Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Bloodbath

It seems like I haven't really had enough horror films featured on Chopping Mall lately. Which is a shame: horror films are really what this blog is all about. Even the name comes from a horror film. Perhaps there's no better time than Halloween to catch up on some splatters, slashers and spooks. So here is Chopping Mall's extra special Halloween Bloodbath Horror Film review! Here we go....


Now this was really quite something. It's a while since I've watched anything that screamed 80s any louder than this. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen anything more 80s. This is a film set in an aerobics class, with pumping disco music throughout, enormous haircuts, occasional moustaches and lots of lycra. This could almost be a museum piece: look at what people wore in those days!

Once you get over the disco beat, though, this is pretty standard slasher fare. The film is set in and around Rhonda's Gymnasium. Sadly, Rhonda's place seems to be plagued by murders. A woman is stabbed in the shower. Things go bump in the night. Etc. We get the usual crew: a slightly creepy police man who could be capable of murder; a slightly creepy strapping-handsome-gym-beefcake who could be capable of murder; some ditsy ladies who clearly aren't capable of very much apart from aerobic and squealing; Rhonda and a creepy lecherous idiot guy who we're clearly supposed to suspect as the murderer but patently isn't.

It's not really very much fun.  The gore is disappointingly minimal - although the stabbing in the shower isn't bad - the fight scenes are hilariously awful (complete with video-game-esque THWACK sounds), the acting isn't much better and the plot is nothing if not predictable. But perhaps I'm being too hard on this one: it's not without it's charm.  I'd imagine that after a few beers, or just put on as background noise, this wouldn't be so bad.

Bikini Girls on Ice

I saw this listed as one of those "so bad you will not believe your eyes" titles and ...oh boy... it certainly was. BGoI is clearly one of the many victims of the "good name - crap film" syndrome that plagues modern B-movies (See Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus.  Or, rather, don't).  But how could this be? How could you go wrong with a title like Bikini Girls on Ice? What kind of idiot would you have to be to screw that up.

Sadly, screw it up they did. BGoI - which is sadly not about ice-skating women - follows a handful of women who, whilst on their (apparently very long) way to a bikini-car-wash fundraiser, break down at an abandoned garage. Blah, blah, the usual business. There is, of course, some murderous psychopath lurking in said abandoned garage who picks off the stranded visitors one by one. At first they assume that the missing people have just wandered off but, once they've found some body parts, they realise they're living through a nightmare. Blah blah blah.

Seriously. This was astonishingly dull. Not only did it have absolutely no sense of tension or surprise (you absolutely knew what was going to happen ages before it did) but they completely forgot to create a convincing explanation for why the killer was killing! It's not even like I have high standards - the eventual motive in Aerobicide is rubbish - but I do expect at least a gesture at a decent motive.  That's really what a slasher is all about: without an explanation of the killer's motive, a slasher becomes just a string of pointless death scenes. To get away with that, you'd have to at least make those death scenes really spectacular. Sadly, these ones aren't. 

Ultimately, Bikini Girls on Ice makes 80minutes feel like a very long time and gives little by way of entertainment.


Aaaand finally: here's something to really get excited about. Killdozer, also blessed with a brilliant name, manages to live up to it.  I would call this a by-numbers killer-vehicle-terrorising-everyone flick, but I'm not sure there even is a by-numbers layout for this niche genre.

There's surprisingly little to say about it: conveniently cut-off from the rest of the world on an island in the middle of god-knows-where, a small team of basically unlikeable construction workers find themselves unexpectedly terrorised by one of their own bulldozers. Most of the film follows the machine picking them off one-by-one until they really begin to get it together and fight back.

It's absolutely as silly as it sounds. What sets it apart from disappointing modern killer-object movies (like Rubber) is that they play it absolutely dead straight. There isn't even a hint of smug, self-aware laughter here. They must have been sniggering on set but none of it carries into the film. If only more silly horror would take itself so seriously. Great fun.

Phew. All done. Let's go and watch Beetle Juice now?

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