Slumber POLLty Massacre: Favorite Offbrand Old School Slasher Flick

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We all know the classics, but what about the also-rans, the knockoffs, the cheap cash grabs? Some of these are better than others, trying to elevate the genre or point out the obvious tropes. Others just go for maximum gore and gratuitous nudity. I'm not sure how many of these can actually be considered "good," but let's pick our favorite, the one that provides the most entertainment. Hack away!

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Black Christmas (1974) 9
Sleepaway Camp 7
Happy Birthday to Me 3
Prom Night 2
April Fools' Day 2
Slumber Party Massacre 1
The Prowler 1
Madman 0
Bloody Birthday 0
Hell Night 0
New Year's Evil 0
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) 0
The House on Sorority Row (1983) 0
Terror Train 0
My Bloody Valentine (1981) 0
The Toolbox Murders 0
The Burning 0
Final Exam 0


Hamster of Legend (J3ff T.), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 16:51 (eight years ago) link

Sleepaway Camp is going to run this, but almost all of them are as good as, if not better than, Brand-name Friday the 13th sequels.

old people are made of poop (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 16:53 (eight years ago) link

With the exception of Friday the 13th part VI: Jason Lives, which is by far the best of the series. But I digress.

Hamster of Legend (J3ff T.), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 16:58 (eight years ago) link

I have a weakness for April Fool's Day, so threw it a vote. I fondly remember a lot of movies on this list.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 4 July 2012 17:00 (eight years ago) link

I'd also like to use this thread to discuss offbrand slasher flicks in general – any I might have missed, favorite moments/kills, memories of seeing these as a child, etc.

Hamster of Legend (J3ff T.), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 17:02 (eight years ago) link

Happy Birthday to Me a sleeper in this poll.

old people are made of poop (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 17:04 (eight years ago) link

Allow me to make an argument for Slumber Party Massacre, which I watched last night and which inspired this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c3/Slumbermassacre.jpg/220px-Slumbermassacre.jpg

– Incredibly efficient. 76 min. run time, main character gets naked in practically the first shot, killer is already on the loose before the movie starts, doesn't really bother building tension or character in order to get right to the good stuff.

– Written and directed by women. Apparently it was intended as a feminist sendup, but the producers turned it into a serious entry in the genre.

– Killer has remarkable fealty to his weapon of choice (a drill). He kills a couple characters with knives when unable to use the drill, and he decapitates one dude off screen (although I like to think that he did that using the drill), but he offs the vast majority with his preferred tool.

– Really high body count for a non-supernatural killer in a situation that isn't isolated.

– Amazingly stupid behavior on the part of the teenagers (probably a remnant of the satirical script).

– Really horrific death for the killer.

Were actual high school girl slumber parties in the 80s like the one depicted in this movie?

Hamster of Legend (J3ff T.), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 17:14 (eight years ago) link

I don't like "Sleepaway Camp," think it's a snooze that would be utterly forgettable if not for the utterly unforgettable final shot. Don't like Black Christmas, either. So I'd say "My Bloody Valentine" (which I think is honestly kinda scary) or perhaps "Prom Night."

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 4 July 2012 17:34 (eight years ago) link

lol was gonna say this is between Black Christmas and Sleepaway Camp. Prom Night is pretty terrible apart from some bits near the end.

your petty attempt at destroying me is laughable (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 17:39 (eight years ago) link

but really love pretty much everything I've seen on this list (which is, surprisingly, not everything!)

your petty attempt at destroying me is laughable (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 17:39 (eight years ago) link

black christmas i think, altho yeah i agree happy birthday to me deserves a few votes. i've seen only about a third of these

just sayin, Wednesday, 4 July 2012 18:02 (eight years ago) link

I didn't want people bitching about how I left off their obscure favorite, so I tried to include as many notable contenders as I could. Pretty sure some of these aren't even on DVD or streaming.

Hamster of Legend (J3ff T.), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 18:04 (eight years ago) link

iirc The Burning had some of Tom Savini's best F/X work ever, but almost all of it wound up getting cut out to avoid an X

old people are made of poop (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 18:08 (eight years ago) link

That's the one where someone has their fingers sliced off through the air?

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 4 July 2012 18:30 (eight years ago) link

Black Christmas is great and pre-dated most of the 'classic' US slashers.

Temporarily Famous In The Czech Republic (ShariVari), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 18:36 (eight years ago) link

This is killing me

O_o-O_O-o_O (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 18:41 (eight years ago) link

Black Christmas, The Burning, and Toolbox Murders are all three pretty all-time slashers for me. The last one takes such a bizarre, sordid turn about 2/3 through that it's hard to root for. Have to think which one of these I'd really rep for if pressed.

Julie Derpy (Phil D.), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 18:43 (eight years ago) link

The Burning has Jason Alexander AND Fisher Stevens, so probably that. Although Toolbox Murders has erstwhile Disney star Wesley Eure and child star Pamelyn Ferdin, so probably that.

Julie Derpy (Phil D.), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 18:47 (eight years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lekxSn2RpnM

frank o'sin (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 19:14 (eight years ago) link

no Slumber Party Massacre II, no credibility

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKPDAa46yXo

Legendary General Cypher Raige (Gukbe), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 19:28 (eight years ago) link

and it's got wotserface from Wings

Legendary General Cypher Raige (Gukbe), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 19:28 (eight years ago) link

I always get Happy Birthday To Me and Bloody Birthday confused and can't remember which I've seen.

to welcome jer.fairall, pie is served. (jer.fairall), Thursday, 5 July 2012 01:58 (eight years ago) link

i wanted to throw a sentimental vote to Silent Night, Deadly Night, but Sleepaway Camp

mister would you please herp my brony (Pillbox), Thursday, 5 July 2012 03:05 (eight years ago) link

When I was 8 or 9 years old I convinced my Dad to rent Sleepaway Camp for me based solely on this:

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5042/5215898341_b047bbb376_b.jpg

to welcome jer.fairall, pie is served. (jer.fairall), Thursday, 5 July 2012 03:53 (eight years ago) link

ha shit I've seen nearly all of these, this thread is like getting the results of a personality test you didn't know you'd taken

perry en concrète (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 5 July 2012 05:20 (eight years ago) link

lol, i've seen almost none of these. though i'm a big horror fan, i've never much liked slasher movies, not even in their 80s heyday. did loving reading about the gore effects in books and magazines. went with sleepaway camp, which is 80% terrible, maybe 5% brilliant.

contenderizer, Thursday, 5 July 2012 05:39 (eight years ago) link

i got terror train confused with this movie (here's the trailer for it)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY-6Ba9PPnQ

sarahell, Thursday, 5 July 2012 05:49 (eight years ago) link

most underrated on this list is prob THE PROWLER (aka ROSEMARY'S KILLER), which has a slightly different 'prior evil' set-up, fairly dece production values, and some of Savini's best (and uncensored) gore effects, including an unforgettable pitchfork in the shower scene.

missing from this list - bava's BAY OF BLOOD, the daddy of them all, and very blatantly ripped off by FRIDAY THE 13TH

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 5 July 2012 08:58 (eight years ago) link

This list seem like a too complete list of a particular type of off-brand movie to the point that I can't even imagine what's missing from it

some dude nights (Whiney G. Weingarten), Thursday, 5 July 2012 12:43 (eight years ago) link

the only one i've seen is April Fool's Day but i feel very confident in voting for it, genuinely gorey and disturbing at times with good amount of comic relief and hot chicks

some dude, Thursday, 5 July 2012 12:47 (eight years ago) link

I guess the "The slasher film in its prime" part of this wiki entry is the final word, but poll touches most of these bases

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slasher_film

some dude nights (Whiney G. Weingarten), Thursday, 5 July 2012 12:49 (eight years ago) link

I'd forgotten that I've seen April Fool's Day

still voting Black Christmas, as I actually enjoyed the experience of watching it, to date still the only slasher flick I can say that about

I see you, Pineapple Teef (DJP), Thursday, 5 July 2012 13:26 (eight years ago) link

Black Christmas, but I haven't seen most of these.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Thursday, 5 July 2012 13:35 (eight years ago) link

most underrated on this list is prob THE PROWLER (aka ROSEMARY'S KILLER), which has a slightly different 'prior evil' set-up, fairly dece production values, and some of Savini's best (and uncensored) gore effects, including an unforgettable pitchfork in the shower scene.

The Prowler gets my vote actually. Pretty great mood throughout. I want to vote Silent Night, Deadly Night, because I watched the sequels in the early 90s during a time that wound up being pretty important for me (I would write stuff with the TV going, just because I seemed to get good work done that way, and I went through the whole SNDN series that way), but the first one is one of those "this is seriously depressingly nihilistic and amoral" slashers.

perry en concrète (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 5 July 2012 13:40 (eight years ago) link

I haven't seen nearly as many of these as I should have, considering I started the poll… I have some of them on DVD, and some are on Netflix, so I'm going to get on that.

Interesting bit of trivia: The Burning was the first Miramax film. Also, music by RICK WAKEMAN.

Hamster of Legend (J3ff T.), Thursday, 5 July 2012 23:06 (eight years ago) link

watching Happy Birthday to Me tonight (was between that and Driller Killer at the video store. They didn't have the Burning)

your petty attempt at destroying me is laughable (Shakey Mo Collier), Sunday, 8 July 2012 01:24 (eight years ago) link

The Burning is on Netflix streaming. Black Christmas, the Prowler, and Toolbox Murders all used to be on there as well, but when I went to watch them the other night, they had vanished.

Hamster of Legend (J3ff T.), Sunday, 8 July 2012 02:30 (eight years ago) link

Holy crap, Night Train to Terror looks AMAZING.

Hamster of Legend (J3ff T.), Sunday, 8 July 2012 21:48 (eight years ago) link

Very obviously lack Christmas, though I like Happy Birthday To Me, My Bloody Valentine, and Silent Night Deadly Night as well (the latter gets extra ludicrous moral outrage points, for sure)

Simon H., Sunday, 8 July 2012 21:52 (eight years ago) link

*Black Christmas

Simon H., Sunday, 8 July 2012 21:52 (eight years ago) link

many many lolz at multiple reveals at the end of Happy Birthday to Me. well done, Melissa Sue Stabberson

the alternate vision continues his vision quest! (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 19:42 (eight years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 12 July 2012 00:01 (eight years ago) link

Hell Night is super, super boring, with teenagers that are even dumber than usual. Can't really recommend it.

Hamster of Legend (J3ff T.), Thursday, 12 July 2012 21:24 (eight years ago) link

Just watched Black Christmas yesterday, and it was amazing. Probably the second best slasher movie I've ever seen, after Halloween. Haven't seen most of the rest of these, but Sleepaway Camp and Slumber Party Massacre are intensely mediocre. My Bloody Valentine was pretty good. I think I need to watch The Burning next.

i invented steampunk (askance johnson), Thursday, 12 July 2012 21:35 (eight years ago) link

The thing that really elevates Black Christmas is that, by and large, nobody really does anything stupid given what they know of the situation, including the police, and there's STILL this impressive escalating body count

I see you, Pineapple Teef (DJP), Thursday, 12 July 2012 21:41 (eight years ago) link

Well, Jess does go upstairs at the end to look for her friends, even though the police asshat is like, "get out of the house now!" But, yeah, in general I agree that there is a refreshing lack of stupidity.

i invented steampunk (askance johnson), Thursday, 12 July 2012 21:45 (eight years ago) link

That's excusable at least; she had no idea her friends were dead until she went upstairs, and she didn't really come across as the type to leave ppl she cared about to fend for themselves.

Barb OTOH would have been like "okay BYE" and wouldn't have stopped running until she hit the train station

I see you, Pineapple Teef (DJP), Thursday, 12 July 2012 21:49 (eight years ago) link

Barb would have been too drunk to run to the train station.

i invented steampunk (askance johnson), Thursday, 12 July 2012 21:53 (eight years ago) link

She'd have circled the sorority house a few times, true.

I see you, Pineapple Teef (DJP), Thursday, 12 July 2012 21:54 (eight years ago) link

I will say this about Hell Night – they pad a really impressive amount of time with the characters walking verrrrrrry sloooooowly through hallways/down staircases/etc.

Hamster of Legend (J3ff T.), Thursday, 12 July 2012 22:40 (eight years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 13 July 2012 00:01 (eight years ago) link

other than no votes for the burning, these results are pretty much totally otm

O_o-O_O-o_O (jjjusten), Friday, 13 July 2012 00:04 (eight years ago) link

actually i would also have dug some love being thrown at terror train and my bloody valentine, now that i give the list a better once over. still, top 2 are both amazing and desrve their spots.

O_o-O_O-o_O (jjjusten), Friday, 13 July 2012 00:06 (eight years ago) link

the right winner won.

second only to popcorn (or something), Friday, 13 July 2012 00:13 (eight years ago) link

three years pass...

are there other films like these not listed of note? kinda really into the creepy 80s generic slashers, although I've been told "Three on a Meathook" (not on this list) ain't very good

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Sunday, 22 November 2015 13:37 (four years ago) link

Pieces is quite watchable iirc.

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Sunday, 22 November 2015 13:47 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

I want to vote Silent Night, Deadly Night, because I watched the sequels in the early 90s during a time that wound up being pretty important for me (I would write stuff with the TV going, just because I seemed to get good work done that way, and I went through the whole SNDN series that way), but the first one is one of those "this is seriously depressingly nihilistic and amoral" slashers.

I just watched this for the first time a couple nights ago (with a live improvised score) and yeah, it’s just so mean-spirited and ugly. Just ridiculously cruel to every character, I’m pretty sure every woman murdered in it is topless at the time, it’s like the stereotype of amoral misogynist slasher flicks taken to the next level.

Pieces is a blast though!

JoeStork, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 18:55 (one year ago) link

Yeah, how the eff was Pieces not among these poll options?!? YOU BASTARDS! BAS........TARRRRRRRRDS!

We don't like hearing stories of a melted thermos. (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 19:18 (one year ago) link

agree that SNSD encapsulates everything that was wrong w this subgenre taken to the nth degree, it's practically archetypal in its grossness

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 19:26 (one year ago) link

Adding to the post upthread stumping for Slumber Party Massacre, the first was written by Rita Mae Brown and all three installments were directed by women.

We don't like hearing stories of a melted thermos. (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 19:35 (one year ago) link

I can't remember if I've seen that or not

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 19:38 (one year ago) link

The killer's preferred method of dispatch is a giant penis substitute drill.

We don't like hearing stories of a melted thermos. (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 19:41 (one year ago) link

yeah well it's not alone in that respect (Body Double!)

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 19:42 (one year ago) link

I watched it last night and it was ... really bad? I mean it had one trick (jump scare/fake out) that it does over and over again in lieu of plot, character, dialogue, atmosphere, subtext etc. The villain is just awful, no distinguishing characteristics at all, a completely boring automaton. The production value (usually something I can enjoy or overlook depending on the era) is terrible the sound was bad. just new levels of badness all around.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 13 December 2018 16:56 (one year ago) link

Look, you'll notice I said nothing about the quality of the film...

Home Despot (Old Lunch), Thursday, 13 December 2018 17:02 (one year ago) link

I was just expecting something interesting to occasionally happen but aside from some of the totally bizarre and hamfisted sexual stuff (the little sister sneaking upstairs to steal a peek at her older sister's copy of the Playgirl with Sylvester Stallone?! yeah ok lol) it was just really boring, a series of badly executed cliches strung together.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 13 December 2018 17:05 (one year ago) link

As hinted a few posts back, Pieces is the only slasher film I would (mostly) unreservedly recommend (because, speaking as a big horror fan, most entries in the genre are the hottest of trash). Everyone who's seen it at my behest has been thoroughly entertained.

Home Despot (Old Lunch), Thursday, 13 December 2018 17:09 (one year ago) link

hey I too have watched many a bad slasher flick, I get the genre

Οὖτις, Thursday, 13 December 2018 17:12 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

The Burning was kinda fun.

just imagining the newspaper headline the next day

"NEGLIGENT SUMMER CAMP LETS 10 CAMPERS GET MURDERED!"

"CAMP COUNSELOR IS FORMER BLACKFOOT DELINQUENT!"

"LOTS OF BUTTS!"

pass the cur's dossier (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 05:25 (three weeks ago) link

had no idea Fisher Stevens was Woodstock! lolol

pass the cur's dossier (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 05:28 (three weeks ago) link

The House on Sorority Row (1983) 0

robbed!!!!!!

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 13:27 (three weeks ago) link

lmao at shakey completely misunderstanding slumber party massacre, it’s a slasher parody played straight (and it rocks, what other slasher film has the characters eating pizza from a box that’s on top of a dead delivery guy)

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 13:32 (three weeks ago) link

did I ever mention I did some work for George Mihalka of My Bloody Valentine fame? anyway, good movie. the remake is silly gonzo fun as well

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 13:59 (three weeks ago) link

Nobody voted for My Bloody Valentine??

emil.y, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 14:00 (three weeks ago) link

also robbed!!!!

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 14:02 (three weeks ago) link

definitely one of the most novel settings of any horror film

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 14:04 (three weeks ago) link

I read a good piece ages ago on My Bloody Valentine and class, but it appears to be impossible to google for (thanks, Kevin Shields).

emil.y, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 14:14 (three weeks ago) link

Prom Night was a series!

Seen about a third of these, and Black Christmas is immeasurably the best of them.

A White, White Gay (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 14:46 (three weeks ago) link

i'm tempted to watch all of the ones I haven't seen this week.

Neanderthal, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 15:33 (three weeks ago) link

black christmas is a perfect film but house on sorority row is my personal favorite for its dreamy psychedelic third act and of course the acting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeZOjz2qKFc

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 15:35 (three weeks ago) link

so I enjoyed the OG My Bloody Valentine, but the twist bothers me because....if everybody knew Axel's dad was one of the two supervisors killed years ago, would they really be so gung ho about having a valentine's party that might dredge up bad memories in him?. felt like a "deus ex machina" but not enough to affect my enjoyment.

characters you actually rooted for too, for the most part. also I love any movie that does at least one POV killing.

Neanderthal, Saturday, 5 September 2020 16:32 (three weeks ago) link

watching 3 on a Meathook, against my better judgment

Neanderthal, Monday, 7 September 2020 00:09 (two weeks ago) link

2 on a meathook is already straining credulity.

Don't be such an idot. (Old Lunch), Monday, 7 September 2020 00:29 (two weeks ago) link

1 on a forklift was a better film

Neanderthal, Monday, 7 September 2020 00:33 (two weeks ago) link

well that was certainly terrible.

it was like a Bread music video with a few murders thrown in

Neanderthal, Monday, 7 September 2020 01:42 (two weeks ago) link

last scene almost a note for note copy of the end of Psycho

plot twist obvious from opening minute

entire 10 minute scene which is stock footage from some local band's club show

Neanderthal, Monday, 7 September 2020 01:43 (two weeks ago) link

there is at one point a murder where comedy sound effects play as the pick axe goes into the victim, and yet the scene isn't played for lols, it's probably the only effect they had on hand.

Neanderthal, Monday, 7 September 2020 01:45 (two weeks ago) link

I watched Chopping Mall a few months ago. Oh dear.

brimstead, Monday, 7 September 2020 03:27 (two weeks ago) link

that movie is great

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 7 September 2020 08:38 (two weeks ago) link

Slumber Party Massacre, uhhh.....

s'alright. think the most horrifying line was the older sister fishing by saying "you were beating off all the boys in 5th grade" and the younger sister unwittingly confirming this was true.

Neanderthal, Friday, 11 September 2020 05:19 (two weeks ago) link

but yeah, i picked up on what it was going for. problem was I wanted to watch an Argento tonight and then after dicking around logging back into work to figure out something, it suddenly became 11:30 and that wasn't happening.

Neanderthal, Friday, 11 September 2020 05:23 (two weeks ago) link

if I want to watch something with guts and body count tonight

Chopping Mall or

something else?

and if so

what

else

Neanderthal, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 01:31 (one week ago) link

iirc chopping mall delivers, but also sleepaway camp ii

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 01:39 (one week ago) link

Watched Maniac Cop the other night. Pretty solid offbrand slasher flick (Larry Cohen script). Pretty much coulda just been called Cop.

Don't be such an idot. (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 01:46 (one week ago) link


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