#1696 Halloween 2022: Girls Nite Out aka The Scaremaker (1982)

With Death Screams I mentioned one of the characters being one of the most annoying comic relief ever. In Girls Nite Out it seems almost all of the character are like this: goofing off, cracking jokes and faking to have oh so good time, all the time.

..aand it’s oh so annoying most of the time.

Girls Nite Out is one of those easy to forget slashers that does much by the book in an average or less than average way: unforgettable killer, imaginative deaths, iconic theme song or some other distinctive quality are all missing here.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 35%

#1693 Halloween 2022: Blood Sisters aka Slash (1987)

A potential candidate for the worst horror movie of this Halloween, Blood Sisters takes place in an old bordello where a group of youngsters are spending a night in.

The concept, and overall execution is the tamest and lamest in ages, basically just following bunch of different people wandering around the house, getting inexplicably swept into the events of the erotic events of the house and then getting killed.

The ending of the movie is just as appalling as anything seen before it, very much as expected. Blood Sisters is bad even in the scale of slashers – and that’s saying something.

80s-o-meter: 45%

Total: 7%

#1684 Halloween 2022: Death Screams aka Night Screams (1982)

Oh dear, Death Screams wanders around every which way for ages with one pointless part after another before getting to the actual slashing.

It also loses to its counterparts of the era in multiple ways, being unable to produce imaginative kills nor an iconic antagonist. Where it succeeds though is casting perhaps the oldest men ever to attempt to pass as teenagers, plus one of the most annoying comic relief characters ever cracking jokes and goofing off in every scene.

Death Scream feels like multiple movies put into one, and there’s something likeable in the way it presents its characters and those trivial activities they engage in. But as a horror movie Death Screams just does not carry.

80s-o-meter: 68%

Total: 21%

#1681 Halloween 2022: Evil Laugh (1986)

What followed the early 80s stream of slashers was a stream of slasher comedies. I would argue that most slashers are quite humorous and over the board in their nature to begin with, and I’m sure the teams behind them were having a good laugh while making them, so in this light there’s very little point of parodising them other than justifying arriving to the slasher party several years too late.

If I had not check IMDB, I would have never known Evil Laugh was a comedy. Sure, it’s more goofy in some aspects and the characters make references to other slasher movies, but the movie is never laugh out loud funny.

Youngers get slashed, there’s some naked skin, one imaginative killing and possibly one of the most stupid looking antagonists, and that’s pretty much that. No matter how bad slashers are, at least they earn my respect for trying. Comedies like this too afraid to even be proper slashers don’t even have that going for them.

80s-o-meter: 83%

Total: 19%

#1677 Halloween 2022: Scared Alive aka Island of Blood aka Whodunit (1982)

If it is a pure slasher you want to watch this Halloween, the lesser known Island of Blood is not a bad option.

It is a pure slasher so you get pretty much what you expect: a group of youngsters getting killed one by one in an imaginative manner.

The most distinctive aspect of the movie is they way the killer plays a quite catchy song with lyrics ”Burn me, stab me, chop me, nail me, boil me, saw me” before commencing the killing. On top of that the end, especially that last few seconds are refreshingly different from what you’d expect.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 59%

#1603 Halloween 2021: Rush Week (1989)

After the early 80s flood of slashers the sub-genre suffered a quiet death which quite honestly was not a bad thing. The slashers did see a small scale comeback towards the end of the 80s, and although none of those slashers got anywhere near as much fame as the previous generation did, at least this time around the movies were generally more interesting, and not just blatant copies of the genre icons.

Rush Week is one of those movies that definitely gains a lot of being a late 80s release. The movie looks good, is entertaining for the most parts, the lead and the events are likeable, and all that sweet 80s culture from yuppies to home computers can be found here.

On the downside the movie is quite forgettable and typical to the late 80s slashers Rush Week also suffers from featuring a weak antagonist.

80s-o-meter: 93%

Total: 70%

#1602 Halloween 2021: Pieces aka Chainsaw Bastard aka Chainsaw Devil aka The Night Has 1000 Screams (1982)

Pieces, a Spanish horror movie shot in Spain with American actors gained cult fame with its cruel depictions of deaths by chainsaw, and inexplicable encounter with a martial artist, totally detached from any events in the movie.

The movie does a fairly good work presenting itself as an American movie, and even if the movie isn’t anything extraordinary, it’s still one of the better and more original slashers of the era, and definitely earns its place alongside the most iconic examples of its genre.

80s-o-meter: 56%

Total: 60%

#1597 Halloween 2021: The Initiation (1984)

At this point I’m not looking forward to slashers to offer anything new, but just hoping to see at least a small spin to the tired subgenre.

The Initiation offers at least two and while neither are something I would call original or particularly good, but enough for me to give them some credit for not just making ”that movie” one more time. It does still feel like a pastiche with tons of elements borrowed from left, right and center.

The nocturnal mall as the location works better than forest and Daphne Zuniga in the lead role brings the movie up a notch or two.

80s-o-meter: 84%

Total: 57%

#1595 Halloween 2021: Edge of Sanity (1989)

Eroticism, lust and decadence are the main themes here, and the movie is more of a cheap late night peep show rather than a horror movie. I know it was Perkins himself that has agreed to make the movie, but still seeing him in a humiliation like this almost turns my stomach.

The worst Halloween movie and quite possibly one of the worst horror movies I’ve seen to date comes from a very unexpected place. Anthony Perkins of the Psycho fame stars in this erotic Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde movie, but unlike the quite capable 80s Psycho sequels, Edge of Sanity is an irritatingly bad movie.

Edge of Sanity is one of those rare movies that one does not only without any merits or redeeming qualities, but that you start to hate so much you hope they never actually existed.

80s-o-meter: 1%

Total: -1%

#1589 Halloween 2021: Memorial Valley Massacre aka Memorial Day aka Valley of Death aka Son of Sleepaway Camp (1989)

Just as I wrote Silent Madness having the most pissed poor antagonist ever seen on the silver screen, along comes Memorial Valley Massacre, violently screaming Silent Madness to hold its beer.

What Memorial Valley Massacre tries to sell us is a concept of some sort of a prehistoric man living in the wilderness, who then starts to – you guessed it – wasting all the campers. Both the look and feel of the movie as well as the dodgy make up of the antagonist (think: someone remembered a costume party in the last minute, and had to make do with things found from home) made me wonder if this was some sort of weird joke I was witnessing, but it seems this wasn’t the case.

Memorial Valley Massacre is one of those movies that fail on all aspects, totally failing to scare or entertain. To try to make up for the bad sales the movie was later rebranded as Son of Sleepaway camp to try to ride on the success of Sleepaway Camp series, another severe faux pas for the movie.

80s-o-meter: 83%

Total: 11%

#1588 Halloween 2021: Silent Madness aka Beautiful Screamers aka The Nightkillers aka The Omega Factor (1984)

Silent Madness is another early 80s 3-D movie that I immediately anticipated to stink to high heavens – but that contrary to all the expectations turned out a-ok.

The fact that I enjoyed Silent Madness seems even more implausible given the fact that it has probably the weakest antagonist I’ve ever seen in a slasher. Honestly, it looks like they applied some eye make up up to the production company janitor and just send him in front of cameras.

Luckily he is not actually even the main source for the suspension in the movie; it’s the corrupt asylum, its rotten doctors and their henchman orderlies that provide Silent Madness most of its thrills.

80s-o-meter: 83%

Total: 72%

#1584 Halloween 2021: Sweet Sixteen aka Sweet 16 (1983)

Here’s another slasher I’ve mixed up with many similarly named slashers – Bloody Birthday, Happy Birthday to Me 15 and to name a few.

Sweet 16 draws its inspiration (quite loosely) from native Americans, mixes in some weak mythology and puts them up against racist rednecks and watches them clash. Everyone bad gets what’s coming to them and then it’s up to the viewer to start the guesswork who was the actual killer, and watch through to the totally expected last minute jump scare attempt.

The movie is not exceptional in any sense, and was going for a passable rating. But here’s the thing: I really hate the exploitative sexual angle in the marketing of this movie that has nothing to do with the theme (or the actual content) of the movie – and loathe it even more for it targeting 16-year olds.

Cheap trash, this one.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 18%

#1576 Halloween 2021: Aerobicide aka Killer Workout (1987)

Somebody is wasting people inside a small gym. And instead of closing it down, the gym is kept running while mutilated bodies fall out of every locker room and broom closet. Because, why not?

Aerobicide is light weight entertainment with light weight slasher elements in it. The movie never manages to be quite scary and the writer/director David A. Prior does not seem to have any elementary clue of how to build up suspense; the movie just moves from one killing to the next, and they viewer could not care less who’s next one to go. The same shallowness worked well in Prior’s Deadly Prey, but here everything just feels far too fluffy.

I did like the theme although Aerobicide does not do much with it. I mean, what could be more 80s than aerobics, sweat bands and leg warmers? Plus it seems to act as a quite potent padding material, filling up many precious minutes out of the movie’s measly running time of just 79 minutes.

80s-o-meter: 94%

Total: 38%

#1575 Halloween 2021: Girls School Screamers (1985)

If something, Troma is never boring. It can be bad, and it can be totally tasteless – but never boring.

Cue in Girls School Screamers that right off the bat feels quite a different kind of Troma movie, like if they were really making a big push for the main stream cinema. The production quality is on a quite different level, and Girls School Screamers doesn’t look amateurish at all, but the movie is totally uneventful, and downright dull, which is truly a shame after that movie’s superb starting with a boy wandering into the old abandoned house. In fact, the starting scene feels like .. almost like from a different movie.

There’s a reason for that. Girls School Screamers actually started out as a haunter house movie called The Portrait shot in the 1985. Troma then picked up the project, added a few gory scenes in the movie and changed its title.

And it’s these hilariously gory small inserts that end up the only thing really working in this snoozefest.

80s-o-meter: 91%

Total: 58%

#1573 Halloween 2021: Bloody Birthday aka Hide and Go Kill (1981)

First movie of this Halloween with them creepy kids, Bloody Birthday presents us the concept of three kids being born during an evil solar eclipse that plants a seed if evil in them that activates ten years later, effectively turning them into little psychopaths who plot to act sweet and kill everybody in their path.

The concept works and all three actually make for pretty credible killers that seem to ooze evil, especially the sweet little Elizabeth Hoy in the role of Debbie. Typical shortcomings of slashers plague Bloody Birthday as well but I did like the way the kids weren’t staged as your typical unerring evil masterminds: they work their little brains to no end trying to find out how to kill people, often failing miserably.

Bloody Birthday should not be mixed up with Happy Birthday To Me, another similarly named (but very different) slasher from 1981.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 60%

#1571 Halloween 2021: Berserker (1987)

A good rule of thumb is that what it comes to horror and suspense, it’s not what you see, but what you don’t.

But Berserker takes all this too far by spraying all the scenes full of thick machine fog that makes it hard to make see just about anything. The concept of some ancient viking who would be possessed by a Berserker rage making them strong enough to fight a bear is there only to later demonstrate some bear handler wrestling with a grizzly.

Plus, the whole concept is just another spinoff of your tired slasher formula where a group of horny teenagers wander off to a remote forest, have sex and get killed. And that norse supernatural nonsense does not make that formula any more interesting.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 28%

#1408 Halloween 2020: The House on Sorority Row aka House of Evil (1982)

Widely dubbed as ”one of the better slashers” out there, The House on Sorority Row follows a pack of sorority girls who clash with their sorority house mother over arranging a party and end up killing her by accident. The party does go on as planned, but guests start to go missing one by one in a true slasher fashion.

I applaud the team in taking a bit different approach with the movie – and they do manage to make it more memorable – but even with a few high points, The House on Sorority Row is ultimately just a thriller, with the negative aspects that come with the genre, and the disappointing ending does very little to help its case.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 60%

#1406 Halloween 2020: Satan’s Blade (1984)

After a very confusing start of Satan throwing a cursed blade to a tree trunk, followed by lesbian lovers robbing a bank and killing the cashiers and then retreating to a cabin where the other betrays and kills the other for the money and then gets stabbed with the aforementioned Satan’s Blade, the movie finally starts after 15 minutes of padding.

This is when a group of friends arrive to the mountains and they are placed in the same cabin where the murder took place, with blood marks still (!) visible on the ceiling. To no-one’s surprise they then meet a violent dead, one by one.

Low in quality, and low in most other aspects, The movie fails as a horror movie (and even as a slasher) – but there’s some limited charm in its homespun, adorably clumsy qualities.

80s-o-meter: 48%

Total: 30%

#1403 Halloween 2020: Twisted Nightmare (1987)

Twisted Nightmare is one of the movies that got made but did not need to exist.

Basically a remake of Friday the 13th Part III (shot in the same set and repeating the same kills), I can’t imagine the movie would excite any fans of the original nor excite new audience in the already saturated market of 80s slashers.

Twisted Nightmare is a teflon coated, empty shell of a movie that enters and leaves the viewer without leaving any trace or lasting impression.

80s-o-meter: 85%

Total: 6%

#1402 Halloween 2020: Splatter University (1984)

Splatter University is the most inept take on the slasher genre I’ve seen to date. Not only does it recycle elements seen in other movies, but actually manages to ruin and water down all of them. Also the humor seen in the movie (yes, it tries to be humoristic at times despite not classified as a comedy) falls as flat as its horror aspect.

Splatter University does manage to do one thing (and one thing only) right by eliminating people I thought were the central characters, which sort of made for a nice surprise element towards the end.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 9%