Posts Tagged ‘Video Nasty’

 

Ah the glory days of the early 80’s slasher film. It really does feel like these films were popping up left and right and who can really blame the studios for gambling on them, Halloween and Friday the 13th paved the way and the cash cow was going to be milked until it ran dry. Enter J.S. Cardone’s 1982 example…..The Slayer.

Fans of the slasher/body count genre already know what they are getting into as Cardone lays down the plot. Kay (played by Sarah Kendall; best known for her role in Karate Kid 2) is a surreal artist, who has been haunted by nightmares, her brother Eric (played by Frederick Flynn) believes a vacation with their
two friends would be an ideal way for his sister to ease up and start relaxing so that the nightmares in which she is being chased by monster will stop. Eric’s wife Brooke (played by Carol Kottenbrook) doesn’t like the idea of spending a week alone with unstable Kay and her husband David (played by Alan McRae). I was surprised to notice how much Brooke looked ravaged after only 4 years in marriage. Also, you should check sinister music that played in background when Eric cut himself during a shaving. Maybe the director tries to tell us something?

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A walking nightmare

So two boring couples arrive to the island where they are going to spend unforgettable vacation. MUAHAHAHAHAHA They are being greeted by evil looking Marsh (played by Michael Holmes; best known for his role in Deadly Prey). Marsh also warned them about upcoming storm in the most odd way. Not paying attention to this warning two couple settle out for the beach with hope to catch some sun. Meanwhile, somewhere near them a fisherman gets killed by oar. I thought this island was deserted? Or they just want us to think so?

 

Later that night Kay and David had an argue. David was assaulting Kay because she is having nightmares. Like it is her fault. Kay went to bed while David had decided to take a walk around the house. He hears something at the attic. When he went to check out what that sound was the attic doors trapped his head, leaving poor David to hang from the ceiling. Seriously, how the fuck is something like that even possible? And yet he managed to die here. You really have to be a grade A moron in order to die this humiliating death. Of course, no one has noticed anything.

 

The next morning Kay wakes up in her bed next to her husband. She starts kissing him not suspecting anything and like no argue took place recently. Then the blood starts flowing out of his eyes and Kay becomes suspicious. She removes the cover only to find out that David’s body is missing. There is only just a head. She starts screaming and then wakes up, this time for real. There is no David in her bed. So everything was just a wonderful dream. Or was it? Anyway, Kay runs out of the house screaming and raising alarm. Eric and Brooke starts searching for David around the island. Kay’s dream came true when she found decapitated body of her husband hanging from the ceiling in some ruined house which Kay used to draw before. Coincidence?

Later that night, after putting Kay to sleep, Eric goes searching for possible culprit. He went to the boathouse. I don’t know what he had expected to find there. And he found nothing. So he takes a walk down the peer where he finds a fishing pole. While he was inspecting it a fishing hook flies out from
somewhere and ties up around Eric’s neck. Then the killer (whoever that might be) pulls his away into the sea. Well, Eric was talking from the start he might do some fishing on this vacation. Actually it is all he was talking about. How ironic.

 

Brooke starts searching for her husband moments after he got killed. Talking about marital connection here. And she goes where? That’s right! To the boathouse. Right where killer wanted her to be. She tried to escape but the killer pitch forked her from behind right through her tits. I guess her marital problems are now over and she might finally rest in peace. And that leaves us just with Kay.

 

The next morning Kay starts searching for her brother and his wife. She heads to the beach where she finds Eric’s bloated body on the shore and Brooke’s corpse already infested with small crabs. She starts panicking and barricading herself in the house while some cheerful ’70s music is playing in the
background. Nevertheless the killer still finds his way in. The struggle and chasing around begins until Kay had finally managed to shot the Slayer (played by Carl Kraines) from the flair gun. While killer was laying on the ground with his smoking body Kay took that opportunity to escape out. But when she opened the door a monster from her dreams was lurking on the other side. It materialized itself right out of nowhere. “What happened then”, I hear you asking. Nothing! Kay woke up once more. And yes, she was in her bed but as an 8 eight years old girl far away from the cursed island. It is  Christmas morning and her parents wants her to go and open up her presents under the tree. And her dad has a special present for her – a black kitten. Just the one Kay used to see in her dreams. Maybe it wasn’t all just a wonderful dream? What a unbelievable stupid ending!

I don’t like this present!

Conclusion: The Slayer only manages to scrape its way in to the slasher genre with its heels dragging across the floor. Like Dead Pit, Hard Cover and Small Town Massacre J.S. Cardone’s video nasty includes many of the prominent trappings, but tries to incorporate something slightly different. The majority of the runtime is pretty standard stuff as a silhouetted killer hacks off cast members one by one, but when the maniac is revealed to be a supernatural monster, Cardone stretches the realms of the category beyond tradition. The level of performance from the cast is really bad, especially the lack of emotion from lead, Sarah Kendall. Even when her brother and husband have been slaughtered she fails to look anything other than totally flat. But this even wouldn’t be so much bad slasher if there wasn’t for that idiotic ending. Sometimes it is better to finish a movie with cliché. After all, we were all expecting it.

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I took interest in this movie not only because of it’s title or the fact that it was filmed in golden age for slashers. The most interesting thing about it is that it was spanish-german co-production, and it was directed by Spanish vintage porn movies director Jess Franco. Topped with awful English dubbing over German language. What a treat! This Jess Franco’s take on an American Slasher ‘Bloody Moon’ is also known as The Bloody Moon Murders, and under its German title ‘Die Säge des Todes’, which translates to ‘The Saw of Death’. If you have seen the movie you will see that the German title probably has the most relevance to the content but more about that later.

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The story takes place in and around the strangely named International Youth-Club boarding School of Languages, a place for young girls to study Spanish while lusting over the local young men and discussing their sex lives in length with one another. I don’t know why would anyone go to German to learn Spanish language. They should go to Spain or at least to some of countries colonized by Spain. Anyway, they throw a big party as it is custom among all horny students of the world. We see a guy with badly glued scar on his face lurking around the school. Later we find out that his name is Miguel (played by Alexander Waechter). Miguel steals a Mickey Mouse mask from unsuspecting couple. Then he sneaks into the party and even manages to pick up some slut. When he was about to DO her Miguel removed the mask from his face. Girl started to scream and refuse him. Dumb bitch didn’t mind while he was wearing a fucking Mickey Mouse mask and she deserved her comeuppance. Disfigured Miguel murders a young woman (serves her righy) in a crime of passion and is sent away from his family for years. Miguel’s therapist recommends Manuela (played by Nadja Gerganoff), Miguel’s sister, that Miguel should be returned to a low-stress environment and should not be reminded of the horrible incident again. So Manuela and Miguel naturally return to their home, a manor somehow connected to a Spanish language school owned by the siblings’ aunt, who hates Manuela and has disinherited her. She died the same night after her hate speech. Someone torched her while she still was in bed.

 

We find out that Miguel and Manuela are in forbidden love relationship and they need to hide themselves from the eyes of public. Well this is the right places to blend in. School is full of horny sluts and guys desperate enough to do anything for them. Of course one guy sticks out – Antonio (played by Peter Exacoustos). He is self-centered local fucker who doesn’t notice any happening around him. But one girl played Angela (played by Olivia Pascal) finds his company boring and retreats from the party to her bungalow. Her friend Eva (played by Ann-Beate Engelke) came by to borrow a pullover because she is going to sea trip with some guys she ran into. It turned out that her visit came just in time because there was a murderer hiding at Angela’s place, waiting to nail her down (and not in a good way). Instead, he stabbed Eva right through the boob while she was dressing. Angela found a body and went outside screaming. She ran into Antonio who didn’t believe her a single word. He pinned everything to her imagination (now that was something we didn’t see coming). Angela’s  bungalow seems to be open all hours since everyone can walk in whenever they like. First her another slutty friend Inga (played by Jasmin Losensky) came by,  followed by their Spanish language teacher Alvaro (played by Christoph Moosbrugger) who is also having an affair with one of the students. What a love triangle.

 

The next day Angela hears life-threatening message coming out of tape for learning spanish language. Of course, no one believes her, not even Alvaro. On the other side of the camp, Miguel steals a snake and plants it on tree couple of moments before Angela passed by. Snake attacks her and she starts screaming again. Antonio, who works there as a gardener, came to the rescue by decapitating poor snake using a yard scissors. Angela freaks out completely and starts running around. She meets some friends who were on their way to surprise Inga while she is having sex. Little they knew that Inga was so desperate to fake  whole thing. Yeah, she got so carried into yelling dirty words and jumping all over the bed that she didn’t even notice Eva’s body nicely packed into her closet. Love is so blind.

 

Inga was so ashamed that she ran away and accepted a lift from mysterious guy in yellow car. She was so determined to have sex and so desperate for it that she even accepted being tied up to a huge stone-cube. Big mistake! That stone was a part of stonecutter mill. Murderer then activated mechanism for stone cutting. It seemed that Inga’s days are numbered as a huge saw was coming closer to her. One little boy, who was spying on her turned off mechanism in the last moment. Her relief was only brief since the boy had chickened out and ran away allowing the murderer to finish the job. The saw decapitated mannequin that was intended to represent Inga’s body. That’ll shut her mouth up for good. But wait, there is more! The best part of this movie! Not wanting to leave any witnesses alive the murderer chased little boy and ran over him by his car! Wow what a combo! Special power unlocked!

 

Now it is Angela’s turn to die. The murderer goes after her previously killing Laura (played by Corinna Drews) using a huge tongs. Angela finds her body hanging from the ceiling. She also finds Inga’s head in her bed and finally Eva’s corpse which was under everyone’s nose the whole movie. Seriously, killer had to literally place the body on the obvious spot for someone to find it. Anyway, the murderer was onto Angela in no time and it seemed that his job will be easy. In that moment Miguel, who was on his usual night lurking, runs in and surprises the killer just enough for Angela to run away again. Wow top suspect was not the culprit. We find out that Alvaro was the killer with a help of retarded bald gardener Paco. He overpowered Manuel and went chasing Angela, who ran away to Manuela. Manuela drugged her and left her sleeping upstairs. It turns out that she is in cahoots with Alvaro who is actually a hired killer. She wanted to get rid of everyone so she could inherit fortune and start a new life far away. Her plan was to blame Miguel for everything. She had always despised him. Miguel was eavesdropping this entire conversation and went to kill Manuela after she retired to her room. Manuela manages to stab through his rubber neck with a huge pencil. Meanwhile, Angela finds Countess’ (played by Maria Rubio) torched body and thats when Alvaro gets hold on her for the second time. But Manuela didn’t want to leave loose ends so she kills Alvaro too. She offers Angela a deal in which she let her live in exchange for her silence and placing the entire blame on Alvaro and Miguel. Angela gladly accepts the deal. Manuela then went upstairs to yell a little more on Miguel’s corpse. In that moment Miguel rises from the dead (I don’t see how this is even possible considering a huge pencil sticking out of his neck) and strangles Manuela. They both died holding their hands together and that would be the happy-end of this nonsense.

 

Conclusion: The script here looks like it has been written by Tommy Wiseau himself. Even without mentioning bad dubbing the script is awful as it is. Many dialog are incoherent and completely out of place. I fail to see connection between the events in this movie and the Moon. Apart of few shoots of full moon (it wasn’t even bloody) there is not a word about it’s influence. Someone might say that some people turn crazy during a full moon but that is not the case here as motive is pure greed. One point I have to make about the acting is the over zealous dubbing into English made a lot of the characters come off as either obnoxious, or in Angela’s case hysterical. while there has been some obvious attempts to Americanise this film it plays out in parts more like an Italian Giallo. However, as a fan of bad ’80s slashers I find this movie enjoyable, gory and worth watching.