Absurd (1981)

Joe D’Amato’s Absurd is anything other than its title suggests.

Gaining notoriety as one of the 72 ‘video nasties’ deemed unfit for public consumption, it is a transparent derivative of John Carpenter’s seminal slasher Halloween, leeching off its popularity without quite figuring out what made it so effective in the first place. Far from the agonizingly-paced slice of subtlety it aspires to emulate, the movie is […]

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The House by the Cemetery (1981)

As a director, Lucio Fulci will always be synonymous with one word: gore.

So convincing was he in the blood department that he was once hauled into court on suspicion of animal cruelty due to some disturbingly convincing mutilation effects, while three of the 72 movies banned as ‘video nasties’ by the British Board of Film Classification belonged to him. In 1985, subsequent slasher The New York Ripper […]

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Hologram Man (1995)

If Hologram Man had been made in the early 1980’s, it may have been deemed futuristic.

Unfortunately it was made in 1995, a whole year after the original PlayStation was released, and the special effects on show are closer to Sega’s short-lived Mega-CD. This movie is about as high-tech as an episode of Quantum Leap. You know the kind of production, those where four-inch video phones and bogus Virtual Reality constitute the furthest reaches of technological advancement […]

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Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988)

You can’t keep the dead down for good.

In 1985, writer Dan O’Bannon put an interesting spin on the zombie genre with The Return of the Living Dead. Mixing humour with horror and adding a dash of punk to the film’s style and soundtrack, Return satirized the films of George A. Romero by insinuating that Night of the Living Dead was based on true events. It also proved to be a capable zombie picture in its own right […]

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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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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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