Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

Happy Birthday to Me is a unique entry in an infamously uninventive sub-genre.

Then Canada’s highest grossing movie to date, many of its positives are purposeful, others not so much, but even its patchy moments are unique in their own right, making this one of the superior efforts in the slasher cannon. Made before the genre slipped into the kind of post-certificate self-parody that has no use for genuine acting, the movie stars Little House in the Prairie’s Melissa Sue Anderson, her angelic image proving quite the juxtapose, while legendary […]

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The Best of Horror Movie Box Art 2

You’re a child of the 80s and your parents take you for a trip to the veritable cave of wonders that is your local VHS Store. They’re probably in a hurry to get somewhere, and as a result set about influencing your decision, suggesting family-friendly titles such as The Karate Kid, E.T. or The Goonies.

Those movies are all well and good, in fact they’re all brilliant […]

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Christmas Evil (1980)

Someone had to do it.

After the unmitigated seasonal success of John Carpenter’s Halloween, it was inevitable that Kris Kringle would get the the psycho treatment. After all, what better gimmick to guarantees success? Transgressive cult director John Waters went on record as saying that Lewis Jackson’s Christmas Evil is ‘the greatest Christmas movie ever made’. So how highly does this pre-certificate slasher rank in relative terms? […]

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Revisiting . . . Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Some movies are a victim of their time.

Whatever one may think of Charles E. Sellier’s exploitative festive slasher Silent Night Deadly Night, one thing is for certain: it has found a rather prominent place in horror movie history.

Back in the winter of 1984, the movie was pulled from theatres a week after its release due to widespread protests regarding an advertising campaign which depicted jolly old Saint Nick as a bloodthirsty killer. Incredulously, those ads ran on prime time television, which led to an almost medieval outrage from PTA members who had left their children watching Little House on the Prairie, only to […]

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Dreaming of a Red Christmas

Ah, Christmas, a wondrous season of love, peace, and harmony. A celebration of joy and kindness.  Why then, cinematically speaking, are we so fascinated by yuletide carnage?

With the exception of Halloween, no other holiday has racked up such a body count. And I’m not only talking about horror movies here. If we add in the death toll from all the action movies set during Christmas […]

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Revisiting . . . Suspiria (1977)

For some, Dario Argento’s first venture into the realms of the supernatural is an exercise in style-over-substance.

For one thing, there is no real plot to speak of, and the action seems peripheral at times, while the makeshift manner in which the film’s music stops and starts seems loose to the extent where you may find yourself questioning the editing. But that is precisely the point. Suspiria’s aim is not to provide us with some kind of familiar narrative; quite the opposite, in fact […]

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Maniac Cop 2 (1990)

Jason Lives! may had revitalised the slasher genre with its censor-defying brand of meta humour, but William Lustig’s Maniac Cop 2 elevated it to a whole new level.

Robert Z’ Dar’s Matt Cordell is perhaps the genre’s most underappreciated seek-and-destroy killer, an immovable and irrepressible brute, who in 1988’s Maniac Cop, returned to enact vengeance on those city officials who had wronged him […]

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A Nightmare on Elm Street – NES

At the turn of the 1990’s, Fred Krueger was on the Christmas lists of children across America.

Yes, that’s the same razor-fingered child killer with the burnt face and darkly sexual wit. Sure, he had softened quite considerably since his cinematic debut back in 1984, but his primary purpose – if you exclude selling crappy merchandise by the bucket load – was to stalk children in their dreams and find increasingly elaborate ways to kill them. So, how did we get to this point, I hear you ask? […]

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