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It's the Booze Talkin', Let's put the slasher back in modern horror!

04.04.2017by: JimmyO

One of my favorite things about horror is just how many sub-genres you can entertain in. You have monster flicks, you have ghost stories and twisted tales of spooks and scares. For me, I discovered slasher flicks very early on. It was one of those situations where you’d go to the video store (remember those?) and look at all the cool box covers. If one had a knife, and some messed up image featuring a killer, I was in. Forget Disney, I was all about a masked psycho going after teens or college kids. Sure they can be ridiculous, but frankly, I always enjoyed Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and even some of the less popular ones like Madman Marz and that crazy chick from THE FINAL TERROR.

halloween michael myers laurie strode 1978 john carpenter debra hill jamie lee curtis

For me it was all about the Eighties when it came to horror. I’m not sure if it was HALLOWEEN or perhaps BLACK CHRISTMAS - both came in the Seventies - that really introduced me to the slasher film. It may have even been one by Argento. Yet I was instantly hooked. I would seek out every damn one I could find, and thankfully my parents were sort of okay with it. There was THE BURNING, FINAL EXAM, HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, SLEEPAWAY CAMP and so many more. That doesn’t even include the ever-popular FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise. When it came to what Roger Ebert used to call “Dead Teenager” movies, I loved all of them. No matter how cheap or crappy they were, I would happily sit down and watch with eyes glued to the screen.

final exam slasher 1981 jimmy huston cecile bagdadi it's the booze talkin

After that golden age of this type of thriller, the typical slasher flick sort of faded away. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET can certainly be placed in this particular category, but it was the beginning of the end. A masked maniac wasn’t enough for audiences after awhile. That’s not to say that they disappeared entirely, not at all. Unfortunately those looking for big screen bloodshed began to find themselves relegated to straight-to-video flicks that were sometimes less than satisfiying. Some of my favorites that came after the beginning of that particular decade included THE MUTILATOR (1985) and KILLER PARTY (1986). For every cool flick, there was always a BLOOD CULT (1985), TRUTH OR DARE? (1986) or KILLER WORKOUT aka AEROBICIDE (1987).

jason voorhees friday the 13th it's the booze talkin friday the 13th part 2 steve miner amy steel

Thankfully, that wasn’t quite the end of the slasher flick. Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven creatively brought it back with the box office hit SCREAM (1996). With that, audiences found themselves inundated with a ton of ironic features with mad killers lurking in the darkness, oftentimes letting the audience know that it’s all a bunch of silliness with a joke. The ultra seriousness was gone, and instead we were offered SCREAM rip-offs and SCREAM sequels. Happily, the first two are pretty terrific. Hell, I was even a fan of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER - also written by Williamson - but critics weren’t as kind to this more straight forward horror flick about a killer fisherman. One thing was for sure, somebody found a way to bring slasher films back.

the final girls thomas middleditch taissa farmiga malin akerman todd strauss-schulson it's the booze talkin

Nostalgia may be a huge factor, but I still love these movies. I even get excited to see the formula return every so often. Dave Parker did a nice job with THE HILLS RUN RED in 2009, Alexandre Aja had his THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake in 2006, WRONG TURN bloodied things up in 2003 and of course you have Greg McLean’s WOLF CREEK from 2005 and LAID TO REST in 2009 from Robert Hall. And who caught the recent THE FINAL GIRLS from 2015? What a fun little movie! Slasher films still entertain me, and while we are long past the glory of the Eighties, it still excites me to see a creepy killer in the woods, or in a dark house, or some secluded campus somewhere. But how I wish we could see a return to the good old-fashioned slasher film on a regular basis.

happy birthday to me glenn ford melissa sue anderson 1981 j lee thompson it's the booze talkin

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but we’d love a return of the slasher movie! If you cut the wink and nod and the comedy, how awesome would it be to see more crazed psychos stalking their victims. It’s highly unlikely that we are going to see the kind of slasher madness that we saw way back when FRIDAY THE 13TH was making bucks for Paramount, but there are audiences that still love these flicks. Sure we have the occasional one pop up, but it’s a rare occurrence, and I’d like to see more. Perhaps the upcoming HALLOWEEN from Blumhouse and Carpenter will make these stories scary again. And if it does, I’ll be first in line. Who’s going to join me? Who wants more machete or axe-murdering mayhem on the big screen?

Extra Tidbit: What is your favorite slasher film not associated with Jason, Michael and Freddy?
Source: AITH

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