Formerly "Dave's Blog About Movies and Such"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (guest review by Matt Jordan)

Hello all. I know I've been slacking off lately in the review department (I swear I'll have an honest to God review up on Monday). Luckily, though my friend Matt Jordan was kinda enough to write an awesome review of the awesome fourth entry in the Friday the 13th franchise. Enjoy.

dir. Joseph Zito

“It was not stolen. Two people at the hospital are missing. Is this coincidence? He's alive.”
-Rob Dier (affectionately referred to in the following review as “The Hunter”)

I love October. Not only do we get hot apple cider, Octoberfest, and the best season change of all, the whole month is capped off with Halloween, which is an excuse to scare people, wear a costume, and most importantly, revisit some old horror movies.

How often do you get a chance to look at, say, all three different cuts of DAWN OF THE DEAD? Or have an excuse to sit down and watch THE SHINING all the way through? Or FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER?

Yes, you read that that right. FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER. I watch this movie at least twice a year, and every time, it still manages to surprise me with its clever characteristizations, its attempt at a plot, its thrilling special effects work, and its Spielbergian sense of wonderment. It's as ambitious as any movie released in the 1980s, and it’s most likely the best slasher movie you’ve never seen.

After HALLOWEEN became the most profitable independent upon its release in 1978, producer Sean Cunningham saw dollar signs, and 1980 brought us FRIDAY THE 13TH. Working in the same wheelhouse as HALLOWEEN - the primal childhood fears, the campfire story-structure, and the faceless, brutal killer - the film was a lackluster effort and a massive financial success, leading to a successful sequel, and then another successful sequel (this one in 3-D!).

I'm not sure what circumstances led to THE FINAL CHAPTER being titled such - perhaps it was a gimmick, like 3-D, a way to reinvigorate the franchise, as well as give the film a William Castle-esque hook. Perhaps Paramount and Cunningham really did want to put the final nail in Jason's coffin - Special Effects Maestro Tom Savini decided to return to the series for this film for that very reason - but regardless, the film is the fourth entry of what is now a 12 film (and counting) series, with Jason having been to Manhattan, space, and most recently 'reimagined' (in an effort I thought wasn't half bad, truth be told).

The important part here is that the filmmakers seem to believe they're making Jason's Last Stand, and go at with an all-or-nothing abandon. The fact that the filmmakers are going for broke definitely separates it from the rest of the 80s slasher dreck, where either film was either looking to start or continue a lucrative franchise.

The film begins with a scene borrowed from FRIDAY THE 13TH PART II (NOT filmed in 3-D) as a camp counselor tells the children the story of Jason, the deformed, demented brick shithouse whose Mother went on a Camp Counselor Killing Spree, while splicing in the goriest bits of the last three films. It's actually a fun, unique opening - it lays out the mythology and iconography of Jason, and the producers get more bang for their buck on footage they’ve already shot. But more importantly, it lets the audience know that what they're about to see is a campfire story brought to life – which is what all the best horror movies really are.

From there we get a 15-minutes prologue, starting where FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III (in 3-D!) left off, with Jason taking an axe straight to the head (in 3-D!) and stumbling down dead. From there, either borrowing or ripping off (it doesn't matter) the central conceit of 1981’s HALLOWEEN II, the film moves to local hospital, where Axel, the improbably-named coroner, jokes about pleasuring himself over dead girls and lays his donut on Jason's stomach. Not only is this portion light and breezy, with some fun 'jump' scares, it also is set in a brightly-lit interior and features adults instead of teenagers - two things almost completely absent from the first three films.

Of course, Jason isn't really dead, dispatches Axle and the sexy nurse he lusts after, and presumably walks out of the hospital unnoticed.

From there we move to the Jarvises - Mom, Trish, and Little Tommy.

The Jarvises are straight out of E.T., or a Stephen King novel - they're a single parent family with one teenage child and one entering adolescence. Mom and Trish go out jogging together, talking about the possibility of Mom and Dad getting back together while Tommy plays those new-fangled video games the kids are all about these days.

This too separates THE FINAL CHAPTER not only from the series but from the rest of the slasher films of the day - whereas slasher films are usually populated by young, nubile, and often nude teens, this film is hinging its emotional core on a Mother and her two children. They get along, they love each other. It's nice.

But of course, the people making these cash-printers are no dummies, and realize that you need the young, nubile and often nude teens, so we got them too. There are two possibilities regarding the group of teen bait seen in THE FINAL CHAPTER. One is that they were created as carbon copies of every other group of teens in a slasher film: there's the Virgin, the Slut, the Alpha Male, the Stud, and the Jerk and the Dork. These character types are to slasher-film screenwriters as notes are to a musician: essential building blocks.

However, even though we're 12 years before SCREAM, which took horror films into the post-modern age, and 5 years or so before MEN, WOMEN, AND CHAINSAWS beautifully broke down the character types of the slasher film, these characters come off like the filmmakers for once, are in on the joke. The Virginal "Final Girl" is always wearing white, and sits by the lake in a sweater. They're archetypal to the point of parody, and the uniqueness of the rest of the film's elements leads me to believe that it wasn't an accident.

Oh, and did I mention that the Dork is played by Crispin Glover? Well, he is. It was a year before BACK TO THE FUTURE, but I feel confident in assuming that you don't hire Crispin Glover because you're looking for a stock performance.

Oh! Also, Tommy Jarvis is played by Corey Feldman. Yes, THAT Corey Feldman. So, to recap, Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover are in a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie.

Anyway, moving on, the film moves along like these films do: the teens have rented the cabin next to the Jarvises; the teens meet Teri and Tina, a set of free-wheeling, skinny-dipping twins; they drink, they dance, they have sex. (These teens, however, project a 1930s stag film on a sheet in the living and shut off the rock music to slow-dance, en masse, to 1950s standards, so it's also entirely possible that these particular teens are time-travelers.) But just as the film starts to go through the motions, the filmmakers show they have a few more tricks up their sleeve.

As Trish and Tommy return home from the lake, they encounter a Hunter, a big guy in flannel who wouldn't look out of place on the Brawny logo. He helps them jump-start their car, and they offer him a lift. He tells them he's hunting bears, but Tommy, bright for his age, knows it's a lie.

Anyway, he accepts an invitation into the Jarvis house, and there we see that Tommy collects and makes monster masks. It's a wonderful scene as Tommy pulls out all sorts of props, masks, and puppets, reveling in their realism, making scary voices, grabbing the Hunter with monster arms, and in its design and execution, it honest to God feels like vintage Spielberg.

As we round the hour mark of the film and the sun sets, it's showtime, and in the special effects department, this film does not disappoint. Savini, one of the best make-up and effects artists of all time, puts a corkscrew through Crispin Glover's hand and an axe through his head. Jason smashes the Stud's face through the wall of the shower, and yes, even the Final Girl takes an axe to the chest – but only after taking the Slut’s advice and sleeping with the Stud. This is another wink, I think – the minute the Final Girl loses her virginity, she’s fresh meat for Jason.

And while these are great technical shows, director Joseph Zito builds the suspense of each one, and in a particularly fun moment, shows Jason dispatch one of the twins in silhouette, illuminated by lightning flashes.

Jason also, unfortunately takes out Mama Jarvis, in a move that feels ballsy to me and probably me alone. And this is when The Hunter comes back into play.

Turns out, The Hunter is hunting Jason (his sister was the victim of a mid-coitous double-impalement in Part II). This is the closest the series will ever get to a Dr. Loomis/Captain Ahab figure, a villain for our villain.

Not that it matters really, because he’s dispatched about 20 seconds after first laying eyes on the hockey-masked killer. Oh well, it was a good idea.

And now, with the next-door neighbors dead, their Mom gone, and the big bad son-of-a-bitch who was going to kill Jason dispatched in 20 seconds (I can’t stress this enough), it’s just Trish and Tommy left to take on the homicidal maniac.

I don’t want to say much about the ending in case anyone wants to see it, but I will say that they create a damned interesting scenario where Tommy finds a way to put he and Jason – two loved children – on the same playing field. For a movie with a ton of great ideas and sometimes/mostly shoddy delivery, the climax of this film actually pays off in spades, and leaves the door open for a new, interesting direction to the series (which is ignored within the first five seconds FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: NOT THE FINAL CHAPTER AFTER ALL, LOSERS!, with was retitled A NEW BEGINNING prior to its theatrical release).

FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER is an interesting misfire. It attempts to mismash several genre tropes, features fun, magic show-esque gore, and attempts to actually create a genuine character or two. It doesn’t always succeed, but it’s a fun ride along the way, and miles above the dreck that was being released at that time. It definitely deserves a spot in your own October horror movie rotation.

The Trailer:

Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation (2008)

dir. Mark Hartley

Mark Hartley's film on Australia's unheralded exploitation movement of the seventies and eighties is the most entertaining documentary I've seen in some time. Although I had seen a few of the movies discussed in Not Quite Hollywood, I realized I had not seen nearly enough. I'm gonna have to play catch up. Expect my blog to have quite an Aussie flavor in the next few weeks. [These entries will be best if read while listening to AC/DC.] Any fans of either fly by the seat of your pants filmmaking, exploitation fare, Australian culture, or tits will not want to miss Hartley's movie.

[The trailer:]

Monday, October 26, 2009

Frightmare (1974)

dir. Pete Walker

"Your mother's a very sick woman...she's had a serious relapse I'm afraid."
-Edmund Yates

Procrastination's a bitch. When it comes to writing, my passion, time-wasting has always been my Achilles heel. When someone else depends on me to get something done, I am slightly, but not completely, better at avoiding my procrastinating tendencies. For some reason, when it comes to something I care about, something I really want to do and do well, forcing myself to actually complete the task is an almost herculean ordeal.

I have many methods of avoiding getting stuff done. My DVD collection is quite a help. "Wow, I haven't listened to any of the Freaks and Geeks commentary tracks in some time. I'll put a few of those on."

Like most any other procrastinator, of course, I also surf the web. Although I invariably get stranded in youtube and The Huffington Post, I also enjoy other such sites as Accidental Dong, Sexy People, and Awkward Yearbook Signatures. After getting trapped in the production eliminating zone of the internet it is damn near impossible to escape.

One usual procrastination remedy is to open up a word document and shit out some words—whatever comes out of me. In addition to getting my brain in a writing mode, these stream of consciousness writing sessions occasionally produce some interesting stuff, which I end up using later. Sometimes, however, I just can't force myself to complete even this simple task. It's a wonder I ever get anything done.

My writin' procrastinatin' is not new, of course. Although I love it now, I used to loathe writing. Back in the day, my procrastination stemmed from a deep-seated hatred of this task. In college, my writing process always followed these simple steps:

1. Receive writing assignment with a due date of three weeks later.

2. Tell myself, "This time I ain't gonna dick around. I'll start working on it tonight and finish it tomorrow so that I have plenty of time to proofread the bitch."

3. Go to film department's writing lab/huge movie library with the intention of writing said paper.

4. Search the library's movie database. Tell myself, "Wow they have a lot of Bunuel movies here."

5. Watch two to three movies on one of the TV's in the writing lab/huge movie library.

6. Leave midway through last movie, as the writing lab is now closing.

7. Go to dorm room with the intention of performing heavy research for paper.

8. Masturbate.

9. Repeat steps three through eight until 11:00 pm of the day before the paper's due date.


11. Go to the other writing lab—that of the 24 hour, non-movie-viewing-accessible variety.

12. Quickly splooge out haphazard, inscrutable introductory and concluding paragraphs.

13. Puke out unintelligible middle paragraphs until I either a) pass out or b) reach the page limit.

14. Print out the paper and head back to my dorm for a quick couple hours of sleep before class.

14. Miss my alarm clock and thus miss class and the due date.


In unrelated news I recently watched Pete Walker's British horror film Frightmare, one nasty bitch of a picture. Containing equal parts Bette-Davis-at-the-end-of-her-career-campy-evil-old-lady-villain-type-movie-shenanigans and straight up, no holds barred, down and dirty gore sleaze, Frightmare is a yet to be rediscovered gem.

[The trailer:]

Dave's Rating:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Movies I Saw This Week (Oct 12 - Oct 18)

I hate when I forget to check my netflix account on the day before new movies get shipped out. Lover of variety that I am, I always try to put a wide, random range of flicks at the top of my queue. Although, as readers of this blog may have deduced, I am partial to horror flicks, I'd rather not watch more than one a week. I gotta have variety. My movie watching eclecticism serves another important purpose, however. Because I tend to watch all three netflix discs in one sitting (because I'm cool like that), I find it easier to remember the specifics of the individual movies if I choose ones that are incredibly distinct from each other. This past week I forgot to check my queue, and unfortunately wound up with three horror pictures.

Additionaly, because I forgot to check in time, I was unable to put at the top of my queue a shitty movie for which to review on my blog. Anyway, long story short, instead of my regular review, I decided to give you brief write-ups of all the movies I saw this week.

The Other

dir. Robert Mulligan

An impressive adaptation of Tom Tryon's evil child novel (not that I read the book), Robert Mulligan's picture is a masterpiece of tone. Opening in a nostalgia tinged Depression era pastoral setting, The Other pulls the viewer in, ever so gradually, into an eerie world of mysterious deaths, drunken Italians, and creepy kids. An overdone twist in the third act might put off some viewers, but this film still has the power to unnerve.

The Children (2008)
dir. Tom Shankland

I decided to give this movie a viewing after my writing partner said that it made him feel the way he did when he saw The Shining for the first time as a child. I'm not ashamed to admit that I screamed like a little girl numerous times while watching this tense British evil children flick. The Children is a triumph of economy. Rarely does so much substantive character development get crammed into such a short, terrifying horror picture. And once the horror starts, it does not let up. Along with The Descent and Eden Lake this is one of the scariest movies of the past decade.

Drag Me to Hell (2009)
dir. Sam Raimi

It's nice to have you back, Sam Raimi. It's been too long. After a long period of making respectable, critic friendly fare (A Simple Plan), and ungodly amounts of tainted cash (Spider-Man 3), Raimi returned to his horror roots with this fun, brisk ride. Of course, as with his delightfully slapstick Evil Dead movies, horror is not quite the right label for Drag Me to Hell. This movie made me quite nostalgic, not just for Raimi's earlier horror films but also for the slightly funner horror era of the eighties—a time when the likes of Joe Dante, Stuart Gordon, and Dan O'Bannon filled the multi-plexes with impish, unapologetically crowd pleasing horror fare.

Black Dynamite (2009)
dir. Scott Sanders

I love karaoke. Blessed with such heavenly pipes as I am, I've got no other choice than to put them on display. It would be a shame not to allow others the privilege of hearing me lay down some sweet singing. I gotta put my pipes to use as often as possible. Layin' pipe is what I'm all about.

Generally, the karaoke posse that I roll with will get a booth at Sing Sing Karaoke on Saturday afternoons. It is until 7:00, you see, that Sing Sing offers half price singing. The only drawback—no booze. Since no other people are baller enough to show up for some karaoke at four in the afternoon, Sing Sing does not find it behoovie to open the bar this early. Their loss.

Although a little scary at first, mid-afternoon, non-drinking karaoke soon proves just as fun as the late night drinking kind. It's all about the craft, man. (Don't judge me!) This past Friday, however, we decided to change things up a bit and do some regular-ass boozin' enhanced performing. Doing drunk karaoke after a long period of sober singing is a feeling akin to that of banging after a long period of sexual inactivity. Sure, you cum real quick, but damn it feel good (not that I know anything about sexual droughts). Unsurprisingly, I went a little overboard with the drinking that night.

After karaoke, it seemed only natural to the other members of the group that we go out and get our dance on. I was determined, however—determined to watch Black Dynamite. "I am determined to see this movie," I pronounced. "Who's with me?"

"What are you talking about? You're not even gonna remember it."

"Bullshit. It's gonna be awesome."

"We can see it next week. Look, I think-"

"Fuck y'all, I'm going home."

Although, I initially had thoughts of heading home I couldn't resist the call, the call of Black Dynamite; and so I headed to The Angelika—to The Angelika to see Black Dynamite. If only because the subway directly under the theater shakes the building at regular intervals, this is my favorite movie house in the city (and the perfect venue for this particular movie). Drunk and by myself, I took a seat and waited for the awesomeness. [Side note: Have I mentioned how baller I am.] Here is a play-by-play of my viewing experience:

That's a sweet fake Malt Liquor ad (snore) Ah sweet, a Dolemite reference. (snore) Wow, Black Dynamite's in Nam. (snore) Malt liquor is causing impotence? That's funny. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fake ad at the beginning of the mo- (snore) This movie's awesome. (snore) Is that Richard Nixon? Sweet, they're gonna have a nun-chuck fight. That's fucking awe-...uh oh.

After puking outside the theater, it was time for me to go home.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's the Black Dynamite Trailer, You Jive Mother-

dir. Scott Sanders

This looks like it could be one of the few modern attempts at mimicking blaxploitation that actually feels authentic. I can't wait to see the shit out of this movie.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Manitou (1978)

dir. William Girdler

"Hope is for saints and fools. I'm just a South Dakota Indian with a bag full of tricks."
-John Singing Rock

Throughout the history of film, the ratio of good to adequate to mediocre to bad movies has always been a constant. [Side note: I have just been informed that ratios do not consist of four parts.] Although some eras are more revered than others, none are immune to bad pictures. Shit was, is, and always will be. As much as I love late sixties and seventies movies, this era had some of the most unapologetic abominations unto all that is holy—film-wise. I still prefer the totality of cinema from this era to that of any other period, however. Even the shit was more entertaining. One thing this era had going for it more than any other was an ability to wrangle legitimate acting talent for use in some of the hokiest, schlockiest, embarrassing exploitation fare. "Hey Janet Leigh, do you wanna battle giant, mutant, killer rabbits?"

"Do I? Hot dog!"

"Great. Shooting starts next Monday."

A slightly disappointed Leigh responds, "Oh, it's a movie?"

"Yeah, Stuart Whitman, DeForest Kelley, and Rory Calhoun are already signed on."

"Rory Calhoun? Is he the fella who's always standing and walking?"

"Yeah, that's him."

"Fine, I'll do it."

Not to be outdone by Leigh's turn in the killer rabbit warning picrture Night of the Lepus, ex-husband Tony Curtis would sign on for the supernatural, Native American horror of William Girdler's The Manitou. You may remember William Girdler as the director of such films as Grizzly and Day of the Animals. Sadly, The Manitou would be his last, as Girdler's career/life was cut short by a helicopter crash while scouting locations for a subsequent film in the Philippines. I don't know what this next movie was to be, but I would like to believe that he was making some sort of bat-shit supernatural killer animal/'Nam flick.

Girdler's campy The Manitou contains a collection of the sort of random acting talent (Tony Curtis, Susan Strasberg, Burgess Meredith, Stella Stevens, and Ann Southern) that had previously only starred together in the LSD induced fever dreams of Cary Grant. Grant's hallucinated movie dreams, however, were nowhere near as bugfuck as the film that actually hit theaters in 1978.

Life is turned upside down for Karen Tandy (Susan Strasberg) when she discovers a growth on her neck. Although doctors are perplexed, a little investigation by Karen's former boyfriend Harry Erskine (Tony Curtis), a sham psychic, reveals that this growth is actually the fetus of an immortal, continually incarnated Indian medicine man. Growing at an exponential rate, this being will soon emerge from Karen's back and use his control of various Indian spirits to fuck with the white man. Why not.

All attempts to de-life the immortal medicine man prove fruitless. Indeed, while performing surgery, to get rid of the fetus, a doctor is mind-controlled by the evil medicine man thingy and forced to cut his own wrist. Oh snap! It seems that this fetus can detect when people are trying to harm it and react accordingly.

Just how powerful is this being? Well, even before it is birthed, it forces one of Erskine's old lady clients to scream Indian chants, float down a hallway and throw herself down a flight of stairs. Running in slow motion, Erskine is unable to catch her and prevent her death. It is never reveled what this being had against the floating lady, but I guess he had his reasons.

To battle this medicine man, Erskine enlists the help of a non-supernatural, regular human, Indian medicine man, John Singing Rock (Michael Ansara). Unfortunately, John is unable to prevent the birth of the super-evil, badass, medicine man person being thingy. And just what exactly does the most powerful medicine man the world has ever known look like?

You guessed it—a roided midget. Holy Christ on a crutch.

How exactly does one defeat such unrelenting, eternitirific evil? Easy—just have a topless Strasberg shoot lasers and fireballs at the bitch. Problem solved. Take that, Native Americans.

Having trained under her father Lee Strasberg, the famed acting teacher and proponent of method acting, Susan was the only actress at the time with the chops to pull off such a difficult scene. Few other actresses were able to hurl fireballs as nudely as Strasberg. When an actress, after years of honing her craft, is able utilize her talents to such a degree, the resultant performance is truly a thing of beauty.

The Manitou is one in a long line of pictures belonging to a genre I have dubbed the "wouldn't that be awesome" movie. Its entire existence was likely birthed from a night during which the creative folks drank, toked, and/or shroomed, and just started riffing on all the things they thought would be awesome to see in a movie. "Hey, I want a laser to go haywire and fuck up a hospital room." "Oh shit, what if we had this woman in a hospital bed, and then the room turned into, like, outerspace. She's still in bed, but there's like stars and shit around her." "We gotta have a blizzard inside a hospital." "Oh, oh, dude we totally gotta have an old lady scream nonsense, float down a hallway and fly down a flight of stairs. Seriously, how fucking cool would that be?" "And, yeah, tits, tits. We gotta have tits." I love it when a plan comes together.

[The trailer:]

Dave's Rating:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Movie Theme Song Wednesday: The Long Goodbye (1973)

dir. Robert Altman

"The Long Goodbye" - Various Artists (including The Dave Grusin Trio, Jack Sheldon, Clydie King, Jack Riley, Morgan Ames' Aluminium Band, The Tepoztlan Municipal Band)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Slaughter High (1986)

dir. George Dugdale, Mark Ezra, and Peter Mackenzie Litten

"I showed ya'. April Fools. April fucking Fools, motherfuckers."
-Marty Rantzen

There's an old saying that goes, "too many cooks make a meal too delicious for mortals." Or something to that effect. As we all know, whatever the endeavor (stew, art, literature, porn, etc...), the more battling egos put at the helm of the creation of a particular thing, the better that particular thing will be. It's generally well known that an abundance of screenwriters on a movie results in one helluvan awesome picture. Indeed, MIT scientists have worked out an equation stating that the addition of each screenwriter will make a movie exponentially better. Although such experimentation has not been carried over to the study of multiple directors on a flick, it can only be assumed from the example of Slaughter High that the same holds true in this case.

This mid-eighties slasher pic took not one, not two, but three directors to complete. When creating a movie full of such nuanced characters, complex plotting, and elaborate staging, the producers knew that one director simply wouldn't cut it.

In the vein of Class Reunion Massacre, Slaughter High uses the occasion of a high school reunion as an excuse for gore. Unlike Class Reunion Massacre, however, an actual, clearly defined reason is given for the gore at Slaughter High's Doddsville County High School. This learning institution was a simple place born of simpler time (five years ago) with simpler people. Having a spot of fun, some enterprising high school kids decide to throw a prank on nerdy outcast Marty Rantzen. Wouldn't you know it, they accidentally burn him, destroying his face, ultimately sending the now crazed individual to the padded Hilton. Whoops. Surely, nothing bad will come of this.

Seeing as all of these high school students are in their mid-thirties, it would appear that Marty's first form of revenge is to make everyone age prematurely. Alas, this condition is not as guffaw inducing as Francis Ford Coppola would have us believe. It is so tragic that none of the characters actually comment on it. This is a shared pain that they quietly acknowledge by the mere fact of each other's presences. Strangely, when we cut to the present day (five years later) for the high school reunion, none of the characters have aged any further. They are still in their mid-thirties. This is a tricky spell that Marty has conjured.

Showing up at the abandoned, boarded up, dead-bolted, high school building for the occasion of their five year class reunion, none of the characters find it odd that the only folks in their class who got invited to this shindig were those that helped destroy Marty's life.

["Hey, remember when we scarred that kid for life, nearly killing him, only to leave him a psychopathic shell of his former self—a twisted individual whose only remaining thought is that of revenge, revenge on all those who committed that heinous act against him, all of whom coincidentally just so happen to be gathered here tonight? I wonder whatever happened to him."]

Upset at being locked out of their reunion, these folks soon break into the long abandoned, dark, cobweb covered building and find a room in which to party. Wouldn't you know it, this room just so happens to be decorated exactly as it was for their high school prom. Well that's nice. And hey, all their old lockers are in here too. As they should be, the characters are overjoyed to find, in their lockers, objects that they had lost five years previous. "Wow, I've been looking for these gloves forever. Now, they're here. Isn't that swell."

Marty's locker is in here as well. Wow, that's strange. Oh well. Party time. Ted decides to start things off right by shotgunning a PBR. Unfortunately for him, the Pabst company has just developed a new hipster detection formula, which signals whether a person is cool enough to drink the blue ribbon award winning beer. Ted fails. Grossed out at being covered in the blood spewed forth from Ted's exploded stomach, Shirley decides to go to the locker room to take a bath.

[ed. note: At this point, Dave's Netflix disc stopped working. He had to imagine what happened during the next twelve minutes of the movie.]

After stepping into the bath, Shirley mulls over what has just happened. A pained Marty walks into the room, embarrassed to catch his former classmate in a state of undress. He apologizes for intruding, but Shirley invites him to join her. After engaging in the most passionate, emotional, fulfilling sex of their lives, they decide to take a stroll outside. It is here that they have a meaningful discussion about their lives, their loves, regrets, plans for the future, etc... Marty tells her that he feels loved for the first time in his life. A tearful Shirley apologizes for taking part in the prank that ruined his life. "It's ok," Marty reassures her, "we've all changed since then. I've really gotten into macrame." Shirley giggles.

[Shirley explains to Marty that she also feels ugly sometimes.]

Midway through their conversation, Marty's face is changed by the transformative power of Shirley's love. The two folks soon wonder how the time has flown. It seems like it was only yesterday that Marty got scalded, and Shirley got her rocks off watching it. How they have achieved so little since then, causes them great sadness. Shirley explains, "You have all these thoughts, wishes, hopes for what you're life is gonna be. Then it don't where the time goes. Where did it all go? Is this where I thought I would be?"

Marty chimes in, "What are we talking for? Let's act. Who says we have to be where we are right now? We can live however we want. That's what chains people down. Inaction."

They decide to break free from the shackles of hometown expectations. They need to start anew in a land where nobody knows their names. True to their new-found adventurous spirit, they hop on a train that very night, heading to wherever it takes them.

The two move to Vermont and start an organic farm, the proceeds from which they use to open a school for the disabled. The two grow old together, living an emotionally fulfilling life.

[ed. note: This is the point where the disc started working again.]

Marty kills Joe with a tractor blade. Stella and Frank decide to sneak off and fuck (despite the fact that other people are being killed). Marty kills them. The remaining people decide to stick together so that they have a better chance against Marty. Then they split up. Marty kills them. [RETARDED SPOILER ALERT] Marty wakes up, bandaged, in his hospital bed to realize it was all a dream—the him getting revenge part, anyways. He's still scarred for life. He dresses as a nurse and kills his doctor. The end. What the fuck? [END OF STUPID FUCKING SPOILER.]

Slaughter High commits some of the most egregious horror movie crimes of the eighties—stupid characters, inane setup, infuriating twist ending. Nevertheless, because of the profound ineptitude with which it commits these crimes, Slaughter High is one of the more entertaining slasher flicks from the era. [That's if you forget about the fruity middle section.]

[Incidentally, this review is part of Stacie Ponder's Final Girl Film Club]

[The trailer:]

Dave's Rating: