When it comes to the whole gimmick of “holiday horror”, it’s really hit and miss. Mostly miss. Let’s face it–Halloween and Friday the 13th got it right, but outside of those classics, it’s quite a dismal little subgenre. Don’t believe me? Then let’s relive some of it’s less-than-memorable followers, shall we?
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It might be high-profile now thanks to the shiny new remake, but the original version was basically the Shemp of slasher movies. Two years after striking gold as Laurie Strode, Jamie Lee Curtis tried to recapture lightning in a bottle with this afterthought. Still, I do wish Leslie Neilsen was my high school principal.
No, I’m not talking about the Eli Roth trailer. That was actually quite awesome. Didn’t know there was actual Thanksgiving horror movie that came out (straight to DVD) last year? Well, consider yourself among the lucky ones. Even a starring turn from Ari Lehman, a.k.a. the guy who played Jason Voorhees at the end of the first Friday the 13th, isn’t enough to make this one interesting.
You would think that a movie with the tagline “‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…they were all dead!” would be awesome. You would be wrong. From the folks who brought us 1980′s Slaughter High came this tale of a serial killer hunting guys dressed as Santa. If only the filmmakers had been dressed that way.
This decidedly average affair was Paramount’s attempt to follow-up on Friday the 13th before they realized the better follow-up strategy would be to make endless sequels to it. The latest entry on the remake slate, the original centers on an urban legend about a stalker who murders lovers on Valentine’s Day. Oh, the bittersweet irony. Yawn.
Long before Scary Movie, there was this impotent fright flick. Not even the great Jeffrey Tambor as the vampire Waldemar could save the nearly laugh-free goings-on in this movie about a family that moves into a house full of monsters. Makes the Wayans brothers seem like Woody Allen.
At this point, it’s almost a shock that there was never a horror movie called Arbor Day (hopefully no producers are reading this). In this originality-challenged endeavor, a masked killer picks off a bunch of teenagers on a weekend getaway. By a lake. Hmmm.
Other than the fact that my esteemed fellow horror blogger BC took his blog’s logo from this movie’s poster, nothing good has ever come from it. When a killer threatens to bump off women in advancing time zones as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, what can anyone do? Change the channel.
At first, you’re not really sure if the murders are real or parts of an elaborate prank in this slasher flick with a twist. Unfortunately, you don’t care either way. Gotta love the chick with the noose hair braid on the video box cover, and a supporting role for Thomas “Biff from Back to the Future” Wilson, but that’s about it.
Everyone remembers the famous shish-kabob-through-the-throat gag, but does that really make this one worth seeing? Classy actor Glenn Ford was cast in an effort to give this flick a more high-brow flavor than most other slasher entries, which is exactly why he was cast as Clark Kent’s dad in Superman: The Movie. Well, at least it worked once.
and the lamest day of horror the world has ever known…
Kind of a cross between The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I Spit on Your Grave, except missing all the powerful filmmaking of the former and the raw shock value of the latter. Let this piece of exploitation trash be a reminder to us all that it takes more than just randomly throwing together offensive themes and images to make an effective horror movie. Besides, the actual Mother’s day is usually horrific enough. Do we really need to make a movie about it?
For more news and opinions on the world of horror, including the final part of The History of Horror and a look at the work of H.P. Lovecraft, check out Brian’s daily blog, The Vault of Horror, at thevaultofhorror.net.