Tuesday, 9 July 2013



An amiable but not essential rummage through the history, highlights and tropes of the slasher film, with a fairly interesting gathering of talking heads and some unfamiliar clips (mostly from trailers); this documentary is no Terror In The Aisles but it did leave me wanting to watch some prime examples of the genre again. Just as Not Quite Hollywood made me wish I could rewatch Turkey Shoot and Road Games immediately, and Machete Maidens Unleashed! failed to make me want to ever watch The Mad Doctor Of Blood Island or The Blood Drinkers, so this has pushed me in the direction of revisiting Friday The 13th Part 5, My Bloody Valentine, Prom Night and Rosemary's Killer. Which makes it at least a partial success.

The slasher net is thrown fairly wide yet there are some huge omissions - Psycho and Peeping Tom, but not Homicidal; Agatha Christie, Mario Bava and Jess Franco's Bloody Moon are included but When A Stranger Calls, Happy Birthday To Me and Silent Scream don't get a mention. Obviously they can't namecheck all of these films, as we'd be here for a week and some of them (like To All A Goodnight) are so wretched they just don't deserve the exposure, but When A Stranger Calls is surely prime slasher material. Is Tenebrae really a slasher film? Is Puppet Master? Tourist Trap? Despite the supernatural elements, A Nightmare On Elm Street certainly counts, but does The Stepfather? April Fool's Day surely fails as it's all an elaborate gag and no-one gets killed. The obvious cliches so ruthlessly exposed in Scream - don't have sex, don't say "I'll be right back" and so on - and The Final Girl are examined at length (if not in depth), as is "What makes a good slasher villain?". It has a ton of clips, some of which are from mostly forgotten shockers like The House On Sorority Row and The Initiation, and interviews with everyone from Lloyd Kaufman, Adam Green and Corey Feldman (the last with the most annoying hairstyle I've seen in a long time) to Tobe Hooper, Emily Booth and Fred Olen Ray.

Slice And Dice: The Slasher Film Forever is obviously a fan celebration rather than a serious critical overview: no-one points out that Madman and Terror Train are terrible films. You won't learn anything from it, but it's nice to see the clips and hear these films discussed again. Also on the DVD is a second, shorter documentary in the same vein, covering backwoods horror movies (Don't Go In The Woods, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), and a stack of trailers from Peeping Tom through to something called Halloween Night, which I've never heard of but have now added to the rental queue.


Stabby stabby:

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