Slasher fans rushing to Wal-Mart in search of Happy Birthday to Me should keep their eyes open for the $5 Gore House Greats Collection. Most of the 12 films in the collection rank somewhere between bloody awful and drive-in trash, but there are two little gems that should interest slasher addicts.
Terrified is a proto-slasher from 1963. The story involves a masked killer stalking an old western ghost town. Anyone who crosses his path gets a cement bath for his troubles. There are elements in Terrified that reminded me of Tourist Trap and Scream (1985). The killer is pretty twisted for an early 1960s horror film. When surrounded by cops, the killer begs the Final Girl for a few minutes of pleasure before he dies.
The best film in the collection (and the main reason I bought it) is Terror, a British film from 1978 that mixes elements from slashers and Suspiria. Gore is heavy and the murders are brutal. Even better, there are several creepy scenes that ooze suspense and atmosphere. Overall, Terror is an excellent shocker.