Slasher Films: An International Filmography, 1960 Through 2001
By Kent Byron Armstrong
Published by McFarland, 2009. 376 pages.
Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers.
I have to say one of the key elements in many slasher films is the mystery of who the killer is. While in the later day Friday the 13th films, we all know who it is, but in the first entry, it really is a mystery until the ending. Sure, there are a few where the killer’s identity is given away early in the film, but for the most part, it is hidden from the viewer until the filmmaker decides to let you in on the secret. That really is a key part of the fun with some of these, even ones that are low budget and/or cheesy.
But the first thing that I noticed here is that Armstrong gives detailed plot synopsis for each of the titles covered, including who the killer(s) is. So if you haven’t see a particular film, you’re not going to want read his review of it since it will spoil the surprise. If you have seen a particular title, then there isn’t a real point to reading his review of it because about 90% of it is the synopsis with the last paragraph being his thoughts on it, which sometimes are just a sentence or two. Not a lot of meat on the bone for the reader to chew on here.
Honestly, never get tired of reading about the old Universal classic monster movies. Sure, there are a lot of the same stories told and retold over and over again, but you never know when something new and interesting is going to be uncovered, or possible brought out in a way that causing you think of something a different than before. Yes, the bottom line, like I’m always waving the flag for, is to constantly trying to learn more about these movies that we love, whether they are brand new titles, or ones that we’ve grown up with and seen hundreds of times. Besides, I know for me, every time I read about one of these movies, it always makes me want to bust it out and watch it again.
Being a movie fan today is just awesome. From the countless cult titles that keep getting released, to more reference books coming out that I can barely keep up, to even soundtracks from pretty obscure films getting released! To prove this statement, you will now be able to enjoy the musical score for the 1957 film Monster from Green Hell, thanks to the fine folks at Kritzerland!
Okay, so last week the news of Paul Naschy’s The Mummy’s Revenge was getting a Blu-ray release from Code Red, which since it had never even been released on DVD here in the states, this was pretty stellar news. Granted, we don’t know a lot of details, like if it is uncut or what the source is, but we have our fingers crossed.
Then a couple of days ago, we got more news of yet another Naschy flick will be hitting Blu-ray, his werewolf outing, The Fury of the Wolfman. This might be considered one of Naschy’s lesser quality Daninsky films, but I know more than a few people that just love this film. I may not be one of them, but it is still a Naschy flick, so it is more than worthy for my collection! Besides, if there is a Naschy film that comes out on Blu-ray, I will be picking it up just to show support! Plus…come on! It’s a Naschy Werewolf flick! How could you pass on this?!?!?
Of course, the real question is going to be which version is this going to be, since there has been a few different versions released on video over the years, some with nudity, some without, some footage in some and not the other. So we are hoping that not only is Code Red doing another splendid job re-mastering the film, but that it will be uncut as well. They have reported that it will have a brand new 2K scan, so that is a great start.
Hard to believe that it has been five years since the release of the independent film Dead Weight. Sure, this post might be a little jaded since I’ve known one half of the writing/directing team for, Mr. John Pata, for something close to ten years now, when he was trying to peddle his little zombie short film, Better Off Undead. I can’t say how impressed I’ve been with what John has accomplished in those ten years either, and can’t wait to see where the next ten take him.
Directed by Don Sharp
Starring George Sanders, Beryl Reid, Nicky Henson, Mary Larkin, Roy Holder, Robert Hardy, Patrick Holt, Denis Gilmore, Ann Michelle, Miles Greenwood, Peter Whitting, Rocky Taylor
The film, also known as The Death Wheelers, is about a biker gang that call themselves The Living Dead, that tools around England causing the usually sort of trouble like forcing cars off the road and just being royal pains. But their leader Tom is getting bored with the normal stuff. In fact, he often thinks of doing something really wild like killing himself. When he learns a little secret from his mother, that if you really believe that you’ll come back when you kill yourself, you will. It’s apparently that simple. Even better though is when you do rise from the grave, you can’t die and seem to be super strong. So he convinces the rest of his gang to follow his lead, in usually interesting ways.
Welcome to another Monday morning. And that can only mean another Mystery Photo, right? Well, as usual, lets get to last week’s photo first. It was from the wonderful cheesy slasher film The Mutilator from 1984, when plots and quality acting didn’t matter, as long as we had some gore. And in this film, we had plenty of that! Congrats to the following for sending in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Richard Garcia, William Wilson, and Greg Wojick. Nicely done!
Okay…so this shot is from a nice little love story. Seriously. See if you can’t identify the movie from the shot of this nice woman.
But PLEASE REMEMBER….Do NOT post your answers here but send them to me in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We want everyone to have a chance at the photo. Good luck!