SLEEPAWAY CAMP, EVILSPEAK, FINAL EXAM & More from Shout Factory in May 2014

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by bruce h, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    The original Halloween and Halloween II are perfect scare machines in my book. The original may not have the same power with younger viewers, but the final half hour still gets to me in a way that stuff like Sinister, which many teens seem to enjoy, does not. The Prowler still gives me a good bang for my buck too.

    The Burning doesn't jolt me as much as it did when I first saw it, but it still has elements I enjoy - a fun combination of camp and brutality.

    The first six Fridays I enjoy without reservation - I don't consider them high art, but they don't need to be.

    Basically, the slasher is my favourite subgenre - they don't all get the HIGHEST praise from me, but I tend to enjoy even modest efforts like Final Exam and The Dorm that Dripped Blood.
     
  2. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    I think nostalgia plays a factor in this. A bad slasher movie from say, 1982 is still better than a bad slasher from 2002. I mean, generally. But I'm pretty open to anything made pre-1986. There are a few exceptions of course, like Intruder (1989) which somehow feels like it was made between 1981-1984. Also love Dorm That Dripped Blood. The whole movie has this eerie vibe to it.

    And about Sleepaway Camp: That's one slasher I keep enjoying more and more every time I see it. It's above and beyond like 90% of slashers made in that period because it's so much more layered and comes together in such a terrifying, shocking and unsettling way. It stays with you for a little while. The slasher aspect of it becomes a backdrop because the ending reveals the true terror of the film. It's not just your simple stalk and slash, there are much darker undertones and it plays with issues like sex and gender, homosexuality and violence (especially coming out during the conservative Reagan '80s) that was for the most part absent from a lot of horror films. It definitely doesn't play with gender the way most slasher films do. And, it does it so subtly that you have to watch the film a few times to really catch it. It's definitely a diversion from the slasher formula. Robert Hiltzik REALLY knew what he was doing with this one...

    ~Matt
     
  3. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    Nostalgia definitely plays a factor in my choices. I recall:

    Friday the 13th - viewed in 1981 after a year of anticipation. Better than expected, somewhat relieved the killer was a real person and not a ghost or a demon.
    Halloween - viewed in 1981 after years of anticipation and multiple readings of the paperback book. Disappointed but entertained. I wasn't the least bit scared.
    The Burning - viewed on cable in 1982. Okay flick, not scary and NO FINAL GIRL battle with the killer. kinda "meh".
    Hell Night - viewed opening weekend 1981 - THE flick to see and most fun audience ever.
    Happy Birthday to Me - (3 weeks into release) THE movie to see, great effects (that were never seen again) and a downer of an ending.
    The Funhouse - after a few years of waiting and enjoying the paperback I couldn't have been more disappointed.

    However, now - all those films are just well loved now but what I love most were the adverts of those films! Never replicated and never topped.
     
  4. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    I've always really loved Hell Night. The chase scene (along with the one in Terror Train) is one of the best and that's also what really bothered me about The Burning. Bad choice for the final "guy". Albert was a really boring character and it was obvious they were trying to model him after the "final girl" convention of most slasher films. Also the "chase scene" was pretty "meh".

    ~Matt
     
  5. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's strange at all. Very few films are perfect, and despite my absolute adoration of the genre, that goes doubly for horror films. I remember a sex-ed teacher in grade school telling all of us impressionable children that love...real love...was not thinking that the other person was perfect. But rather, it was recognizing the flaws in them, and loving them anyway (doesn't that just melt your heart? :rolleyes:). Loving these films doesn't mean thinking they're perfect. If you love these films, then you'll probably watch them again and again, and when you do that, the warts start to become visible. That doesn't mean you love them any less. It just means you know them better than you did when you saw them the first time. Now, that being said, I don't profess to love The Burning. But I do like it. I just think its a pretty sloppy attempt at a scary movie, but one that - through charm and earnestness - has become fairly enjoyable, despite - and in some cases, because of - it's flaws.

    Personally, I get a little tired of people fawning over films. I'd rather read someone's critical opinion of something over a fan's gushing. At least, most of the time. It makes for a more interesting discussion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  6. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    There is a nostalgia factor to it for me. But it's NOT the nostalgia factor alone - Halloween and Halloween II are tense, scary movie experiences for me, much in the same way that Haute Tension, Cold Prey, and Cold Prey II are. Of course, I also like the comfort food pleasures of Prom Night's disco grooves and the high camp of Madman - both of which I still think have genuine thrills as well.

    I still have quite a few from the post-1986 period that I love - the new millennium ones mentioned above, but also Maniac Cop (which is basically a slasher with teenagers taken out of the equation) and Urban Legend (which I enjoy more than Scream, which obviously paved the way for it). The slasher formula, I think, speaks to me on a very basic level.
     
  7. elDomenechHDG

    elDomenechHDG Well-Known Member

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    Christ, who is fawning? And slasher films aren't meant to scare, they're meant to horrify. I haven't been "scared " by a film since I was about 8. And one final "gush" before I sign off. There really are perfect horror films. Hell Night is one of them. Or is it too slow?
     
  8. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    I think you mean "repulse" because of the gore. "Horrify" is a more intense "scare". They essentially mean the same thing.

    LOL there are problems with Hell Night too. I dunno, I've always had the mentality that no film is perfect. As much as I love Citizen Kane :rolleyes: I think there'd be nothing to talk about if films were perfect. That's the beauty of art. Everyone sees a film differently.

    ~Matt
     
  9. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    From a strictly narrative standpoint, it's very well put together, and in a manner that you cannot truly appreciate until your second viewing - unless you know the plot twist in advance. From a psychological standpoint, it may not be quite believable, but who cares? In any event, it's still much more accomplished the similarly themed A Blade in the Dark, which must have been written by someone with no knowledge AT ALL about human psychology and sexuality. :p

    I always considered Alfred the final girl. Like Laurie in Halloween, he is ultimately saved by a more masculine figure, but Laurie, of course, has a more thrilling confrontation with her stalker than Alfred does with his.
     
  10. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    nobody at the moment, but that seemed to be what you were looking for. I equate fawning with unequivocal praise.
     
  11. Ptflea2

    Ptflea2 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, the conversation over the last 24 hours has been great in this thread. Almost like we should all be sitting together in a film class somewhere debating the merits of a film genre most overlook. What a great forum!

    Now look who's fawning :)
     
  12. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    Oh, absolutely. I still think Michelle would have made a better foil for Cropsy. I remember with HALLOWEEN, flipping through the book the first time just wondering what horrible fate was gonna befall Laurie Strode. Not used to convention, I thought that her fate was gonna be the worst since she was saved for last. That was a scary read :)
    I love those moments where you are yelling at the screen for the person to get off their ass and RUN!
     
  13. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    I found her deeply uninteresting. I think Alfred is a cool final girl, because he flips the expectations, and yet he doesn't. Many of the final girls have boyish qualities - in Hell Night, she's a mechanic, in Graduation Day, she's a marine, in Friday the 13th, she's, well, Alice, with her short do, plain shirt, and modest bosom. Alfred's boyish quality is that he is a boy, and a weak one at that. The final girl, while not always unpopular, is often set apart somehow, by bookishness (Halloween), or a tragedy in her past (Prom Night, Happy Birthday to Me, Graduation Day). Alfred fits in poorly and has confused sexual preference written all over him, something which blurs the gender lines, placing him in that grey area with many other final girls. Alfred, as a final girl, may anatomically be a male, but he lacks the requisite "maleness" to deal with Cropsy on his own. But, like Laurie in Halloween, he is the first to recognise the threat. The only slasher to play more with the final girl trope is Sleepaway Camp, which is BRILLIANT in that regard. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  14. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Agreed on both accounts.

    That movie takes itself very seriously and that's one of the reasons I believe in being very hard on it. It wasn't ambitious and failed, like Maniac. It's damn stupid. And poorly made- it didn't shock or surprise me, the killer wasn't scary or interesting, the plot was generically sleazy (nothing special in the slightest), nothing visually stood out about it (except the flesh and gore: yawn), I don't remember the music, and a good half of the characters were irritating or unlikable. And yet the movie wasn't smart about any of this.


    Well, not to me.

    And nostalgia? (I see a lot of nostalgia talk above.) That may explain why I love Friday the 13th but I fucking hate The Burning. And based on the number of slasher films I saw when I was chug-renting in the late 90's/early 2000's, that film never would have left any greater impression. Unlike Just Before Dawn, Prom Night, Motel Hell, Sleepaway Camp, and Hell Night. Even The Initiation is more memorable, entertaining, and bizarre in a way that could mistaken for endearing. Also... god I'm gonna hate myself for this, with all the shit I've talked about it in the last month or so: Silent Night, Deadly Night is probably better than The Burning. And I'll take Children of the Corn parts 1 through 7 over it as well. Maybe not part 6. But yes to the rest.


    I like that scene.

    What else was she going to do? Just go out and look for Bill? The movie had to give her some time to let the realization of just how isolated and alone she is without anyone else around sink in. That scene actually shows her character getting nervous. Now...this might have been done better in Jason Lives with Paula's character, but I still love it in the first film. Especially since it has the distinction of being The Very First Time.
     
  15. Body Boy

    Body Boy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's a mixture. When people say "it's just nostalgia" it feels like an excuse to discount our opinions, just because we may not think F13 '09 is the shit or give High Tension as high a mark as Pieces.

    I'm actually attending a Youth Films in the 80s & 90s class where we're spending TWO WEEKS on the slasher film. I'm so happy, even if the teacher is getting flack for some of her choices (I can't believe members of the faculty would do that to a new ambitious colleague...). We watched A Nightmare On Elm Street last week and tomorrow morning is the original Friday the 13th (we're actually using my copy since the library's is the cut version). With some exceptions in the class, the teacher and my mates were really open to accepting these films as not "just dem killer crap". We discussed Carol Clover and Pat Gill, though made mention that Clover was sometimes a bit out there without merit (Final Girls being masculinized and Killers being feminized... lots of disagreements there).

    I like that The Burning didn't have a final girl. It sets it apart a little more from the rest. But I can't say with a straight face that it's better than F13. F13 may be 'simple', but there's also a lot to work with in tone and moments of discussing past forgotten tragedy.

    I love Jesse in Elm Street 2. He's average looking but his portrayal is simply... sexy. Even if Lisa takes over for the ending, I count him as a FB.

    Yeah, Hiltzik's Return to Sleepaway Camp was a different beast from the original. The original was a film that I swear, he knew EXACTLY what to do with. He's saying something (about 'the act' imo, but that's for another time) whereas in Return, he's responding to his first film's popularity. It's almost like the remakes that didn't quite get the workings underneath because they felt they weren't as important as the iconography. I still think Return is unfairly hated, even if it's pretty weak.

    Speaking of, from my class, someone brought up a cool point: Slasher films harken back to the beginning of cinema, where we had "The Cinema of Attractions". These ARE the cinema of attractions. They can still be intellectual, but a lot of their purpose links to what film was originally really about, minus dancing women. Oh! Violet! Didn't see you there, heh.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  16. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

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    Damn! Now I don´t even know if you are being serious or not, but that´s gotta be the most spectacular hate for "The Burning" that I´ve EVER read. :eek:
    Especially since that´s probably one of the worst horror franchise in the history of movies :D

    The other movies you mentioned are great though, even though Sleepaway Camp isn´t one of my favorites, hated it one my first viewing, it´s been growing on me the last few years :)
     
  17. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

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    THE BURNING's lack of a final girl is what keeps it from sitting along side the best slashers. I greatly enjoy the film until the final 20 minutes then it leaves me cold. I still find the overall experience to be worth the occasional re-watch.
     
  18. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    I did like THE BURNING's final sequence save for a few oddities - the freeze frame of a victim's earlier murder and the great build up of Cropsy approaching Todd with the flames then shuts off. The suspense ends there for me.
    I like the contrast of music between Friday the 13th 1 & 2 with this film. I'm not sure which locale I like better, though - Friday 2's or Burning's. Okay - Friday 2 because of the moist woodsy happenings in the final act.
    Another rant - one thing I hate is when horror movies wimp out and make you feel sympathy for the monster. Kills the scare factor right there and then makes you wonder afterward why you were supposed to be scared for all the victims in the movie. Although Friday the 13th reasons its killer with revenge, the person is still bat shit crazed and not to be trusted...at least the actor plays it that way.
     
  19. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    You're right, that is a great scene, where you're catching glimpses of Cropsy behind the slats of wood. Very well edited. And I remember that the sound of the flames was used quite well at that point too. The Burning is an odd movie. Parts of it really work for me.
     
  20. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    LOOK WHO'S FAWNING sounds like a bad 90s movie series where we are all played by babies but voiced by adults.
     

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