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Old 17th November 2014, 06:32 AM
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Default Definition of a Slasher?

Recently, I came up with an idea for a project. Having felt I'd seen a lot of slashers, I thought it'd be fun to rank them all in order, with a small blurb or review for each, like a top 25 list or something.

Then I ran into a problem. Looking up others lists, I saw all sorts of films making it on. Old films, new films, proto-slashers, giallos, and more. Then I thought I'd work out how many I'd seen, using some very vague sources.

Wikipedia defines slasher films as:

A slasher film is a subgenre of thriller and horror film, typically involving a psychopathic killer stalking and murdering a sequence of victims in a graphically violent manner, often with a bladed tool such as a knife, machete, axe, scythe, or chainsaw. Although the term "slasher" may be used as a generic term for any horror movie involving graphic acts of murder, the genre has established its own set of characteristics which set it apart from related genres like the splatter film and psychological thriller.

Google defines it as:

a horror film, especially one depicting a series of violent murders or assaults by an attacker armed with a knife or razor.

By these definitions, a lot of things get on. Using wikipedia's slasher category, and a list from The Mammoth Book of Slashers (the list is crap btw, no idea of the book), I made up an IMDB list, however removing the cannibal and zombie movies that were included in the book for god knows what reason.

This is the list: IMDb: Slashers I've Seen - a list by fuzzymctiger
It starts with A-Z from wikipedia that I've seen, followed by the book ones that weren't on wikipedia, then other ones that came up.

Now here is the final question. What falls under a slasher for you?

1970-1990? Only America, or worldwide? Do giallos count, as they fit the definition? Alien mostly fits the definition, but is it a slasher? Do monsters or supernatural forces count, or just madmen?
Your opinions would be greatly appreciated, as the resulting definition will define my later project.

Also, any reccomendations of essential slashers I haven't seen is also appreciated. At the moment I have on my list to watch:
Prom Night
Tourist Trap
Hell Night
Candyman
Alone in the Dark
House on Sorority Row (In the mail)
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Old 17th November 2014, 06:43 AM
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Personally, I use

Quote:
A slasher film is a subgenre of thriller and horror film, typically involving a psychopathic killer stalking and murdering a sequence of victims in a graphically violent manner, often with a bladed tool such as a knife, machete, axe, scythe, or chainsaw. Although the term "slasher" may be used as a generic term for any horror movie involving graphic acts of murder
as a rough guide to define a slasher film. There is no set time period for me (there are slashers being made today for instance), and whilst I may consider films from outside of North America as slashers, I do not class gialli as such, as they have their own specific niche 'rules' of their particular sub-genre. I also do not class things like Alien as slashers, as creature features tend to come down to 'animal instinct' or the battle for survival rather than pre-meditated murder. Slashers also (generally) have an air of 'whodunit' to them whilst creature features usually don't.

I guess it it all comes down to personal interpretation though.
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Old 17th November 2014, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bizarre_eye@Cult Labs View Post
Personally, I use



as a rough guide to define a slasher film. There is no set time period for me (there are slashers being made today for instance), and whilst I may consider films from outside of North America as slashers, I do not class gialli as such, as they have their own specific niche 'rules' of their particular sub-genre. I also do not class things like Alien as slashers, as creature features tend to come down to 'animal instinct' or the battle for survival rather than pre-meditated murder. Slashers also (generally) have an air of 'whodunit' to them whilst creature features usually don't.

I guess it it all comes down to personal interpretation though.
Ah, I quite agree with your view, the whole body count mysterious madman aspect, but no gialli or monster. Except I generally just do 1970-1990 personally as I'm not a fan of much past it, but I would make exceptions for some things, such as Scream.
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Old 17th November 2014, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzymctiger View Post
Except I generally just do 1970-1990 personally as I'm not a fan of much past it, but I would make exceptions for some things, such as Scream.
Yes, I'm not a massive fan of post-'90s slashers either, although there have been a few notable exceptions.
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Old 17th November 2014, 08:33 AM
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It doesn't help that there are several sub-types of slasher film, I have not seen a huge number so the examples below are a little limited.

Films like the original Friday 13th and Sleepaway Camp are giallo-esque with the identity of the killer being a mystery and the focus of the storyline.

The later sequels in both series, as well as Hallowe'en have a known killer and usually provide a lot more detail of the gory killings. Within these we have the Hallowe'en type films were the killer is a known but largely unseen with the focus on the other characters or the Sleepaway Camp type films where the villain is the lead and we see them and carry out the killings in great detail.

Most confusingly the slasher genre crosses the line between human killers (as in Sleepaway Camp), humanesque but largely immortal (Jason and Michael) and purely supernatural (Freddy).
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Old 17th November 2014, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R-T-C Tim View Post
It doesn't help that there are several sub-types of slasher film, I have not seen a huge number so the examples below are a little limited.

Films like the original Friday 13th and Sleepaway Camp are giallo-esque with the identity of the killer being a mystery and the focus of the storyline.

The later sequels in both series, as well as Hallowe'en have a known killer and usually provide a lot more detail of the gory killings. Within these we have the Hallowe'en type films were the killer is a known but largely unseen with the focus on the other characters or the Sleepaway Camp type films where the villain is the lead and we see them and carry out the killings in great detail.

Most confusingly the slasher genre crosses the line between human killers (as in Sleepaway Camp), humanesque but largely immortal (Jason and Michael) and purely supernatural (Freddy).
I agree completely. I was on the fence about whether the Nightmare on Elm Street films were slashers or supernatural, or whether its worth including sequels with established characters (except Halloween 2 because I consider that a top slasher)
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Old 17th November 2014, 12:05 PM
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Alien is never a slasher film in my opinion. I also wouldn't class Texas Chainsaw, Trick r' Treat, Tucker and Dale, Two Evil Eyes, The Beyond, Mask of Satan, and Hellraiser as slashers either.

How come Basic Instinct isn't there? That's certainly a slasher, as is Colour of Night and one or two other so'called Hollywood thrillers of that ilk.
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Old 17th November 2014, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
Alien is never a slasher film in my opinion. I also wouldn't class Texas Chainsaw, Trick r' Treat, Tucker and Dale, Two Evil Eyes, The Beyond, Mask of Satan, and Hellraiser as slashers either.

How come Basic Instinct isn't there? That's certainly a slasher, as is Colour of Night and one or two other so'called Hollywood thrillers of that ilk.
I agree with not including the above, they're on there because they were in A few lists and The Wikipedia category or book.

As for basic instinct, well I just haven't seen it, same as Colour of Night. The above list is a list of ones I've seen.

Now that I've had a few opinions, I might update it, as I'm getting a more solid idea of what counts and what doesn't.
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Old 17th November 2014, 07:27 PM
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I'd recommend the supernatural slasher flick, Superstition (aka The Witch).
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Old 17th November 2014, 08:43 PM
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I've updated my imdb list to remove some, if not most, of the lesser fitting titles bar a few at the end that I feel still fit to an extent. I'm sure this list should be more agreeable to most.

And I'll add susperstition to my list to watch
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