Thursday, October 29, 2009

The NEW Golden Age Of Slasher Flicks

Every horror fan worth their weight in Karo syrup knows that 1981 was a classic year for horror movies, especially slasher flicks. An American Werewolf In London, The Burning, The Evil Dead, Friday The 13th Part 2, Halloween II, The Howling, My Bloody Valentine, Scanners... and those are just the big names I can remember. There were countless other knock-offs and wannabes that I'm still finding out about after 28 years...

In 1996-97, there was a resurgence in the slasher genre led by Wes Craven's Scream. There were a few good films in this wave (Urban Legend, I Know What You Did Last Summer). There was A LOT of crap during this comeback as well (Do You Want To Know A Secret, The Curve) The sub-genre became a parody of itself, unfortunately making films like Scary Movie and Scream If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th popular for a time... ...

Well here we are, roughly a decade later, and it seems as though slasher flicks are again the order of the day. The reboots of Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine have ushered in the new slasher era. I, for one, think it's a great thing. While the 90's slasher craze focused on horror irony and fresh faces that they could cover a poster with, '09 seems to be bringing it back to the basics of blood, nudity, and shocks!

It got me thinking... If I'm still discovering 80's horror movies to enjoy, will the same thing happen to new genre fans 30 years from now? There have been movies I've heard about, and just HAD to see. Long out of print, I've had to scour and search for these films. The Burning, Night of the Creeps, Nightmare, Dellamorte Dellamore, Unmasked Part 25... I've had the pleasure of hunting these films as I read the (sometimes) fabled stories about them, and finally found copies. Now, most of them are currently (or soon to be) widely available on DVD. In 30 years, will horror fans be talking about Hatchet and Behind the Mask like we talk about Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street now?

It's more likely that we'll still be talking about Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street then too... and that's not at all a bad thing, mind you. But just in case, here are a list of some potential slasher "lost classics" that people might be looking frantically for come 2039...

Harper's Island... a pleasant surprise, considering it's a short run TV series on CBS. It surprised me a few times...

Frayed... This film definitely learned a few things from the slasher flicks that came before it. I was really happy to dig into this one. It rewarded me with several scares and a great feel to it.

Kids Go To The Woods...Kids Get Dead... An homage to the glut of slasher flicks that we were inundated with in the 1980's. A total gore fest worth the time of any fan of 80's slashers.

Midnight Movie... It's a flick that tries to throw in a new twist to the genre. I dont know how successful it was, but like most slasher flicks, turn off your brain and you'll have a super-duper time!

Hatchet... It entertains. Plenty of awesome cameos for sharp eyed viewers. The practical FX are definitely going to take you back.

Laid To Rest... It has a really great killer that delivers the goods, which is all I ask for.

Murder Loves Killers Too... A wonderful indie effort that goes way overboard all the time. It's a blood soaked love letter to it's fore bearers. Watch the special features for a list of titles they passed on...

Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon... Great film that shows the standard scenario from a new perspective. Who ever thought a maniacal murderer could be so likable!?

Speaking of likable... Dexter (Showtime Series)... Okay, you got me. It's not a slasher movie. But doesn't it get downright close when Dexter does what he does best...

So there you have it, these are the gems that are guaranteed* to be the lost classics that people 30 years from now will be paying absurd prices for!

*not guaranteed

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