement park, where Elliott tells them about the psychology of fear. Good work, go to that "Bosom Buddies" audition, and become a superstar. While on a spinning ride, Amy thinks that she sees the stalker, but she can't be sure. She and a little girl go off in one direction, while the others stay behind.

The kid convinces Amy to go on a funhouse ride with her, and Amy gives in. As you might expect, Amy freaks out and thinks that she sees the killer during the ride. Then we get a glimpse of the bachelor party, where Phil has locked himself in a bedroom to call Amy. When she doesn't answer, he starts to get concerned. And that's pretty much the only time we see those characters ever again.

Back home, Amy tells Nancy about seeing the stalker at the amusement park. Amy has to bring the young kid to a slumber party, but Nancy promises to be there when she returns. Almost as soon as Amy leaves, Nancy hears someone moving around. Yikes!

She leaves the kitchen to answer the front door, but no one's there. When Nancy returns to the kitchen, you can clearly see that the knife rack behind her is missing a knife. Heck, even AFTER I noticed it, the movie zoomed in, in case we had eyes like Helen Keller. Buh-bye, Nancy. It was nice knowing you!

After dropping the kid off, Amy realizes that a car is tailing hers. It's not the killer, it's Len, but Amy doesn't know that. She loses him after making an illegal turn, and continues to make her way home.

Nancy has suddenly decided to take a shower. She strips down, hops into the shower, and jiggles around as she lathers up. Thank you, movie, for alleviating my boredom. Nancy hears the bathroom door open, but it's shut again by the time she looks.

In her bathrobe, Nancy decides to hang out by the massive fish tank and listen to music. She leans back, and the killer wanders in as she dozes off. His hand hovers near her face, then he yanks her up by the hair, and out comes the knife. And then she dies off screen. If Hollywood ever gets around to remaking this, they better do a better job on the kills.

Amy rushes home, and locks herself in. She sees some wine spilled in the living room, but that's nothing compared to Nancy's severed head in the fish tank! Shocked, Amy backs up, right into the killer. He chases her through the house, and she nearly gets killed unlocking the front door again.

Outside the house, Amy gets to her car, but Ray catches up and tries to get in. She finally gets the car started and goes flying down the street, only to have the killer peer in at her from the roof of the vehicle. Once again, I wish you could see the goofy-ass expressions on this guy's face. If I had to drink a shot every time I laughed during this travesty, I'd be in a coma by now.

He manages to smash the window on her side of the car, so she swerves to the side of the road, gets out, and decides to lead him on a foot chase. Fortunately, she's just down the street from the coroner's office, and Marvin's working the graveyard shift again.

Amy gets to his "office", and tells Marvin everything. He gives her instructions to call the cops, and decides to take down the killer by himself. He goes to the boiler room and arms himself with a 2x4, then starts to look for the killer. For some reason, Amy also decides that it would be more fun to risk her life than it would be to stay in the nice, safe office. Gotta love movie-logic.

Len arrives at her house and finds the killer's latest victim. He calls it in, and the dispatcher tells him that Amy called from the morgue. To the Morgue-Cave!

Amy's stupidity increases, so she starts yelling out Marvin's name. Okay, Ray, look: Clearly, this chick WANTS to die, right? Just follow all of the noise and the bad acting, and kill her. I'm on your side, dude.

Okay, back to the movie. Len arrives at the morgue, Marvin's still looking to get killed, and Amy's still being Amy. Amy somehow found herself in a room filled with dead bodies(In the morgue? You're shitting me, Mark!), and she of course backs away into the arms of the killer. I know I've said it before, but can we PLEASE have horror movies take place in a universe where people don't walk backwards? Is turning that difficult?

Amy gets away, but Ray is pretty close behind her. Len follows a trail of destruction down an endless-looking corridor, and Amy tries to lose Ray in the basement area. The killer finds her cowering on the floor and raises his knife to begin killing her, but Len shows up and shoots him In the back.

Len tries to get Amy to run for the exit, but he freaks her out as much as Ray did. When she finally does leave, Ray is already standing up again, and ready to attack the cop. Len puts up almost no fight at all, so the killer stabs him, then continues to chase Amy.

They go back through all of the same generic, winding corridors that they just ran through, and Ray is lured into an open room. Upon entering, he finds Amy shutting and locking the door behind him. Now I'm almost tempted to give Amy credit for doing something smart, but she cancels it out by leaning against the door, which gives Ray enough time to smash the window next to her, and grab her by the neck and hair.

Marvin hears the commotion and comes running, as Amy grabs a sharp implement off of a nearby surgical tray. She stabs Ray several times in the arm, and Marvin helps her to escape. And of course, they run through many more generic halls.

Outside, the cops have arrived. Marvin and Amy exit past them, then we cut abruptly to a wedding. I'm not sure which girl it is, but she recognizes Phil, who is blocking the exit. The last shot is a closeup of his eyes. THE END.

Ay, caramba! This one was all over the minute it's a slasher film, the next it's a Quinn Martin Production, the next it's a travelogue. Yeesh. And then, they manage to botch most of the kills. And what was up with that ending? This one gets 1-and-a-half killer trees from me, out of 5.

And what did this excruciating waste of time teach me this week?

-Tom Hanks got better as an actor over time. Thank God.

-If you're making a sleazy slasher flick, you need either excessive sex or violence. Preferably both.

-He knows I'm alone. How? I dunno, ask him yourself.

My next slasher is actually a comedy, National Lampoon's Class Reunion. We'll see. Have a good week!