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QRD #34 - the halloween issue - October 2007
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Halloween Movies for Those Tired of the Same Old Halloween Movies 
by Will Dodson

Halloween is my favorite time of the year, mainly because itís the only time I can get people to watch cheesy horror movies with me.  Yet I find myself increasingly irritated by those who either want to watch the same old Universal movies every year (Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, etc.), the same old 1970s & 1980s slashers (Friday the 13th, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.), oróworst of allóthe terrible remakes of those old movies. 

Halloween should be a time for the adventurous. This is the time to go to the video store & rent a movie whose title or cover art has always been intriguing, but youíve never felt up to checking it out. Iím talking about real gems like Sorority Babes at the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama or Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. Now THESE are Halloween movies. 

So this year, I thought Iíd do QRD readers a favor & review a few obscure horror gems. Each one has the grainy, low-budget grime youíd want in a horror flick, plus some serious art value. These are socially conscious horror movies with a message. But donít let that scare you off. Theyíre still enjoyably awful.

Three on a Meathook (1972)
Sometimes a great title can disguise a terrible, terrible movie (you might remember dogs like Cannibal Hookers & Womenís Prison Massacre). Still, call me a wild man, but I can never resist the danger.  After all, I just might hit paydirt.

Which brings me to Three on a Meathook.

It, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, Motel Hell, Deranged, & countless others, is based on the crimes of cannibal/necrophilic/my personal hero Ed Gein. That basis, naturally, has absolutely no bearing to the movie.

The plot is standard fare: Billy, a troubled loner, lives with his father on a farm waaaaaaaay out in the country.  A group of young women out on a weekend excursion (skinny dipping in a public lake, as all women do. We know this because movies donít lie.) experience car trouble late at night.  Billy stops to help & shows off his mechanical expertise by glancing at the engine in pitch darkness & saying, ďYep, itís busted.Ē  He invites them to stay at his place, kind soul that he is, until the service station opens in the morning.

They all die.  Luckily, one of them has time to get naked & take a bath first.

Although itís obvious that dad is the killer, Billy is really stupid, & is convinced that he himself did it.  So, he goes to town to get drunk.  Did I mention itís 1972?  Great hair, great clothes, great soundtrack. 

Billy gets real drunk & the barmaid decides to take him home & sleep naked with him.  They fall in love & Billy invites her to the farm.  She brings her girlfriend (hey, itís 1972!  Free love still reigns, even though this movie was filmed in Louisville, Kentucky.)

Dad goes psycho, & you get to see him playing with a severed foot.  The rest I have to keep secret.

Although this movie is terrible, I have to recommend it simply for the hair, the clothes, & the porno-meets-horror-movie-soundtrack.  Billyís girlfriend & Billyís girlfriendís girlfriend are also notable in their performances, which manage to channel the placid delivery of the corpses in The Corpse Grinders & the passion of the zombies in Zombie.

Junior (1985)
I donít know about you, but to me thereís always been something missing from retarded redneck chainsaw bloody nubile body slaughter.  That something is mood.  You canít film that stuff just anywhere.  The setting has to be perfect or the gore has no meaning, no artistic merit. 

Obviously, Texas is a good place. Summer camps are nice.  But theyíre overused, you know?  We need filmmakers to be daring, to sever the ties from unoriginal environs for violence.  We need filmmakers like whoever it was that made Junior. (Caveat Emptor: There are at least two other movies with the same title. Thereís the Arnold Schwarzenegger having a baby movie, & another horror movie from the late 1990s. Avoid them both. This Junior is the ONLY Junior in my book.)

This retarded redneck with a chainsaw lives in the bayou.  And he knows what heís doingóthat chainsaw gets waved around like a baton.  That shit takes talent, especially when you note how much cajun moonshine the guy puts away.

Anyway, we canít waste a guy named Juniorís flair for dismemberment.  We need ditzy women in short cutoffs.  Luckily, two ex-con hookers have just moved into town.  They sunbathe naked, they build a house naked, they shower naked, & if thatís not enough, their names are K.C. & Jo. 

We have an exhibition of high art as we gaze upon the unbridled splendor of these brazen beauties set in the gorgeous backwoods of Louisiana.  The director obviously makes art for artís sake, & if Samuel Taylor Coleridge saw this movie, I bet he would love it. 

The bayou setting serves the film further than as just a background.  In the murky depths of the filthy swamp water lies the key to gender equality.  Consider this: the chainsaw serves as representation of the oppressive phallus, threatening to tear into the flesh of K.C. & Jo.  The two have just been released from prison, where they served time for prostitution.  So, we see them liberated from their former roles as harlots.  At first, the phallic chainsaw terrifies them.  The women are powerless against its vicious aggression. 

To escape the mindless redneck, they retreat to the water itself.  Within the water, the primordial ooze if you will, a new evolution takes place.  The chainsaw is waterlogged, or in other words, the phallus is deflated & can no longer symbolize virility, power, & control.  The women emerge victorious; Junior gets devoured by an alligator (an agent of the Earth Mother, of course).  They are free to live their lives as they wish.

Immediately, they shack up with a couple of buff bayou boys & giggle as the credits roll.

Slaughterhouse (1987)
This movie is a bit more problematic because of its political agenda. I donít have a problem with people who donít eat meat.  Just because we have different diets doesnít mean we canít get along.  But I really detest the militant veggites who degrade the carnivorous lifestyle & constantly try to convert me to their bland, anemic living hell of cabbage & soy.

But at least when theyíre militant, you can see them coming & ignore their incessant protests & sit-ins while your bacon sizzles in the pan, filling your nostrils with that sweet, sweet bacon smell.  Much more insidious is the new wave of anti-meat propaganda that these wackos send our way.  I recognize this psychological warfare when I see it, but some of my less perceptive carnivorous sisters & brothers might get caught in the celery-stick web of vegan twaddle.

It is therefore my duty to expose the evil of veganazism wherever it exists.  Exhibit A: Slaughterhouse.

Sure, it looks like a regular slasher movie.  In the first scene a big fat redneck named Buddy chops up some teenagers with an axe while they have pre-marital sex.  Very deceptive.  I almost let my guard down.  But in the next scene we see real-life footage of cows on a conveyer belt being hit over the head with hammers & injected with chemicals & sliced into little bits while they struggle for their last meaningless breath.

Many would be horrified by this Clockwork Orange-style psychological barrage.  Luckily it was I who watched.  I merely paused the movie to make a meatloaf sandwich on a styrofoam plate.  With pork rinds on the side & a six-pack of beer.  Then I threw the little plastic ring thingees from the six-pack in the ocean.  Thatís right.  Iím an outlaw lover.  Better run for cover.

It turns out that the aforementioned fat redneck is an eco-warrior who chops up & processes everyone involved in the meat industry.  And also innocent teenagers engaging in pre-marital sex. 

So I guess the message is something along the lines of ďDonít be involved in the meat industry or you will be chopped up & turned into spam.  And also, donít have pre-marital sex.Ē  You see this brainwashing at work?  If you out there, my meat eating kindred, had seen this movie without first reading this warning, you might be eating lettuce right now.  Scary, isnít it?  Even scarier is the fact that I wonít be around to protect you from all the propaganda out there.  I will leave you, then, with a short guide of the signs that indicate youíre watching veganazi drivel.

1.  The movie features a number of scenes with rotting meat, usually accompanied by flies buzzing in the soundtrack. This is supposed to gross out meat eaters, though many of us know that mutton is best when aged like a fine wine. 

2.  The movie has eco-warriors who look healthy.  This is a lie.  All vegetarians are sickly & pale.  Vegetables only have wimpy nutrients like vitamin C.  Meat has tough nutrients like IRON & ZINC, nutrients so tough theyíre made of metal.

3.  Animals like cows & pigs are portrayed as gentle & intelligent creatures.  Also a lie.  Theyíd eat you if they could.  Also, they wallow in their own filth.  Oh yeah, theyíre real intelligent.

4.  Animals shriek as if in pain when theyíre being butchered.  This is unrealistic.  Everyone knows that animals canít feel anything.  Thatís why we test cosmetics on them.

There you have it. Though Slaughterhouse is entertaining, bloody, & otherwise wholesome, itís also a cunning disguise for propaganda.  Now, if youíll pardon me, my pork chops are almost done.