What's your favorite scary movie? See what I did there? I quoted an arguably scary movie. Well, a self-aware wank of a scary movie that started a trend of too-cute cliche films that were constantly winking at themselves to the point where every character ended up with pinkeye, but you see what I mean. Anyway, as a huge fan of scary movies myself, and a huge fan of writing (it helps me pay for malt liquor!), I thought I might try my hand at writing a scary movie. But what manner of scary movie? A slasher!
I chose to write a slasher movie because, as a niche in the horror genre, it seems like it was played out in the early 1980s. Every good slasher you can name is either from that time or was clearly inspired by what came out at that time -- most notably Friday The 13th and Halloween. Is there any way I could breathe new life into the genre? Well, you could always read the screenplay yourself and see what you think. It's right here!
Now, all shilling aside, I'm of the belief that a slasher is made or broken solely on its kills. The killer has to be creative but not too outrageous. Did I succeed in mine? I hope so. These films, which have what I consider the be-all and end-all of perfect slasher movie kills, certainly did. Many have tried, but these kills kicked major ass, even if they don't get a lot of love.
#8. Sleeping Bag Beatdown
I think Jason Vorhees has killed roughly the population of Vermont across all of his films, and that seems extreme at best. Every attempt to stop Jason has failed miserably. The closest anyone came to pulling it off was cryogenic freezing -- which amounted to nothing, since not only did they thaw him out and make him stronger, but the filmmakers also just went ahead and kept making movies about him set in the present anyway. He's been to hell and space now; all that's left is Detroit, and maybe North Korea.
Of all the ways Jason has murdered people across his films -- of which there are exactly 417 now -- the all-time best is this one. The sleeping bag beating.
People might tell you that Jason's greatest kill is the liquid nitrogen kill from Jason X, in which he freezes a woman's face and then shatters it. That cannot be his greatest kill, and this isn't even an objective argument, because it takes place in Jason X. The one in space. I mean, seriously. Get fucked, space sequels.
#7. The Kevin Baconator
Sticking with Friday The 13th, this is probably one of the greatest death scenes ever put to film, and 50 percent of that is just because it's Kevin Bacon. How often do you see Kevin Bacon die on film? Not so often at all. Not in Footloose, that's for sure. Imagine if the climax of that film had been a burst aorta right in the middle of a rousing Don Henley number, with everyone standing around in shock and horror as Bacon clutches his chest and just collapses, his face contorted in a mask of rock 'n' roll anguish.
Anyway, you might not think this kill is so impressive at first glance, but consider what you're seeing here. First, the killer is not preternatural ogre-man Jason -- it's his middle-aged, albeit unstable mommy. Despite this, she has the ability to force an arrow straight up through a mattress and a Kevin Bacon in one power thrust. No jabbing which made him scratch his neck as though being bit by bed bugs or anything. How much space is even under that bed, anyway? She's using skills that the Bride used in Kill Bill to escape that damn coffin. This is really impressive when you think about it.
#6. The Reverse Bear Trap
It seems like Saw should be included on this list somewhere, but I had to tread carefully. This series really mirrors the Scary Movie franchise, in that the higher the sequel number, the more likely it is that what you're watching is complete garbage.
Saw had a lot of imaginative killing going on, but for the most part, I have to discount it from this list for impracticality. I don't want to tell potential serial killers how to do their jobs, but this level of elaborate engineering, machining, and plotting which even Machiavelli would consider ostentatious is kind of hard to swallow. Like, maybe you could do it for one or two guys, but how many people have those movies offed now? Does everyone need to die in a satanic mashup of an H.R. Giger doodle and the board game Mousetrap?
Despite my reservations, I'll include the reverse bear trap as a series favorite, because the damn thing keeps showing up in Saw movies and really looked like it had promise, but they kept cockblocking it. That girl in the second movie escapes just in time, and then another dude escapes, and then finally someone does get offed by it, and even if the movie wasn't up to the standards of the first couple, just look at that thing. What the hell?
#5. The Raft Massacre
The Burning is a pretty cool camp slasher from the early '80s. In this clip from the film, you may recognize a young Fisher Stevens, who went full racist to play Steve Guttenberg's sidekick in Short Circuit and then presumably had other acting jobs, about which I know nothing.
The Burning is about a camp where some asshats light the groundskeeper on fire as a prank, because pranks in the 1980s were just devastating. Anyway, the victim doesn't take kindly to this, and returns some years later to just murder everyone. Because what else can a burn victim do with his time? Read?
All things being equal, this scene isn't any more or less great than numerous others. It's the subtext I appreciate. It's what's not being said. First, this guy was just lying in a canoe. For how long? How long was he willing to stay in that canoe for this kill to pay off? There was no guarantee that anyone was going to find it, and no guarantee that it would be kids from the camp if anyone did. Also, notice the looming when he raises his shears for that first kill. So he just goes vertical, he stands up in the boat (carefully, so as not to tip over), and the kids in the other raft are just blown away ... And then, does he board their raft or stay in his canoe? It's very hard to tell, but their self-defense and/or self-preservation instincts suck so much ass that they almost deserve to die. Couldn't the last victim have jumped off and tried to swim?