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Bachelor Party Massacre (2006)
Bachelor Party Massacre
Make no mistake about it, any film called Bachelor Party Massacre is going be naff, but, surprisingly, it's not as crud as it probably should be. The title tells you all you need to know: four buddies gather in an abandoned bar to celebrate their friend Addison's last few days as single. They drink, order pizza, letch after some strippers and get stalked n' slashed by a poncho-clad schizo woman who is nothing more than your common-or-garden asylum escapee.
There's plenty of topless girls on show, fleshed out lapdancing sequences and watery blood-flowage. The effects budget obviously hindered some of the creativity and so a lot of the murders are off-screen or skewered by strange camera angles; one girl gets a stiletto in the head and a guy has a knife shoved in the worst possible place.
As a collector and general advocate of slasher films - this was the 416th I've seen by my count - I'll watch almost anything like this. Some suck, some are pretty good. I'd slot BPM towards the bottom of the stack, but it's not downright awful as, say, Carnage Road or The Slaughterhouse Massacre, which are almost entirely devoid of merit.
Memorial Day (1999)
If you can believe it, *another* group of teens return to *another* lakeside cabin three years after *another* one of those fatal 'accidents' claimed one of their number. Low and behold, a psycho wearing a patterned hockey mask (a cheap papery one at that) turns up to waste them one by one. This mechanical 'Friday the 13th' knock off gained slight notoriety as one of the first digitally-shot features, but that's where the interesting facts end and all that remains is a predictable, amateur production with sub-par performances and a recurring boom-mic intrusion. A last-second twist does little to lift the spirits, and 'Memorial Day' is something best tossed in a lake and forgotten about. One for insane slasher collectors only.
Shark: Rosso nell'oceano (1984)
Moderate Italian killer-fish saga concerning a genetically created shark-squid thing munching on various extras and the marine biologists who go after it. Not enough excitement to keep things afloat plus some bad continuity (watch for the scene where a fleeing woman is tripped by the creature and her handy axe flies overboard, in the next shot it's a couple of inches away from her...) Not the horrible mess it's been made out to be, but simply boring.
L'ultimo squalo (1981)
Somewhat nicely done Italian derivative of 'Jaws' shares many of the same themes and set-ups and compresses them into 90 minutes, but is still worth a shot for advocates of Nature-Runs-Amok movies. As history states, this film was notoriously crowbarred out of its cinema release by Universal for being *too* like the Spielberg film (and also its sequel).
In its own right, 'L'Ultimo Squalo' is an entertaining - if not trashy - killer shark movie which throws in some of the typical Italian touches of humour and ambitious technical trials. The shark - when it appears - is only marginally less convincing than Spielberg's Bruce, but looks okay from high angles and while it's under the surface. Also, the stock footage of real fish is used to better effect here and shows the savagery of the shark attacking the many pieces of meat that varying characters attempt to lure the creature with.
Unfortunately, the evident budget used here hampers some moments: underwater and night shots are hard to make out and the toy helicopter that crashes into the water is pretty obvious. The shark chomps 7 people, drowns an 8th, and destructs a pier, a surf board, a couple of boats, and sub-aqua cave.
Final verdict, a nice distraction if you don't mind skipping some logic. 6/10.
Pretty good for straight-to-vid
I rented this as second choice to a film that was out of stock and, to my surprise, found it to be a deliciously entertaining and competently produced slasher pic.
Of course there's nothing new in terms of plot or craftsmanship but the present cliches come together nicely in a fun flick that centers itself around the weekend trip of a group of inner-city college kids on a snowboarding (or "shredding") excursion to an old abandoned ski lodge where a past crime still irritates the locals...
A mystery killer-skier all dressed in black takes offence at the shredding culture and so decides to do a little shredding of their own and stabs, slashes and impales most of the cast until their identity is more obvious than a bad drag queen.
Nevertheless, there are some inventive murders on parade, passable acting and neat one-liners and comedy setups (like a recurring joke about a character hanged from the chairlift that no one seems to notice) that are indebted to the recent tidal wave of referential teen horror films. Overlook one or two shoddy effects that reflect the budget and this is a decent way to munch through some popcorn! Best line: "The next time we're being stalked by a serial killer do not go into the basement."
Cut Above the Rest...
As most people who comment negatively on DTV slasher films have only ever seen the Scream trilogy and I Know What You Did Last Summer, they can't be expected to construct a comparative view of what is really a film that excels the others of its ilk on production values alone.
Although surface gloss is by no means compensation for a good strong story, Ripper has a whole lot more plot than some its commercially released contemporaries without abandoning the simplicity of the slasher conventions: a group of student taking a course in serial killer profiling are offed by a mystery murderer who bases the slayings on the most famous serial killer of them all - Jack the Ripper.
Storywise, this is really a combo of Copycat and Urban Legend but, for the most part, succeeds in creating an ongoing ambiguity over the killers identity (something that is never honestly made clear at the end), but the ingenuity lies in the styling leading up to the finale. The unsympathetic teenagers are first excited at the chance to do some detective work of their own, then they're curious as it becomes obvious they're somewhere on his list before fighting amongst themselves and ending up hacked to pieces.
I wouldn't give any of the twists away, but Ripper is a largely satisfactory venture with a level of stylish (though sometimes misogynistic) violence that has been absent in recent horror outings and echoes the early days of Friday the 13th with a bit more visual flair. 8 out of 10.
Mutant Moggy Massacre!
This film virtually evades falling into any type of horror genre you could think of: it's part sci-fi, part slasher, part comedy!!!
A fluffy house cat escapes from some random laboratory and is adopted by two bimbos who've been invited to cruise down to the Bahamas with mobster Alex Cord and take the cat with them for good luck. Said kitty has some kind of rat-bat thing living inside it that emerges when kitty gets pi***ed off and then shreds anyone who comes too close - including henchmen George Kennedy and Clu Gulager!
It's pretty funny stuff with a typical sequel-friendly ending (that was thankfully never taken up) and some really cheesy moments. Only for the voyeurs of crap cinema. I kinda liked it.
Shadows Run Black (1984)
Shadows Run Black, Credibility Certainly Runs Away!
One of the very worst slasher films ever made; a ski-masked killer is doing away with vacuous coeds for a reason that never really becomes clear. Not even a spark of originality and EVERY girl who dies struts around naked despite the obvious presence of the maniac in the house / woods / room.
The only notable thing is a marginal appearance by Kevin Costner as a boyfriend who everyone thinks is the killer (but probably isn't if you've seen a few of these). Suspiciously, his name is elided completely from the film itself, and the way the end credits roll has to be seen to be believed. Awful.
Happy Hell Night (1992)
Happy Enough To Sit Through
1991/R-18/84m Darren McGavin, Nick Gregory, Franke Hughes, Laura Carney, Charles Cragin.
Another frat-house slasher film with more willing pledges accidentally releasing a maniac from his asylum habitat some 25 years after he butchered seven people at the local Church in a pact with the devil or something like that...
Ergo, he returns to the frat house and hacks and slashes his way through airhead co-eds and dumb jocks until two brothers (actual brothers, not just frat brothers) and the girl they're both screwing do their best to stop him.
Not as bad as it could be considering how little known it is; Darren McGavin is hardly in it and most of the murder victims are without any indentity - just kids having sex and dying. The killer offers the best distraction, delivering kitsch one-liners with every murder and talking like E.T.! Switch your mind off, sit back and enjoy - if you can...
Too Scared to Scream (1985)
What you would expect from a TV slasher movie...
This TV-ish stalker flick has a few entertaining moments but is mostly marred by boring dialogue and useless scenes that don't mean anything. A gloved killer knocks off the rich and arty residents of a Manhattan skyrise bringing in a couple of detectives who suspect British poetically-charged doorman McShane who's mute, wheelchair bound mother reminds us of 'Psycho' a tad... The okay premise is wasted by misusing the setting and barely touching on the supporting characters resulting in a total lack of sympathy for anyone, and when the killer is finally revealed, it borders on prejudice... A little more imagination would have been nice.