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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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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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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Revisiting . . . A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

From the moment Charles Bernstein’s seething synthesizer sinks to the pit of your stomach, you know you’re in for something quite special.

What we see onscreen is different somehow. It is dank and grungy and saturated with a sense of palpable terror. We hear heavy-breathing, more perverse than your standard stalk-and-slash drivel. Instead of following some unseen POV presence, we step into the shoes of a young girl and wander as she does, falling deeper into the bowels of a wretched boiler room as the cackles grow and a teasing shadow haunts the periphery of our imagination […]

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