Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guest Blog: Underrated and Underseen Slasher Films Part 3

The night Brad came home!

Part 1
Part 2

Hauntedween (1991)

Hauntedween and I were made in the same place. But don't hold that against it. Twenty years ago, little Eddie took tickets at his families' haunted house attraction. But what he really wants is to work inside scaring people. So one night he goes inside and accidentally kills a girl. Sorta. I mean it could happen to anybody. I can't tell you how many girls I have accidentally killed over the years. I can't tell you because my lawyer says, “Blah blah blah jail.” Eddie has the right idea in running away for twenty years only to resurface when a fraternity needs a killer idea to raise a bunch of money. Eddie has a good idea. Hauntedween will tick off a bunch of items on your slasher checklist and throw in a few new ones to boot, like Eddie killing folks in front of an audience who think it's part of the performance. I can't tell you how many people I have killed during a 'performance.' I can't tell you because my lawyer says... well, see above. Add it all up and you have a slasher that is a hell of a lot of fun. Hauntedween will be released soon on DVD chock full of extras and I'll keep you posted on the date. I recently did an interview with the director Doug Robertson so keep an eye out for that.

The Demon (1979)

The Demon and I were released the same year. I sense a pattern forming. At some point, it seems like two different slasher films slammed together and I don't mean that in a bad way. I know this film does not have a great reputation but I like it quite a bit. Cameron Mitchell is on hand to chew the scenery as an ex-military man/psychic who is trying to track down a killer that is not a human, more than a human, and also: human. See? There's bits of Halloween here as The Demon is one of the earliest post Halloween slashers around; it's pre-Friday the 13th even. The thing (other than Cam Mitchell) that sets this one apart is that the characters aren't crazy annoying, they're quite attractive, and the stalking sequences are pretty good. I wonder if the film's crappy appearance on a slew of public domain horror film sets is part of why it is derided. Well if it is kiddos, you now have no reason to hate it based purely on that because VCI has recently released The Demon in a nice new DVD version that can be found on Amazon for thirteen bucks. But remember: Don't put your trash in my backyard. Because my backyard is full. (See what I did there? No?)

The Comeback (1978)

After recovering from a nervous breakdown, Pop star Jack Jones' wife wants a divorce. The thing is, she is dead and Jack is living in a haunted British manor while working on his comeback with Bosley from Charlie's Angels. Of course, someone in an old woman mask is killing folks close to Jack. Don't you want to see that? This review and recommendation is writing itself, y'all. The Comeback is directed by British horror superstar Pete Walker. Holly (daughter of Jack) Palance is in it. She also played the suicidal nanny in The Omen. That gave me nightmares. Why are you still here? Go watch it!

Terror (1978)

Perhaps the flipside of the British horror coin of Pete Walker is Norman J. Warren. In 1978 he made a special film called Terror. It has been called the British Suspiria. Now don't get excited by that. I mean there are some similarities but what you have here is a nice little slasher film that is colorful in a similar way to Suspiria. I mean it's not as eye-popping. But there is a flying car so it's just like Harry Potter. Scorpion Releasing has just put out a double set of this and The Devil's Men (A.K.A. Land of the Minotaur) that I recommend. I can't quite put my finger on what it is about Terror. But it's there. Believe me.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Brad, you idiot. This is underseen/underrated slashers. Everyone knows this one. Everyone. Well folks, I'll tell you who has undervalued this film: Me. I've seen it several times over the years and I am well acquainted with it's history and it's spot in every top ten horror list. I know Tobe Hooper. I'm very close to his Salem's Lot. Sometimes I have lunch with The Funhouse. I once spent an afternoon with Eaten Alive. I respected TCM but I never uh, liked it? Blasphemy! Heresy! Well, I watched it the other day and it clicked. The cinematography, the pacing, the set design, the sound design, all of it. It was like seeing it for the first time. What changed? I don't know. Why did I put it on the list? So you guys can know how stupid I am? Nope. I put it here because you, like me, may have a film somewhere out there that you didn't like. Maybe you didn't like it several times. Maybe it'll just click with you sometime.

-Brad Hogue


  1. A lot of my favorite films are ones that I didn't care for initially. Texas Chainsaw wasn't one of them, but House by the Cemetery was. And The Wicker Man. And Suspiria. And Videodrome. Etc.

  2. Ryan- That makes me feel better. Cemetery I loved from the get go but I thought Zombie was stupid the first time I saw it. Live and learn.

  3. Hauntedween was also made where I originated. Every movie should have a horny Barney Fife character.

  4. Life would be so better if every movie had a horny Barney Fife. World peace. The end to hunger. It would all be within reach. And good on you for being from Bowling Green. We need more good people from there.