I finally got the chance to watch all of the short films in this years Etheria film festival! I’m really glad Shudder is putting these up if even for such a short time. I really enjoyed this years films. It was a lot of fun I hope more people watch them to make sure they put them up again next year.
The Fourth Wall – The story of an actress seemingly going crazy while doing a production of A Midsummers Nights Dream. Directed by Kelsey Bollig. I wasn’t feeling this one at first, but I absolutely loved where it went. Really super fun ending.
Narrow – Directed by Anna Chazelle. This was interesting. It was a very weird premise that I would have loved some expansion on the rules to this universe and why things are the way they are.
You Will Never Be Back – Directed by Monica Mateo. I liked this one a lot. A women leaves her apartment and seemingly finds a portal to another dimension or time and finds another version of herself that has been through some Shit and gives her a warning for her future. I had fun with this one.
Bootstrapped – Directed by Kathy Erin. I liked this one from the first moment. A lesbian couple sit down to binge watch a tv show and when the one girl goes to use the bathroom a version of her girlfriend shows up from the future to try and keep their relationship from ending. Fun film. I liked it a lot.
Misfits – Directed by Ciani Rey Walker. A group of Black Panthers and a Vietnam objector deal with the news of Reverend Martin Luther Kings Murder. I’m not going to say this was my favorite , but it certainly is the most powerful. I had tears as the camera moved over the room as the news was announced.
The Gray – Directed by Myra Aquino. Okay. I did not expect this one to hit me in the feels. A clerk that processes people going to heaven comes across his son in line waiting to be processed and gives up his own shot at heaven to help him. It was goofy and fun, but really pulled on the heart strings. I liked it a lot. This may be my favorite of the festival.
Polvotron 500 – Directed by Silvia Conessa. The future is gross. The story takes place in a holographic jerk off booth covered in semen and other bodily fluids. A man goes into a booth to take a nap and accidentally activates the hologram. It was a surprisingly endearing story. I ended up really enjoying it.
Side note: The QR code in the wack room takes you to Hello By Adele. I thought that was fun.
Eye Exam – Directed by Aislinn Clarke. I loved this one. So much fun. Probably my favorite of the group. It was really short, but super unsettling. I love that they took something as mundane as an Eye Exam and made it amazingly creepy.
Who Goes There – Directed By Astridthorvaldsen. A period piece taking place in Minnesota in 1880. The eldest of three sisters invites the wrong person into their home to heal one of them who is dying. It turns out the person is may actually be a supernatural entity. This one didn’t work for me as well as the others. It lacked the frenetic feel of some of the other films. It was a very cohesive slower burn, that I think I would have enjoyed a lot more if I watched it outside of the festival.
As a huge fan of the original Carrie I keep revisiting The Rage Carrie 2 in hopes of improving my opinion of the film. When I first saw it, it was kind of weak. I like Emily Bergl and it’s great seeing Amy Irving again, but unfortunately for me repeat viewings aren’t doing this film any favors for me and I should probably just let it go, even though I do truly want to like it.
Katt Shea is a good director and has done some great films, but this isn’t one of them. The Rage Carrie 2 is very slow and uninspired. The Plot is really basic, it plays like one of those over the top after school specials, only the lead ends up with super powers. The movie begins with Rachels best Friend Lisa committing Suicide because she just found out that the only reason the hot football player slept with her is because he was trying to win one of those games that seemed to exist all over the place in 90’s teen movies. You know the ones, who ever sleeps with the most women gets the most points.
Rachel is already on the outside, but when she finds out what’s going on she further alienates herself by publicly going against the jocks and the cool girls. As happens in 90’s cinema though, she ends up falling for one of the jocks and gets a make over and yadda yadda yadda, a bunch of people die.
Oh, and Sue Snell from the first one is back…. You know…. For street cred.
It’s weird, so yes, Rachel has Carrie Powers, but it’s such a non issue. It gets talked about in a ‘Gee how cool’ conversation with her new beau, and she knocks a cup off the table, but we never get that “Coming to terms” with her self that we got in the first Carrie. Instead it feels like an “Oh yea, she can move things with her mind, we should totally put that in the movie”.
I think the thing that bothers me the most about this film, is that I really hate how drastically Rachels personality changes after she starts actually dating Jason London’s Character. As soon as they start going out, she pretty much abandons her style, who she is and does the whole, Change into a popular girl trope. We have a scene at the mall where a popular girl shows up and helps her by make up so they instantly become best friends, and when she finally shows up to the date she’s dressed completely different and is essentially a different character for the rest of the movie abandoning all her character development.
I hate this trope so much. the cool alt girl just wants a cute boy to smile at her and as soon as she does she runs out on the football field and cheers for the team!! Because deep down, all girls just want to belong and be popular!! RIGHT GIRLS!!!!
The Rachel in the first half of the movie, never would have fallen for these kids shit. She would have seen it coming, and she would have acted accordingly, which honestly would have been a much better movie. Carrie White was Naive, Rachel wasn’t. These people literally caused the death of her best friend. Instead of watching Rachel mope and then run around with the popular kids, we should have watched her learn who she was so she could have then kicked some ass at the end of the movie and come out on top instead of sacrificing herself for the “Cute boy”.
That would have at least given Sue Snell something to do. Her character was a total waste and when she was used up they threw her away like an after thought. She had no story point what so ever. Her talking to Rachel about where she came from led to nothing, her quest to bring Rachels mom to her was utterly pointless and honestly didn’t make a lick of sense. Once Sue got to the party with the mom, they killed her without even letting anyone know she was their. An accidental death on the outside looking in. Plus, the mom was totally pointless. All she did was provide a momentarily distraction so Rachel could get shot and then call her an abomination and run away. I wish that was a joke. But no, Sue died to spotlight an utterly pointless character with no pay off.
I don’t think this movie could have ever been great, but with a few changes it could have been passable and even a little interesting. Just let Rachel win. Let Rachel be strong and show off what she can do and end up on top. Use it to empower, instead this movie came off as it was made by some one who hates women.
This movie should have ended with Rachel walking away from the fire victorious.
Starting the morning off with a first time viewing of Mimsy Farmer in the 1975 Giallo Autopsy directed by Armando Crispino. The film opens with a rash of suicides all caused by a terrible heat wave that is plaguing Italy. But as the suicides continue it seems they might not be what they seem and a murderer could actually be using the heat wave to hide their crimes. Mimsy Farmer, best known for Argento’s Four Flies in Grey Velvet, plays the coroner who is trying to figure out the connection between the latest victim and her father while dealing with a bizarre sexual disfunction in which every time she attempts to have sex her mind is flooded with the images of the dead she works with daily keeping her from finishing the deed… until she meets a priest who is suffering from his own issues. I found this movie two ways, one through the excellent third volume of Vinegar Syndromes Forgotten Gialli sets, but also through an interesting write up in chapter four of Kier-La Janisse’s excellent book House of Psychotic Women.
Autopsy is a beautiful and very stylish example of giallo genre. It’s usage of angles and several macabre set pieces really create an off kilter feel. Nowhere is that off kilter, unsure footing felt more than in Mimsy Farmers character of Simona. Her character becomes unbalanced as soon as she discovers her fathers connection to the victim and she never regains that balance. She’s just as amazing here as she is in Four Flies.
The V/H/S movies didn’t work for me the first time I saw them when they came out, so I did what any self respecting horror fan would do….. I waited seven years and bought them all on blu ray! I just finished the first and my opinion didn’t really change. I like about half of it? Maybe? The wrap around story instantly turned me off. I found all the characters so dislikable and uninteresting that when ever we got to it I just wanted it to end. Also found the spot where they grab a girl of the side of the road and lift her shirt up for the camera to be totally unnecessary and definitely pushed me away from the film.
The first segment ended well, but watching some dude bros try and film a threesome with a hidden camera just completely turned me off.
The second story wasn’t bad, but the whole thing just kind of ran out of steam and ended. It sort of felt like the story was written just to fill a specific time frame instead of following the stories natural progression.
Third section just felt like friends goofing around in the woods. It was fun, but nothing special.
I think I ended up enjoying the fourth segment the most? “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger”. It was basically a series of video chats between a guy and a his girlfriend as her house appears to be haunted. It was a simple story that didn’t get as crass as some of the others and had a nice ending.
The last one with the guys running around on Halloween was just kind of okay.
It disappoints me that I don’t enjoy this more. I like so many of the filmmakers that made it, but ultimately it just doesn’t work for me. 2 stars…. which is up from my initial viewing. Upon the rewatch my opinion kind of went up and down. What I liked I like more, what I disliked, I disliked even more.
V/H/S 2 2013
After the disappointing outing that was V/H/S, I’m following it up with V/H/S/2. I have to say, I enjoyed this one so much more than the first one. Much like the first, the wrap around is the weakest part, but at least you don’t instantly despise everyone this time. It felt really pointless like it just existed because the film makers thought they needed one.
Adam Wingard directs and stars in the first one about a guy gets a mechanical eye replacement that allows him to see dead people, and the dead people really don’t like it. Mostly first person, but the few times you do see Wingard aren’t bad. It’s a pretty basic story that doesn’t do a lot new, but that’s okay. It works.
Second story directed by Eduardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale of Blair Witch Project fame was really simple and effective. A guy in his bike in the park is bitten by a zombie and mayhem ensues. It didn’t bring anything new to the genre, but it was fun to spend a few minutes watching zombies run around wearing go pros. It was fun a fun segment and it felt like the filmmakers were enjoying themselves and just goofing around on a Saturday afternoon.
Third segment was easily my favorite. Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto direct a story about a documentary film crew interviewing the leader of what is basically a doomsday cult, and doomsday appears to erupt around them in the middle of the interview. Lots of blood and amazing what the fuck moments with a great ending. This segment would get 4 out of 5 stars on its own.
Jason Eisner directs the final story about a group of kids home alone for the weekend having fun and goofing on each other, but then aliens invade. It was a cute, fun little story. My second favorite in a collection that really didn’t have a lot of dead weight.
I think what I enjoyed most about this one is that it wasn’t as crass and mean as the first one. Yes, we pointlessly saw breasts in the first five seconds of the movie, but the movie wasn’t mean spirited about it. This one had a lot of heart and I’m glad I grabbed it and gave it another shot.
3 out of 5 stars. Would have been higher but the wrap around hurt it.
V/H/S: Viral 2014
Took some time, but I’m finally finishing these up. I was very low energy on this one because everyone was really down on it and I remember disliking it immensely when I first saw it. I don’t know if I mellowed, or if I just didn’t give it a chance the first time, but I really enjoyed it this time. It was fun and had some pretty good moments.
The framing narrative worked so much better than I remember. I remember being annoyed with it and thinking it went on way too long. This time though…. at least I didn’t immediately hate everyone like the first one. It didn’t always work, the party segment felt pointless, and the longer it went on it the more trying it became, but it was mostly fun. The framing was an actual story this time, not just an excuse to have people sit around watching video tapes. As a story it was fun, as a framing device though…. it did nothing to tie into the episodes.
The first story was silly and I had some fun with it. It’s shot sort of mocumentary style, I have a soft spot for mocumentaries, about a magician who found Houdini’s cloak and is performing real magic with it. Catch is the cloak requires regular human sacrifice to work. It was a fun silly little piece. Solid C.
The second section, directed by Nacho Vigalondo I remember being my favorite, and it still stood out. A scientists creates a doorway to another dimension and discovers a world he at first thinks is exactly like his, but quickly learns it’s very different in a horrible way. This one was really fun and a cool idea. I liked it a lot. Stand out of the film.
Third second was my least favorite, which is a bummer because I love the directors, Benson and Mooreheads other work. Basically a group of skateboarding idiots accidentally summon a demon and fight some cultists while trying to make a jackass type video. Sadly…. it’s not nearly as cool as it sounds. C-
I’m going to give this one 3 stars. I found it to be solid middle of the road entertainment….
Taking the series in as a whole, middle of the road entertainment is slightly disappointing. These three films had some amazing talent behind them. These should have been so much better, but I’m not convinced they were trying to make good films here. It feels like they spent three movies goofing off with the cameras and having fun and weren’t overly concerned with the end product. If you pick through the series I think you could make one amazing anthology.
V/H/S Viral Gorgeous Vortex
Finally one last piece of the V/H/S series…. Gorgeous Vortex was cut from viral because it’s not found footage, but I really enjoyed it. It probably would have bumped Viral up a half star to a star. It was an interesting little piece, a 16 minute long dialogue free art film. It was fascinating.
This is a true story from exactly five years ago today, reprinted for prosperity’s sake.
This is a story that is true.
Confidently I strolled foreword, resolve plastered across my face. I was going to do it I screamed out loud for all to hear. By “screamed” I mean spoke quietly and in a reasonable voice as not to offend anyone. And by “out loud” and “for all to hear” I actually meant to myself in the darkness of my own mind to no one but the moths fluttering around the bare light bulb hanging in the center. The stroll was really more of a creep… The confidence and the resolve though?? Oh my friend, that was real. Very very real. So meekly I creeped forward, with the utmost confidence I politely whispered to my self, This is it. I’m going to do it. I refuse to live my life dictated by my own phobias and anxieties. I would do this. I would conquer this one phobia. I would walk into a public restroom during broad day light and use the Urinal! No no my friend. I was not going to hide away in the stall with my eyes clamped shut pretending that the rest of the world doesn’t know I exist and I know nothing of them! I would finally prove my power over my phobias by doing something I hadn’t done since I was five years old. Pee in a urinal while some one else was in the room. Granted, the nameless gentleman was in the stall, but he looked at me before going in. He knew why I was there. Now is the time!! It would be my moment of triumph as I finally start beating down my anxieties and after forty years become a healthy, functioning adult male. With a confidence I haven’t felt since the creation of my children, I opened my fly and pulled myself out into the open air.
If you are now expecting a story of triumph my friends. Please, read no further. Stop here and preserve and semblance of dignity and respect you may still project upon my visage. For at that moment, as that strongly, healthy stream shot forward, disaster struck. Suddenly the door to the bathroom opened and not one, but two gentleman walked it. They were then followed by another, then another! A queue!! A queue for the urinal for the urinal formed behind me.
For those that don’t know, queue is the British slang for line. I’m using it to sound more intelligent and pretentious. You know, to create a mood.
A queue? Can I deal with a queue? Will my bladder be able to deal with a queue?
see, doesn’t that sound better with queue? Read it again with line. Not as clever.
Sadly, I never had the chance to find out. Even though I took the proper etiquette of taking the end urinal so someone else can take the other end leaving the proper open urinal between…. Urinators? The first person into the room did the unthinkable!!! He threw proper bathroom etiquette straight out the window and walked directly to the urinal next to me!! Oh the horrors of it all!! Can this get any worse!!
Sadly, as history has proven my friend, it can always get worse. The large bearded gentleman…. I mean large by height and weight, not by length or girth. I keep my eyes to myself. So the large bearded gentleman turned to me, a smile plaster across his stupid confident able to pee in public face and nodded one quick condescending nod. Hey he said. HEY. how dare he. How could he do such a thing to me.
Weakly, I tried to nod back. Erck I mumble out in a feeble attempt to return his hey. But it was to late. Like slowly turning off the faucet to your kitchen sink, I fizzled out to nothing.
Now I was just a weirdo in a room full of guys with my Dick in my hand, a goofy look on my face saying erck.
Sick for Toys has left me conflicted. I’m going to have to get a little spoliery here to think though it, but I’ll try and leave some of the specific beats out of it to protect the ending. I think i ultimately liked it, it’s got a great twist at the one hour mark that actually made me cheer a little, but the ending of the movie and a couple of other things…. It simply missed the mark for me.
This movie is obviously trying to say something. It’s clearly trying to say something political about our society in general, but it’s hard to say exactly what. This movie covers Incels, Rape, Child Molestation, Victim Shaming, Slut Shaming, Incest, Drug Usage, Mental Illness…. Or at least it tries to.
Our main character is Roy. Roy is one angry facebook post away from being a full blown incel. Roy spends the majority of the movie mentally judging people and acting super superior. He exudes a aroma of self righteous superiority. Like almost every other character in the film you instantly dislike Roy. When we are introduced to him he’s playing the fake protector role and giving his friend Jason a hard time over going out on a date when he has a girlfriend. Roy obviously has a thing for Jason’s Girlfriend Kate and she even calls him on it later on in the movie after a cringe worthy conversation in which Roy subtly tries to explain why Jason is bad for her and she should be with him instead after she tells him “Hey, Jason’s missing”. He shows no real care for his friend and instead is trying to good guy his friends girl into his bed. After a failed date and some good old fashioned slut shaming Roy reaches out to Emilia, the Girl Jason was going to go see (more on her later), and ends up setting up a date with her instead.
The majority of the movie is watching Roy walk around and judge people and act like he’s a great guy, when we really know he’s not. Eventually he ends up on his date with Emilia which later turns into a second date with Emilia during which we meet Emilia’s brother Phillip.
It’s clearly established from the get go that something is wrong with Emilia and her brother Phillip. When we first meet Phillip he’s getting about 50 prescriptions filled while Emilia is stealing a toy truck from a kid in the play ground. Both of them have severe mental issues. Emilia is 25 or so years old and has the mental and emotional maturity of a child. She’s either regressed or never developed past that, which makes the sexualization of some of the scenes really weird and uncomfortable. Phillip on the other hand is dealing with his own trauma and child abuse all the while trying to “help” his sister.
Emilia is obsessed with Christmas and Obsessed with Toys and Presents. Emilia’s mental illness is used to paint her as the psychotic bad guy rapist….. but it’s okay, she’s got the mind of a child and thinks that the rape is only playing because Phillip told her people are only toys??
Okay. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Emilia and she was easily the best character in the film and the most likable of our main characters. Camille Montgomery was easily the stand out, and felt like the only real performer in the film.
The movie has a great twist at the hour mark, which was perfect because at that point you’ve spent an hour without a lot happening, so you needed something big to keep the movie from going stagnant. It’s a great moment and if it hadn’t have ended differently i would have given it a higher rating.
The movie ends with the bad guys seemingly losing and the good guys winning…. Or did they? We end up with our surviving “Final Guy” in the hospital telling what happened, and surprise surprise, the cops don’t believe him because essentially you can’t rape a guy. Especially a “Bro”.
In the case of this film, the way the person was found, the state of the house, the guys story is really easy to verify. The only reason not to believe his side of the story, is victim shaming and the tendency to “Automatically” believe one side over the other. So because it’s a guy that’s being not believed here, and it’s so obvious that he’s telling the truth, you can’t really tell if the film is trying to look down on Victim Shaming, or is in a weird way supporting it by mocking the victim and ultimately being guilty of victim shaming itself. I think that a very strong argument could be twisted to make the ending mean either way.
The ending of the movie isn’t clear with it’s message. it’s either a feminist film or a Misogynist film. Does it support Roy’s early behavior, or does it condemn it. Due to things that happened earlier in the film, i like to think it comes down against, but like i said… I think an argument could be made either way. The movie came down a little heavy handed and obliterated the message it was trying to give.
Speaking of Roy… Early on in the film Roy goes out on a date with a girl named Samantha who proceeds to drink a little to much, is kind of tipsy and tries to get Roy to get into bed with her. It’s cut in such a way that we can’t really tell for sure how much she drank and how drunk it is. It’s very clear though that Roy thinks she drank to much, he judges her very passive aggressively during the meal. Roy, being the good guy he thinks he is, doesn’t sleep with her. Instead, he leaves her be and comes back the next day only to find another guy that she invited over after he left. She seemed Drunk. Roy Should not have slept with her. Roy did the right thing. That being said, he was a real judgmental prick about it and did it for the wrong reasons. It’s another questionable scene that can be taken the wrong way. She told Roy, hey, i’m not that Drunk, it’s okay, and he set up a history of not listening to women and left. She called in some one else, so is the movie telling us that Roy should have listened to her, or that he should have ignored his conscious and just slept with her? This movie, is Roy. Sick for Toys is Roy. It’s doing the right thing, but it’s going about it all wrong. Just like Roy it’s riding the line and isn’t fully willing to go either way.
I’m giving it two out of five stars that could have easily been swayed a star in either direction had the film fully committed. So 3 Stars if Anti Victim Shaming, 1 star if pro, so average out to two stars….
What a weird little movie that was. . Not usually a spoiler guy…. but i think i need to talk this one through.
Our Hero is “Bobby”. Bobby lives with his step sister, who is an awful person and in one of the many scenes of Bobby in his underwear she makes fun of the size of his dick. He also lives with his step dad who is an abusive ass who always looks likes one step from having an anger induced stroke.
After his sister nonchalantly tells his step dad about the pot (marijuana!) in his closet, Bobby Runs away only to get picked up at a restaurant by a guy, who strips him, ties him up naked and calls all his friends over to come gang rape him. Instead of doing it in the house, in a really weird scene, they put Bobby in a car and gang rape him while they drive around town. Bobby’s like…. Hanging over into the front seat with the drivers while the other guys are in the back taking turns? It’s really weird and judging by the look on his face Bobby is justifiably….
Bobby Is annoyed. Bobby doesn’t get angry… Bobby gets annoyed. He spends the entire movie with this annoyed looked on his face like a pouty teenager who is five seconds away from tossing his plate off the kitchen table and go to his room and pout… Even after getting raped.
So after the Rape scene Bobby is left to die in a swamp and fortunately for him, he gets found by a group of Satanists who are playing a game of friendly game of touch football. Unfortunately for bobby they Satanists are Wildly Homophobic.
Their leader, Simon, is out of town but he’s left his second in charge Sherry in command. After briefly yelling at a lesbian for being a lesbian, Sherry takes one look at the beaten up and mildly annoyed bobby in his tighty whiteys and has the only logical response…. I want him, he must join Satan.
So she cleans him up, puts him in bed, ties up the afore mentioned lesbian because Satan seemingly doesn’t like lesbians, (which confused me because i thought Satan loved Lesbians), she then gets naked and crawls up on him and rubs her boobs all over him. Bobby’s all like…. I want to have sex with you but I can’t walk because i was raped…. Delivered with a tone of mild annoyance.
Josh, the third in command is all like, Our leader wouldn’t want him here because he had butt sex!!! And then pulled the “Don’t tell me he was raped” card and left to basically call dad. Sherry gets mad, kills Josh and the others who helped him call dad and when dad (Simon) does show up….. Much Like Bobby, he is mildly annoyed.
Simon immediately kills the Lesbian for being a Lesbian, has sherry buried up to her neck in the sand and karo syrup poured around her for the ants to eat. She’s not being punished for killing Josh and his crew, she’s getting punished because she was wrong about Bobby and Bobby doesn’t deserve to be a Satanist. Simon said that if Bobby wasn’t such a twerp, her murdering of Josh and Crew for bothering him would have been totally justified.
So Simon then goes to Bobby and tells him that he’s killing Sherry because Bobby doesn’t belong, but Bobby’s all like, i do belong! Hail Satan! Simon tells him he can’t be a Satanist because not only was he raped, but he’s a weak little wuss and Satan doesn’t like victims. Bobby says he’s not weak, he’s injured and can’t walk. Simon LITERALLY SAYS, you aren’t damaged, you butt just hurts.
For a moment bobby looks like he’s going to stand up…. gets even more mildly annoyed and lays back down in a huff. He then, after Simon leaves, hobbles to his feet, sets off an alarm, beats up and kills a couple of Satanists while he escapes in his underwear, goes and murders the guys who raped him, goes home, eats a sandwich, murders his step dad, possibly rapes his step sister…. I don’t know. He initially tells her to get in his bed and when she doesn’t he toss her on the couch and next time we see her she’s dressed the same and fully tied up….
More importantly, HE FINALLY GETS DRESSED, drives back to the Satanists, Gives Simon a bag of body parts and is is all like “See, i love Satan”…. Simon smiles, nods, they dig up sherry who hasn’t died yet, and then we watch Bobby and Sherry make Love as they crucify bobby’s sister to a weird love song that feels like it has no place in this movie…..
I mean….. I don’t know what to say here. Yes the movie was wildly Homophobic. WILDLY HOMOPHOBIC. People were literally murdered for being gay. But they were Satanists doing it? Which i think were the bad guys? I’m honestly not sure… I can’t figure out on what side of the line anyone came down on in this movie… Is it pro Satanism? Anti Satanism?
Not surprisingly, this is the only credit listed to any of these actors or movie makers. Not a one of them appeared to go on to do anything but this. Which you know…. if you need people to act Mildly annoyed…. This is the crew for you!!!
I’m not going to say i enjoyed this….. I don’t think this is a film you “Enjoy”. It was only about an hour and fifteen long, so that helped. Very weird little low budget movie that only a lunatic would order from Amazon.com from AGFA for 20 dollars on a double set with Anton Levy’s The Devils Mass……
Slowly working my way through the Friday the 13th boxset. Up next is the beginning of the Tommy Jarvis trilogy, Friday the 13th the Final Chapter. It’s far from my favorite in the series, but so much of this movie just hits so perfectly. One of the strong suits of the early films in this series is that even though they are using pretty basic character type, they all still seem pretty natural and fleshed out. Nobody is played to over the top and for the most part they actually seem like they get along with each other. Can I also take a moment to say how much I like the mom here? Spoilers, but it’s a pity she doesn’t make it through the film. She also pretty much zonks the “morality play” misconception and proves that good people can die in these as well, unless her sin is getting divorced, but that’s a little much. The moms great in this. I love when she catches Tommy checking out Sam instead of yelling at him she just smiles and closes the shade. The Jarvis household is just a bunch of nice people and she has a great relationship with her kids.
Some good kills in this one. I know Rob gets brought up a lot, but Crispins will always be a favorite because of the “Crispinness” of it all. His delivery of “hey ted where is the cork screw” could only have been done by him. For me though, the best kill in the movie is the first Twin. I know we don’t see anything and it’s done off screen, but that stab done in shadows cast by the lightning flash is so effective.
I know I said this was far from my favorite, but that being said this was probably young me’s favorite of the series. Me now as an adult, it’s the first one all the way and I pretty much like them in order. As a kid though? This is the one that really connected with me. Maybe it was the addition of Tommy Jarvis as someone my age that I could relate to, I don’t know. It’s at least partially because this is the first one where it’s just Jason. No world building or mythology being presented. Just an assumption that you know what’s going on followed by an hour and a half of Jason just being Jason. The first one established the world, the second brought in Jason and started writing the rules, the third finished the origin story, and this one just set him loose.
Joe Zito and the crew did an excellent job of creating a film that fit right in with what cane before. They weren’t trying to break the mold or do anything out of the box, they were just taking the ball and running with it, and that will always be my favorite aspect of this one.
I saw this on Video when it hit the new release shelf. I was ten, I totally fell in love with Jodi Aronson and still think Paul deserved what he got for messing around on her. It was billed as The Final Chapter, but ten year old never believed it. While it doesn’t take place at camp, Crystal Lake will always be my happy place.
I guess you can’t really talk about The Final Chapter with out talking about Corey Feldman. It’s easy to pass him off, but Corey is really good in this. He’s very natural and is really good sometimes. The scene when Jason grabs him through the window is amazing. For just a moment you think “holy shit, are they going to kill a kid”? And then Trish goes crazy with that hammer and Tommy proves himself to be the virginal final girl and saves the day!
Excellent entry to the series and I still wish we had gotten to see a film with Crazy Tommy in the mask.
80’s slashers as a morality play and the “virginal” final girl is a myth that has always bothered me. The so called Purity rules (sex drugs and alcohol = death) only entered into the equation after people started talking about them. The first two Friday the 13ths are in my opinion the best example of that. Neither Alice nor Ginny, arguably two of the four women that helped create the final girl phenomena are most definitely NOT “virgins”.
(Im not even going to get into the bullshit concept of virginity thats been imposed upon the world)
Its highly suggested in the first movie that Alice has had a sexual relationship with Steve Christie, a man ten years her senior. It’s also suggested that she has at least a flirtation going on with Bill, and possibly (no I don’t think I’m reaching here) Brenda! that Strip monopoly game…. Brenda definitely had a thing for Alice and Alice isn’t closing the door. She flat out says “I haven’t decided yet”. So our virginal final girl was about to get naked with two people who were all ready to have some fun with her. Plus Alice Drinks, Alice Smokes Pot, and even though we’ve been told “only the good girl” can save the day, she still saves the day.
In Part 2 we have Ginny…. Ginny is clearly in a sexual relationship with Paul. We don’t see it happen, but we know he spent the night and she wakes up in Paul’s shirt. They fucked, so not a virgin. On top of that she is clearly seen drinking in the Bar! Plus in part 3, 2 out of our three female deaths DID NOT HAVE SEX! While yes, my beloved Vickie was going to, she as of yet hadn’t. We’ve been told time and time again that these movies punish people that do bad, not the ones thinking about doing bad, So that still pokes a hole in the whole morality myth.
Looking at the Friday the 13th series as a whole, really only 2 or 3 movies even come close to the morality play Myth, and those all come late enough to be reactionary. On top of that all of the ones that could be looked at that way, our supposed virginal final girl has some sort of issue that’s driving them away. Rick points out that Clare was all hot and heavy until an attack caused her to retreat, and Tina in seven has her own set of issues that are keeping her “pure”. Even Rennie in part Eight has with drawn because of her parents and creepy uncle. So the only Virginal final girls in the series has their purity forced upon them from outside means…. Which in itself a statement on how morality was forced onto the slasher genre.
Let’s look beyond Friday the 13th….
Texas Chain Saw Massacre, nothing in that movie suggests that Sally qualifies as a virginal final girl… Her supposed purity or lack of purity never even factors into the movie. Morality never enters into TCM for the victims either! No sex what so ever Im That movie! And hell, the only definite Virgin was Franklin and look what happened to him!
Another early Slasher Black Christmas, our final Girl is literally pregnant with a child out of wedlock! Even though she did have a boyfriend, the first victim was obviously the closest to virginal in the entire film!
I know what you are going to say….. Halloween! Laurie Strode. Okay. I’ll give you that Laurie appears to be a Virgin, but we still see her smoking pot, so she is definitely not the prude we’ve rewritten her character to be.
So why did people start saying that they were morality plays how did that narrative get started and why. The two main causes are Halloween and Friday the 13th, but I’ve already addressed why I don’t think those apply. (I have a lot more I can say about Laurie but I haven’t watched the movie in a year so my thoughts aren’t fresh in my head). I think the main place this came from is from Mrs Voorhees herself.
Pamela was punishing the people who she felt was wicked. She was insane, and it wasn’t purity that defeated her, it was the very wickedness she was trying to stop. The point wasn’t that it was a morality play, the point was not to force your morality on others. Mrs Voorhees paid with her life for butting here nose into other people’s bedrooms and judging people she had no right to judge.
Slasher movies didn’t start becoming Morality plays until the narrative that slashers were Morality Plays was created, and it was created by people that completely missed the point. The fact that so many of these movies were made by more liberal film makers just supports that.
In my final statement let me just say, sexism is bad and keep your damn morals to yourself…. and I lied… I am going to say something about virginity…. virginity is a bullshit concept made up by the bullshit patriarchy because men think there dicks are magic! It’s bullshit.
You don’t need to adhere to somebody else’s morales to be happy. Go be you and do what works for you, and as we learned from Friday the 13th part 1…. The judgmental pricks are going to get what’s coming to them.
For what ever crazy Reason i decided to sit back and watch all four Prom Night movies back to back in a row!!! AND WRITE ABOUT IT!!! SO THAT SOME ONE COULD READ IT!!!! ANYONE???? Somebody????
PROM NIGHT 1980
“Killers Coming! Killers Coming!”
Prom Night took me some time to warm up to. I came to the series via Prom Night 2, Hello Mary Lou, which as you may know, is a VERY different movie and one of my favorite movies of the era. Both movies ripped off elements of Carrie, but Prom Night 2 really embraced the metaphysical element that this film ignored, this film is a straight up slasher film. It would be impossible for this movie to have NOT ripped some elements off from Carrie, it’s a Prom Movie right at the end of the 70’s and Carrie embodied that so well. I don’t think they took as much from Carrie as the sequel, but you can feel it’s influence. Wendy feels just like Nancy Allen’s high school bully, and her Boyfriend in this looks and acts like he was John Travolta’s Stunt double. Unlike Carrie though, Prom Night doesn’t really have any deeper meaning. It’s a slasher movie with a pretty basic plot. Even the Killer is pretty basic, he’s dressed in all black with a ski mask on…. Granted in 70’s style the Ski mask is covered in glitter. I think part of the reason that this one works for me so well is because for the most part, the victims are pretty normal. They aren’t really the blatant archetype characters you tend to get in these. They are all pretty normal kids, and for the most part are likable. We spend about an hour getting to know everyone before anyone really starts to die, so by the time we do we are pretty used to these “kids”. The reveal makes sense and the unmasked killer, while not surprising, is at least satisfying. All in all, i enjoy this one a little more each time i watch it.
Prom Night II, Hello Mary Lou!
“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been three months since my last confession. I’ve disobeyed my parents many times. I’ve taken the Lord’s name in vain many times. I’ve had sinful relations, with boys at my school. Many boys, many times…. Father, there’s just one more thing…. I loved every minute of it.” – Mary Lou Maloney.
This film came out in 1987… I was 12 when it came out, probably 13 when i saw it on cable… Many Times. I think i was probably the perfect age to watch this. Prom Night 2 had a HUGE impact on me, and when you talk 80’s horror, and aren’t talking slasher films, this is the first movie that jumps to my mind. Hello Mary Lou Prom Night II, is probably one of my top five 80’s horror films. Prom Night ripped off Elements of Carrie, Prom Night 2 decided that the first movies theft was a little subtle, so decided to just go blatant with it.
Movie begins with 50’s bad girl Mary Lou Malowney (Lisa Schrage) confessing her sins before running off to Prom and cheating on her boyfriend. Her boyfriend then accidentally kills her Carrie style while she accepts her crown. Flash forward to the 80’s and Mary Lou is back, possessing our sweet virginal heroine played by Wendy Lyon. The movie goes slashery as she starts to take people out one by one, including a very classic locker room scene where Wendy stalks a girl fully nude for what seems like a twenty minute scene, but is really only two or three minutes.
Prom Night 2 Hello Mary Lou balances the kills, the natural teenage melodrama, and a healthy level of 80’s perversion including a really awkward incest scene and Wendy Lyon grinding on a Carousel Horse. The kids are all very 80’s without being over the top.
I think this is just a fun movie thats always a pleasure to watch.
And Michael Ironside is fantastic.
Prom Night III The Last Kiss
“What am I talking about? I just stuffed my dead biology teacher into the cupboard. Things are not allright.” – Alex
So much to love in this one. It follows the metaphysical path set in Prom Night 2, Hello Mary Lou, but it doesn’t even come close to doing it as well. This one begins with Mary Lou, In Hell, forced to do a slow side to side prom dance for all of eternity, until she uses a finger nail file to escape and return to her high school hell bent on becoming prom queen once again. Prom Night 3 does not take itself even remotely seriously. When Mary Lou starts killing people that hassle our male lead, instead of freaking out he states “We need to set up some ground rules”. It’s a goofy movie, and if you didn’t like Prom Night 2, you probably won’t like this one…. Hell, if you did like Prom Night 2 you still probably won’t like this one! But i enjoyed the version of Prom Queen hell we kept seeing and think Mary Lou was fun as the love struck stalker trying to escape hell for good. It’s a cute goofy movie, that isn’t even remotely trying to be scary. It’s more modeled after the “Fun” Version of Freddy Kruger than the scary version. If Prom Night 2 Hello Mary Lou is a B Movie this is probably a C-.
Prom Night IV Deliver us From Evil
“I know who you are, I saw what you did!” – Father Jonas.
If you learn one thing from watching four Prom Nights in a row, it’s that like most series, Prom Night is an exercise in diminishing returns. The first one is pretty good, the second one is AMAZING, the Third is okay, And the fourth? The Fourth is rough. They decide to drop the Mary Lou story line and instead sort of straddle both storylines without out actually referencing either one. The only connection to the earlier series is that takes pace in the same school, and Brock Sampson is again playing a different character in it like he did in the other films, this time a priest. It’s a pretty low energy slasher movie that checks all the boxes and just keeps moving forward. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s light entertainment with basic forgettable characters. For what ever reason though, they also decided to go metaphysical on us by having the priest be possessed. So we have a slasher like the first one, and a possessed killer like the other ones. I honestly enjoyed this more than I thought i was going to. I’ve seen it before, but remembered absolutely nothing about it, and when i heard the killer was a possessed priest i had zero expectations…. Zero Expectations is the best way to watch any movie. If you’ve seen the other three…. watch this one. Just don’t have any expectations.