Sunday, October 21, 2007
Top Ten List of the Week
Top Ten Slasher Films
Well, it is October. A month of frights and chills and witches and crap (and amazing baseball). As such, our top ten list this week is going to reflect that. It is difficult to determine what actually makes a slasher a slasher, but I went with my (blood and) guts on it. So, here I give you, dreadful readers, the top ten slasher movies of all time:
10. Sleepaway Camp (1983) - Let's just say this one may have the...oddest...ending of the lot (think The Crying Game, if you must) and is really just a rehash of all the old tropes found in the Friday the 13th series, and, really, any other of the countless generic slasher films of the eighties. If you ask me, though, this one is fun enough to make the cut.
9. The Prowler (1981) - Featuring the effects of Tom Savini, The Prowler is an oft unheralded little gem. Features some pretty great grue, but the story is pretty trite (what do you expect?).
8. The Slumber Party Massacre (1982) - The sequels may have been played for laughs, but the original is pretty straight. Now, there's a really interesting story behind that, as the original script was written by well known feminist Rita Mae Brown as a parody on the slasher genre. She wasn't involved in the rewrites, and it basically became the very thing she'd been trying to parody! Watch the trailer.
7. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) - The first F13 to predominantly feature Jason, this is the one that I prefer from the series. While it wasn't innovative, it really did set the stage for the big-bang of slasher films in the eighties.
6. Bay of Blood (1971)- Considered by many to be the "first" slasher, the Italian master Mario Bava brings us the story of a bunch of money hungry people killing each other off in order to gain access to an inheritance.
5. Hellraiser (1987)- This one I had trouble really pegging as a "slasher", but ended up including it on the basis that if you disregard the sacrilege, it really is a story, not unlike the F13 movies, of surviving against a seemingly unstoppable foe. Plus there's all of that S&M stuff in there for you freaks.
4. A Nightmare on Elm St. (1984) - From the man that helped launch the rebirth of the revenge film, we get a decidedly different type of slasher. Of course, the big twist in ANoES is that the antagonist can only get you in your dreams. And, let's be honest, before and after they played him for laughs Freddy was just cool as hell. Does anyone else remember the DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince song "Nightmare on My Street"? It was awesome.
3. Psycho (1960) - This is another one of those that often claims the mantle of first slasher. I don't really have to explain the plot I'm sure, as it is one of Hitch's best known works. I do, however, have to state that I was torn at the inclusion of this one as well. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic movie, but is it a slasher? I came to the conclusion that it is. What do you think?
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - This is another that's hard to pigeon-hole into the slasher category, but it ostensibly fits the trope. A brilliant film on all counts, and certainly Hooper's masterpiece, TCM is an outright scary picture. Amazingly, the film features very little blood, but people always swear that it's one of the goriest films they've ever seen.
1. Halloween (1978) - Forget that atrocious remake, this is the real get-your-frills-deal. This is John Carpenter's master work, and my personal favorite horror film of all time (heck, it's one of my favorite films of all time!). And even though it's not the first, it is definitely the one that got the ball rolling on the entire slasher genre.
I do have to (regretfully) add that I have yet to see The Burning. So, it's obviously not on the list.
- Jordanstein M. for Murder