Slasher Films of the 1980s

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Her eye is glowing on purpose – she’s psychic

I started watching Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film today, but when my son came down stairs I had to shut if off. Going to Pieces is a documentary about how these films took over cinema in the 80s and gets its information from interviews of the most well known horror directors such as Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm St. and Scream franchises), John Carpenter (Halloween franchise) and the sort.

I was thinking of finishing that documentary up, but noticed that Friday the 13th part VII was on IFC and couldn’t resist. Friday the 13th went insane with sequels, and this is often what they’re known for- even beyond the films themselves, but the first several were at least somewhat interesting. Rhett of Horror Digital sums up the franchise’s ups and downs best, “When dissecting the Friday the 13th films, there is really only one surefire formula that guarantees their success. That formula is simply having Jason prowling around the woods of Crystal Lake killing horny teens, period.” By the time we get into sequels so far along they challenge their audience’s ability to read the roman numerals like this one, the films become like porn that viewers will fast-forward through the boring story to get to the scenes they’re watching for.

I came in a good way through the movie, but the only thing you need to know is that it started with a little psychic girl, Tina, causing her father to drown in Lake Crystal Lake because he was an abusive husband and father.

One thing this installment showcases is more lawn tools than The Home Depot as the filmmakers try to explore new and interesting ways to end human life. Although my favorite scene so far is this one:

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Follow the Rules

Oh, wait. That’s a commercial. Well, it’s still my favorite part. Or at least it was until Tina, as a girl who doesn’t have sex in the film (and therefore survives due to her observation of ‘The Rules’ – as outlined in Scream) starts using her psychic powers to tangle Jason with roots, slam him with light fixtures, electrocute him, strangle him – again with light fixtures and eventually go full-on Firestarter on him in the basement.

Jason easily suffers a half dozen deaths in this film and keeps coming back for more until Tina finally uses her powers to call her dead father from the bottom of Crystal Lake and pulls Jason back under. The End.

But we don’t have to wait long. IFC has Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan up next!

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