6 Slasher Films That Don’t Get Enough Love!!

stagefright

Slasher movies were what introduced me to horror. The idea of some huge (yet oddly quiet) man, skulking around in some cryptic mask, looking to viciously murder anyone who crosses his path. Sometimes, the slasher would have motive for doing what he did, so that added another layer of fun to the sub genre. The idea that the bad guy may have been a victim at one point. In that sense, slasher movies are more like revenge movies. They begin with the tragedy befalling a character. Said tragedy changes his appearance and demeanor. Often then, we flash forward as some masked maniac has begun killing everyone. The formula is easy enough to follow, but I have noticed over the years slasher fans always seem to talk about the same movies. The movies that set the tone. The Friday the 13ths and the Halloweens. But what about the hundreds of other slasher movies through the ages? How come they get no love? Well, my sick friends. They are about to.

The Burning (1981)

Man, I love me some Cropsey! Yes, The Burning may have been very similar to Friday the 13th, but why is that a bad thing? The Burning was about Cropsey, the caretaker at a summer camp (for apparently really cruel children). One night some of the campers decided they want to scare the guy, but in the process of trying to scare him, they kind of burn him alive. You know, we have all been there? You try to prank someone and mistakenly maim them. Man, I hate when that happens.

Anyway, Cropsey does not actually die. He just spends five years at a hospital getting skin grafts and shit. They release him and he pretty much makes his way to a camp and starts murdering kids. I know murdering kids at a camp is nothing new, but man, that canoe scene is one of my faves of the 80′s. Fisher Stevens seems genuinely shocked he gets his fingers cut off. That never fails to make me laugh. Makeup master Tom Savini at his early best.

Oh, and let it be known. A young Jason Alexander (with hair) is in this movie. It is worth seeing just for that. Well, that, and when Cropsey busts out a blow torch in the final stretch of the film. Yeah, that’s pretty badass, too.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

ver

Long before “Dexter” was showing us how to kill people on Showtime, Leslie Vernon was showing us how to kill people in this brilliant mockumentary. A movie that follows the exploits of a man named Leslie Vernon (sort of a real life Jason Vorhees with charisma) as he goes about, doing his thing. The Vernon character is so charming, you tend to forget the fact that he is a murdering monster pretty quick. Then he reminds you again.

The film is satire of the slasher genre, while also being a love letter to the genre. We follow Leslie as he addresses such things as picking victims, ways to kill, and how to get away with it. The movie bounces back and forth from satire, and it hits you during the last half hour that it was all an elaborate set up for the finale of the film.

I will not tell you more than that, as I do not want to spoil this gem of a film for you.

Peeping Tom (1960)

peeps

Peeping Tom is on the list for one simple reason. It was WAY ahead of its time. We are talking about a film from 1960. On top of that, the way the kills go down in this movie are still incredibly chilling. Why? Well, that is the whole point of the film. The Peeping Tom in mention is a man who has a camera mounted and running at all times. He essentially films all his murders, and we see them from the perspective of the camera. Think the modern remake of Maniac and you have a good idea.

Mark, the main character in this movie, has an Anthony Perkins in Psycho levels of creepy to him. He is an odd and quiet man, and the more we find out about his past, the more what he does seems to make sense. Granted, it dos not justify his actions, but at least validates why he does them.

Again, I am being cryptic and vague on purpose. See this movie. Also, someone needs to remake it, stat. The voyeurism themes would lend themselves well to our technological age.

StageFright (1987)

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Okay, I am gonna be honest with you about this one. StageFright is on the list because of that fucking owl head. I know Lord of Tears is coming soon, so this feels really topical to bring up. Something about a human that looks like an owl is very disturbing. StageFright is about a group of actors who start getting offed, one by one. They hear of a legend of a murder known as The Night Owl, and once they bring him up, it is like they summoned him.

But this is a slasher, so you know the owl is just one of the people in the cast. But who? Well, that is not important. What is important is that the owl head is creepy a fuck (even though you know field of vision would be all but non existent with it on) and the final half hour has some cool twists and turns.

But mainly, that owl head.

Maniac Cop (1988)

mans

So wait, you have a killer cop roaming the streets of New York city, and Bruce Campbell is in this movie? Two stronger selling points, I have never heard. While every other aspect of it may just seem generic, sometimes all you needed for a good slasher was to change the setting, and change the antagonist.

I will be honest with you. Another reason this is on the list is because the idea of a cop being a murderous fiend is pretty scary. Why? Because your mind set it to do whatever a cop tells you. We have all been conditioned to respect them as authority. So the very idea that a cop would be the murderous monster sends a chill down your spine.

Granted, other than that, this is typical slasher fare, but the cop thing sets it above most other slasher clones and gets some points for originality.

Curtains (1983)

Curtains_0

I will admit, this one (much like StageFright) is on the list for the killer’s ensemble. In this case, the killer wears an old hag mask that, for some reason, fucking freaks me out. The actual movie is sort of by-the-numbers, but man, that hag mask? That thing is terrifying. Oh, and extra points for the ice skate scene.

Rarely do we get to see ice ballet and slasher films meet up so gloriously. Okay, so what slasher films do you think are underrated? Take to the comments and let us know. Then go toss a like over here, and then go read aboutthe one film from this year that really fucked with my head.

 
  • SuperKilla

    Strong list ,I agree with all these films but I’ve never seen Curtains but I’ll check it out now.
    Some other that don’t enough love.

    1.Slashers (2001)

    2.Happy Birthday to me

    3.Scream 4

    4.New Year’s Evil

    5.The Prowler

    6.Intruder

    7.The Tripper

    8.Gutterballs

    9.Tenebra

    10.Jason x

    11.MadMan

    12.Graduation day
    And probably so many more I can’t think of right now.

    • Baphomitt

      DQ’d for including Gutterballs

      • Evan3

        How about Dq’d for Jason X?

        • Remy Carreiro

          Actually, Scream 4,too. The movie was okay, but the ending was a joke.

          • SuperKilla

            First you said good suggestions then you said DQ’d for Scream 4?
            I guess the world needs hypocrites too. Ha! but it’s all in good fun. Seems like some people on here DQ’d you for Leslie Vernon.
            And the joke would be @baphomit talking trash but I see no list from him/her/shim. Same thing @Evan3 trashin’ Remy for Leslie Vernon and I for Jason X but I see no list from you.

    • SuperKilla

      Here’s another one peops with no list can dq me for, “Venom” from 2005.
      And Remy, finely found “Curtains” can’t wait to watch it, glad you put it on your list.

      • Remy Carreiro

        Thanks mang!

  • Remy Carreiro

    Great suggestions, I may need to do a follow up to this one.

  • STRIK9

    ‘Leslie Vernon’ and ‘curtains’ get no love ’cause they blow goats. ‘Madman’ does not get the credit it deserves and neither does ‘Dont go in the house’. Add those to that weak ass list.

    • divisionbell

      Yes I love madman! Wonderful, quirky slasher.

      And you’re right, Leslie Vernon is an awful film with a great premise. The humor is good, but the film itself was a giant, missed opportunity!

    • Remy Carreiro

      Go write your own, son, and leave Daddy alone….

  • minya

    I am aghast!
    I’ve never even heard of StageFright!
    I hang my head in shame…

    • Remy Carreiro

      Exactly why I wrote it. No shame needed. Check it out now.

  • KeepDoubting

    This list needs more Tourist Trap!

    • Remy Carreiro

      Great movie, agreed.

  • http://mitchmacready.blogspot.com/ Zombie-Killa

    Terror Train (1980). There are now words to describe how much I love Terror Train (1980). HORRIBLY underrated, IMO, and a forgotten classic. Jaime Lee Curtis is awesome as usual.

    Technically, Hell Night ’81 with Linda Blair is a slasher, right? If so, add that to my list, but it’s a shame most people remember it for painfully obvious shots of Blair’s cleavage. lol.

    • SuperKilla

      I like Terror Train too, I always thought the film got the love it deserves.

      • Nightflyre9

        I agree. Terror Train is one of the top movies of the 80′s slasher era. It’s a classic of the genre.

  • Remy Carreiro

    Is Terror Train the one with the mask that makes the guy look like Gene Shalit?
    I loved that shit…

    • http://mitchmacready.blogspot.com/ Zombie-Killa

      Yes!

      Truth be told, I laughed a few times during my first time with Terror Train, because it’s almost impossible to ignore the Shalit resemblance. lol.

  • c-s-a78

    I remember the burning when I was a kid and it scared the shit out of me.lol.anyway,i think a remake on it would be veryyy interesting!and make it into a franchise,like Friday the 13th!that and “blood beach”!!!what dose everyone think???

  • mountain twin

    hell night
    just before dawn
    the mutilator
    new years evil
    don’t go in the woods
    funhouse
    slaughterhouse
    psycho cop
    humungous
    ******** welcome to spring break ******** (spring break b*tches)
    but most of all…
    intruder

  • mountain twin

    great list, btw. but lets go deep.
    c’mon what else boys and ghouls?!
    i need some new blood.

    • Remy Carreiro

      Thanks, nice list yourself, friend.

  • Evan3

    I just don’t get the love for Leslie Vernon and here’s why (spoilers). The entire film, the documentarian and her crew are shown EXACTLY how the entire set up of slashers work, including the traps he sets for his victims. With this knowledge, she could have presented Leslie with the ultimate challenge, avoiding his traps and being competent. Instead, once his actul target (the documentarian)is revealed… she lamely falls right into every trap he has set. Why? It is so beyond stupid that I soured on the whole thing.

    • Remy Carreiro

      I can respect why people did not like how the ending played out, but I felt 90% of the movie was a solid love letter to the genre, so I didn’t let the end ruin it for me.

      • Evan3

        @Remy Carreiro

        While I get what you are saying (and honestly agree, the first 2/3 of the film is a blast), when a movie does so well for itself and is so competent, such a bungling is that much more disappointing to me.

        I wanted to shake the writer and say “look what a greatmovie you almost made!”

        Cabin in the Woods is as much of a love letter and sticks the ending with style.

  • dudesareawesome

    Stagefright has a lot more going for it than just having a person with a giant owl head. That part’s cool and all, but aside from the owl head, it’s generally an awesome fucking slasher movie. I was all excited to see it on this list and then bummed you kind of gave it a back-handed compliment.

    • Remy Carreiro

      BUT, you gotta be happy more people will know of it now, right? That is all our collective goal here. But make no mistakes. Back handed compliment or not, if I didn’t love it, it wouldn’t be here.
      And seriously, that Owl Head owns life.

  • PresidentObama

    Though I have to disagree with “Behind the Mask” but respect your opinion, this is a great list and article idea. Thanks for adding that clip for “Curtains.” Actually, the pic alone gave me the chills, lol. Though many slasher films come to mind, I would have to say “Dario Argento’s Opera.” The ending is shit stupid but it is so unrelentless with the killings. A total classic everyone mixes up with “Phantom of the Opera” which reminds me, the one with Robert Englund was fantastic, as well, contrary (and ironically) the exact opposite of what “Dario Argento’s Phantom of the Opera” was. As a side note, there was a actual sequel to Robert Englund’s “Phantom” which was aweful but makes me wish ANY company would release it on DVD because I haven’t seen it in decades and want it in my collection, like the out-of-print “Fright Night 2″ the original sequel :)

    • MontagTheMagician

      The original Fright Night 2 was released widescreen on blu ray in Canada but only as a promotional release. There were only a handful of copies made. It has an amazing picture and sound and it plays on American blu ray players. There is a copy of it on e-bay right now for around $40.00. I am not the seller and not promoting it but if you want to see the movie in pristine condition I highly recommend it.

      • PresidentObama

        Thanks for the tip, dude! I was hoping that the remake and the sequel to that remake (duh!) would stimulate some studio to release the “orginal” Fright Night 2 but sadly it never happened. What a waste of opportunity :( Anyway, will definitely look into that Canadian bluray version but it’s interesting the Canadians have great taste, me being a Canadian (in another country now) as well :)

    • Remy Carreiro

      Yeah, looks like I am kinda alone in my Leslie Verson love. But thank you for the kind words and good suggestions.

      • SuperKilla

        I’m with you on Behind the Mask brah.

        • Remy Carreiro

          Phew, that was getting rough there for a second.

  • mdrfkrjrm

    from Rue Morgue Magazine’s 200 Alternative Horror Films You Need to See

    10 Alternative Slasher Films:
    The House On Sorority Row (1983)
    Intruder (1989)
    Just Before Dawn (1981)
    Lighthouse (1999)
    Madman (1982)
    The Prowler (1981)
    The Redeemer: Son Of Satan (1978)
    Slaughterhouse (1987)
    StageFright (1987)
    Tourist Trap (1979)

  • Catastrophe

    Great list! Never seen Maniac Cop though. Others I would add: Madman, Just Before Dawn, Intruder, Humongous, Terror Train, The Prowler, Opera… I could go on lol

    • Remy Carreiro

      Yeah, I should have included Madman for sure….

  • David

    Humongous (1982)
    Mortuary (1983)
    Night School (1981)
    Unhinged (1982)
    Absurd (1981)
    The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1982)

  • Seal_Clubber

    Midnight Meat Train

    • PresidentObama

      New, but a classic Barker adaptation, probably his best since the original Hellraiser!

      • Darkness69

        I agree, Midnight Meat Train should definitely be on this list!

    • SuperKilla

      Good Call on Midnight Meat Train. Great slasher film.

      • Remy Carreiro

        Nope.
        Have to argue this.
        Midnight Meat Train was a GREAT movie (I love Barker and have been obsessed with him my whole life. We have even exchanged many hand written letters)
        BUT
        I would say the ending CLEARLY puts it into DEMONIC FILMS territory.
        Again, good call on 90% of, but that last ten percent changes the whole tone, and for that reason, it would have felt out of place to me here.

        • Seal_Clubber

          @Remycarreiroisdead Really? I am a bit surprised by this. Two of the best slasher franchises out there have demonic / undead / supernatural elements in them. Friday the 13th is probably the most successful slasher series out there and Jason is most certainly either undead or a demon (Jason goes to Hell).

          The other franchise is Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy is definitely a demon. So not sure how this DQ’s Midnight Meat Train.

          • Remy Carreiro

            But neither of those were on my list. Was just making a personal point. I said it is a good movie.
            Maybe if I made it a top ten, or if I do a follow up.
            I def appreciate you guys passion on the subject.

        • Seal_Clubber

          Cool – I was just curious.

        • SuperKilla

          Did they even say those monsters at the end were demons? And even if so I don’t see how 10% monster outweighs 90% slasher. But I can understand the angle your coming from but if they were demons they didn’t have enough screen time to really call this a demon movie either so I guess it lies somewhere in the middle.

          • Remy Carreiro

            At least we all agree that it is a damn good movie.

  • Mr.-Blackwell

    StageFright can also be found titled, “Deliria” and was directed by the same director that did Cemetery Man, Michele Soavi, who learned under Dario Argento.

    A couple of other slashers that aren’t usually mentioned in the same group as Halloween, Friday The 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre…

    Torso
    A Bay of Blood (precursor to Friday the 13th)
    Alice Sweet Alice
    Tourist Trap
    Pieces
    Eyes of a Stranger
    Night School
    The Initiation
    Cold Prey
    Don’t Look Now
    The Tool Box Murders (1978)

    And, of course, the giallos that came out of Italy back in the 70′s and 80′s by the droves…

    The House Of The Laughing Window
    Trauma
    Four Flies On Grey Velvet
    5 Dolls For An August Moon
    The New York Ripper
    Blade Of The Ripper
    A Blade In The Dark
    Sleepless
    The Case Of The Bloody Iris
    The Red Queen Kills 7 Times
    The Case Of The Scorpion’s Tail
    Seven Blood Stained Orchids
    The Black Belly Of The Tarantula

    • Remy Carreiro

      Cold Prey and Toolbox Murders were in the original draft of this list. Some great suggestions there.

  • Nightflyre9

    The Burning and Curtains DEFINITELY belong on the list. Maniac Cop could go either way. And I disagree with Leslie Vernon being on the list. I haven’t seen Stage Fright or Peeping Tom but now I will.

    Some older films I think don’t get enough love:
    The Prowler
    Hell Night
    Pieces
    Humongous
    Final Exam
    Night School
    Madman

    Newer films:
    Cold Prey 1 and 2
    Zombie’s Halloween 2
    High Tension
    Frayed
    Tell Me Something

    • djblack1313

      no surprise but many of my choices are my buddy Nightflyre9′s! (“HI Nightflyre9!)….

      HELL NIGHT
      HE KNOWS YOUR ALONE
      LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH (i guess that’s not a slasher)
      HUMONGOUS
      THE FINAL TERROR (w/ Daryl Hannah & Adrian Zmed! LOL)
      HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME
      TERROR TRAIN
      PROM NIGHT

      (new films)

      COLD PREY 1 & 2
      HIGH TENSION
      INSIDE
      Zombie’s HALLOWEEN 2
      SORORITY ROW

      there are more but i can’t remember.

      • SuperKilla

        Inside is a home invasion movie and High Tention, Terror Train, and Prom Night definitely get a decent amount of love.

  • Rowley87

    Cherry Falls
    Reeker
    House of Wax – 05′ (I know it did alright box office wise, but wasn’t the mot critically acclaimed)
    Cry Wolf

    Some guilty pleasures….

    American Psycho 2
    Urban Legends: Final Cut
    American Nightmare

    And definitely agree with Cold Prey 1 and 2..loved them both!

  • Rowley87

    Oh and I liked ‘Cut’ too lol..all I can think of right now….looks like most of the oldies were already mentioned…sweet article!

  • Bubbleman

    I absolutely love this list I’ve seen all of them except for the last two gotta check them out.

  • AmethystTear

    Good list. I too was disappointed by Leslie Vernon but do see why people loved it. Actually thought I watched Stagefright but turned out to be a different one that is also called “Nightmares”. Not a bad movie if you get the chance.

    Here are my favorites.

    Terror Train
    Visiting Hours
    House on Sorority Row
    Silent Night, Deadly Night
    Black Christmas (It does get plenty of love but doesn’t get as much as Halloween even though I personally like it better)
    Tenebre
    Bloody Reunion (Korean and great!)
    He Knows Your Alone

    Those are a few.

  • SaltSlasher

    A couple of these were on a hidden gems webpage. Curtains, The Burning and Peeping Tom are just light weight fighters among heavy weights like Bloody Valentines, Friday the 13th and Psycho.

    Leslie Vernon and Maniac Cop aren’t that great, which is why no one really talks about them. Stagefright is like first three I named, and is a little gem, I just didn’t care for it that much.

    I like what others said: Pieces, Hell Night, Bloody Birthday, Alice Sweet Alice, Initation, and Tourist Trap!

    But my toss into the circle off the top of my head that is a hidden gem and no one ever talks about: Scream (1981), and Death Ship!