So far in this blog I have reviewed modern films, all from the 2000s onwards, and I have bitched vigorously about them all, lashing out at the acting, writing, direction etc. I am also guilty of comparing these newbies to the classics in the genre, wittering on about the good old days and being so generally misanthropic about the state of modern horror that I should probably be mainlining in Worthers Originals and Cream Sherry. Rose tinted glasses maybe, but I didn’t see any of the slasher films I hold in such reverence (Halloween, Black Christmas, Friday 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street, Fright Night and so on) on original release, being too young (or yet to bless the world with my presence), I saw them and loved them later in life. So are horror films really more badly made these days, or am I just being a bit of nostalgia infused twat about it? So, in the interest of fairness, today I am going to look at a little known slasher film from 1985, The Mutilator. Maybe when I say ‘little known’ I am being ignorant, but when I picked it up in a 5 for £10 deal at the Tynemouth Flea Market with other titles I planned to review I had never heard of it, which I think makes a good choice for this review, as there are no rose tinted glasses involved, just the actual prescription glasses that I need to see the screen. Just as an aside, since I have researched this film I have found out there are a few different cuts of it out there, so to clarify, I watched the Vipco ‘Screamtime’ DVD release from 2002. Spoilers to follow.
The VHS Cover So Kicks The DVD’s Cover’s Arse.
It probably won’t surprise anyone who has seen the shocking lay-out of this blog that I am not great with technology. I have a massive blockage in that area of my brain that stubbornly refuses to learn, understand and retain information of a technological nature. Which, given my mention in my last review of my lack the same principles applying to science and maths, truly does make me a very stupid individual. I’m still trying to decide where I stand on the VHS VS Betamax debate and I still think Twitter primarily as a place people talk about what they just ate for lunch and what they are planning to eat for dinner. As long as my phone will text and ring folk everything else it does is an annoying irrelevance. This brings us to mobile phones as a device in modern horror films. The new cliché of “Damn, I’ve got no phone signal. Now we’re trapped in this isolated location with a maniac”. Every time a character utters this in a horror film I always roll my eyes in irritation. On the other hand, if they didn’t mention it, the audience would be shouting “Use your mobile phone to call for help!” at the screen. Mobiles (and other technology) as evil objects (or more usually, as harbingers of death for the unfortunate users) is also becoming a rapidly going stale trope. So I guess what I’m saying is maybe a little more imagination with the mobile phone angle would be nice. Speaking of imagination, or the complete and utter lack of it there-of, I introduce you to the film I am going to be looking at today, When Evil Calls.
Isn’t This Just One Of The Worst DVD Covers You’d Ever Seen?
After the Sickle debacle I am waiting a wee break from unappealing idiot teenagers in terrible situations to look at well, slightly more appealing less idiotic teenagers in a terrible situation, namely facing off against one of the most durable and fascinating ‘mysteries’ that stretches back over a thousand years –The Loch Ness Monster. As a geek who has always been interested in the paranormal/supernatural I just love the idea of ancient plesiosaurs surviving and thriving in a Scottish Loch, but then again I am a little weird. (*Adjusts tin-foil hat*) And OK, at the end of the day the Loch Ness Monster in all probability does not exist, but how much cooler would life be if it did? Maybe Loch Ness Terror, aka Beyond Loch Ness will give us the answer…Spoilers to follow (I’m back to warning you about this now, last time with Sickle I didn’t bother because there was genuinely nothing to spoil, the film was already as rotten as can be).
Can’t You Just Hear The Gravel Eating Voice Over Guy Intoning That Tag Line?