Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 103: The 1980s Slasher Film Movement Part 3 — 1984-1985


Halloween is over, but HORROR MOVIE PODCAST is still reviewing the hell out of horror movies — Slasher movies, to be exact! This week we continue our examination of the 1980s Slasher Film Movement. This is Episode 103, and it is Part 3 of a multiple-part series. Jay of the Dead, Wolfman Josh and Dr. Shock are joined by the original Creepture himself, from Wilmington, North Carolina, slasher expert GregaMortis from Land of the Creeps horror podcast.

We’re back again with a three plus-hour episode where we discuss many films from 1984 and 1985 with four Feature Reviews of The Initiation (1984) and The Mutilator (1985) and The Nail Gun Massacre (1985), and what slasher discussion would be complete without a feature review of … The Terminator (1984)? You’ll see. Jay of the Dead makes a controversial if not compelling case for considering this movie among the ’80s Slashers.

Horror Movie Podcast is a bi-weekly show that’s released every other Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! Leave voicemails with your recommendations and comments at: (801) 382-8789 You can also follow HMP on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook (kind of). Thank you for listening to Horror Movie Podcast, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies!


I. Introduction
— Welcome GregaMortis from Land of the Creeps horror podcast
— GregaMortis talks about the 2016 Myers House NC Halloween bash

[ 0:04:16 ] II. Theme Discussion: Men, Women and Chainsaws
— Carol J. Clover’s “Men, Women and Chainsaws” (Her Body, Himself)

[ 0:33:14 ] III. A Sampling of Slasher Films From 1984 (Not necessarily an exhaustive list of slashers from 1984)
— Be sure to check out Captain Cracker’s very cool blog: Slashers, Splatters & Giallos: A Guide to the Psycho Genres
Rocktober Blood (on YouTube)
Satan’s Blade
Body Double
The Terminator
They’re Playing With Fire (on YouTube)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
The Initiation
Calendar Girl Murders (on YouTube)
Silent Night, Deadly Night (on YouTube)
Day of the Reaper
Don’t Open Till Christmas
Blood Theatre (aka Movie House Massacre) (on YouTube)
Splatter University
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Deadline (on YouTube)
Fatal Games (on YouTube)
Murder Rock: Dancing Death (on YouTube)
The Prey (on YouTube)
Scream for Help (on YouTube)
Silent Madness (on YouTube)
Children of the Corn
The Dark Side of Midnight
Evil Judgment

[ 0:50:28 ] IV. Feature Review: THE TERMINATOR (1984) (With SPOILERS!)
Jay of the Dead = 10 ( Must-see / Buy it! )

[ 1:25:57 ] V. Feature Review: THE INITIATION (1984)
Wolfman Josh = 5 ( Rental )

[ 1:55:03 ] VI. A Sampling of Slasher Films From 1985 (Not necessarily an exhaustive list of slashers from 1985)
— Be sure to check out Captain Cracker’s very cool blog: Slashers, Splatters & Giallos: A Guide to the Psycho Genres
The Mutilator (aka Fall Break)
The Ripper (on YouTube)
Wes Craven’s Chiller
Horror House on Highway Five
Phenomena — Hear JOTD review this on Dead as Hell Horror Podcast
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
Blood Tracks (on YouTube)
The Blue Man (aka Eternal Evil) (on YouTube)
The Nail Gun Massacre
Appointment With Fear (aka Deadly Presence)
The Doctor and the Devils
Too Scared to Scream
Blood Cult (on YouTube)
Night Train to Terror
The Bad Seed
The New York Centerfold Massacre
Blue Murder
Deadly Intruder
Future Kill
Bits and Pieces
Formula for a Murder
The Hills Have Eyes Part II

[ 1:56:08 ] VII. Feature Review: THE MUTILATOR (aka Fall Break) (1985)
GregaMortis = 8.5 ( Buy it! )
Jay of the Dead = 7 ( Rental )

[ 2:24:42 ] VIII. Feature Review: THE NAIL GUN MASSACRE (1985)
Dr. Shock = 5 ( Low-priority Rental )
Jay of the Dead = 4.5 ( Low-priority Rental )

IX. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Slasher Madness ROUND 3 results (thanks to Kagan!)
— HMP Contests Prizes will be awarded next time

JOIN US IN TWO WEEKS FOR: Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 104: The 1980s Slasher Film Movement Part 4 – 1986-1989, with returning special guest, GregaMortis, of Land of the Creeps horror podcast!

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

Leave a comment or e-mail us here: HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com


Check out Is the Final Girl an Excuse?

GregaMortis says check out The Justin Beahm Radio Hour

Check out our other friend Sal’s Scary Minds.com website

Catch up with GregaMortis to Help Keep Horror Alive!
Land of the Creeps horror podcast
Land of the Creeps on Facebook
Subscribe free in iTunes
Land of the Creeps on Stitcher
On Twitter: @GregaMortis
E-mail GregaMortis here: GregaMortis666 [AT] gmail [DOT] com
GregaMortis recommends that you check out the Myers House NC

Check out friend-of-the-show, Kagan Breitenbach, here: Quartet Macabre

Your Horror Movie Podcast hosts appeared on the 2016 Spooky Flix Fest with the guys at Retro Movie Geek. Please check out Jay of the Dead’s guest appearance (where he recommends 5 films for Halloween), Wolfman Josh’s guest appearance (where he helps review Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners) and Dr. Shock’s guest appearance (where he helps review Salem’s Lot! All on Retro Movie Geek‘s 2016 Spooky Flix Fest!

—Jay of the Dead says to listen to him help review Halloween II (1981) on Episode 215 of The Resurrection of Zombie 7 horror podcast.

—Wolfman Josh says to listen to him help review Phantasm Ravager (2016) on Episode 28 of The Sci Fi Podcast.

—Wolfman Josh says listen to The Sci-Fi Podcast’s review of THE VOID‘s Ghostbusters Dimensions virtual reality experience!

—Check out HMP’s SLASHER MADNESS (courtesy of Kagan Breitenbach)

Catch up with GregaMortis to Help Keep Horror Alive!
Land of the Creeps horror podcast
Land of the Creeps on Facebook
Subscribe free in iTunes
Land of the Creeps on Stitcher
On Twitter: @GregaMortis
E-mail GregaMortis here: GregaMortis666 [AT] gmail [DOT] com

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Follow the Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter
Horror Movie Podcast Official Facebook
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @IcarusArts
Horror Movie Podcast Official Instagram @HorrorMovieCast
Josh covers streaming online movies on MovieStreamCast.com
Follow MSC on Twitter @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave writes daily movie review on DVDinfatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on Facebook
Dr. Shock also appears on another horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Pre-order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter @DrWalkingDead

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for the original Horror Movie Podcast theme and composer Kagan Breitenbach for the use of his arrangement  of Fred’s song for our updated theme.

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Thanks for listening, and join us again Friday after next for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

88 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 103: The 1980s Slasher Film Movement Part 3 — 1984-1985

  1. One thing to consider about Slasher Madness is this: are people voting for their favorite movie or their favorite slasher? As much as I LOVE Nightmare on Elm Street, I would put it on a category all its own. Yes, it’s kind of slasher-like, but the bulk of slashers listed are pure-breed, bread-and-butter, straight forward slashers and I think one of them should win. Now, I’m all for originality and innovation, but in a genre where the lack of those is a big part of the charm, I think that’s what the crowning champion’s qualifications should be.

    • Nightmare on Elm Street is a slasher film, supernatural elements or not. It’s a stalk, kill, hunt victims down mentality and that’s really all htat counts for determining if a film is a slasher.

    • I have been voting for what I think is the best slasher in each paring, rather than voting for favorites (even within the genre). For example, if My Bloody Valentine were up against The Prowler, (which it wasn’t) I would have to pick The Prowler for its overall excellence and kills over My Bloody Valentine even though I love My Bloody Valentine more. I thought I would attempt to be critical rather than nostalgic for a change. As for your thoughts on Nightmare on Elm Street in comparison to other 80’s slashers, I totally agree.

    • This is why HMP is so awesome!

      It’s like we’re a bunch of nerdy biologists trying to classify different species, and getting really nitty gritty into the details. Reminds me of one of the videos I recently worked on that argues whether the Red Panda is a member of the bear or raccoon family. It took a lot of arguing scientists over a hundred years to make up their minds.

      Somehow, we managed to carry the original classification debate of: “is it horror?” over to the slasher genre asking the question “is it a slasher?”, and not only that, now we’ve gone down even further in the analysis.

      Taxonomic Rank of:
      “A Nightmare on Elm Street”

      Kingdom – Movie
      Phylum – Horror
      Class – Slasher
      Order – 80’s
      Family – No tits
      Genus – Supernatural
      Species – Surreal/Nightmare

      What’s funnier is if we were classifying different kinds of coconuts and Jay of the Dead shows up and starts explaining that a water bottle is actually a type of coconut because it’s hollow, filled with liquid, and has a hard exterior.

      The crucial thing for me here is that:

      1- A Nightmare on Elm Street is definitely a slasher, but it’s part of a supernatural sub-genre of slasher, and is even unique within that subgenre. It’s certainly much different than something like Child’s Play or the later Friday the 13th films, which also have supernatural elements.

      2- At the top of the slasher madness page it says “choose your favorite”. It doesn’t say choose which is the quintessential slasher that is the most exemplary of the genre. IMHO, the quintessential slasher is Halloween, but if we isolate it to the 80s then it’s probably The Prowler or something like Friday pt. 4. However, that doesn’t mean that one of those movies is your favorite.

      • I love the idea of a horror taxonomy, although biologists’ switch from the Linnean system to cladistics has made things a bit more complicated. In any case, here’s another possible taxonomy for A Nightmare on Elm Street:

        Kingdom – Fiction
        Phylum – Suspense Film (an umbrella classification that encompasses any films reliant on suspense-related emotions, including action, thrillers, and horror)
        Class – Horror
        Order – Grand Guignol (focused on intense violence rather than gothic or psychological tone)
        Family – Slasher
        Genus – Surreal (eschewing a strictly “realistic” tone; could mean supernatural, but not explicitly–for example, Halloween could be included?)
        Species – Campy/Serious Hybrid (akin to films like Child’s Play–which has comedic or tongue-in-cheek elements, vs. Candyman, which is played fairly straight)

          • Thanks! Yeah, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to define “types” of horror because sometimes inaccurate descriptions or associations leave me disappointed. A cladogram would be a bit too complex for me to try to take on!

    • In the end, let’s be honest – ’80s horror was dominated by Friday the 13th and Freddy. Whether or not you agree with the results from a “quality” perspective, Slasher Madness is shaping up exactly as it should.

  2. I can’t wait to continue the slashing! A lot of the movies you reviewed in the last two episodes are available on Youtube. I was able to watch “Maniac,” “The Slumber Party Massacre,” and “(The Slow Burn)ing”. Next up Sleep Away Camp and Pieces!

  3. Another great episode! Love hearing my Halloween amigo Greg back on again! I’ve been having a lot of fun revisiting many of these films over the last few weeks!
    Great job guys!


    The “terminator is a slasher” thing has been around as long as the movie itself. James Cameron himself has specifically pointed out HALLOWEEN as an influence, even his conceptual art for the first terminator is pretty telling…look it up, it’s the skinless terminator with a butchers knife…

    Also the video In this article is pretty perfect.

    You can find James Cameron Interviews all over YouTube where he literally says “I wanted to make a sci-fi slasher” and that Terminator is “basically a slasher”
    I was almost in shock when I heard everyone disagree with jay… I’ve been hearing people call it a slasher film FOR YEARS. I don’t always agree with Jay…. but when I do… I got his back lol

    Can’t wait for the next half of the 80’s!

    • Yep, I’m mostly with Jay on this. I don’t think I consider The Terminator as 100% Slasher (mainly due to the tone) but it definitely shares a lot of DNA with the sub-genre. It’s a much better made movie with a much more intelligent and interesting premise than the standard slasher fare but it has a kill count and a ruthless, indefatigable stalking killer. I understand the guns argument which on the surface feels like nitpicking but definitely goes a long way to altering the overall tone from the horrific intimacy of a slasher film to a more detached level of menace, but it’s still clearly very closely modelled on the formula and I’m not sure why everyone on the episode was so dismissive of the connection. I genuinely do believe that it has a lot to do with the films renown as a sci-fi classic and the tendency of critics to refuse to admit appreciation for something as lowly as a slasher; great, artfully made B-movies are almost always victims of critical revisionism, recasting them as “sci-fi thrillers” or “suspense thrillers” or whatever.

      It’s very similar to Alien in this regard. Both incredibly well made films full of striking, iconic imagery and existing clearly within the sci-fi genre but built like slashers. They’re both constructed around the whole “Ten Little Indians” premise of people being picked off one by one. It’s the nuts and bolts of the sub-genre just presented in a much more fleshed out and stylised way than we’re used to seeing and blending in elements from other genres. And both movies were elaborated upon with much more straight-forward, big budget action sequels too, maybe if they’d spawned franchises that took the usual slasher-sequel route of copy and pasting the formula of the original then we’d be celebrating them as the greatest slasher franchises ever. Who knows?

      • I’m with Jay on this one as well. Although I’ve always considered The Terminator a sci-fi above anything else, I can’t deny that it used to scare the crap out of me when I was a kid. The scene where The Terminator kills the couple having sex is terrifying and a classic staple of slashers. I think that’s probably the most straightforward slasher scene in the movie for me.

  4. First of all i want to say, I learn something new every episode. This time I learned The Terminator is a slasher. Who would have thunk it. Kind of like No Escape is a horror movie. Ha ha. Also Josh you mentioned The bad seed. Have you seen the 1956 version? It might be worth checking out. Although I’m sure the newer version is probably better. Take care. Gene

  5. I find it fascinating that 3 of the 4 films in the final four for the Slasher Madness feature Jason Voorhees.
    I made a comment to JOTD that Jason could be declared King of the Slashers because 8 of his films were released in the decade. Although like Gregamortis, I’m a HUGE Halloween fan. Michael Myers being my favorite slasher.
    Jason Voorhees just can’t go unnoticed for having such a presence in 80’s slashers, the greatest decade for cinema.

      • I love all of of the Friday the 13th movies, but I have to say that although the first one isn’t as fun as the others, it’s still one of my favorites, if not my favorite of the entire series. I’ll have to go back and look at how I ranked them, but I’m pretty sure I ranked it 1st or 2nd.

    • It’s defintely on the list, Izzy. Thanks for the recommendation. We are doing a Frankensteinian episode right after this Slasher Madness is done and we’ll be getting to some of the 2016 films we haven’t discussed yet.

  6. Listening and enjoying the podcast as usual- and then we get to The Terminator review and I am left absolutely gobsmacked!!!

    Sincerely and seriously, what surprises me is not that Jay would present this film as an entry to the “slasher” genre but rather that there would be such extreme push back on its inclusion. Never mind that this is a science-fiction film first- that much is obvious and undebatable. But how do the hosts of a horror movie podcast NOT see the “slasher” film tropes in this film? I am absolutely shocked that anyone would even give it the smallest amount of pushback- it has always been very obviously a slasher film. When I get together with some of my cinephile friends and we discuss The Terminator we always list it as a slasher film- How is this even controversial?

    I don’t even have an argument for it. Everything Jay said… every aspect of what he said, from the theme music to the unrelenting brutality of the killer. All of it fits the Slasher Tropes and the genre on the whole. I cannot grasp how this is an issue that anyone could find “controversial” in the least. The second film? Not at all a slasher film. Totally different tropes, different themes, different sub-genre entirely. Not a slasher. The first film? Absolutely a slasher film.

    Honestly, I was more surprised to hear “Body Double” discussed as a slasher film. I can understand the Giallo aspects of that film, but it never struck me as a “slasher” film and the stretch it takes to get there is a much further distance than that of The Terminator. I’m performing mental gymnastics here to keep up with this weeks podcast.

    Otherwise, a very well done podcast…and very exhaustive. Honestly, I’m kind of burned out on the subject and I know there’s still one more episode for this.

    • Body Double is also a stretch as a slasher, but giallos are closer in tone to action/sci-fi, which the original Terminator definitely is. I think of Body Double as a thriller with slasher elements, and The Terminator as sci-fi/action with slasher elements, but both are primarily not slashers.

      • With this in mind how would you classify a film like Jason X?

        To me the Sci-Fi elements are just contextual in all of these films, while the actual skeleton underneath upon which those elements are hung is almost identical to that of a slasher.

        I haven’t seen Body Double though. But I’d definitely say that The Terminator is waaaaay closer to the slasher genre than something like Blow Out which was also discussed.

        • For me, these genre/subgenre debates come down to tone, something that can be highly subjective. As for Jason X, its sci-fi/action elements don’t overshadow the slasher elements, but its tone is obviously tongue-in-cheek and campy. Sequels kind of belong in their own category. Unlike most original slashers, we know who the killer is, and pretty much what to expect from them.

          Event Horizon and Alien/Aliens are example of movies that I would say have a horror tone with sci-fi elements, whereas I would say The Terminator has a sci-fi/action tone with horror elements.

          Body Double is good if you like De Palma’s work or a Hitchcockian thriller. It’s kind of like an update/combination of Vertigo and Rear Window.

          Certain thrillers (like Body Double) can create a more menacing atmosphere–when the focus is a mysterious or overwhelming menace rather than the action. While The Terminator does create menace, its focus tends to be on action rather than the implications of events. The focus on action, gunfights, chases, etc. gives the viewer little time to reflect on the implications or create a sense of dread, creating suspense rather than fear.

          • I like the comment about sequels being in their own category because I don’t particularly care for the inclusion of supernatural films in the slasher discussion, but could never leave out Friday the 13th Parts 6, 7 or 8.

          • Great points. I definitely agree that the tone of The Terminator doesn’t quite correlate with what we’re used to from slashers. It lacks the Grand Guignol influences and as has already been discussed, the use of guns instead of blades definitely detracts from the intimacy of the murdering. I also wonder if, in spite of Jason becoming a zombie and Freddy being a dream-demon, we tend to associate slashers more with human murderers. Most tend to reflect the horrific potential of people so maybe having The Terminator be a synthetic being dilutes that element of the horror somewhat. And I guess the tone in a lot of slashers is helped by the low budget and sleazy feel; they’re pretty much exploitation films. The Terminator does have it’s B-movie credentials but doesn’t quite feel cheap or excessive enough, again though, that could just be critical refusal to accept well made movies as part of the genre being drummed into our heads for so many years.

            I still maintain that it’s constructed almost identically to a slasher film, but the tonal issue is another matter.

        • I don’t mind the inclusion of De Palma, because other than Carrie, some of his lesser known movies that could straddle the horror/thriller line tend to get overlooked by horror fans, but are definitely worth checking out. Body Double is definitely a movie that messes with your mind in a way that The Terminator, for all its greatness, really doesn’t.

        • In spite of what I said about Blow Out not being particularly relevant I’m still happy with it being mentioned tangentially and I’m thankful to you for turning me onto the movie in the first place, Josh. I love it!

        • Thanks guys for the great discussion and the inclusion of the DePalma films. While I agree that they aren’t pure slashers they contain slasher elements and are done with amazing technical skill.
          I have been interested in his films (and horror criticism) since the late 70’s and still have a few books from the 80’s – 90’s that list DePalma as a major force in horror movies. He is included in one book by John McCarty as a “fearmaker” and he is included with names like: Browning, Whale, Corman, Castle, Polanski, Romero, Craven, Hooper, Carpenter, and Cronenberg.
          I am not sure where he would rank now, but I feel that his movies are visually brilliant and worth a revisit.

  7. Great episode, as always! I always enjoy the dynamic between Jay of the Dead, Wolfman Josh, and Dr. Shock. Each has their own take, and I like when there is friendly disagreement/debate. Although I don’t always agree with Jay of the Dead, I appreciate his willingness to be provocative and not have “sacred cows” so to speak. His ideas might be out there sometimes (Terminator as a slasher…), but at least he holds on to his own views no matter how much flak he might get for them.

    The rest of my comment is lengthy, because I’ve thought a lot about this, so bear with me. I really like you bringing in the academic stuff–I’m a graduate student, I’ve read Clover before for a film class, and I do like to think about my favorite films on a deeper level, and what their social and political contexts might be. I like that you are respectful towards these theories even if you don’t share the critic’s perspective. Thanks for sharing the “Is the final girl just an excuse?” article. I took a look at it because I also felt Clover’s book left some things out. However, I feel like Scott misses some things as well.

    Like Scott, I do think that, at least in some of these movies, there is a sadistic male pleasure in watching the brutal murder of conventionally beautiful, sexually active women. It does make me uncomfortable as a male viewer, and it’s one of the reasons why slashers were never one of my favorite genres–although I can’t deny my love for the Halloween and Friday the 13th series, or even more obscure gems like Pieces or The Burning. On the other hand, I do think Clover has a point about the male viewer identifying with the final girl. I just don’t buy Clover’s “playing with gender” interpretation. I think it has more to do with identifying with the final girl’s vulnerability and underdog or misfit role. While the final girl often has friends, as the prudish or cerebral one among them, she doesn’t quite fit in completely, feels socially awkward and perhaps romantically frustrated. I’m thinking of Laurie Strode here. It’s much more satisfying to see a character go from being awkward and conflicted to becoming strong and decisive. And I’m betting that a lot of male viewers, even if they don’t consider themselves prudish or intellectual, identify more with the person a bit outside the norm, rather than their popular and confident friends.

    This, to me, is the difference between horror and action–or even thrillers–because the hero (or heroine) in action and thrillers may face a crisis, but they often start out with a more rebellious, confrontational attitude, especially when the story focuses on authority figures or detectives (thinking Die Hard or noir hardboiled detectives here). They prove their strength, whereas the final girl (and often horror protagonists generally) FIND their strength.

    I also think that when these theories attempt to lump many movies together, they don’t recognize the differences, and the theories start to fall apart when you look more closely. For example, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Friday the 13th, and a Nightmare on Elm Street are all very different films, despite often being cited as quintessential slasher films. Do they hold up under all the supposed theories?

    – Final girl fights back: TCM’s final girl doesn’t so much fight back as run away. In Halloween, while Laurie fights back, Dr. Loomis comes to her aid, and Michael is only ultimately defeated by a woman in H20. Not all of the Friday the 13th sequels have a woman vanquish Jason (in 4, 5, and 6 it’s Tommy). Alice’s desperation in F13th is different than Nancy’s determination (while calling for daddy all along) in ANoES.

    – Dwelling on the death of sexually active women: The whole cast of females isn’t necessarily shown as sexually active in these movies. Take Friday the 13th. Other than the campers at the beginning—set in the 1950s–only Jack and Marcie have sex. And what about the notable male deaths in these movies? Admittedly, they might not be as graphic or drawn-out as female deaths, but aren’t there numerous male kills horror fans remember? Bob’s getting pinned to the wall by a knife in Halloween, Jack getting the arrow through his neck in F13th, Kirk getting bonked out by a hammer in TCM. And how about the guy stabbed in the crotch in Pieces?

    Yes, women victims’ deaths are often sexualized in slashers—Tina’s death in ANoES is disturbingly like a rape, and the deaths of women in Halloween II are more brutal and drawn-out than any of the male victims. And this should give us pause. I’m glad that horror films have evolved with some of these ideas in mind. But I don’t think we can either rush to defend or condemn any of these movies without looking more closely at them individually, rather than trying to peg them into a “one size fits all” theory. The final girl is neither an excuse nor a symbol of empowerment. The character functions differently depending upon the individual film, and how that role fits into your interpretation of the film as a whole.

    • And I forgot to mention GregaMortis, who is definitely one of my favorite guests on this show. I love his passion and excitement when talking about his favorite movies and moments. Will be checking out some Land of the Creeps episodes.

    • Great comments, AnDread. I particularly enjoyed the comparison of action heroes/heroines VS horror heroes/heroines. I’m sure we’ll be discussing your comments on the next episode. Thanks for listening and commenting!

  8. Just finished listening to the episode and am loving the slasher episodes. When doing my own research for the years discussed I found 1985 lacking in depth/quality. I had not seen that many other than the biggies, but I had checked out The Ripper (low end, I was expecting more with Savini involved). I hear he has since distanced himself from the project. One film I had seen years ago was Night Train to Terror. It wasn’t great but I do recall the music being very much of the age and very catchy (not sure whether that was a good thing, lol). Also the segment with Richard Moll was interesting. Apparently it was a scaled down/edited version of another horror that had been previously shot. I could never get the exact story as to what happened to the longer version. Perhaps with all of your guys knowledge/resources you can figure out the story on the segment. Moll seems like too good an actor to be in this as a small part in an anthology film of this ilk. The film is definitely worth a watch. Finally I wanted to give a shout out to the solid work of Gregamortis. I love his analysis. He thinks the way many guys do when they are watching a movie and I appreciate his input. On a non 80’s slasher note, I just watched a 2009 film called Sweatshop and thought Gregamortis (and everyone else on the show) would enjoy it. Am curious if anyone has seen it. I enjoyed it in a lower budget slasher type of way. It has an interesting vibe to it and the killer I found enjoyable. Anyways, take care and keep up the good work.

    • I’m not certain but I think Jay and maybe Doc have seen Sweatshop at the behest of Billchete. I recall Jay having an issue with the characters being too dislikeable (?) but I can’t remember if he liked the movie overall or not.

  9. Another great episode guys! Love knowing about Slasher’s I haven’t seen yet. The real reason I’m writing to encourage everyone to check out The Monster, directed by Bryan Bertino. He also did The Strangers (one of the better more recent Horror Movie), and (In my eyes an under rated) Mockingbird. The Monster splits it’s time with the relationship of the Mother and Daughter, and the Creature involved in the film in short segments. Jay will like it, it’s a Beastly Freak and Siege Narrative. I really liked how the movie shows us how toxic the relationship between Mother and Daughter is. It makes you really care about what happens to them. As the movie rolls on and both situations get more tense you do feel very uneasy about what might come next. I could of seen this movie working also by showing the relationship between Mother and Daughter first and then showing what happens with The Creature. I wanted a happier ending also because I cared about what happened to them, but I won’t complain about what we got. It also reminded me of no matter how bad your relationship is with a loved one, you will still do anything for them. 8/10 a definite buy for me when it hits DVD.

    • I’ll second the recommendation for The Monster. Saw this with a couple of friends in the theater, and all three of us were blown away. It has received very mixed reviews, which surprises me, but it seems like people are bothered by either the emphasis on the mother/daughter relationship (which I think really elevates the film), or the “slow burn” pacing (things don’t start getting horrific until probably 45 minutes in).

    • The Monster was decent, but it was the drama/relationship that does weaken the film. The creature aspects were good and had great tension with just using sound. But the flashbacks tore from the pacing and the timing was off. A reedit needs to be done, in my opinion.
      I’m at 6/10.
      Also, I’m not a Serial Killer is a recommend.

  10. Alright. I’ve been thinking about Terminator as a slasher and the subgenre in general. In my opinion the best killers in these types of movies display godlike qualities. They seem to be omnipotent in a way that makes them seem unkillable. They seem omnipresent in that they seem to lurk behind ever door and hedge. They even seem to have some omniscient insight into where the victims are heading and what their plan is. Micheal, Jason, and even Freddy show these characteristics in varying degrees. The more degrees or distance from the ideal killer the big baddie is the less appealing I find the baddie. In regard to The Terminator not only is the horror tone absent, but the terminator is too finite and limited in power. Even the most human baddies in slashers seem inhuman until the end when they are dispatched. The terminator may not be human, but he seems to try too hard. Jason almost seems to bend reality to be one step ahead. Just my honest opinion.

  11. Great episode guys. Loving the last 3 episodes about 80’s slashers. My watch list has now grown sufficiently. Thanks guys. :)

  12. I love this discussion as to what is considered a slasher or even a horror movie. I often am confronted with this when I go to watch a movie, when some may consider a movie crime/mystery/sci-fi and I am not sure, as a horrorhound, if this is a true horror movie. Specifically with regards to slashers I feels the lines are often blurred. For example, a movie like Scarface is surely a crime/drama movie but it has all the great elements of a slasher. There is an obvious (yet somewhat sympathetic to some) killer. Tony Montana is basically an anti-hero the way many of the killers are in slashers. There is tons of kill scenes, and more blood and violence than in 90% of horrors. There is sheer terror (the shower scene early in the movie is as horrific as an in a good slasher film) and there is the ultimate finale scene with build up that most good slashers have. There is even a virginal female character who dies in the end in Tony Montana’s sister Gina. And there is the prerequisite nudity/sexuality that is prevalent in most slashers. Now there are counter arguments: most of the killing is done with guns, and the female character dies at the end, but I do not think this is much of a stretch if Terminator is being considered a slasher. The sheer brutality and ruthlessness of the killings are definite hallmarks of the slasher genre, but its ultimate flaw is that the acting in Scarface is superb, which is rarely found in a slasher. Perhaps this should have been mentioned when 1983 slashers were discussed. Am curious what others thought about this, especially Jay’s but anyone on this board or the podcast?

  13. So branching of what you guys were originally saying with the feminism aspect of the slasher genre, I wanted to bring in the gay side of the slasher genre.

    I know it sounds like yet another stretch, but bear with me. Just to start off, it isn’t a conspiracy theory, and it has nothing to do with filmmaker intentionality.

    The truth is that a lot of gay men are slasher fans, myself included. I never really wondered why that was until I listened to the commentary track for “Friday the 13th” (1980) by the author of “Crystal Lake Memories” Peter M. Bracke. At one point in the commentary, he goes into this strange diatribe about how gay men identify with the slasher genre. I was actually skeptical of his analysis, but I think he was really onto something.

    Here’s my read on this situation:

    First, you have the protagonist, the final girl, whatever you want to call her. The protagonists of slashers have many things in common, but the one I want to focus on is: the isolation from peers based on sexuality. I’m going to focus on just three examples. First, Laurie from Halloween, she fits this pretty well. Laurie doesn’t even the courage to ask out Ben Tramer, and on Halloween night she finds herself babysitting while her friends are out doing the dirty. Next, Alice in Friday the 13th. When we meet Alice, she is talking with Steve Christy about a picture she has drawn of him after what we can assume was probably a drunken awkward night. Alice also has a hard time expressing herself emotionally or sexually, and as the movie progresses she’s in a really similar situation as Laurie. She’s alone in her cabin while her friends are off diddling each other. Lastly, you have Nancy in Nightmare on Elm Street. Nancy is unique in that she actually has a boyfriend, but you’ll notice her strict policy of abstinence in a couple scenes. Specifically when they are staying the night at Tina’s and later when Glen climbs the rose trellises into Nancy’s bedroom. Nancy’s similarity with the other two girls is that when her friend Tina is having sex, Nancy again is by herself.

    So the first part of the gay identification with slasher is kind of obvious, the sexual isolation, but what happens in the end of these films is even more telling. Typically, everyone who has sex in these films dies, and eventually what we’re left with is our sexually isolated protagonist and our powerful brute force killer. The idea is that, as a gay person, when you are left alone with just your own inner turmoil, a monster is created. A self made monster. The final girl vs. killer chase at the end of slasher movies, for me, can be read as a bit of metaphorical battle of self acceptance. All of your friends are gone, nobody understands or can relate to you on the things you are going through, and all that you are left with is a relentless monster that you alone must face. In some ways, the helplessness of this final chase really does bring up the conflicts a person feels when coming out of the closet. It’s a reality that is constantly pursuing you, and you have to face it or let it consume you.

    • Kagan, to quote Jay of the Dead, “You kind of blew my mind right now.” I didn’t know that slashers have a large gay fanbase; in fact, I’ve heard more criticism from gay people because they often see slashers as affirming heterosexual values, because they usually only include hetero couples (other than the notorious Nightmare on Elm St 2, I’m coming up short with any gay characters in well-known slashers). However, you’re reading does make a lot of sense.

      In fact, I see it as more or less related to my own reading of why viewers might identify with the final girl–not necessarily because she’s virginal per se, but because she’s more isolated/conflicted, and being a riff on the traditional “damsel in distress” figure only heightens this (more so than if the survivor was an isolated/conflicted male character, although we do see those as well). Carpenter’s explanation of how Laurie, in a sense, “calls” Michael to her (and why survives his attacks) because of her sexual frustrations also aligns with this idea of confronting a sexual “monster in the closet” that you must face.

      I’m curious, though: in your reading, does the confrontation and vanquishing of the killer reaffirm one’s own sexuality (gay or otherwise), or does it signal a return to normalcy and thus, traditional, heterosexual values? Does it depend on how the film handles the final girl and the ending?

      • That’s a good question.

        In my reading, I wouldn’t necessarily consider the killer a representation of homosexuality and homosexual values, but more a representation of a lack of self acceptance. The killer represents the inner self saboteur that everyone must confront when discovering his/her own identity.

        The vanquishing of the killer is the vanquishing of self doubt and self loathing and ushers in self acceptance.

        In my view, the final girl and the killer are two sides of the same person.

        • Nicely said. It makes me think, too…

          While I am not homosexual, much of the feelings described are those that have often found a place with me as a fan of slashers. That isolation and self doubt, fear, lack of comfort around others…

          Would you say that the inevitable sequels or even the “final scare” designed into these films might represent the never ending cyclical nature of these feelings? For example, I struggle with bipolar disorder and it’s a very cyclical condition. No matter how hard I struggle to overcome it, I live with the knowledge that the valleys will dip and the mountains will peak and it’s only a matter of time till it nearly gets the best of me again.

          Any thoughts?

          • Oh I totally agree! I think the relentless force of the slasher killer could be seen as any number of persistent negative psychological states.

            Specifically psychological mostly because, once the killer has dispatched with all your societally normal friends and family, you are left alone to battle your monster. Especially in predominant western culture, most of our seemingly unstoppable inner demons tend to be a solo fight.

    • This is awesome. Thank you for sharing something so deep and emotional with us! I love the inclusiveness of this community and how we are able to educate one another intelligently and respectfully.

  14. Jay, Josh, Doc, Greg,

    Thanks for giving us another fantastic episode. Although I would never attempt to assume the opinions of others in this community, I want to thank you for providing us with some much needed entertainment and lightheartedness after a stressful and (for me) disappointing weeks of politics. It’s helpful to know that I have things like this in my life that keep me grounded and prevent me from getting too caught up in the things that bring me down. This really is a service that I have come to rely upon. Listening to your show always makes my day a little bit better and makes me feel like there are people out there that understand me, at least when it comes to hobbies and interests. Thanks for all you do.

  15. Hello there,

    I’ve been listening to you more times than I can count now, and I thank you for the virtual home you created. Even if it can be horrific, repulsive or terrifying, it is a place I come back to; it feels safe, in a strange way.

    I never left any comment, but the “Slasher Terminator” episode made me react.
    I agree with Jay, and as some pointed out, it is not a big gap to cross.
    This movie belongs to the Slasher Clan. Maybe it’s not a brother of the most famous ones, maybe it is a cousin, or the result of a brief encounter with the SciFi Realm (during that torrid summer)
    There are many evidences pointing into that direction. Some might be debatable (but everything is, right?), but I find many sound very true.

    In my opinion, the most controversial aspect of this analysis is the unexpected refusal reaction it provoked. I understand that The Terminator is not a pure Slasher, but should all movies of that genre mimic the “great old ones” to be accepted as such? Opening to diversity can be the source of great surprises and renewal don’t you think? (although inbreeding is a big thing in Horror)

    I know, I know, we might be opening once again the horror classification trend,
    And I have to say this is what makes the most interesting episodes of HMP for me.
    I greatly appreciate Jay’s unshaken efforts to analyze, understand, and “step back”, even if just for a moment, to reveal a broader view, a landscape we might have missed if we had just kept focusing on a single item.

    Perspective, New dimension, Enlightenment.
    Thank you Jay of the Dead for bringing all this to our minds!

    • I love Jays inclusivity argument of Terminator. I think it ultimately ends up being more like a film critic’s etude.

      With Terminator, the first place to start is considering whether or not it’s a horror film. Conventional wisdom tends to side more with sic-fi action thriller. A really reductive way to look at the genre analysis is to decide whether or not it passes a “sniff test”. For Terminator, it simply doesn’t feel like a horror film.

      The similarities of Terminator to a slasher are actually pretty good, and I did some reading and Jay isn’t the only person to have mad the comparison. Specifically there was an article on Blumhouse that makes the same comparison. While Terminator isn’t necessarily a slasher or even a horror movie, I think that the argument can be made that the terminator character himself and his motives are very similar to some slasher killers. And though it will make Gregamortis mad, I think that the comparison of Terminator to Michael Meyers, strictly on a plot and character basis, is pretty strong.

      Again, ultimately I don’t think the film itself necessarily gets slasher status. Mainly because it doesn’t feel like a horror movie to me.

  16. Anybody seen They Look Like People? Looking forward to discussing that on the show. The slasher talk is fun, but like most of our marathons, I’m ready to do something else. There are a lot of interesting 2016 films out there still to discuss.

    • Hi Wolfman Josh,

      I had a request/suggestion thinking about the 2016 movies and the upcoming best of the year list. First off- that is always one of my favorite episodes. Second- I would love to hear a list revisit later in the year (Feb- March) since often everyone hasn’t had the time to see all the movies they’ve wanted to see and the lists always generate new movies to see. Taking a second shot at it could give a more final list and it would be fun to see if your lists change at all. Thanks again. I love listening to your thoughtful discussions!

    • It was a little hard for me to watch this movie. My Ex Wife struggled with Mental Illness and committed suicide 3 months ago. It hit home a little too hard for me at the time. I do want to watch it again now that the shock of what happened has past.

  17. I just wanted to say, and I’m not sucking up. I listen to a lot of podcasts and of all that I listen to HMP and MPW are my favorite movie podcasts. If you guys stop there will be a serious void in my life. Just kidding. But I would miss it. If there were enough episodes I could seriously listen every day and not get sick of it. I’ve already listened to every episode 2 or 3 times. You have the perfect mix of goofing around and serious movie discussion. Never boring. With all that I can’t remember if it was MPW or HMP but Jay mentioned a movie with Chuck Norris called Magnum Force, that’s actually a movie with Clint Eastwood, part of the Dirty Harry franchise. I think what he meant was A Force Of One that also had Bill (Superfoot ) Wallace who I actually met at the Utah open Karate tournament in the 80s. Anyway that’s all for now take care, Gene from Logan.

  18. I am curious if The Hitcher will be discussed in the next installment of the series. First to see if it would be considered a horror and secondly if part of the slasher genre?

  19. One aspect I enjoy about these themed slasher episodes is it gives me 2 weeks to research/discover/rediscover movies from the years being covered. Yeah, I also enjoy not knowing a theme and discovering or having interpretations about movies I have seen, but having a sense to “prepare” to listen to an episode has become enjoyable and strangely calming, lol. When getting ready for Friday’s episode I came across and watched two movies I had never seen and was curious if they will be mentioned: Truth or Dare? (and not the Madonna movie, although it could be argued that it also is horrific to watch) and Neon Maniacs. Both are low budget but interesting in their own ways. Truth or Dare I think had a not so original concept but had its own charm (at one point the protagonist reminded me of the guy on the cover of Quiet Riot’s Mental Health album). It is a pure slasher and with a larger budget could have been much more effective with better acting. Neon Maniacs was a slasher in most respects except that the killers were zombies/monsters/aliens (am not quite sure). The final scene had elements of Carrie but didn’t quite hit the mark. Both were interesting but not quite classics. Anyone else seen them? Anyways, thanks, Wolfman, Jay and Gregamortis for awesome episodes and I can’t wait until the new podcast is released!

    • Man, we did not get to either of those! Sorry. Our coverage was much more limited this episode as we had four years to cover in the same amount of time. We featured Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1986), StageFright (1987), Blood Rage (1987), Intruder (1989), and then each picked 1-2 other movies per year to discuss. I don’t know how long the final edited-down episode will be, but Jay and I recorded for almost 4 hours!!! Dave and Greg were on the line for about 3 of those talking slashers and then we did a bunch of miscellaneous talk and some giveaways.

      • is all good. I like that you make us listener dig deep and find horrors we may not have realized existed. I find myself digging deep and finding lower budget horrors that I enjoy discovering. It also makes me appreciate some of the higher budgeted films that Hollywood takes the time to create. For example, last week I finally watched Sinister 2. Was it a great movie? Not at all. Not as good as the first (which I found over hyped) but at least when blood was used I did not think it was squeezed from a Burger King ketchup packet and you could not see the shadow of the camera man during crucial scenes. Suffice to say the podcast is making me appreciate all forms of horror films, warts and all.

        • I second this–my comments went overboard on focusing on the Terminator debate and what is/isn’t a slasher, but other than the most well-known slashers, I’m glad to be introduced to so many I didn’t know about. I really look forward to checking out Blood Song (1982), and from this episode, The Mutilator.

    • Truth or Dare is, bar none, the worst movie I’ve EVER seen. And I’ve seen Manos: HAnds of Fate without the MST3K riffing… I’ve seen Birdemic… I’ve seen some truly gadawful films. It is, sincerely, the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I wrote a review about it on my blog… but it just turned into a ranting spoiler-filled rage spew that would, hopefully, spare anyone else the wretched misfortune of seeing that movie.

      • lol redcapjack…I have seen a lot of awful movies also. For a while I only watched movies that were considered “bad”… Plan 9, Beast From Haunted Cave, Mongolian Death Worm, The Creeping Terror (which I actually found funny) etc. While Truth or Dare is far from good, I did find it more enjoyable than some I have watched. Yes, it has zero budget, was implausible, bad acting, but I found it had some inadvertent humour and a couple of ok kill scenes, plus some nudity from what I remember. Just for the record, my 2 lowest rated horrors are the 2008 version of April Fools Day and 1954’s The Snow Creature. Dreadful stuff…lol.

        • never seen it. Should I look it up?…lol…I am sure some of the Troma films would be fairly tough to watch, as are some of the lower b level creature films from the 1940’s-1950’s. I still have a few “bad” films to watch, such as Egah and Manos (I have seen scenes but never completely through). I need to be in a certain type of mood, but if I sat through The Werewolf vs. The Yeti I can watch just about anything…lol

        • I have seen Rabid Grannies. Cheesy, but actually fairly enjoyable. It’s not really an “awful” movie because it has a clear cut plot…

          Truth or Dare does not, actually, follow any real use of a narrative device. No one would believe me if I described the first fifteen minutes of the film… they would think I was spoiling the whole film and they wouldn’t be aware that, no, it’s only fifteen minutes in. He cuts off his own thumb and tongue and they grow back… THEY GROW BACK!!! Let me be clear… body parts grow back. This movie is awful… and I love traditionally “bad’ movies, but “Truth or Dare” is infuriating.

          Bill, I can understand half-remembering this film and thinking there were cool moments… but this film was awful if you watch it from beginning to end. If you catch it bit and pieces or you’re half-watching it, I can understand thinking there were interesting parts… but this film don’t really make a lick of sense.

  20. I have been listening to this show for a while and so excited to be able to find other horror fans like me. You guys rock so much.

  21. Wow, I loved the terminator analogy was def amusing.

    I think this series so far has been pretty spot on. I was trying to think of ones you missed but couldn’t in my head. This podcast is making me think about doing a blog about horror movies now.

    Thank guys

  22. Hey all! I finally got around to watching the movie Follow last night. It’s about a couple with a weird relationship. The woman is a little sick in the head as we find out through flashbacks and she saved the guys life at one point also. There definitely is a co-dependency between the two. One night things get a little out of hand and she is shot and killed. The dude got drugged and doesn’t remember much of what happened. As the movie progresses, things get pieced together a little more and a few unfortunate events happen. It’s a pretty short movie and things happen pretty quickly and kept me entertained throughout. The more information that you get, the more I wanted to find out what really happened between them. The title of the movie was a good pick and had meaning though out the movie. This won’t be the best movie you’ve seen this year, but it is worth a watch if you like watching how twisted people think. If you and your girl like watching Horror together, this is a pretty twisted love story and how far you’d go for someone you love.

    “That cold ain’t the weather. That’s death approaching.”

  23. I apologize if it has been brought up, but has anyone seen Incarnate today? I was wondering if it is worth checking out at the cinema?


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