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It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

Reader Review

Slasher Movies

Posted by: Brian Brotman
Date Submitted: Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 11:07:00
Date Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2005 at 22:58:19

Slasher movies are all basically the same. So, in the interest of time, I have written a synopsis of pretty much every slasher movie in existence.

The Hero/Heroine

Obviously the main character. This person should be pure of heart, easily excitable, and a good bleeder. This person will be stabbed often and witness friends being murdered up close. Three quarters of the lines this character will recite are composed entirely of grunts, screams, and extremely audible hyperventilation.

There are a few different varieties of hero/heroine:

1. The Innocent Girl. While all of her friends are engaging in lascivious acts at random intervals, she would much rather sing songs for charity. Her boyfriend, of course, is a lewd beast who will eventually be decapitated. Her connection to the horror never really makes much sense, but she is somehow related to the monster back when it was a person instead of a monster. By the end of the movie, her innocence will be shattered by all the bloodshed, and she'll fly into a defiant rage, leading to a climactic showdown with the monster.

2. The Psychic. This character is usually a female, but, unlike the role of the innocent girl, can be male. Again, there is some sort of connection to the monster that makes no sense, only this time it *really* makes no sense. Because of this ridiculous connection, the psychic has some strange telepathic understanding of the monster. This mental connection leads to random yet disturbing visions during the pre-slaughter portion of the film and occasional dialogue like, "He is here! I just know it."

3. The Survivor. This character is normally only found in sequels, when an extra of the first film becomes the star of the next because no other actors care to return to the series. The Survivor, as the name implies, survived the original encounter and is now therefore qualified to survive a second time. This character is embittered and cynical and never quite got over the previous bloodshed, and, to his continual distress, no one else ever understands what it's like to face the monster. The only time the survivor is the hero of a non-sequel is if the monster is of the reborn serial killer or reborn revenge seeker varieties, which I will discuss later.

The Villain/Monster(s)

Like the hero/heroine, the villain/monster is always one of a few stock types. Usually he/she/it was human at one point but was either killed or transformed somehow. It wields some sort of sharp object as a weapon, unless he/she/it has the ability to form body extremities into sharp objects. Either way, sharp objects abound. If it possesses the ability to speak, it may only say sarcastic quips and only immediately before, during, or after a killing. For example, the villain might say, "I don't want to hurt you -- I just want to tear you apart!"

The stock villain/monster types are as follows:

1. Science Experiment Gone Wrong. This origin of this type of villain is explained with a montage of men wearing white coats, pouring things into other things, and writing numbers and formulas in random order on a piece of paper. He was either subjected to some sort of military experiment, or he was a hapless janitor who spilled hot cocoa into a science brew, thus setting off a bizarre chain reaction, which of course makes no logical sense.

When the villain is a Science Experiment Gone Wrong, there is always a science nerd character. He may be comic relief or serious, good or evil, the hero of the movie or just a minor co-star that is allowed to spew off technical facts until dismembered. The most common type of science nerd is an opportunist, trying to capture the villain/monster for some sort of monetary gain. He always needs the villain/monster alive, never dead, and is willing to kill for that goal. His death will be the most comic and/or brutal.

2. Born Again for Gore. This type of villain begins as a loving and nurturing parent, a lovable uncle or aunt, or maybe just an abusive drunkard. Regardless, he provides plenty of opportunity for uninteresting plot twists, inconceivably ludicrous plot twists, and lots of bloody death. The rebirth process happens for various reasons: a strong need for revenge, a burning hatred of premarital sex, the devil, and leaking military goo are all common reasons for the rebirth process.

3. Simply Born That Way. Never explained or justified, this character pops out of the womb ready to start hacking.

4. Public Service Announcement. Probably the most nonsensical of all the monsters, the PSA is created as a byproduct of some social dysfunction that the director would like to comment upon between the gratuitous sex and violence.

The Expendables

There are always a lot of expendables. Sequels always have at least one more expendable than their predecessors. There are several prototypes for the expendables. There will always be multiple Rebellious Teenagers, but only one of each of the other types is allowed.

1. Rebellious Teenagers, a.k.a. The Meat Brigade. As the name implies, the sole purpose of the Meat Brigade is to provide enough bodies. The Meat Brigade should be as diverse as an almost all white cast can allow. On the female side, there is a brunette, a redhead, several blondes, and a punk princess. On the male side, there is a surfer dude, a brash urbanite, a jock, a burnout, and a punk. The Meat Brigade is solidly unintelligent. All they ever really talk about in the pre-slaughter section of the film is the opposite gender with occasional asides about drinking or drugs. Once the slaughter begins, they inevitably split up into small groups and walk slowly until they are all discovered and slaughtered.

2. The Crazy Old Coot. It's never really clear why the Crazy Old Coot knows what he knows, but he knows, and he tries to warn the soon-to-be victims not to hold that wild drunken sex party in that place where all the attendees of the previous wild drunken sex party were killed. But no one ever listens to the Crazy Old Coot, for he can only speak in insane gibberish and mutterings. The Crazy Old Coot must use the word "DOOM!" or some variation thereof at least twice before he is killed.

3. The Cynical Bastard. This character has been horribly emotionally scarred in some way. He is angry at the world and no longer just a social drinker. For most of the movie, all he does is make bitter quips about the recent deceased as mutilated bodies are discovered. Toward the end of the movie, he'll have a sudden and inexplicable change of character and sacrifice himself so the hero/heroine can survive.

4. The Expert. The expert knows how to set traps. He knows how to make a broom into an incendiary device. He can construct homemade bombs from any given set of materials on hand. Alas, his plans only manage to slow the monster long enough for a few people to escape one particular situation. He also sacrifices himself in the end, but it's always for the good of the group as a whole, not for a single individual, like how Cynical Bastard does it.

5. Token Minority. The Token Minority has no bad qualities whatsoever -- but nor does he or she have any good qualities either: no special talents or abilities, no connection to the monster or the hero, and no foresight into anybody's fate. The Token Minority is simply not white. If there is any other defining characteristic at all, it is that he or she speaks with a very very fake foreign accent.

6. Comic Relief. This is the annoying guy everybody wants to see murdered. He says stupid things and does stupid things. For some reason, he is always eating something. Before the killing even starts, the audience wants him dead, but he'll be one of the last to go. His death will be especially painful. The Comic Relief is generally associated with an extreme exaggeration of some aspect of pop culture or some other stereotype. White rappers, for example, are typical in this role.

The Title

The only remaining ingredient to a slasher film is the title. The title must involve a play on one or more of the words murder, blood, cut, stab, slash, dead, death, terror, scream, slaughter, flesh, kill, or horror.


There you have it. Now all you have to do is grab a camera, reserve some time in some secluded timeshare by a lake or something, mix red food coloring with canola oil for cheap blood, and start shooting things, and you too can make a slasher movie!

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