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Old 27th May 2023, 11:23 AM
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Frankie Teardrop Frankie Teardrop is offline
Cultist on the Rampage
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Leeds, UK

BLIND DATE – Thought I’d give this one another chance as it’s cropped up on The Labs a couple of times recently. It’s up to the director’s usual inane standards. Grating ‘hero’ Mark Bottoms has the charisma of a soiled kipper, although in a way he earns the first thumbs up for being such a lame choice. Basically, he’s some kind of ad agency exec whose main characteristics are that he has both a Walkman and a creepy ex fixation; whilst out stalking one night he bops a tree and ends up blind, at which point science intervenes to restore his sight and set him on the path to solving the mystery of a cab-driving sex killer. ‘Blind Date’ is ridiculous, but I did enjoy it. It’s like a badly woven tapestry of oddness thrown over a collapsing De Palma-esque skeleton, and if you think that simile’s rubbish then at least it’s better than anything in this film. There are so many “why?!” moments that I can’t begin to list them, but the first point of hilarity has to be that we’re meant to, uh, empathise or relate to this lead who’s essentially a predator – Mastorakis seems to be saying “guys, it’s OK to do that whole stalking thing if you’re just watching over her…”, a bizarre sentiment even for 1984. Another aspect that stuck in my mind and just made me gape sounds a bit trivial, but why the whole Walkman thing? Did Mastorakis have a deal with Sony? Bottoms starts out with a Walkman for leisure purposes, but when the docs install his sonar-wave sight modification device, they fashion it in the form of… a Walkman. It’s the sort of inexplicable but mundane recurrence that only would only really happen in a dream. The rest of the film is a blur of eighties fashion nightmares, scenes that look like they were based on boring bits from ‘The Equaliser’, half-baked forays into ‘Tron’ territory, and the occasional sleazy murder sequence. Mastorakis does not invest his film with any intrigue or suspense, but somehow manages to fascinate with an accumulation of bafflement.

SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE 3 – I was kind of hoping for another horror ‘musical’, but SPM 3 steps away from the bizarreness of ‘Part 2’ and heads towards relative naturalism. This is a last-gasp slasher movie from 1990, so what’s ‘natural’ is young Americans playing volleyball on a beech before hanging out in a house and being murdered. One of the characteristics of the SPM series seems to be a recurring scene in which the women who have gathered for their all-girl sleepover decide to break out into a collective dance as if they’re performing in a strip club. Given what I think I know about the directorial intent behind these films I guess this has to do with some sort of critique of objectification, but it also just looks really weird. Anyway, despite the lack of a rockabilly psycho dream demon with a freaky guitar this time around, the slumber party in question is once again crashed by a crazed killer, another agent of rogue maleness who’s pretty guessable from the start (despite a couple of really obvious red herrings). The drill is back, but I think one of my favourite bits is the one where the slasher grabs a chainsaw and bloodlessly nibbles at some prone guy’s Achilles tendons. I know not every horror flick has the budget necessary for a foot severing even if they can stretch to the drama of having a chainsaw near a foot, but it just looked so random. And so it goes on, with lots of flapping about and modest carnage. I wasn’t as into this one as much as the others (esp the second), but, as well as coming fully charged with that late eighties / early nineties slick-but-clunky feel, SPM 3 intrigues with a staginess that’s hard to place. But I have no idea whether its apparent stiltedness is a manneristic device, or whether it’s just a bit shite.
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