Five Slashers That Deserve DVD Releases

Longed for titles like The Burning are finally in general DVD release and The Mutilator, Final Exam, Nightmare and more are safely in the hands of Code Red for the future, but here are the five most valuable retro slashers that need a digital release. Note, cheap company versions that are just video dubs do not apply. Not that we demand full-blown special editions, but for at least the basic satisfaction of the slasher fan, titles need a decent image (preferably widescreen unless directorially dictated otherwise) and a wide release that’s easy to find.

5. Silent Night, Deadly Night 3
Released 1989
Directed by Monte Hellman

That now out-of-print double sided DVD of Silent Night, Deadly Night 1 & 2 was such a treat, now where’s the 3rd entry? I could (for now) care less about the 4th and 5th films because of their lack of slasher centricity, but part 3 continues using the character of Ricky Caldwell as it’s murderer. Going from bug-eyed hulkazoid Eric Freeman in the 2nd one to string-thin sleepwalking Bill Mosely is a stretch for some, but others (like me) are easily pleased.

4. Curtains
Released 1983
Directed by Richard Ciupka

A Canadian production that sits alongside others from the era like My Bloody Valentine and Prom Night. The setup of auditioning actresses is novel, and the detached feel of the mansion locale among winter creates a sense of unease which is exploited to full effect in the infamous ice rink murder scene. The film endured some heavy interference and changes behind the scenes, but came out the other end as part of alot of fans fave lists.

3. Humongous
Released 1982
Directed by Paul Lynch

Another Canadian entry in the slasher sweepstakes. Again, a segregated location – that of “Dog Island”. The lurching grotesque creature preying on the kids that stranded on his ma’s island really makes the suspense work because he’s the type of fellow to rip out your vertebrae first just because. I’ve always wondered if the near pitch-black photography was intended or a result of the video transfer process, a DVD would tell us which.

2. Mortuary
Released 1983
Directed by Hikmet Avedis

One of my personal faves, if not many others, this straight slasher set in the funeral industry benefits from its Californian seaside locations, twangy synth score, and Bill Paxton as a latex masked cloaked figure – kind of what you’d get if you crossed Michael Myers and Father Death from Scream. There are some gory kills with his joust-like trochar tool. A cult subplot goes nowhere, but there are clues that lead up to a scared-me-shitless final scene.

1. Slaughter High (NOW DONE)
Released 1986
Directed by George Dugdale

It’s credited to one helmer, but two others had to jump in at times, too so it’s probably no wonder the flick has a patchwork quality about it which kind of works with its climactic plot turn. The ill fated Simon Scuddamore carries the Marty role with enough genuineness that you cheer for him (or a random crew member in a Jester’s mask) offing his ex-high school bullies. This is the easy-watching archetype-serving slasher that needs to hit disc now!

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About the Author

Editor, Retro Slashers. Producer, Sleepaway Camp 4.

15 Responses to “ Five Slashers That Deserve DVD Releases ”

  1. Curtains was just shown at the Pioneer Theater here in the city, apparently brand spankin new 35mm print, so maybe a dvd is finally on the way and no ones been informed.

    still a great movie and it was a great transfer too

  2. by the way, glad to see you guys back!
    felt like a pretty long time that retro was gone. lookin good so far.

    look forward to lots more updates

  3. Agreed, nice to see you back. I think Horror Hound magazine has a piece about “Pieces” being reissued on DVD, that would be on my must have list since I missed the last release and my VHS copy has started to show signs of wear.

  4. I love Pieces too! I love all the films mentioned here! Thank god I’m too out of it and never got rid of my vcr!

  5. I agree with Slaughter High being number 1. This movie has no right being enjoyable but it is. I would love a dvd release but won’t hold my breath.

    Love the new layout by the way.

  6. I agree with most of these especially Curtains and Mortuary. Humongous has always held a place in my heart even though it’s not that great and Slaughter High has a creepy atmosphere to it. I always get the same feeling about Slaughter High as I do while watching Class Reunion Massacre.

  7. You nailed it, Tuzo. CRM and SH both have a creepy atmosphere that sucks you right in. No matter how horrible the acting or the premise, if you got the creepy atmosphere going your film is going to be at least watchable.

  8. I’ll triple that! Atmosphere can make for a lot in horror films.

    I think Mortuary is my favorite on the list, but then again, you are all aware of my love for Christopher George. And if you weren’t aware, you are now!

  9. Yes, Amanda. We are all aware of your slutty ways…. ;P

  10. You wish.

  11. I admit it. I do. I do.

  12. yes you damme right men specialy for slaughter high en mortuary en the very creepy perfomanse of bill moseley in sndn 3

  13. you can buy CURTAINS at xploitedcinema.com

  14. I would love to see Curtains. Is it good

  15. I would love for Anchor Bay or someone to do a boxset for Silent Night Deadly Night. I know rights are probably an issue but their other releases like the House and Phantasm boxsets probably had similar issues. I really want all the Silent Night Deadly Nights on DVD!

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