Dir. Brandon Bassham (2015)
A killer is on the loose in a suburban town in this horror/comedy from the director of Feartown, U.S.A. A group of teenage girls throw a small get-together at one of their houses. These two events don't mix well.
I got the opportunity to review the new Troma-distributed horror/comedy The Slashening recently, and it's exactly the type of movie you'd expect from Troma Pictures. A super-small budget film (try $6,000), The Slashening is a great example of what you can do with a small budget. Now, I don't know how on Earth they got all of this done for $6,000. The actors must've worked for free or something, because they weren't half bad, and the production quality was excellent. They used actors from the Upright Citizens Brigade, which has a reputation for being awesome, and they continued that trend in this film.
The movie opens with a middle-aged couple who are attempting to seduce their 16-year-old pool boy. When he turns down their advances, they're killed by a masked madman (one with a knife, the other with their boombox). When he returns to the scene to accept their advances, he's killed as well. This lets the viewer know that there is a madman on the loose, or at least someone who doesn't approve of cougars (or cougar...ess? What's the word for a male cougar? Or is that just a regular guy?).
Two girls are shown riding in a car listening to the greatest breakup mix of all time. I think we all could've used that at one time or another. They pull up to their friend's house, where they've decided to throw a party (oh, excuse me, have a "get-together"), and they're quickly interrupted by nosy neighbors who want to make sure that their "get-together" doesn't get too loud. Naturally, they do, as a couple of boys who were secretly invited show up and they all decide to play drinking games. The group is interrupted by a policeman who, through a series of questions, shows everyone how vastly unprepared they are for what's coming.
Like, for instance, not being able to read backwards writing.
At one point, the girls all go upstairs to change clothes, where they're being watched by the masked murderer. They keep stopping during their changing to talk about how upset one of the girls is at her ex-boyfriend, who she's pretty sure was cheating on her. The masked figure outside gets more and more upset as they stop their changing, and they finally lower the blinds on him. They immediately start talking about how amazing their tits and vaginas are, eliciting a groan from the person hiding outside. It's this type of low-brow humor that permeates every facet of The Slashening. It's obnoxious and crude, but it's pretty funny at times, and its, again, the silliness we expect from a film influenced and distributed by Troma. It's actually a pretty well-made parody of other films, most notably Halloween and Friday the 13th. The killer is, after all, wearing a Michael-esque pair of overalls, along with a burlap mask a-la Jason in F13 2. It's lovably crafted, though, and there's no mocking of the other films involved. And, again, its legitimately funny at times in its ridiculousness. That's all we can really ask for from a film like this. During the party, two of the girls (and later a third) admit to sleeping with the main girl's boyfriend, causing her to get upset and run from the party (GET-TOGETHER!). The girls are all parodies of horror trope teenagers, but I totally know some girls who have acted like these girls at times. They order a pizza, and when the pizza guy gets murdered, they angrily demand another one be sent out. When that one's murdered too... and the next... and the next ad infitum, the killer moves on to the occupants of the house. What is largely ignored, however, is the massive waste of countless pizzas in the process, which is so totally not cool.
So much goddamn pizza sauce down the drain...
The killers are finally revealed in the last reel, a surprising twist that, for some reason, I actually hadn't even considered to be a possibility (which was really stupid of me, because in a Scooby-Doo like turn of events, the killer is the only person who hasn't died other than the final girls). We get a seriously bloody climax, a nice change from the (mostly) off-screen murders throughout the rest of the film. Seriously, in the first 3/4 of the movie, the killer largely strikes from the shadows, and in the last reel, we get an eyeball plucked from its socket, a dismembered penis, boiling water poured on a victim, and intestines removed immediately before using a power saw on a skull. It's a drastic change, and completely welcomed to the final tone of the film. All in all, The Slashening is a fun little ridiculous romp, and is a welcome addition to the Troma family. They did a fantastic job, especially considering exactly how low the budget was. $6,000 doesn't buy shit, but in this case, it bought me an hour and a half of enjoyment. That's the most I ever expect from a movie. Bottom Line: Super-fun, somewhat funny, and pretty entertaining, The Slashening is a must-watch for B-movie horror fans. As someone who is a huge fan of Troma and pretty much everything they're involved in, I highly recommend it. 3.5 out of 5 stars.