The 13th Floor

Films 

Slashback! Remembering Bill Paxton’s Short But Sweet ‘80s Slasher Career

We’re all still reeling over the untimely death of beloved actor-director and all-around cool guy Bill Paxton, whose impact on genre cinema will never be forgotten. His decades-spanning career began with early behind-the-scenes work on Roger Corman films like GALAXY OF TERROR and BIG BAD MAMA, and his first notable project as director was the […]

Films Scary Fun 

Slashback! Why CEMETERY OF TERROR is Mexico’s Best Slasher EVER

I know you’ve been missing my regular column on vintage slasher flicks… but it’s okay, you don’t have to reveal your dark and secret shame by admitting it. If you’re familiar with my previous installments, you know I tend to focus on more obscure oddities from the often-maligned slasher subgenre, as opposed to the classic […]

Films 

Slashback! The Creepiest Pre-HALLOWEEN Slasher Trailers

In last week’s Slashback column, we took a controversial look at the cultural impact of the slasher genre through the eyes of two of its most famous detractors: film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. It’s interesting to note that when the pair ran their notorious SNEAK PREVIEWS “Violence Against Women” episode in 1980, the […]

Films 

Slashback! Remembering Siskel & Ebert’s Misguided 1980 Anti-Slasher Campaign

Before I launch into this week’s column, I want to make one thing very clear: I have always had and still maintain the utmost respect and admiration for America’s most famous film critics — Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. Not one episode of their PBS series SNEAK PREVIEWS, which ran from 1975 to 1981, was missed in […]

Films 

Slashback! School’s Out Forever on GRADUATION DAY (1981)

Ever since I developed a serious slasher-movie addiction during the Mom & Pop video store days of the 1980s, I can’t go long without a fix… and nothing scratches that itch better than a flick from the genre’s Golden Age, which loosely spans the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, hitting its peak of popularity during […]

Films Scary Fun 

Slashback! Why JAWS 2 is Really Just a Slasher Movie with a Shark

Enjoying Shark Week, everyone? Well, far be it from me to steer the boat too far off-course while there’s prime fodder for my companion “Snark Week” theme. (If you’re wondering what that is, check out this in-depth thesis on the SyFy epic GHOST SHARK, and learn why you must drop everything and watch it immediately.) […]

Films 

Slashback! SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II Features the Best Slasher Weapon EVER

As a slasher fan for more than half my lifetime, I’ll be the first to admit that there’s not always a lot of variation on the genre’s time-worn tropes, even during the Golden Age. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course; one of the things that identifies any genre (be it spaghetti western, giallo, film noir, take […]

Films 

Slashback! THE DUMB WAITER Packs a Feature’s Worth of Suspense Into 16 Minutes

I’m going to try something a little different for this week’s column, and bring your attention to an almost-forgotten 1979 short film from UK writer-director Robert Bierman. I’m going to argue that this short sums up everything that works in slasher cinema — without resorting to attention-grabbing techniques like graphic violence, sleazy exploitation or a short-attention-span […]

Films 

Slashback! Australia’s LADY STAY DEAD Blends Home-Invasion Horror and Slasher Sleaze

If you assumed that Greg McLean’s WOLF CREEK was Australia’s first legit entry in the serial-killer subgenre, a majority of horror fans would probably agree with you… and the assumption would be totally understandable, because that film’s Outback psychopath Mick Taylor (played with sadistic skill by John Jarratt, pictured below with Cassandra Magrath) is one of the […]

Films 

Slashback! Ain’t No Party Like THE REDEEMER’s Bloody Class Reunion!

The more you delve into the slasher vaults, the more you realize just how many body-count horror films were released before John Carpenter changed the game forever with 1978’s HALLOWEEN (and as you’ve probably heard by now, JC’s finally returning to those essential roots). Most horror fans adore Bob Clark’s 1974 cult classic BLACK CHRISTMAS, […]

Films 

Slashback! “Chalmers the Embalmers” Run a B&B to Die For in 1980’s FUNERAL HOME

It’s a wonderful time for fans of slasher cinema’s Golden Age — whether you first made the genre’s acquaintance while browsing lurid VHS box art in your favorite Mom & Pop video stores, or are just now discovering the bizarre bounty of early indie slasher titles. Over the last few years in particular, fan-operated labels are […]

Films 

Slashback! Is 1978’s THE TOOLBOX MURDERS Based on a Real-Life Crime Spree?

[Warning: NSFW content ahead] Before we get into the seedy, grimy and straight-up deranged exercise that is Dennis Donnelly’s THE TOOLBOX MURDERS, let’s jump all the way to the film’s dubious one-paragraph epilogue (don’t worry, no serious spoilers here), which begins with the following statement: “The events dramatized in this film actually took place in […]

Films 

Slashback! This Gory Italian HALLOWEEN Clone Lives Up to its Name: ABSURD!

This splattery oddity goes by about half a dozen different names — most of which, not surprisingly, have little to do with the content of the notorious film itself, which earned a dubious spot on the UK’s infamous “Video Nasties” list of banned titles. Many fans of vintage Euro-horror first discovered ABSURD during the bootleg tape-trading […]