Join us as we explore the wild and offbeat cinema that played the roadshows, drive-ins and grindhouses
One of the most popular subgenres of horror cinema is the Slasher Film. These movies usually featured a mysterious killer stalking their victims (often teenagers) one by one over the course of a few days. The typical settings for most slasher films were usually summer camps, college fraternity houses and suburban neighborhoods. The modern slasher formula can be traced back to films like Michael Powell's PEEPING TOM, Hitchcock's PSYCHO and most notably 1970s Italian giallo cinema which were a direct precursor to the American slashers. The modern slasher genre got its official start in North America in the 70s with Bob Clark's BLACK CHRISTMAS, Tobe Hooper's TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN but the 1980s was its true heyday. Although slashers are rather similar plotwise, they contain some of the most memorable moments and thrills in horror film history. This edition of our History series is dedicated to those beloved bloody films that introduced us to iconic psychos like Leatherface, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger....
A group of freewheeling Texas teenagers find themselves the victims of a reclusive psychotic hillbilly family that have a strong taste for human flesh in this darkly funny, nearly bloodless, low budget horror classic. Director Tobe Hooperproduced this film for less than $300,000 and used a cast of relatively unknown actors drawn mainly from central Texas, where the film was shot. The limited budget forced Hooper to film for long hours seven days a week, so that he could finish as quickly as possible and reduce equipment rental costs. Due to the film's violent content, Hooper struggled to find a distributor. Louis Perano of Bryanston Distributing eventually purchased the distribution rights.
An all girls college sorority house in Canada is terrorized by a mysterious psycho whose trademark is leaving frightening and obscene phonecalls before he kills off the pretty coeds. The film was inspired by a series of murders that took place in the Westmount section of Montreal, in the province of Quebec, Canada, and the urban legend "The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs". Directed by Bob Clark (of Porky's and A Christmas Story fame) this film was one of the main blueprints for the future 80s slasher craze along with early 70s Italian giallo cinema (which came before it) and Halloween which followed it four years later.
In 1963, a young boy named Michael Myers kills his sister and is committed to a mental hospital. 25 years later he breaks out and heads back to his hometown of Haddonfield to wreak terror on the unsuspecting townspeople. Meanwhile, the local high schoolers including the bookish Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) are getting ready for another fun Halloween night, not knowing the terror that's in store. Their only chance is Michael’s longtime psychologist Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) who aims to stop his patient's reign of bloody havoc at all costs. Unlike many of its imitators, Halloween contains little graphic violence and gore. In 2006, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
In 1958, a young boy named Jason Voorhees drowned while nearby camp counselors were making love. Ever since, the defunct Camp Crystal Lake has had what locals refer to as a "death curse" due to mysterious mishaps that occurred over the years. When the camp finally reopens decades later, a new group of counselors arrive including Alice (Adrienne King) a happy go lucky teen. As she and the other trainees get the rundown place back in shape, strange things begin happening once again and Alice soon encounters a killer that's on a mission of bloody revenge. TRIVIA: The film was shot in and around the townships of Blairstown and Hope, New Jersey in the fall (September) of 1979. The camp scenes were shot on a working Boy Scout camp, Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco.
What would happen if a dead child killer came back to haunt the neighborhood in the kids' dreams? That's the intriguing premise of this 80s smash slasher hit starring Robert Englund as the legendary, grotesquely scarred, green and red clad, knife gloved ghoul Freddy Krueger. This wisecracking weirdo commits all kinds of gory acts in his vendetta on the kids of the angered citizens that took his life years earlier. A highly inventive spin on the typical slasher storyline that spawned numerous sequels. TRIVIA: Freddy Krueger was inspired by a man Director Wes Craven saw one night on the sidewalk outside his window as a child. The man stared at a startled Craven, and then walked off.
Slasher 101: THE FINAL GIRL
The final girl is a horror film character that specifically refers to the last person (usually a woman or girl) alive to confront the killer, usually the one left to tell the story. The concept has been used in dozens of films, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Friday The 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The term was coined by Carol J. Clover in her book Men, Women & Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. Clover suggests that in these films, the viewer begins by sharing the perspective of the killer, but experiences a shift in identification to the final girl partway through the film...READ MORE
Click pic for our TOP 13 SLASHER CLASSICS
A World War II vet that returns from overseas finds his lady love "Rosemary" cheating on him with another man. This drives him into a jealous rage and he proceeds to skewer the two with a pitchfork. 35 years later, the town of Avalon Bay where the murders took place, is getting ready for its first graduation dance in decades. Like clockwork, the Army fatigue garbed killer aka The Prowler returns to commit even more heinous acts on the unsuspecting teens who are out to have a great night of celebrating. Special FX master Tom Savini did some of his best work in this gruesome genre gem thats filled with thrilling kills!