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Chiller 13: Great American Slashers

Chiller 13: Great American Slashers

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Regular Air Date: 
July 7 @ 8PM ET

Chiller has compiled a list of 13 slasher icons that horror movie fans will probably find themselves struggling through, loving, hating, fence sitting, and possibly disregarding all together due to the nature of the commentary by some of the people who have been selected to participate on the subject.

On one hand you have some amazing stars from the genre such as Robert England (Nightmare On Elm Street), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Heather Langenkamp (Nightmare On Elm Street), Tony Todd (Candyman), Gunnar Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and more actors and actresses from back in horrors golden age, and then you have everyone else. Call me bias but I haven’t seen a good American slasher film in a loooong time.

The list is pretty much safe falling back on some iconic horror movie slasher films. What kind of makes the list lose some weight is the inclusion of films like American Psycho, Sweeny Todd, and even Silence of the Lambs. American Psycho, yeah, Bateman was a killer, but a slasher? Not really. The only way to include the film is if you dumb it down to basics and then the film ends up losing its soul. Bateman’s not a slasher, he’s a satirical manifestation of an era personifying chaos in the form of a man of that time. Scary crazy, yes, but not a monster.

Sweeny Todd? I’m sorry, but Tim Burton’s efforts since, I can’t even remember when, have been all fad. Even with a razor wielding Johnny Depp the picture is still grasping at straws, flirting with the torture porn genre, but ultimately just trying to look pretty in a Burtonesque manner that is tried and true in regards to sales.

Silence of the Lambs is a great film. I’ll take your arguments in regard to it being a slasher film though. Just enter your statements in the comments section below. (side note; both Christian Bale and Anthony Hopkins are English and Sweeny Todd is set in England. Great American Slashers?)

Aside from the list being pretty safe I hated a lot of the commentary. It felt read and wtf were the producers of this thing thinking, allowing the commentators to divulge crucial plot points to almost all of the films. They reveal who the killers are, what the twists are, everything. I know that a lot of the films are classics, but there were some moments in the show where I was like, “Damn, maybe I should go back and watch this again”, and then bam, one of these geniuses reveals that so and so is the killer, why they were the killer, and how they end up being killed. Takes the fun out of going back, or even visiting it for those first timers.

I had some fun with the show, don’t get me wrong and think I hated the whole thing. There are memories for fans of the slasher genre that were born during this golden age of horror films. I’ll always remember going with my brother to the theater in our town to see a double feature of, get this, The Neverending Story and Nightmare On Elm Street when I was 8 years old. Nothing commits a film to memory like rooting for the end of all evil in Fantasia and then being bombarded by blood in the next. So yeah, there were some good memories in the show for me, but also a reminder that the horror film genre, especially the slasher genre, is dead and buried.    

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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