Presidents Day Cap

Presidents Day (2013)

In the 80’s, horror fans were treated to a very common slasher theme. Holiday Slasher films became very popular and as a result ton sof titles were subsequently released. Titles like Silent Night, Deadly Night, My Bloody Valentine, April Fools Day, New Years Evil, Halloween were flying off of home video shelves and filling theaters alike. However as the genre died so did the amount of holiday-based slasher movies. Sure some still trickled into video stores but, those really didn’t do anything for seasoned fans. Its hasn’t been until recently that holiday slasher films have started making a slight comeback,Granted most are in the form of remakes like My Bloody Valentine 3D, Rob Zombie’s Halloween 1 & 2, Silent Night, but I’m also seeing some upcoming original films like Easter Sunday… and the yet to be made Eli Roth fake trailer Thanksgiving! Presidents Day is no exception to this group!

Written by Jimmy George & Chris LaMartina Presidents Day is basically about a slack named Berry, he gets a hard on for the new girl and notices she’s running for student council president. As a way to get to know her more, Berry also runs for President. Little do they know another President is in the running, and this time he’s killing the competition.Presidents Day

Being that the film was shot in 2009 and just now released,gave me worries but Presidents Day is a really good new slasher film.Everything is good about this film. Acting, Practical Effects, Story, Editing,and Directing are all just pieces of what makes this film so successful. The film notably stars Bennie Mack McCoy IV as Berry, Lizzy Denning as Joanna,Nicolette le Faye as Chelsea, fellow film reviewer Shawn C. Phillips as Dennis and Ryan Thomas as Officer Kennedy. All the actors, even the ones I didn’t name did great jobs with their respective roles. I felt that every character was believable and seemed like they were all around the age of high school students. Bennie was the stand out for me, he did some subtle thing in reactions and mannerisms that really helped bring a fluid & natural feel to his character.

The gore in the film was done very well, and the body count is very high. Practical effects took the lead in the effects department offering up some choppings, decaps, slices, dices, burnings, hangings, suffocation,smashing, some comical dismembering, and more. This film is not without the red stuff and gore hounds should be satisfied. Also the film boasts some skin for the guys including two breast shots, and a lingerie shot. The ladies are out of luck on this one, sorry girls better luck next time.

The story is fluid and there were no big plot holes or continuity errors. My only disappointment is I knew who the killer was right off the bat. It doesn’t take anything away from the film as the reveal was still good, I just had my suspicions. Editing of the film was also very well done, no harsh cuts or terrible dialogue levels, I believe this can be attributed to the direction of Chris LaMartina, nothing was out of place or weird. We got some fairly straight forward shots and as a result the film is easily watchable.

Obviously, GLP loved Presidents Day and we thing you will to, It does everything a slasher film is supposed to do. Independent films are taking the for front of Horror and I am not complaining. GLP gives Presidents day a solid 4 out of 5 stabs for great story, gore, acting, and behind the scenes work. I highly suggest hunting down this film and grabbing your copy. It’s a great flick and has classic written all over it. The film is currently available on DVD through Amazon.

GLP Rating:

4 stabs

Sleepaway Camp Screen

Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Sleepaway Camp is a movie that I will absolutely never forget, and for those of you that have seen this cult classic you understand why. Sleepaway Camp really embodies that of the Slasher genre. With slick kills and an ending that will have reeling for days after you first see it, GLP has nothing but praise for Robert Hiltzik’s little gem of a slasher flick.

This title has a familiar story line to most slashers of the early 80’. Camp setting, unknown killer on the loose, ect. What it does have , however, is a fresh look & twist on what was then a fairly new formula. All the usual suspects are also present. You have the bully, the hot head, the quiet one, the old wise man, the nerdy kid, and a slew of random that are introduced but not really expanded upon. Even with that, the film manages to find a way to keep its audience captivated.sleepaway

The basic plot is 2 live in cousins Ricky and Angela go to Camp Arawak for that summer. Being the new kid at summer camp Angela is picked on by most of the camp regulars. But something sinister is picking the tormentors off one by one, until the final revile that will leave you stunned.

At the time the formula had not been done too much, Camps however seemed to be the go to setting for horror movies in the early 80’s. Can your really blame them though. I always thought there was something extremely creepy about being surrounded by all that nature, the feeling of seclusion, the endless woods, and most of the time a bleak lake. Regardless of the popular setting, Hiltzik made it work. Not so much by focusing on the setting but developing the story around it.

The two main characters Ricky and Angela played by Jonathan Tiersten and Felissa Rose really make this film great. The evolution of Felissa’s character throughout the film is mesmerizing. She doesn’t even say a word until almost the 30 minute mark, causing an air of mystery to the character of Angela.  Ricky on the other hand is almost an exact opposite to her. Ricky is a foul mouthed hot head teenager who is constantly sticking up for his cousin, and having been to the camp before, seems to have a good grasp on the individuals at Camp Arawak.

The film boasts rather impressive special effects. All of the scenes are very well done. Even with a rather low amount of the red stuff, the kills are effective. I think m favorite part of the movie besides the ending is the fact that there are a large amount of deaths that don’t use traditional weapons. Hiltzik did a really good job of incorporating the setting for cause of deaths. What I mean by that is, using items that are not necessarily man made like guns and knifes, but things that nature itself created.

All and all this film really optimizes the early 80’s slasher genre. With great special effects, a great leading cast, and a fresh take on a relatively common formula. Sleepaway Camp will deliver to just about every horror fan out there. Don’t let the lack of red stuff fool you. This film will deliver all the goods and maybe a little more than you expect! GLP gives this move 5 stabs, for its, even then, fresh take on the slasher formula, excellent leading characters and the most shocking slasher ending of all time! If you are interested in buying the film you can get the stand alone DVD here, or if your luck you can get your hands on a good copy of the special edition “Survival Kit” boxset which is now out of print here. You can view the original trailer below!

 

GLP Rating:

GLP5stabs

The Burning Screen

The Burning (1981)

The Burning is one of those slasher films that once you watch it, you will not forget about it. When I think of slasher movie stand outs, this one is definitely in my top five. For those of you who are not familiar with this title let me run it down for you. A camp caretaker who is notorious for being a cruel and unsavory man winds up on the wrong side of a prank gone bad. The prank leaves him horribly disfigured with terrible burns. Upon his release from the hospital, the caretaker returns to the old camp and has some fun with garden shears.

POSTER---THE-BURNING.preview

The Burning is a tale of blood and tears that most slasher fans will fall in love with instantly. The film features the motion picture debut of Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens and Oscar winner Holly Hunter. While little Holly plays the role of Sophie she is actually hard to recognize but, Fisher and Jason have rather significant roles that showcase their talent even as young actors.

The Burning was also one of the first films released by Miramax Films with Bob Weinstein taking on co-writing duties, as well as Harvey Weinstein as a producer. Until its long awaited DVD release in September 2007 this film was a rather rare piece of cinematic gold. The film was under quite a bit of controversy in the UK when it was first released, resulting in it being place on the notorious Video Nasties list. The notorious RAFT MASSACRE was one of the driving forces for the ban.

Make-Up effects artist Tom Savini is probably the driving force behind this cult classics post theatrical success. The Burning’s death scenes are some of the best in the slasher genre. The stomach scissors, and raft scene will undoubtedly haunt you for years to come. The acting however is at times hit or miss, but with the abundant kills and creepy atmosphere it really doesn’t matter that much.

I would HIGHLY suggest this film to any slasher fan, or general horror fan for that matter. The story is solid, and the kills are even better. Right now you can currently buy the film on DVD at Amazon. View the trailer below.

GLP Rating:
GLP4stabs