4 Easy Steps to Becoming a Horror Movie Slasher
Ever wanted to elaborately or methodically or gleefully, gorily, insanely murder all kinds of people for some contrived reason or other with little to no fear of real world repercussions? Sure you have, it's the way of the world. But who among us knows how to pull off such a thing? Movie slashers, that's who. If I was going to run amok in a bloodbath of depravity, I'd probably end up hunting mailmen in distant towns and offing them with random tools or heavy stones so as to ensure there was no real link or identifiable pattern to the crimes at all so no one would ever know it was me unless I got caught on camera somehow which I'd surely never do since I've been plotting this for ages. You know, if that's something I've been doing. But it's not.
The point is, movie killers sure know how to kill all slapdash and holus bolus, except for that last person who survives to the sequel. And if you want to be a killer on par with a movie villain, you'll have to brush up on these movie slasher skills. And hey, feel free to leave a comment about why you're so obsessed with murder. It's a little abnormal, you know.
In an ironic twist, the only movie slasher who has no real motive for killing is infamous for his motive being a lack of motive. That's Michael Myers, who kills people because dressing as a clown in the '70s brings out your inner darkness (not to be confused with Mike Myers, who beats jokes to death). Every other slasher has a clearly defined and terrible reason to murder. Jason, for instance, is upset that horny teens let him drown when he was but a young turd with nary a gleam of murder in his eye. Since then, he somehow grew older and became evil and repetitive. So evil and so repetitive. Freddy Krueger just wanted to be a pedophilic murderer but had his hopes and dreams cut short by the parents of his victims, so he came back from the dead for vengeance, in stark contrast to everything you understand about how vengeance is supposed to work. They may be dumb motives, but they are motives.
If you want to be a good slasher, where in this case "good" means memorable, prolific, or at least sequel-worthy, you can't let motive get too complicated or sensible. Look at Jigsaw. He's killed people across about 30 films, despite dying of cancer in the third film, and his motive may be the single stupidest motive in the history of film, horror or otherwise. He's sick, see, so as a man with a newfound respect for life, he wants others to be more respectful of their own lives, even if that means putting their heads in an electrified bear trap lined with shotguns and AIDS. Don't question anything he does or how he does it for a dozen films after he dies, because then you'll miss the clever death scenes, and that's how motive gets away from you.
So basically all you need is something that can loosely tie you to a victim, and the bigger the pool of victims, the better. Might I suggest you find a way to get horribly wronged by the fans of Game of Thrones, such that you need to stalk and murder them all with props from the show? If you can be the person who beats people to death with Peter Dinklage, that will be exceptionally memorable. Or maybe your family was killed by drunken cosplayers and now you're the Phantom of Comic-Con, strangling nerds with their own entrails. It could work. When all else fails, relate your heinous actions in some way to sex and sexuality. Like say you're a virgin and now you need to kill everyone who's ever touched a boob because something something your mother/rage/voices from the back of the toilet.
Get a Gimmick
Name a horror movie slasher who doesn't have a gimmick. If there is one, his name is probably Franz. Fuck Franz. No one likes Franz, and his movie grossed enough to pay for the shed the director is going to masturbate gloomily in while the repo company takes away his furnishings, his car, and his dog from the main house.
Real slashers have gimmicks, sometimes more than one. Is it a mask? A really ridiculous and impractical method of killing? The fact that she's a girl with a penis? Put your hand in the cookie jar and pull 'em all out if you think you can make it work. But just make sure it's something blatantly obvious, and don't worry in the slightest about originality.
At this point you may be thinking that of course you need originality -- isn't that how these things work? Oh my gosh, I am laughing. A good belly laugh, thank you for that. No, horror movies shun originality like Catholic school girls shun birth control and the History Channel has taken to shunning sanity. For instance, what do Halloween, Friday the 13th, Alice, Sweet Alice, Terror Train, The Strangers, You're Next, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Scream, Valentine, Smiley, Laid to Rest, and probably 100 others have in common? Stupidly impractical masks. Could anyone possibly have been able to see even 50 percent of the world around them through any of those goofy-ass masks? Not likely. Maybe that's why they were so angry all the time.
This fall, no one's cans are safe from ... The Can Opener!
In the interests of efficiency and dedication to your craft, you're going to want to have both a gimmick mask and a gimmick weapon. Machetes seem like a good idea at first, but they're overdone and probably require extensive sharpening between murder fests. Chainsaws seem like a viable alternative but can be noisy and do require gas. Did you remember gas money in your murder pants? A gun is just sacrilege; you can't kill a man with a gun. Maybe try a really big pair of pruning shears or a baseball bat laced with corkscrews. Won't that make one hell of a mess!
As for your crazy-ass mask, a plain white face seems like the go-to choice for the lazy, fashion-unconscious killer, but it's like farting in your own face at this point -- who really needs it? Call me crazy, and maybe I am for offering tips on modeling yourself after fictional serial killers, but I bet a mask based on any of the characters from The Big Bang Theory would be pretty compelling. Imagine how shitty you'd feel if your last moments on Earth were cowering in fear from a corkscrew bat at the feet of Sheldon.
Save the Best for Last
So you have a reason of some kind for going after your particular set of victims, and sure, you'll kill extraneous fodder along the way, because people always walk into the room at the wrong moment and you'll need to corkscrew bat them to teach them to mind their p's and q's, but how do you decide who to kill first? I know this is counterintuitive, but there is a methodology to it, and it's simple: The person you want to kill most is the last person you try to kill. It seems dumb, I know, and when we get to the next part, about how you're going to fail before you even kill them, you'll wonder why you ever bothered in the first place, but hey, that's the way this shit works. If you could just go around killing people you wanted to kill right away, you wouldn't need a mask, a gimmick, or ramshackle plot details from movies written by drunks and ADD-afflicted insomniacs.
So, first things first. There's one person you really, really want to kill, so instead of that person, you'll kill their best friend or significant other. Then assorted friends, neighbors, and family members as befits your motivation until your main target is alone and panicked and maybe only has one other person for support, whom you will also kill just before it seems like you're about to kill your main target, at which point you will unfortunately have to die. You were so close, too! Shit, I'm sorry.
Don't Be a Sore Loser
You're probably a little down in the dumps at this point, realizing that your main target somehow gets away at the end of this debacle and you did all the work just about for nothing because all the people you did kill you never really cared that much about anyway. Like, sure, it was fun and all, but it wasn't the most fun. It was like watching Terminator 3 when really it was Part 2 you were trying to find on Netflix the whole time.
Well, buck up, chum. Yes, you got within inches of murdering your main target, only to have them somehow turn the tables on you at the last second, but that's what has to happen. You can't let it get you down, though, because you now have one of two options. Are you excited? You should be!
Once it becomes clear you're dead or incarcerated, we can pick a path and follow it to its illogical conclusion. The first option is the 5 Minutes of Bliss option. You'll see this in movies like Final Destination and several Friday the 13ths. This is when you die and your victim gets to chill out and enjoy life for a maximum of five minutes, and then ohshityoudidn'tdie! Ha ha, you get to leap out of someplace that doesn't even need to make sense and actually kill the heck out of them just like you planned all along because you were wearing a bulletproof vest/are cursed/are immortal/are eternal evil/only got lightly grazed/are super resilient/had an evil twin/possessed another body or whatever the hell. You crafty bugger.
One of us is evil, the other just has loose morals.
Option 2 is the sequel! Use this if the Halloween ending appeals to you. You're dead, you're on the lawn, everyone is relieved that they don't have to be murdered by you anymore, and just to prove that point, they'll go look at your body one last time and oh shit, son! Why isn't your corpse on the lawn? I'll tell you why: Because while all the cops and paramedics and neighborhood rubberneckers were standing around apparently watching dogs humping or a really cool fireworks display, the unstoppable killing machine that is you, that was laying on the lawn, just stood up and walked away with literally no one noticing. I know, it seems like that would never, ever happen, and that so many people would have to be so negligent for this to even be a possibility, but the tape doesn't lie. This happens in slasher movies constantly. It's like people can't wait to think they've killed you and then turn their back on your presumed corpse, confident that you will obviously still be there whenever they can be arsed to turn around and look at you again.
Naturally your disappearance will lead to at least one character looking mildly concerned and then, as we'll learn in the sequel, everyone shrugging it off, confident that what probably happened was your corpse was just carted away by skunks, or maybe you evaporated due to all the evil water you have built up inside you. Whatever the case, rest assured no one is going to bother looking for you, so you can come back in Part 2 and start murdering all over again. The only thing you need to be wary of is how this exact same formula will play out again, and inevitably the one person you really want to kill will still get away. It's a bummer, but you'll still have Part 3 to look forward to, so keep up the good work!