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abaddon 11th November 2008 02:27 PM

What makes a Slasher Movie a Slasher Movie
 
Call me sad, but the other day I decided to catalogue my DVD collection - not a proper database just an excel spreadsheet. Once of the fields I've included is genre. Vampire Movies, Zombie Movies, Cannibal Movies, etc are all fairly easy to classify. But Slasher movies are little more difficult.

we also know that movies like Black Christmas, Friday The 13th, The Burning, even those awful Scream movies are all Slashers. But what makes them slashers? Is it just some mad serial killer running around killing people? But that would make other Serial Killer Movies like Schramm, Silence Of The Lambs or August Underground slashers which is clearly ridiculous. The best I can come up with are that Slasher Movies concentrate on the killings with little regard to characterization and (sensible) motivation, generally glorifying in their gratuitousness. Whereas Serial Killer movies focus on the killer and the killings become secondary. But there's a number of movies that tread the middle ground such as Murder Set Pieces, Eaten Alive (the Tobe Hooper one), House Of 1000 Corpses, even Texas Chainsaw Massacre, so where do you put these?

Then there's the Giallo movies. Again most are obvious, but there's a few such as New York Ripper, Stagefright or Bay Of Blood that could be classified either way.

I'd be interested to here anyone else's view on this.

Cheers,
Abaddon.

cloud 11th November 2008 02:36 PM

To me the Giallo is a Slasher with plenty of sleaze, a distinct European feel, black gloved killers and of course an investigation into who the killer is as well as a twist at the end. With those I think plot is just as important as body count.

With a standard Slasher then it needs a body count for a start and I'd say it needs at least 3 or 4 people to be killed. A crazed killer killing off badly acted characters at a fairly consistent pace. Plenty of sex, tits and arse, a bit of gore and that's about it off the top of my head. Plot though definitely comes secondary to kills though a strong emphasis must normally be placed on the killer. Twists are nice too but not always necessary. And a backwoods setting always helps.

iluvdvds@Cult Labs 11th November 2008 05:46 PM

A slasher, imo, is a film in which a normally masked and somewhat human (not a werewolf or anything) killer murders several characters throughout the film one by one. A murder is normally seen at the very start or just after the credits, to get the audience on its side as it were. Lots of sex and nudity are normally present too. And, more often that not, there is always a 'final girl' - the last character left to defeat the killer, is almost always female.

That's what I would say anywho. :D

Peter Neal 11th November 2008 06:20 PM

With the odd exception of "Stagefright" and a few German stabs at the genre, I'd say the archetypical slasher HAS TO BE set in the US, most likely in suburbia or an idyllic campsite location. Schools, dorms, even supermarkets also qualify...very rarely slashers go for the urban setting.
The protagonists are most likely bland teenage/early 20's types- preferredly played by unknowns to add a certain sense of "believability".
While some "pure" slashers clearly crossed the line as far as what the MPAA is willing to allow in an "R-Rated" movie, they hardly ever reach the unlimited nastiness of the likes of "New York Ripper" or "Murder Set Pieces".
Most films I'd consider "slashers" offer unspoiled entertainment, they are not meant to be "downers", which would exclude films like "Maniac" or "MSP" due to their depressing mood, even "TCM" is imho "too intense and grim" to cut it as a real slasher.
Slasher movies by their very nature are meant to deliver easy thrills for the "young crowd".
A bit of sex and nudity doesn't hurt either, though those ingrediants have been significantly cut down since the "Scream" movies attracted a huge portion of young female fans to the slasher genre....
It's only after you've spent a few years with horror that you'll usually be "ready" for/interested in the more downbeat/adult/sleazy/exploitative genre output.
In so many ways, I should have gone "past" the slashers for years by now, but they were my first true love within the genre....and as they say: "The first Cut is the Deepest":p

The Reaper Man@Cult Labs 11th November 2008 09:47 PM

IMO the Slasher is a natural progression from the giallo.....;)


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