The Empire Strikes Back Turns 40 today!

And I Explain Why I can’t Review Star Wars Films

Hi out there internet people. This blog post is going to be a little different than most of mine. This is not a review but rather a few thoughts I want to share on my favorite franchise and favorite film of all time. I have a duty as a Star Wars fan to notify anyone reading this that there are HUGE spoilers in this essay for several Star Wars films. I know, it’s a forty year old film and perhaps the timeline on that warning has expired but for anyone who hasn’t seen these films, missing out on the twists in this movie is an experience I do not want to burden anyone with.

The Empire Strikes Back has turned 40 today. It’s probably the most highly regarded Star Wars film of all time and it’s absolutely my favorite film. If you were a kid back when this premiered and got to see it in the theaters like I did, before there was Return of the Jedi, or any of the prequels, sequels and spinoffs, this movie likely takes up real estate in your imagination.

After I saw the film, my friends and I were absolutely blown away. Darth Vader is Luke’s father?! Wait, is Lando a good guy or a bad guy? I mean he seemed friends with Han but then let the stormtroopers take him and then tried to help but still, what if he is in league with the Empire? Did you see those bounty hunters? Man, I want to see a whole movie about those guys! And the one with the jet pack who captured Han Solo, what’s his story? Will Luke be able to save Han? Is Luke in love with Leia? Leia is definitely in love with Han and vice versa though! And of course, my favorite question of all time when it comes to Star Wars, who is Yoda? Where did he come from and what is his story?

I used to want answers to all of those things so badly it drove me wild. I spent hours playing with my friends, pretending to be these characters. As I grew older, I would have hotly contested debates about the franchise and most often about this movie. We all loved this one the most, even after Return of the Jedi answered a lot of the questions we had. The fact remained though, that we never got all the answers. We still wanted to know more about Darth Vader’s origins and where Leia had been before she met Luke and company. We were given novels, comics, and other speculation as to those answers for years. And again, when the prequel films came out, we got some answers but not all.

The truth is, I don’t want all the answers provided in Star Wars. I know that now we have a fierce drive and desire to see every plot hole filled, all characters have an arc, and a satisfying conclusion to a saga once it is time to be wrapped up. This is why I can totally understand how much people love the MCU. That franchise is exceptionally good at tying up almost everything in a neat package with a neat little bow on top. Of course there are some things in those movies that are still open ended but many times these things are explained away in an interview or with a tweet or a timeline flow chart. Once the answer is officially given, it’s cannon and we don’t have to wonder so much anymore.

Yet in Star Wars, what is left unanswered fuels the imagination of tons of creators. Not only are there gaps in plots, there are gaping holes. Those holes can be filled with more stories but those tend to bring up even more questions. I love that. It makes the universe of Star Wars feel so much more alive. Here on earth, in our current time, our lives have plot holes. We don’t have a character arc. Sure we can learn and grow as people but for the most part we are, “just a simple man (or woman or person or pick your pronoun), trying to make my way in the universe.” That means that we don’t get all of our questions answered. And you know what? That, to me, is what makes Star Wars seem real and full. It’s a fully realized universe because it is so lived in that you can’t find all of the answers.

When Rise of Skywalker came out, I was in line to see it on opening day. Most of my friends were too. I know, that there is a lot of criticism of this film and I completely understand that. We don’t know a lot of the answers to the questions this movie brings up. And while I am hesitant to give any spoilers of this movie because it is more recent, I do see how at least one major plot point doesn’t make a ton of sense. You know what though? I don’t care. I still loved it. Why? Because it left me with questions that I want answers to, just like The Empire Strikes Back did.

Now, that’s not to say that I think all Star Wars films are perfect. Far from it. From the early movies which hardly featured a single female character (Leia excepted of course) and virtually no people of color, to the still currently lacking LGBTQ representation, there are quite valid criticisms of these movies. What I don’t think they should be criticized for is for leaving your imagination open to wonder what more there is to the story.

There are character arcs in the sequel films that were changed mid stream. There are characters who unjustly got far less screen time than they deserved. And there are huge unexplained plot holes. I understand how someone can find all of that frustrating. But, with Empire at least, those things fueled my imagination and the imagination of countless people world wide. I suspect Rise of Skywalker will actually do the same.

While that one is not my favorite Star Wars film, it has a place in my heart, just as anything Star Wars does. That’s why I can’t bring myself to ever review a Star Wars movie. I know that I genuinely cannot be objective about it. I’ve loved it for too long and that’s never going to stop. I personally think we could use more films like Empire, that force our imaginations to ask questions. Be honest with yourself for a minute, is it really that bad to come out of a film wondering about something that happened in it? Is it so awful to wish that there was more of an answer? I don’t think so. And the reason I don’t think that is because those questions propel the story forward like the Falcon entering hyperspace.

Don’t you want more out of film? Don’t you want to be asking questions because of a movie you saw? With Empire Strikes Back, my deep love of film was truly born. And not because of the fact that every twist, turn and event was spoon fed to me with nothing left to know. No, it’s precisely because it made me ask questions that this is and always will be my favorite film.

I can’t wait to see what the next forty years of questions brings me from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

May the force be with you.

Always,

Slick Dungeon

Girl on the Third Floor – #MovieReview

Hey all, it’s Slick Dungeon here and I wanted to give you my take on the dramatic drywall antics of the film Girl on the Third Floor. Be forewarned, before you read on, there will be spoilers right in the very foundation of this review. If you really want to watch the movie before you read the review, go for it and then come back. If you don’t mind spoilers, read on. You do you.

The film stars CM Punk (aka Phil Brooks), Trieste Kelly Dunn, Sarah Brooks and Tonya Kay.

I’ll give you a quick run down of the plot but then I had a few questions about this movie.

Don, a class A jerk, who has defrauded a bunch of clients of their retirement money has moved into an old house. As is typical with horror films, the purchase of an old house is a poor investment and to make matters worse, the dude is trying to fix up the place on his own. He needs to fix it up before his pregnant wife moves in. About the first thirty minutes of the film is watching CM Punk listen to angry metal and totally mess up drywall. There are also lots of shots of him walking slowly as if he thinks someone is in the house and wondering where his dog got off to. Plus he picks up a lot of marbles that roll around out of nowhere and he doesn’t seem to think this is a big deal.

Guess what? Don is still a jerk when he meets an attractive woman named, Sarah, and then instantly sleeps with her despite the fact that he has a pregnant wife. We also get to see him talk to his neighbor across the street and go to a bowling alley. I had major questions about the bowling alley but we’ll get to those in a bit.

Don, despite being a jerk who likes angry metal, yelling at his dog, and cheating on his wife, also has a friend named Milo. His friend, who is innocent in all this, finds out that Don is still a class A jerk and had an affair. After a fun day of doing more drywall and then going to a bar, Milo goes back to work on the house only to end up talking with Sarah for a moment and then getting his head crushed in with a sledge hammer. To finish up the job, the also innocent dog is killed, cut up and stuffed into the dryer for Don to find. So for those keeping track, Don has ruined peoples lives, cheated on his wife, gotten his buddy and his dog killed and also been rude to the pretty odd bowling alley owner all because he wouldn’t just admit he sucks at drywall and hire some contractors with that money he defrauded people of. If you are getting the impression I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Don, you would be right. That guy sucked.

Turns out that the woman who Don had an affair with is a ghost. Yeah, you probably saw that coming. Or, if you were watching the film you would. The house they are renovating used to be a house of ill repute, if you know what I mean. And bad stuff happened there and then it seems bodies were buried and hidden and those spirits don’t exactly like it when renovations to the house are made. The rest of the movie is basically seeing if Don will survive, it his pregnant wife will end up dead and if anyone will figure out where the heck all those marbles are coming from. I won’t spoil the end but yes all those questions get answered.

The performances were interesting and the pacing of the film was overall good if a little too slow at times but I still wondered a few things about this movie.

  1. Don shows up and starts poking around in the house. This disgusting black goo starts coming out of the wall. Okay, so maybe that doesn’t instantly make you think the house is haunted but I would think that maybe you would want to find out if that stuff is some kind of leak or dangerous chemical or something but Don is just like yeah okay. Why didn’t he watch more home improvement videos before starting?
  2. Similarly, this white goo comes through the electrical outlets at which point, I would think you would freak out. Not thinking that the house is haunted still but definitely, like, man I need an electrician here because, like, I don’t want my new baby to get electrocuted because I am pretty sure there is something wrong with the wiring. Why would you ignore that?
  3. Next Don talks to his neighbor who seems to give cryptic hints about life choices and the house he just bought. Why wouldn’t you want to know more here?!
  4. Then the dude goes to this bowling alley. There is no one there and there are only three lanes. The owner makes Don some food and asks him if he is visiting or new in town. Don tells him about the house he bought. At which point the owner asks Don if he is gay and tells him that the house has a history of being, “bad for straight men.” Dude. Someone tells you that about the house you just bought and your impulse is not to say, what do you mean by that tell me more?!?!? Really, I would be like that is one of the weirdest things anyone said to me but all Don does is say, “You’ve got a real nice way of welcoming people to town” angrily at the dude. I get missing the dry wall, the white electrical goo and rolling marbles not tipping you off about your haunted murder house but if a bowling alley owner tells you the place is bad for straight men and you don’t follow up, that is entirely on you.
  5. What did Milo ever do? This house seems to kill men who are bad to women because it has a bad history, but that Milo guy was just there doing some home chores. While the house doesn’t seem to like it, I’m not sure that the rules as this movie has set things out should have had Milo die. He didn’t cheat on anyone or anything. All he did was say that Sarah probably shouldn’t be there and he gets a hammer to his head for that? Come on murder house, stick to your own rules!
  6. When Milo comes in the first place he is baffled by the fact that Don hardly has any tools. Why didn’t Don look this stuff up? I’m gonna renovate a whole house. You know what I’m not gonna do? Read about how to do that!
  7. Okay so again spoiler here but Sarah is a ghost who died in like the twenties maybe but she seems to be up on modern lingo and able to use a cell phone. Do ghosts still get to learn stuff after they are dead? Also she can totally touch stuff all the time and Don even sleeps with her but she is dead, so uh, how does she even feel warm to him?
  8. Later the bowling alley is packed and there are a ton of people there. Does no one else there know that Don bought a murder house? If they do, then it’s pretty messed up that they didn’t warn him. Then again, Don is a class A jerk so I guess it’s all good.
  9. In the end one of the characters lives but then does more renovation on the house. The thing is that there are still at least two bodies in the place. This character knows about the house and why it is haunted yet they don’t check everywhere for other bodies. What the heck man? If you find one, you check the whole house, that’s the rule.
  10. A major plot point in this is this hidden third floor that Don finds when the roof of his bedroom basically collapses. His reaction to that? Just seal it back up. Okay, I get that you don’t get creeped out by a ton of marbles rolling around unexplained. I get that when you hear a laughing voice at all hours, you think it’s in your own mind, I get how you ignore that weird white goo coming out of electrical sockets, and I guess I get why you didn’t ask more at the bowling alley (although I totally would have) but how in the world do you look at a surprise third floor and not at least call someone about it?!?!?!
  11. I’m pretty sure that a neon sign flashing that said this was a bordello where people got murdered so you should probably stay away Don, would not have been enough for this guy to forget about the amateur dry walling. But when you find your dog murdered in the dryer for any reason, it is time to leave. What kind of an idiot stays in a house like this?!
  12. I guess a class A jerk is your answer.

I hope you enjoyed this review and remember that if you are about to take a sledge hammer to a wall because there is weird black goo coming out of it, you are probably better off going to the bowling alley and finding out why it isn’t a good house for straight guys. Or you know, watching some home improvement videos first at least.

Handily yours,

Slick Dungeon

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

The Fog (1980) – #MovieReview

“Eleven fifty-five. Almost midnight. Enough time for one more story. One more story before twelve. Just to keep us warm.” That’s how John Carpenter chose to start his masterful follow up to Halloween and prove that he is one of the all time horror greats. He showed us he could take a shoestring budget, a simple ghost story, a menacing tone and a crap ton of dry ice and fuel nightmares for decades.

What’s going on everyone? Slick Dungeon here and I just re-watched this classic from 1980 and wanted to give my thoughts on it and a little bit about horror in general. It has been a long time since I saw this movie so although, I certainly remember thinking it was a decent film, I had forgotten how good it actually is. Needless to say, I will be giving some mild spoilers here so be forewarned.

The beginning of the film is a story around a campfire. At this point in cinema history, that’s probably over done and most of the time would not work. But here, in this film, the whole movie is what amounts to a campfire story so it makes a lot of sense. Also, by framing it this way at the beginning, Carpenter is able to set up the atmosphere, give us most of the information that we need to understand the story, and introduce us to the town the story is set in. He takes the time do one very important thing that I think a lot of modern horror films lack. He sets the tone. If you think about one of the best horror films to come out in recent decades, Get Out, does the exact same thing. I know that gore splatter and body horror films are popular but they never scare me as much as a film willing to be patient enough to make the scares matter.

We’re told the legend of the founding of Antonio Bay, involving a tragic shipwreck and it’s obvious from the start that even if every word of this legend is not going to turn out to be true, it will still be deadly. Even more so because the teller of the tale is able to time the tale so that it is finished at the very second that it is 100 years to the date that the shipwreck happened. We know there are ghosts coming for someone from the depths of the bay, through the fog.

Around the same time, a priest in town discovers an old journal belonging to his grandfather, full of murder and secrets buried for a century.

It turns out that the campfire story was only partly true. The shipwreck was deliberate and six men met their deaths because of it. Now, one hundred years after, these six men are coming back through the fog to take revenge on six victims.

Simultaneously, a ship out to sea is enveloped with fog, and a radio station operator starts seeing the impossible. The fog moves against the wind.

The rest of the movie is basically what amounts to guessing who will get killed and who will survive. And to be honest, the effects don’t all hold up that well. But it still works for a few reasons. First, Carpenter waits long enough to truly show us the monsters that they don’t have to look that good. Second, the performances by everyone in this are outstanding. To top that off, the film stars high quality actors including the ever entertaining Hal Holbrook, scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis and of course, the most famous Hitchcock blond of them all, Janet Leigh. Finally, Carpenter makes the stakes high immediately by murdering everyone on the ship at sea.

It’s a fascinating psychological portrait and while there are things that jump out at you and startle you, it never has to rely on that to be frightening. I wish more films could learn these lessons. Jump cuts are fun and entertaining but they simply don’t make for the greatest tone, and personally, I usually notice the edit and think, “yeah okay that was a jump cut, let’s move on.”

I can see how a lot of horror fans may have missed this film as it was never as popular as Halloween and it’s sequels and while it doesn’t quite grip you as well as The Thing, it is still masterful cinema. If you love a good ghost tale and have about ninety minutes, you should definitely check this movie out. And if, like me you haven’t seen it in years, it’s a great and fun look back on when horror took it’s time to creep up behind you before striking out.

Foggily yours,

Slick Dungeon

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Blood Quantum – #MovieReview

Hey everyone, Slick Dungeon here. Shudder dropped a surprise zombie movie on everyone for halfway to Halloween and it was freakin’ fantastic.

I am a huge fan of zombie films. I know some people think they are played out and the whole genre is getting a little boring. While I may not agree, I can understand the sentiment with that fact that we have had umpteen seasons of The Walking Dead, several spin offs, other zombie shows popping up on Netflix and other streaming services. But, like zombies themselves, the takes on them are endless.

I will admit that I have never been a huge fan of the whole, “fast zombie” thing, maybe with the exception of 28 Days Later so I wasn’t sure I was going to like Blood Quantum.

I could not have been more wrong about that. Like the best zombie stories, this one is frightening, it has genuinely surprising moments, the action is intense and it reflects on modern day issues. The most fascinating part of the movie isn’t even the zombies themselves but the characters who are the focus of the story.

I’m not willing to give much away on this so I am just going to give you the blurb from IMDB and post a trailer for it.

Here’s the blurb:

The dead are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi’gMaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants who are strangely immune to the zombie plague.

And here’s the trailer:

If you are a horror fan, or a zombie fan, I am going to summarize it simply for you. You have to watch this!

The performances are spectacular and the whole thing is finally a fresh take. It’s not just the best zombie movie I have seen in a long time, it’s the best horror movie I have seen in a long time. Watch it if you haven’t!

Praisingly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Christmas Evil – #MovieReview

Hi everyone out there, it’s me Slick Dungeon. Today is the 75th of whatever, so I decided it would be the perfect time to watch a horror film about Christmas. Yep, you’ve seen Halloween, you’ve marveled at Friday the 13th but you know what? There are a whole lot more holidays out there so, why not Christmas? It’s as bad as it sounds so buckle up because I have an exclusive Slick Dungeon treat for you here.

First let me say, that there will be spoilers for Christmas Evil, or as it was originally titled, You Better Watch Out, or also as it was once titled, Terror in Toyland as well as for… Santa Claus. No not the movie, the person. Also, at the end of this I am going to tell you how you can watch this movie for free. That’s right, a no cost blood letting of a movie set during Christmas time. Just think of me as your local dungeon Santa Claus.

I saw the title of this movie and I knew I had to review it. I watched it and it’s not as easy to summarize as you would think. Believe it or not, it is somewhat difficult to give a fresh take on a movie where a guy watches his father, dressed up as Santa Claus, rub his mother’s stocking, gets a bizarre Oedipal complex because of it, becomes obsessed with Santa, creepily peeps into windows to watch children, steals from his place of employment to donate to a children’s hospital, commits some homicide, goes to an office party, sneaks into homes to give presents, commits some more homicide, drives around town in a van painted like a sleigh, runs into some neighborhood children and then gets in a switch blade knife fight with their parents, finally goes over to his brother’s house and is almost choked to death by him and then drives off of an overpass. Okay, actually, maybe a fresh take on this is not needed but… I have discovered something here in my dungeon and you are not going to believe it. I found Harry Stadling’s diary. Who’s Harry Stadling? Why, the homicidal Santa Claus of course!

Without further ado, here are his entries.

———————————

Christmas Eve 1947

Dear Diary,

Oh boy am I excited! I just saw Santa Claus putting out presents. My brother Phil saw him too but he’s convinced that it wasn’t Santa. He thinks it was Dad. Phil is going to be so messed up when we grow up, I just know it.

Later the same night

Oh man, oh man, I just saw Santa gettin’ frisky with mom. It was weird and I am sure Dad is going to be so upset. I’m not going to let it bother me though, I’m sure thirty years from now I’m not going to become obsessed with Christmas, make my own Santa suit and commit triple homicide or anything.

Also, I must have been good this year because I got a lot of toys and I write surprisingly well for a four year old. Too bad I smashed a snow globe and cut my hand with the pieces just to see my own blood.

Anyway, I gotta get to bed now. I’ll write more here soon.

Love,

Harry

Thanksgiving Eve 1980

Dear Diary,

I know it’s been a while since I wrote, sorry about that. Next year I am making writing in my diary my New Years resolution. I’m sure I will live past Christmas, why wouldn’t I?

I’ve been watching some neighborhood children with binoculars that I got last Christmas. My brother Phil is a real jerk cause of that thing he said about Santa when he was six but these binoculars are nice. Most of the kids in the neighborhood are great but there’s this one who looks at dirty magazines. Not sure if I will strangle him but I am definitely going to get a closer look at the bushes by his house later.

I work in a more depressing than can be expressed toy factory now. I have insanely decorated my house with all kinds of Christmas stuff but hey it makes me happy. It was a rough day at work yesterday. See, I used to work “on the line” at the factory making toys. But they promoted me to be a manager so now I just mostly get aggravated at ad campaigns for false charity that the factory puts out and tell people how much the toys they are making suck. Strangely, I still plan to give out several of these toys to good boys and girls.

Anyway, work was a real downer again. See there was this one guy, Frank, who still works the line and I mentioned to him how I missed it. For unknown reasons he then straight up grabbed my sandwich out of my hands and ate it right in front of me. He’s a nice guy though. Well, I thought so anyway. See he wanted to get out of town early with his wife. He asked me to cover his shift so I did. Then I went to the bar to get a drink. Guess who was there? Diary you are never going to believe this! It was Frank and he called me a schmuck! I wish I could put him on the naughty list! He wasn’t leaving tonight, he was leaving in the morning. What a jerk!

I got so mad I decapitated one of my dolls. With my bare hands! While humming Christmas tunes!

After that I wanted to unwind so I peeped into my brother’s window and saw him making out with his wife. The way you know it was my brother’s house is that there is a random sign in the middle of the lawn that says Stadling for no apparent reason. I stood next to it for a while and gawked awkwardly. I was pretty tired so I left without saying hi or anything.

Love,

Harry

Thanksgiving 1980

Dear Diary,

My brother Phil, who has two sweet kids, wanted me to come over for dinner but I flaked on him. Why? Well, see I watched the Thanksgiving Day parade at Macy’s and I saw Santa in the parade. I decided to ditch dinner and make a home made Santa suit of my very own instead. Yeah, I know that there are still more than twenty days until Christmas and that I put the suit together in a single afternoon but it’s important to be really prepared. Phil will get over it I’m sure. Anyway my flaking on him can’t possibly be as bad as him at six years old saying Santa was not real. That’s just evil.

The fur in the suit was real soft so I hugged it and smelled it like a maniac. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with me.

Later that night

Thought the old van could use a spruce up so I painted Santa’s sleigh on it. I made good use of my time though by also reciting my nutso Christmas list while I did it. I think it looks really nifty and no way it will stand out to say, people who see me murder someone later when I do it in front of a crowded church. The cops will never catch Santa Claus! Err… I mean, paint job looks great!

Love,

Harry

The next day

I came across some kids from the neighborhood today. They told me about what they had been wishing for. One of them wished for a lifetime subscription to Penthouse magazine. It’s that same little punk from before. I’m really going to telegraph in this diary that I might kill him but never do it in this movie. I have a better idea.

Later that night

Hid by the bushes at that kid’s house. I rubbed dirt on my face then kissed the side of his house because… well I don’t know why I did that. I don’t think the audience will know why I did that either. Then I nearly grabbed him but he got in the car with his mom who never saw me even though I am a grown man who hides in bushes and am really obvious in every shot where the kid shows up. And by almost grabbed him I mean my closed fist was about a foot away from him the whole time even though I could have grabbed him. Also the kid’s mom totally slapped him and it seems like that might be a regular thing but I guess that’s fine because any kid who points out a man hiding in the bushes deserves a good slap from his mother?

With that done, I went back and made some toys in a make shift toy shop that I have in my house because, well, it’s there.

Love,

Harry

Christmas Eve Eve 1980

Dear Diary,

Went to the office Christmas party. Guess what? Everyone here is a jerk! They made this ad campaign about donating toys to a kids hospital but they didn’t even know how many kids were in the hospital or how many toys were actually needed. Oh and in a bonus jerk move, they expect the workers to donate some of their own money to contribute to this so called charity drive they are having. It makes me want to murder someone!

Then again I might have freaked some people out by talking about how I know the tune now. Some of them don’t know the tune and some know it but use it for ill gotten success. They need to get with my tune!

Had to bail on the party, I’m not much of an office guy.

Later that night

Went back to the factory and stole a few bags of toys. I know I said they sucked and weren’t good enough for kids but I’m going to take them right over tomorrow to that kids hospital and giving these sucky toys right to them, dressed as Santa!

Love,

Harry

Christmas Eve 1980

Dear Diary,

I glued a beard on my face. I am now Santa Claus. First on the agenda, laugh like a maniac in the mirror. Next I invaded some houses and tossed some packages under the tree for them, even though they already had a bunch of presents. For unknown reasons I brought the big kitchen knife with me and cut into some packages while leaving others. No one will notice my painted van, I am sure.

Also I left a huge bag of dirt for that one kid, so there. I did leave it outside his house though, so it’s not under the tree and I’m not sure the kid will understand it was from Santa. Still, sweet justice!

Went over to that hospital and gave those toys. They totally accepted them even though there was no arrangement and the staff had no clue who I was. Well, I mean they knew I am Santa Claus obviously but they still were a little suspicious. Maybe they’ll remember me by my van next time. It’s the one with a sleigh painted on both sides.

After that I drove over to the church. I waited for everyone to start coming out while I waited at the bottom of the steps. These three people were real jerks to me. So I stabbed one of them in the eye with a toy soldier. Note to self, that’s maybe too sharp for the kids. Then I murdered two other people with an ax because they were also jerks. Good thing no one looked at my license plates or followed me at all. Also good that no one called an ambulance or even attempted to give first aid to those people I killed. I feel great though!

My next stop was leering in at a different Christmas party. They saw that I’m Santa and made me come in and dance. I gave some gifts away and then intimidated the children as much as I could. It was great!

I heard while I was at the party the cops couldn’t find me because I was dressed as Santa. Thank goodness they didn’t think to ask about the hugely obvious van I drive around or anything.

My next stop was Frank’s house. I first tried to suffocate him with my sack of presents but then I decided to just slit his throat with a Christmas decoration. Man those stars on top of trees are sharp! Also, his wife is a real sound sleeper cause she didn’t even wake up until Frank was bleeding out on top of her. I did leave some gifts for the kiddies though, cause they were good all year. I’m pretty tired but Santa’s work is never done.

Love,

Harry (I mean Santa Claus)

Christmas Day 1980

Dear Diary,

Been driving around for a while now. Decided to go back to the factory. I turned on all the assembly lines and just let all the toys fall and break. What’s that? Are they some of the same toys that I delivered to the kids hospital? Yes, why do you ask? I hate those toys but those kids deserved some really bad toys because… they were good?

Once that was done I started to drive over to my brother’s place but the thing is… Christmas lights. I saw them and got my van stuck in a snow drift. Then these kids showed up and they were like, yay, Santa! They came around and started to hug me and I gave them gifts. But then this one guy who was at the church saw me and he pulled out a switchblade. I was pretty worried there but his daughter easily disarmed him and gave me the knife. There was a bit of a scuffle but I got away okay in the end. In my van. That no one has identified to the police in any way whatsoever yet.

Finally got over to my brothers house to celebrate Christmas with him, and the fact that I had snuck into his house to give his kids inferior presents. Oh, and that I had murdered four people. But you know what? Phil, my brother, he tried to choke me to death! We got in this big argument about how I am homicidal and how he told me Santa wasn’t real when he was six. Some people just can’t take a little Christmas cheer I guess. His kids stuck up for me though and were sent upstairs. For a minute I was really out of it. I seemed like I was dead and everything so my brother did the logical thing and dragged my body to my van and put me in it. Jokes on him though because I woke up and slowly punched him right in the face.

Then this angry mob carrying make shift torches showed up. It was crazy! They were marching down the street, switch blade guy right in the front. I knew just what to do. I jumped in my sleigh and drove off the overpass. That’ll teach them.

My van may or may not have flown up into the air but you know I ended the movie with, “A merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

Maybe I’ll land on Tim Allen’s rooftop and I can get a new job.

Love,

Harry (Santa Claus)

———————————–

Wow, so there you have it folks, straight from Harry’s mouth! What a weird story. And it only took ninety or so minutes to watch. I know you are dying to see this so I did promise to tell you how to do it for free.

It’s easy. Sign up for Shudder for a free thirty day trial with the code SHUTIN. You can get the channel on Amazon prime video here. If you don’t have Amazon prime you can sign up for that for a free trial too and then look for the channel Shudder. Put in the code above and you are all set to watch some amazing Christmas mayhem. Enjoy! Tell ’em Harry sent you.

Merrily yours,

Slick Dungeon

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning – #MovieReview

Friday the 13th Part V is the Halloween Part III of This Series

I hope everyone is staying safe out there. I know a lot of us are trying to keep ourselves entertained. In my little dungeon of films I have been going through the Friday the 13th series and I just watched the fifth one. This was actually the first one I remember watching as a kid and so far out of the series this one to me, is the worst of them. I will go into why I don’t like it but I want to give a warning for spoilers at the top here. I am going to spoil a huge, major, revelation in this review so if you have not seen this and want to, don’t read the whole post. Watch it first and then come back because I am going to spoil it. I will warn you one more time before I give the big spoiler away but just trust me, it’s a big one.

To understand this film you have to know a few things from Part IV. Jason Voorhees, a pretty much unstoppable killing machine went on a spree a few years ago killing tons of people up near Camp Crystal Lake. One of the few people to escape was Tommy Jarvis, played by Corey Feldman in the last one. Tommy actually killed Jason and when he did it, he did it with more enthusiasm than you might find natural in a kid. Although, considering what he had seen that night, it probably wasn’t that much of an overreaction.

We see Tommy, watching a couple people dig up Jason from his grave. That’s not such a smart idea since those two people are dead seconds later. But then Tommy wakes up and it’s years later and he was either having a dream or a flashback memory and it’s not clear if what Tommy saw was real or not. From here on out in the movie Tommy is much older and is played by John Shepherd.

Also, I should note that if you are going to dig up a grave, bring these guys with you, every single time. Every. Single. Time.

Tommy, who is understandably suffering from a pretty heavy case of PTSD, is taken to a halfway house for people with mental illness. For some reason it’s up in a remote area that must be somewhat near Camp Crystal Lake. I assume that’s because Tommy would have been put into the system there and is in the same county from the last movie and that just happens to be where the halfway house is located. At any rate, the locals are aware of Jason and that whole history.

We soon get our first real death right after Tommy gets there and settles in. Is it Jason back for some killing? Nope. And for my money, in the whole series, this is the most messed up kill of all of the series. Not that anyone in these movies deserved to get killed, but in this one, a kid with mental issues that is not very popular is chopped to death with an ax by another resident of the halfway house. This dude is killed for no reason and for nothing that had to do with anything in the first four movies. It is a sudden and surprising death and just sucks for everyone there.

Most of the rest of the film goes how you would expect. A killer is hunting down and killing off people from this halfway house and others in the area one by one. Tommy keeps seeing visions of Jason but he never seems entirely sure if it is Jason or some kind of hallucination. They go throughout the night and most of them die. Finally there is a final confrontation and the killer is stopped. But then…

HUGE SPOILER AHEAD

SERIOUSLY I MEAN IT

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WATCH FIRST

The killer turns out not to be Jason at all. Let me say that again. The killer isn’t even Jason! It’s not even his mother back from the dead. Nope. The killer is just some guy who happened to be the father of the kid who got killed in the beginning. Completely random. See this guy never told anyone this kid was his. But he worked as an ambulance worker and when he came to do his job, found out his kid was the one who got killed. He decided to go on a killing spree to get revenge on everyone at the halfway house.

What?! That’s how I felt when I saw this as a kid and how I feel now. This is like the Halloween III of the series. What do I mean by that? Well, for those who do not know, Halloween III has nothing to do with Michael Myers or the rest of the films. Now, you could argue that Tommy has a connection to it, but let me just restate this. Jason is not the killer in this at all. It feels almost completely pointless.

The only thing that may make this worth it is the fact that at the end, Tommy picks up the hockey mask and grabs a knife, so there’s a good chance we have Tommy the killer now instead of Jason. But that remains to be seen.

While the other films may not have been super creative and they kind of repeat themselves, this one does that, while also not being true to the original at all.

I have thirteen things to point out about this movie.

  1. The plot of this doesn’t work at all. If the guy wants to get revenge on the camp, why not just kill the guy who killed his kid in the first place? I get that he is using Jason’s m/o to cover up his crimes. But if you know anything about Jason you would know that there are instances where he kills a couple people and just leaves. He doesn’t have to go killing everyone. This guy is some kind of idiot to keep going.
  2. Alright, five out of five movies have now had car trouble. As far as I am concerned a Friday the 13th film cannot happen without car trouble. Anyone want to invest in an auto repair shop with me near Camp Crystal Lake?!
  3. Since the killer wasn’t actually Jason we didn’t even get an old guy warns kids away from that place scene. More like a mayor talking about it like it was a legend scene. Come on man, give me the old man warns everyone away scene. I need that scene in order to find this scary at all.
  4. Shouldn’t Tommy have realized it wasn’t Jason when he noticed there wasn’t a huge dent in the hockey mask where an ax had gone through before?
  5. Motorcycle decapitation but we don’t even see it on screen? Just the head rolling? Can I get my VHS rental fee back?
  6. At least Tommy seems like a good fighter and could be prepared for Jason but then when he shoes up (even though it isn’t Jason) why does he stand and stare for so long? I mean go into action man. Or at least run and tell other people to run.
  7. This new guy who isn’t Jason is able to survive some pretty heavy hits. When it’s revealed that it isn’t Jason I find it even less believable that this dude survives getting hit in the stomach with a moving forklift and then gets up and walks around as if he is fine.
  8. I know he died in the last movie but could we get more Crispin Glover dancing in this? That’s all I want in these movies now.
  9. Tommy really doesn’t talk much but I wish he would have given some kind of recap of what happened to him and how he felt about it. That would have improved this film a lot.
  10. Does this even count as a Friday the 13th movie if Jason is not the killer? I mean really? I feel like it shouldn’t.
  11. Oh man there goes Tommy holding a knife. He’s gonna be the killer in the next one isn’t he? Also, if you are trying to help someone get over PTSD maybe it’s not a great idea to have that person get treated right in the area where the traumatic event happened? I mean that’s just my take but I am no mental health professional so who knows.
  12. Can we get Jason back please? For all his faults he is a much better villain than Tommy.
  13. Even if we don’t get Jason back in the next one, can we please get that scene where we warn people away from Camp Crystal Lake? Also, if anyone needs someone to be in a movie and warn people away from a place, I am doing nothing else right now, I volunteer.

Just like Jason will never quite remain dead, I will be back with another review but I feel like we are getting into the dregs of this series. Still, I kind of feel like the other ones won’t annoy me quite as badly as this one does.

Spoilingly yours,

Slick Dungeon

PS: Want to see not Jason do some murdering? Click below.

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter – #MovieReview

Slick Dungeon here to review the very last of the Friday the 13th franchise. Yes, it’s the last one. Definitely no more after this one because it says it right there in the title. This is the final chapter. The only possible way they could make more of these is if they had A New Beginning. Wait, what? There is? It seems for some reason people who made these movies liked money and decided to keep making these even after they promised this one would be the last one. I guess you have more of my reviews to look forward to then don’t you?

Fair warning to readers I am going to spoil this all over the place in the same way that Jason splatters blood everywhere (metaphorically though, I don’t condone actual violence) so if you don’t want to know about a plucky Corey Feldman, the exotic and amazing dance moves of Crispen Glover or where the wine corkscrew actually is, watch the movie first.

Did you watch it? Actually, never mind I don’t care if you watched it, I only care if you enjoy my review. I did warn you though.

This one starts off with what you might consider a three minute best of Jason killing people recap, just so that everyone can quickly get up to speed on how many dead people they didn’t see if they haven’t watched the first three films. This time they do use the campfire story to frame it, but they just use the one from part 2 instead of, you know making it new and original at all.

We finally, finally, see some cops come in to actually clean up the bodies of the dead from the last movie. You know what we don’t see? Anyone even bothering to check for a pulse on anyone. Guess who isn’t gonna be dead? Can you guess? Can you? No, but really can you?

Jason is loaded into an ambulance taken to a hospital and sent to the morgue there where they do stuff like, talk about how hot the dead women are and, put a sandwich on Jason’s feet and then make out with each other. I think I am starting to see why Jason may not like people so much.

As you would expect, Jason gets up after having suffered more wounds than I can count, including an ax to the face. I think it’s safe to say he is essentially immortal at this point in the series.

I’m a little torn between part 2 and this one as being the best of the sequels. On the one hand I think part 2 was more true to the origins and intentions of the first film. On the other hand, this is a much more craftily developed film. It takes enough time for us to get to know a few characters and even gives one of them a good reason to be up in the woods looking for Jason. As if that weren’t enough, we get to see an ever plucky Corey Feldman, not only obsessed with making cool masks but also getting to be the one to end Jason at the finish of the film. If there is one thing that might make this one my favorite of all of the films in the series it is this. Crispn Glover dancing like a maniac. And this was before he was buffing out blind spots for Biff Tanner.

Even if you don’t like this series, part IV belongs in cinematic history for that clip right there.

This film also does a few things more intelligently than the other films. For one, when Jason decides to go on his killing spree, he really does pick them off one by one until the last person in the house starts finding the bodies. And at that point he has strung up the dead bodies so that exiting is much more difficult. I’m starting to think I see where Neegan from The Walking Dead got his ideas. They have a guy who has a sister who was killed by Jason and he is out for revenge. The dude is smart enough to realize that Jason isn’t dead when his body is reported missing and two people from the morgue have disappeared.

However, this film is far from perfect and I still had a few thoughts.

  1. I miss the scene where someone warns those kids away from the place. The just showed the people from the earlier films do that. I need my old man warning me away from stuff scene! Also, any casting agents needing a townie to warn people away in their film, hit me up, I am available.
  2. There is one part where a hitch hiker is killed after standing by Pamela Voorhess’ grave. First off, why is the gravestone that close to the road? It didn’t seem to be a cemetery or anything plus she died at the camp in the lake so if you want to bury her where she died, that wouldn’t be it. Second, why would you stand there to put your thumb out? I mean respect the dead a little. Although she was a psychotic killing machine so maybe she doesn’t deserve so much respect.
  3. Oh look, the kid is getting out of a car to fix it because there is car trouble. That makes four out of four films where cars have some kind of mechanical issue. Learn to maintain your vehicles because you never know when you will need to flee from a psychotic, nearly immortal, knife wielding killer! Also, you should have a full tank in case of any emergency. Note to self: after getting role as townie warning people away, get on that whole opening an auto repair shop near Crystal Lake.
  4. Hey Crispin Glover is looking for the wine corkscrew. I bet that’s gonna end up in his skull. Oh look, he’s still hollering about it. Any second now… Hey, Crispin Glover, bad news, you have a sharp object sticking out of your head. Hey, Crispin Glover, good news, you found the wine corkscrew.
  5. Why does the guy who is plotting revenge on Jason camp so far away from Camp Crystal Lake? I mean does he not know that a bunch of dead people showed up at the cabins, not just out in the woods despite the fact that he has a whole bunch of news articles to refer to?
  6. Woah, the car that didn’t start earlier never actually became an issue at a critical moment in this movie.
  7. I get that Corey Feldman is shaving his head to fool Jason but this doesn’t make much sense to me. Is he supposed to be Jason when he is younger? Why would that stop Jason? It made more sense to me in part 2 where they figure out to impersonate his mother to throw him off but this part just doesn’t work for me.
  8. Okay so Corey Feldman’s older sister in this has realized they are in danger, gone to the house next door to see what is going on, knows Jason is there and has killed people. Then the guy who is out for revenge finds Jason and she sees it. As the guy is literally yelling that Jason is killing him and that she should run, she freaking stares and screams. Why would you not run?! This makes zero sense to me. Just run.
  9. Okay Jason looks pretty dead now and that hockey mask is destroyed. Can this be the end of the series?
  10. Oh, well if Corey Feldman who actually killed Jason is looking into the camera like that at the end, it’s definitely not over. Why call this the final chapter? You know you are gonna make more.
  11. I know his character is dead and all but could we get more of Crispin Glover dancing?
  12. Think anyone will actually make sure Jason is dead this time? Yeah me neither.
  13. Can’t they just shut down the whole Crystal Lake area at this point? Also, no one mentioned it but did this actually take place on Friday the 13th? I feel like we should see a calendar or something so we know for sure.

All in all, this was one of the most enjoyable of the series and is worth watching whether or not you have seen the rest.

Dancingly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Want to see Crispin Glover dancing for yourself? Click below!

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Friday the 13th Part 3 – #MovieReview

Jason Found a Hockey Mask

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Wait, what’s that you say? It’s not Friday the 13th? This month doesn’t even have a Friday the 13th? Well, who can tell anymore. I’ve been in my dungeon so long I have no idea what the day is anymore let alone the date, so I’m just going to go with it’s Friday the 13th okay?

The movie series Friday the 13th is an absolute juggernaut of horror. Jason has been picking off camp counselors since 1980 and it might surprise you to know that he doesn’t even get his iconic hockey mask until the third film. It didn’t surprise me because I have seen all these movies before but that fact surprises a lot of people who are not horror fans.

Fair warning before I go into the review. There will be spoilers so if you haven’t watched this yet, go do it and then come back for the review. Spoiler: Jason kills people. Did you really watch it? Ah, who cares, just read my review. I put a lot of effort into these because… I have nothing else to do…

Anyway, the third film finds another group of people dumb enough to go up near Camp Crystal Lake to spend some time running away from a deranged killer. The film opens a lot like part two did, with a bit of a recap from the previous film. I guess in case anyone forgot what happened the last time. And so that you know that Jason is the killer in this one. In case you weren’t sure. Next he goes on to kill a couple of people who must live sort of near Jason but it’s not really explained who they are or why Jason offs them.

In fact, most of the killing Jason does in this one seems to be more for sport than to follow any plot development from the last two films. This time, the people going up there seem to just be spending a weekend or something up near the camp. They don’t even say they are camp counselors. Still, Jason offs them anyway cause I guess he want to? He then seems to live there or near there until these new people show up to camp for the weekend.

There is actually a little bit of character development in this film. We get the character of Chris Higgins who is a woman who survived an encounter with Jason a couple of years ago. She wasn’t in the previous films or anything, just a random encounter with Jason. Turns out that the actress who survives at the end of the second film didn’t want to come back for the third film so we get what kind of feels like a tacked on extra attack scene. But still, Chris surviving the attack and then coming back and having a second round with Jason is kind of the point. Well, the horror, gore and jumping out of nowhere to try to scare us is the point but you know what I mean.

The plot runs mostly as you would expect. People camp, they walk off without a buddy (take a buddy with you!) then they get killed by Jason. Later other people find those bodies, turn around and get killed by Jason. Then later other people find those bodies, run away from Jason, almost get killed by Jason, don’t get killed by Jason, kill Jason, Jason doesn’t seem to stay dead, he kills some more people, then they kill Jason again and maybe he’s dead?

I had a few thoughts while watching this.

  1. Why is Jason killing these people? They’re not camp counselors. They don’t even say they are. I know this is silly but I want Jason to have a reason to kill these people, since at least in the first two there was one.
  2. Who in their right mind decides to go anywhere near this place anymore? There have been at least five nights of tragic death and terror at this lake. I would think that’s bad enough press that you wouldn’t go camping there any more.
  3. The character who starts off with the hockey mask is a huge jerk. They make this big deal over and over about “what happened to Chris up there” in the years past. Yet this dude fakes his own death to get a laugh and scares everyone as if he was a killer as a prank. Considering the history of this place that is beyond bad taste. Jason, why are you trying to be like this guy?!
  4. That dude is not the only jerky guy in this. As a laugh, Chris’ sort of boyfriend jumps out of nowhere, grabs her by the throat then starts kissing her. Then he has the nerve to ask her what is wrong. Really dude? Really? Wow, out of touch much?
  5. Oh good Jason got rid of the jerks.
  6. There are these motorcycle gang characters in this. All of them end up killed by Jason of course but man oh man, it’s hilarious to see what eighties movies thought tough guys looked like.
  7. The cops in this area are so, so bad. They don’t warn people away, they don’t seem to notice that there is a killer up by this lake, and in three films, we have had three different local cops up there but only after everything happens.
  8. This still has the dude warns everyone away scene but this time, the guy is holding an eyeball. Okay, if I am ever warned away from a place by a guy holding an eyeball, I am not going to dismiss that. In that situation you need to report this to the police and hope they can find out who used to own that eyeball. But nope, these character just keep driving cause, weekend plans. And also the cops suck anyway so why bother?
  9. Note to self: get a job as a guy who warns people away in horror films. Bring eyeball.
  10. I gotta say that Jason really improved his look in this one. The hockey mask is working for him. He should go with that for sure. It’s been a while since I saw the other ones so now I am wondering if he wears the same mask in all the others or does he like need to pick up fresh ones?
  11. Jason took an ax to the face but he’s still walking? Really? Okay, I guess it’s time to totally suspend disbelief now. I can do that. But if there isn’t an ax whole in that hockey mask in the next movie, Jason definitely got a new one.
  12. In three out of three films there is car trouble at a crucial moment. This time it’s because the motorcycle gang stole gas out of the van instead of just battery trouble. Still, these people are terrible at car maintenance. And like, checking if you have gas before driving away.
  13. Note to self: Open auto repair shop near Crystal Lake.

I think I am gonna stop there with 13. See what I did there? Can you blame me? It’s Friday after all. Isn’t it?

Anyway, the next one is called Friday the 14th Part IV: The Final Chapter. That means it’s the last one right? Right?!

Datedly yours,

Slick Dungeon

PS: Want to see Jason pick up his iconic mask? Click below and enjoy!

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Friday the 13th Part 2 – #MovieReview

Use the Buddy System People!

Do you need a reason not to go outside and get into a crowd? Here’s one. There could be a deranged killer at that camp you were going to so you’re probably better of staying at home anyway. That’s the lesson of Friday the 13th Part 2. If you ask my opinion, they should have called this Saturday the 14th but no one asked my opinion so too bad I guess.

Fair warning that I am going to spoil some of this movie so if you haven’t watched it yet, get Shudder (you can actually get it free for 30 days right now with the code SHUTIN) and watch up before you read on!

Okay now that you are back I am going to give you a very brief summary of the plot and then I am giving you Slick Dungeon’s camping tips for when we can finally all go camping again.

The film starts off with Alice from the first movie dreaming about her horrible experience. But it might as well have started off with a narrator saying, “Previously on Friday the 13th!” because it’s just a mish-mash of scenes from the first movie. I guess the film makers just couldn’t trust that people hadn’t seen the first one and thought it would be very important to kill a few minutes showing that so that we all could know what happened before. Because see we were so invested in these intriguing characters from the last film that of course we need that update. Can you tell this part annoyed me?

Anyway, pretty soon Alice is dead because the killer shoves a pointy object through her skull, but not before leaving a decapitated head in her fridge. Alice sees the head, realizes it is the head she decapitated in the last film and then bye bye Alice.

We fast forward five years or so and a new group of teens is coming up to the lake to be camp counselors. This time they aren’t counselors at Camp Crystal Lake, just a camp right near that camp, but on the same lake. It’s not the same okay?! If you thought this movie was practically identical to the first one, then why would the camp where all the killing happens be a whole short hike away?!?! Totally new material here I promise.

There is a part where the dude leading the camp tells a scary ghost story about Jason and his mother. If I was making the movie I would have just used that instead of the beginning part that felt tacked on and pointless here. Anyway, the same kind of thing from the first movie happens where a killer, who we mostly know is about to kill because the camera turns to a first person point of view shot, finds and picks off camp counselors one night right before the camp is supposed to open.

I’m not really going to go in how each character dies because that’s the only possible reason to watch these. I will say that the whole decapitated head thing is kind of creepy but they hit a lot of standard horror tropes in this movie. There is the guy warns kids away scene. The guy who warned kids away gets killed scene. The cops come to check stuff out and almost catch the killer but get killed scene. There is the car won’t start early in the movie to set up the fact that it won’t start later at a crucial moment in the movie scene. And like I said in my last post, there is the no one believes the victim scene, which I hate.

I will give away one death here. There is a dude in a wheel chair in this who is clearly the strongest guy there. He crushes everyone at camp at arm wrestling but he dies in a very disappointing way to me. He doesn’t even really get to fight Jason, he just takes a machete to the face. I wanted him to at least arm wrestle the guy. Why not do that since the movie spends so long having the character arm wrestle? Wasted opportunity there.

The night goes on, Jason does more killing, the one character who sort of believes the whole story about Jason is the one to survive but no one is going to believe her. I had some questions though. If it has been five years since that first bloody night, those cops did a terrible job of crime scene clean up if Jason can get that head. Why do these cops suck so much? Also, why is Jason a ghost story here? I would think he would be more of a news story if anything and people should just be like, man these cops suck, let’s investigate why the cops suck so much at their jobs before we open another camp up there where the cops couldn’t protect anyone.

On the whole this movie is still entertaining as a horror exercise and while I suspect it’s the best of the sequels, it’s nowhere near as good as the first one. Why? It’s much less original since it’s just the same story only with the killer being Jason instead of his mother.

On to my tips for camping.

Slick Dungeon’s rules for camping

  1. When you are out camping in the woods, please for the love of God, do not wear teeny tiny shorts from the 1980’s. Do you know how much poison oak and how many tick bites you are going to have to deal with? If someone on the set of these movies didn’t end up with lyme disease I would be shocked.
  2. When you and your buddy go off to look at the creepy camp nearby, tell someone where the heck you are going. I mean, I know it’s forbidden and all but at least tell the other counselors who wouldn’t care so that when you do get killed they don’t have to take forever out in the hot sun searching for your remains on the Saturday after okay?
  3. This one I cannot stress enough. If you go skinny dipping in the middle of the night, take a buddy with you. Yes, you might be embarrassed about being naked in front of someone else but you will be less murdered.
  4. Also, when you ignore my advice and go skinny dipping anyway and one of the jerky guys in camp steals your clothes and you get all mad and demand your shirt back, maybe you should realize that barely counted as a shirt and we didn’t have much left to the imagination in the first place.
  5. Also, when you announce to everyone before you go skinny dipping that you are going for a walk, tell them where you are walking to. AND TAKE A BUDDY.
  6. I mean your buddy is probably going to get killed too once he gets caught in a bear trap but you can leave him there as bait so that you can get away.
  7. But seriously if you go camping at all, like ever, bring a buddy.
  8. If you are the person in charge of one of these places, don’t leave the camp okay? I mean you have been prepping this place for months without all these teenagers and the minute they get here you go into town and leave the camp open for everyone to do whatever they want there and next thing you know you have dead bodies all over your camp. That’s going to drop your summer camp rates from like $1000 per week not including food to $500 per week including food. I mean, you aren’t going to close for good because goodness knows you can’t find a camp cheaper than that and parents are gonna risk it because every other camp is full or more expensive this summer but still. Think about your return on investment! Oh and not getting killed when you finally do come back to the camp.
  9. I saw almost no one drinking water in their hikes, swims, campfires, running for no reason or other physical activity. It gets hot out there and you are at a higher elevation so hydrate or die-drate people! I mean it, if you go camping, bring a freaking water bottle. It’s no fun having to go home early in an ambulance getting pumped full of fluids when you could be up there with your friends trying to survive a deranged murderer instead.
  10. Finally, if you are the townspeople who know that this camp is nicknamed camp blood because it is drenched in the blood of teenage camp counselors, do everyone a favor and make sure to warn people better. Maybe have a sign out there that says murderer danger high/medium/low today so campers can plan well.

Happy Campingly yours,

Slick Dungeon

PS want to watch this rehashed sequel click below.

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Friday the 13th – #MovieReview

When Kevin Bacon Can’t Make it Through His Fourth Film We Are All In Trouble

It’s half way to Halloween and I’m not sure if the idea of taking candy from strangers, or getting breathed on by a stranger is more dangerous. What I do know is that on Shudder right now, all the Friday the 13th movies are available. I thought now might be as good a time as any to see if they are worth a re-watch.

I remember liking this series a lot as a kid. I used to go over to my friends houses and have sleep overs where we would watch whatever the latest one was and then shiver under the blankets for the rest of the night. Now that I am a grown Slick Dungeon, I thought it would be fun to see if it has the same sense of fun that it used to. I am guessing not, or not entirely but there are a lot of these so I just started with the first one.

This is a film that has been made, re-made, rebooted, sequel-ed, re-imagined, and outright stolen from and copycatted more times than maybe anything else in horror. When you think about how often this has been done and re-done, you start to think that maybe there is a good reason for that. I’m here to argue that there is.

While I suspect this one is the best of the series, that doesn’t mean it’s the best ever movie, I just think it did what it set out to do. For those of you who have never sat through a Friday the 13th film, and know nothing about the horror genre and have somehow been divorced from pop culture since 1980, fair warning: spoilers follow.

This starts out in Camp Crystal Lake, an idyllic yet remote campground in 1958. A couple of camp counselors go off to ahem.. get to know each other better. While they are in the middle of that, the camera shifts to a first person point of view shot and seconds later one of the camp counselors is drenched in blood, knife sticking out of him, without us knowing why this is happening. The next shot is basically the whole point of the film and eventually the series. The female counselor screams into the camera and it freezes on her frame. I know that everyone says the hockey mask is the icon of this film series, but in this movie at least, I say it’s that shot. The whole point of the film is to have the audience screaming and reacting just like her. I also think the film makers played it smart by not giving us a clue in the beginning as to why there is a killer. The use of the first person camera angle is smart because it’s a really easy way to hide the monster. This is not the first movie to use those ideas but it did put those elements together well in this case.

We next get the warning scene that you see in nearly one hundred percent of horror films. A new camp counselor is just outside of Crystal Lake Campground basically at the town where it’s the point of no return. If you go up to Crystal Lake, you are likely not coming back. In the little diner there, the counselor asks for directions and the old, “crazy guy” in town tells everyone they should stay away from that place. Note to self: when I retire, make sure to find jobs in horror films being the old crazy guy who warns everyone they should stay away from that place.

The reaction of the townsfolk to the warning is what you would expect. This dude is kinda nuts. But on the other hand, bad stuff has happened at this camp over the years so maybe you should stay away. No one ever seems to ask for more information in these cases which would save a lot of lives. Note to self: if you are ever warned away from someplace, just collect my stuff and leave.

We spend virtually no time getting to know any characters and there is absolutely zero character growth or change in this film so it doesn’t matter too much to us who gets picked off and killed or why. But there are enough moments of surprise and shock to keep you interested to find out what happens. The night progresses and everyone is essentially picked off one by one, with the exception of Alice who finds out who the killer is, why the killer does what they do, survives the surprise end and will be the only one who really knows what actually happened that night.

There were a few things that I wondered throughout this though.

  1. In the beginning, the killer is smart and just picks off the counselors one by one and hides the bodies in ways that you might not find them. Why does that change two thirds into the film?
  2. This film is the first in the series so it’s nice to see that they can be stopped with normal human methods, not like supernatural powers or whatever.
  3. I swear if all small towns were like the ones in horror movies, no local police should ever be allowed to be police because they never do their jobs.
  4. How has this killer roamed free since 1958 up to 1980? I mean the police never even say like, that person was never caught or anything here so what are the cops doing?
  5. Don’t hitch hike but if you do, when the guy says you should quit and leave, quit and leave.
  6. Fair warning I am going to give the killer away in the next bullet so if you don’t want to know don’t read further.
  7. I mean it, I am going to say who it is.
  8. Seriously, you have been warned.
  9. Mrs. Voorhees comes out of nowhere to go after Alice but she goes on this long speech about how her kid died in the lake and that she is killing everyone because of that. Why does she only share with Alice? Or better question, why wouldn’t she just keep her mouth shut and off Alice the way she did everyone else, as a surprise that they probably couldn’t get away from?
  10. Also, if you are in a Scream movie you better know that it was Pamela Voorhees not Jason Voorhees killing everyone. Jason only gets to be a voice in the distance and in her head and then some kind of zombie-ish thing to scare Alice at the end.
  11. Kevin Bacon is in this? Checks notes. Yes, that’s Kevin Bacon.
  12. Isn’t Kevin Bacon the great hero who got the sticks out of everyone’s butts according to Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2?
  13. Isn’t Kevin Bacon the guy who warned us about Six Degrees of Separation way before a pandemic happened?
  14. Okay to be fair that was Will Smith, but about Kevin Bacon.
  15. Isn’t Kevin Bacon the guy who was in Flatliners, Tremors, Footloose and Apollo 13?
  16. Kevin Bacon can survive anything right? Including, giant worms, dancing, being adrift in space and being talked about by Will Smith.
  17. Come on Kevin Bacon, make it through this movie.
  18. Is that Kevin Bacon with an arrow through his throat?
  19. Oh man, Kevin Bacon, say it ain’t so!
  20. Yeah Kevin Bacon died in this.
  21. I am calling it now, after this one, this series is dead because they killed Kevin Bacon!
  22. Don’t mess with the Kevin Bacon okay?
  23. Sorry did I just go off on a Kevin Bacon tangent?
  24. Can you blame me though?
  25. Anyway this ends up with the obligatory no one believes the survivor scene. If there was one type of scene I would get rid of in all Hollywood films, it’s this one. Why wouldn’t people believe Alice? She is the only one to survive a huge massacre so like, maybe she knows what she is talking about?

For this one, I definitely think this is worth a re-watch. I will let you know what I think of the others as I continue with the series. I know they can’t be as good because it won’t have Kevin Bacon. But then again maybe they will be better because they can’t kill Kevin Bacon?

Frighteningly Yours,

Slick Dungeon





This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!