Friday, January 15, 2016

80s Slasher Calendar Part 3 of 3

January 15, 2016. 

Sorry this came a day late everyone.  Now the conclusion of my 80s slasher calendar.

That glorious time of year when everyone turns into a horror fan, and horror gets the proper respect it deserves. This time of year is so busy for me, we usually have a huge Halloween party at our house. This year, I hope to be doing a lot of promotion for Kill River (and maybe even a new book). But throughout all the craziness, I make time to get back to the classic mainstream slashers. 

 My particular picks for this time of year are A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984), ANOES 2 (1985), HALLOWEEN (1978), HALLOWEEN 2 (1981), HALLOWEEN 4 (1988), HALLOWEEN 5 (1989), and the CHILD'S PLAY trilogy, which I've watched every Halloween night for the past 20 years. CHILD'S PLAY 2 is my particular favorite from that set. These movies have given me so much inspiration throughout my entire life, and so many memories. This is the time of year that I reunite with them.

I can't say much about November. Horror seems to peak on Halloween and die down for a little while. Although, for me horror never dies. November 15th is my birthday, and I usually like to watch HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (1981). It's kind of convoluted, but its got crazy kills, and the end scene is epic!

While Christmas is thoroughly shoved down everyone's throat this month, I try to avoid all the over-hype. I don't get into the Holiday spirit until about one week before Christmas. The Christmas tradition that excites me most is watching SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984). This is probably one of the most fun slasher movies you'll ever see. I saw a trailer for it on youtube some years back and then found the whole movie uploaded there and watched it late at night on Christmas Eve. Since then, I've been hooked. It's got a hilarious heartwarming music montage scene, a great sledding kill, and so many quotable lines. A lot of people talk about Black Christmas like it's so great, but I like SNDN much better.

Then comes, New Years Eve. I can't explain why, but this has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love staying up until midnight, I love the thought of the new year and all the potential for great things to come, and I also love looking back at the great times of the past. Back in college, I started my Annual New Years Eve Slasher marathon where I literally woke up and watched slasher movies almost all day. I think I made it through about six of them that day. Im pretty sure the original line up was Prom Night, Graduation Day, My Bloody Valentine, The Prowler, The Burning, and Sleepaway Camp. The line up changes every year, but one film that is a constant New Years Must Watch is TERROR TRAIN (1980). This film really captures that New Years spirit. It's got Jamie Lee, an awesome killer who wears multiple masks, and a great twist. It's another one of those genuinely tense and scary slasher films too.

There you have it, my slasher calendar. I realize I watch a lot of films, especially ones I've seen before, but hey, sometimes its best to enjoy the finer things in life and enjoy the classics. I hope that within the years to come, I can write some great slasher books that can be read and re-read and enjoyed by big 80s slasher fans like I am. Who knows, maybe one day I'll even turn one of them into a movie.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

80s Slasher Calendar Part 2 of 3

January 13, 2016
Back to the 80s Slasher Calendar!

APRIL FOOL'S DAY (1986) is a great film. But a great slasher film? Well...that's debatable. Nevertheless, I love it. I actually first watched AFD and Sleepaway Camp both in the same day.

I do wish they would've shot an alternate “horror” ending, but Thomas F. Wilson is hilarious in it and its very well made.

April is also Prom season, so near the end of the month I like to watch PROM NIGHT (1980). Its not the scariest or most action-packed but I love this movie. 

 The characters are great, I love Jamie Lee's disco dancing scene, I love the chase scene through the school, and its got an awesome chaotic end!

Around mid-may, I like to watch GRADUATION DAY (1981). I love this movie! Its super grainy, and its got great choppy artsy editing.

The rock band part in the middle drags, but that's really the only thing I don't like about it. I love the high school gym, track team theme throughout the film too. Also, its the only Troma (shudder) film that's really any good.

June / July / August:
Ahh summer! A perfect summer day for me is spending a hot sunny day at my beloved WaterWorld, then grabbing a Little Ceasars Pizza and watching SLEEPAWAY CAMP. I can't say enough good things about this film. It's hands down the best summer camp slasher movie ever! And possibly one of my top favorite movies of all time! If you haven't seen it, watch it twice. Like Napoleon Dynamite you'll say “huh WTF?” the first time you see it. The second time around, you'll start laughing. Once you start quoting it, you'll be hooked.

A perfect double feature with Sleepaway Camp is the awesome slasher gem THE BURNING (1981). If not for the bad Day-For-Night lighting, rushed ending, and 30 year olds as summer camp kids, it'd be up there with Sleepaway Camp.

I don't usually watch a whole lot of movies during the summer, mostly because I like to spend most of my time outside. It's also my busy season at work, and my busy season for fixing up my house. I do like to sit in the shade on my roof and read, or sit in front of the wave pool and read a lot though. So if you want the slashery goodness to continue, get some excellent summer reading with my book KILL RIVER. Its like a novelization for an 80s slasher movie that was thought up 30 years too late.  (OK that's my one shameless plug for the book I promise!)

For some reason, September always feels right for Jason Voorhees for me. Mabye it's because I first saw the first Friday the 13th movies around September. Maybe because its still summery enough, but you can start to feel that spooky Halloween feeling creeping in. Also, incidentally, I actually got to travel up to the northeast and be at the filming locations for both Sleepaway Camp in New York, and Friday 2 in Connecticut, both on Friday September 13th 2013, probably one of the coolest days of my entire life.

For whatever reason, September is a great time for a FRIDAY THE 13TH marathon. I love Friday 1-5, and Part 7. Hell, I even love the cruise ship half of Part 8 too (once he gets to Manhattan though, fogeddaboudit). My favorite in the entire series is FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981). Yes, I know, Jason doesn't have the mask, but this film is the essence of Friday the 13th. It's got amazing memorable kills, cheesy characters, and Jason's creepy shack. It's probably the most well written film in the entire series. What a great film. If you haven't seen any Friday the 13ths, definitely watch Part 2, and (Part 4) The Final Chapter, these are easily the best.

Check back tomorrow for the last part of my 80s Slasher Calendar!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

80s Slasher Calendar Part 1 of 3

January 12, 2016

To everyone who actually reads this blog, I'm sorry these have been coming so slowly lately. I'm hard at work on a new book (about halfway done with the rough draft at this point) and I've been focusing almost all of my writing energy on that. But one of my New Years Resolutions was to be more active on here, and hopefully I'll be able to stick to it.

So now that we're actually starting up another year, I thought it might be a cool idea to go through the entire years worth of slasher movies. Anyone who knows even a little bit about the genre knows that a lot of the movies fall on holidays. The festive spirit of a lot of slasher movies is one of the reasons why I love the genre so much. Obviously I'm not going to watch every single slasher movie every year, but there are quite a few that I re-watch every year. So here's a brief rundown of my picks for those favorite slasher movies that have earned an annual traditional watch.

This is typically a cold month for re-watching slasher movies. Coming off of my annual New Years Eve Slasher marathon, I'm usually hungry for something fresh. I tend to get on youtube to see if I can find some never before seen 80s slashers. The one exception to that rule is CURTAINS (1983). 

Curtains is one of the few 80s slasher movies that I find genuinely scary. Also it's got THE creepiest killer mask of any slasher movie ever. It's cold and snowed-in feel makes it perfect for January.

Obviously, you probably knew I was going with MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981). This one is truly one of the best. The kills are great, the Canadian accents are awesome, and its pretty tense. I wish I could go back in time and write or produce a sequel or two for this one. 

Also, a good double feature to go with MBV is THE PROWLER (1981). The Prowler's got some of the most realistic Tom Savini special fx ever. It does have kind of a confusing plot, and a WTF ending, but because of it's love themes The Prowler is great viewing for February.

This is a busy month for slasher watching. In March I have two mini-marathons.

The first is the LEPRECHAUN marathon on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day. I love St. Patty's Day, its one of my absolute favorite holidays. I love drinking Irish Carbombs and watching Leprechaun 1-3, and also Back 2 the Hood (which is surprisingly good, considering it's dumb title and premise). If you haven't seen any of them LEPRECHAUN 2 (1994) is easily the best in the series. It's the only one that takes place on St. Patrick's Day and really captures the feel of the holiday. It also feature's a smokin' hot survivor girl (Shevonne Durkin), MAD TV's Michael MacDonald, and a drunk/go-cart driving Leprechaun. What's not to love?

The second mini-marathon in March is my March Madness Marathon. For the record, I don't watch college basketball at all, but March is a great time to watch College-themed slasher movies. The best college slasher movie is THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW (1983). Its got good acting, good kills, hot girls, and a great band called 4 Out of 5 Doctors. 

I really wish there were 15 minutes more to this film, it pretty much ends at the climax, but its definitely a great 80's slasher treasure. A couple of other good college slasher movies are THE INITIATION (1984) and FINAL EXAM (1981). I think this year I'll also give HELL NIGHT another go, it's been about 10 years since I've seen it.

As I started writing this, I realized I loved way too many slasher movies to cram them into just one blog.  So I'll continue my slasher calendar tomorrow.  To be continued.