The Borrower (1991)

In many ways The Borrower is a low-budget derivative of Jack Sholder’s 1987 sci-fi horror The Hidden, one that proves infinitely less successful in its comical aspirations, but that’s not to say it is completely without its charm.

By 1991, production company the Cannon Group was way past its peak following a misguided plunge into the realms of blockbuster extravaganza, but this particular movie is evidence that those at Golan-Globus could still attract their fair share of household names, even if the stars in question were a half decade past their commercial prime […]

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Shaving the Bone: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Back in 1986, rookie director John McNaughton was approached by a Chicago home video executive eager to cash in on the low-budget slasher craze, expecting a money-spinning slice of exploitation for his $110,000 outlay.

What he got instead was a painfully authentic docudrama chronicling the everyday exploits of a deadpan serial killer, a movie that was immediately banned by the MPAA and BBFC for its explicit nature. It wasn’t until 1990 that Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer was given a full release, thanks in large part to […]

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Final Exam (1981)

For a slasher movie to show restraint is a rare and commendable thing, at least in the grand scheme of things; at least, that is how it feels in hindsight.

Looking back at the 80s Slasher boom and the decade of rashly sliced entrails that would follow, you immediately think Jason Voorhees, an indestructible killing machine who would plunder through a whole plethora of victims before the opening credits had even had a chance to roll. After the initial buzz which saw a whole generation of teenagers flock to picture houses and watch weakly sketched representations of themselves hacked to pieces […]

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The Night He Strayed from Home: The Misdirection of Halloween 5

Making a Halloween sequel is an tricky task indeed.

Back in 1978, John Carpenter gave birth to the low-budget slasher craze with his bare bones tale of an escaped mental patient beset on revisiting the scene of a childhood crime. So cash-strapped were Carpenter and his crew that they cut the eyes out of a William Shatner mask and sprayed it white, fortuitously giving birth to a horror icon […]

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Tradition Evolved: Near Dark and The Vampire Revolution

Prior to the 1980s—with the exception of alternative vampire outings such as George Romero’s Martin and David Cronenberg’s sort-of vampire horror Rabid—there was very little in the way of genre deviation when it came to representing Western vampires onscreen.

Throughout the 60s and 70s, depictions of vampires tended toward the traditional, with Hammer Horror at the forefront of perpetuating the traditionally hammy genre template that favoured aristocratic, middle-aged evildoers comfortably ensconced in the Gothic revivalist period […]

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Disseminating Evil: Apt Pupil and the Darker Side of Humanity

Apt Pupil is one of those delightful movies in which the hunter suddenly becomes the hunted.

Of course, this is Stephen King at his macabre and intimate best, and although the character’s in Bryan Singer’s engrossing, bare bones adaptation are as familiar to us as the next human being, they possess all of the secrets and desires that fundamentally keep us strangers. This is anything but your typical good opposing evil morality play, and in many ways the movie’s central characters are not opponents at all […]

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