Sleepaway Camp (1983)

There have been many unexpected twists in the slasher canon; in fact, a shock finale is pretty much a prerequisite for a sub-genre that relies so heavily on jump scares and gross-out shock factor.

Also known as Nightmare Vacation, Sleepaway Camp is a very different animal—different in the sense that it not only relies on its twist, it lives and dies by it. It is because of that twist—one of the most shocking and unexpected in all of cinema—that the movie would go on to spawn several increasingly shitty sequels, achieving the kind of cult status that most low-budget schlock can only dream of. So monumental was the movie’s shock reveal that […]

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Blood Rage (1987)

Blood Rage is a goofy little number which peddles horror the way Head and Shoulders peddles shampoo. 

Originally titled Shadow at Nightmare Woods, the movie’s 1983 theatrical release coincided with the censorship crusade of the early 1980s, and was therefore stripped of its gruesome embellishments until Prism Entertainment rescued it from the MPAA’s pitiless expurgation. By 1987—the year of its largely uncut home video release—the slasher genre had undergone the kind of metamorphosis that turned a cynical vacuum of vivisection into a sparkling wink of self-knowing […]

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Vamp (1986)

Back in the mid-1980s the whole world turned neon.

Music videos, nightclubs, catwalks: they all glowed with it, and for a short period it not only screamed high-tech, it was also the adopted look of the avant-garde, with new wave pop bands bathing on sun-kissed islands over neon cocktails. Let’s just hope they didn’t get stomach poisoning.

In the movies, those garish swathes of pink and green were perhaps more prevalent than anywhere else. For most of the decade those stylish James Bond opening sequences would turn to neon as […]

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When Carpenter Met Craven: Halloween H20’s Unholy Alliance

Back in the mid-90s, Wes Craven’s Scream changed the face of horror cinema.

In 1994 the cult director would test the meta-concept in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, a movie which saw pop culture farce Fred Krueger return to the dark side and cross over into the realms of reality. The idea of Robert Englund’s ‘bastard child of a thousand maniacs’ stalking the cast of the original movie was enough to salvage the once fearsome character’s languishing credibility, but the concept wasn’t enough to catch mainstream fire all by itself […]

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House (1986)

For many kids of the 1980s House was a very memorable movie indeed.

To begin with it had one of the most eye-catching VHS covers of the entire decade, and for those who remember the original theatrical trailer, the movie screamed ‘rent me!’ to any practical effects junkie scouring the horror section for their next visual fix. I remember the cover and the trailer, but I didn’t see House until just recently, and as an adult I was somewhat underwhelmed.

Still, the movie went on to spawn three sequels, and for all you appreciators baying for my blood, please hear me out […]

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