1986 / d. Dominick Brascia
It’s like FRIDAY THE 13TH meets THE BIG CHILL… or, that’s what the writing on the back of the VHS promises. The truth is, it’s really not like either of those films, though it does reference them (and a plethora of other 70s and 80s movies) quite frequently. It’s a blatant commentary/deconstruction of the slasher film, containing a selection of exaggerated stock characters: the jock, the geek, the uptight girl, the bimbo, and the killer lurking in the shadows. In this case there’s even a paranoid horror buff whose obsession with Fangoria magazines leads him to believe he’s actually in a horror film himself (silly lad, your self-awareness won’t save you this time!). The plot centers around a group of med students who travel to a remote house for a little R&R, but unbeknownst to them a psychotic murderer is lying in wait. Everything down the kills walks the line between mediocre and outright ridiculous, but it’s the kind of flick that never takes itself seriously, so it’s all in good fun. In the midst of a decade of bad slashers that tried to be good, it’s refreshing to watch a film that–while still being a traditional 80s slasher–pokes a little fun at the genre at the same time.