Welcome to the second installment of the Festering 5! The first edition went fairly well, so Brennan and I thought we’d try this again. Prepare to get REKT! Today we are ranking the elite of the infamous in-joke… Those titles we like to discuss time and time again, and that’s “Massacre” movies. We’ve both seen our fair share of them, but certainly neither of us have seen them all, but we can shed a little light on which ones we believe you need to prioritize. Here we go!
1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
Rat’s Reason: Let’s start with something a little familiar. TCM is without a doubt one of the greatest horror movies ever made, but TCM2 is its rich, wild, Lamborghini driving younger brother. He has 2 sexual assault charges pending and insists on wearing his sunglasses on the back of his head Guy Fieri style while he drinks Grey Goose over heavy ice. Part 2 feels more like a spiritual sequel than the actual thing, and is incredibly influential in its own right. It has fantastic characters (Choptop, Stretch, psychotic sheriff Dennis Hopper) and sensational set design. Plus it’s just more fun. Naysayers can go suck eggs.
Brennan’s Take: Yeah! Go suck eggs! It has probably been a decade since I’ve watched this bizarre sequel but so much of it has burnt itself into my brain. The opening murder on the road, Stretch being one of my favorite horror heroines, Choptop and (of course) Dennis “Fuckin” Hopper as a vengeance fueled bad ass with chainsaws in his holster. Need to give this a rewatch pronto.
2. Nail Gun Massacre (1985)
Rat’s Reason: A Rapist killer might be the best kind of killer, especially when he looks like a member of daft punk and drives a gold hearse. There is a lot to be gleaned from Nail Gun Massacre, to the individual willing to attempt said gleaning. For me, NGM just satisfies my cheap tooth. Oh and of course, a nail gun is cheaper than a chainsaw.
Brennan’s Take: I have a special place in my heart for this mean little flick. Well…it would be mean if it wasn’t so charmingly stupid. Sexual assault and pneumatic nail guns go together like cocaine and the eighties. Add that Texas regional flare and the budgetary restraints of independent filmmaking and you have yourself the perfect recipe for a tasty trash cake.
3. Microwave Massacre (1983)
Rat’s reason: Microwave Massacre is basically a 76 minute Jackie Vernon stand-up special. His jokes are dry wordplay, and his character is a shlubby everyman. Despite these things, or maybe because of them, this movie is a (microwaved) treat. A whole plateful of pizza rolls. With some surreal sight gags, and cannibalism as its crux, Microwave Massacre tickles my jollies like a nuked beef and bean burrito.
Brennan’s Take: “Muh…muh….muh….May.” Comedy doesn’t need to work to…uhm…work. It’s almost awe inspiring how much every single bit of comedy in this movie fails. If it sounds like I’m shitting on this flick then you obviously do not know me.
4. The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
Rat’s reason: A bunch of high school girls have a slumber party. This means they eat pizza, drink, and partake in Maui Wowie. Meanwhile, an escaped murderer kills them off with a giant drill. Surely I don’t have to explain why this is a perfect campy 80’s movie.
Brennan’s Take: I’m still surprised this movie isn’t as revered as Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street. This is a wonderful slasher flick that not only succeeds as a darkly humorous commentary on the sub genre but also works as a WONDERFUL FUCKING SLASHER FLICK.
5. Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)
Rat’s Reason: Slumber Party Massacre II is like if The Slumber Party Massacre got the flu and tossed in and out of fever dreams. An all chick pop rock band is staying in a condo for the weekend to practice and dance around naked. A dude dressed like a rocker in a leather jacket attacks them with a ridiculous drill guitar. Some fourth wall breaks, some nightmares, some musical numbers, and some Slice and Perrier make this one not to miss.
Brennan’s Take: Another case of a sequel just saying “fuck it” and completely veering off in a charmingly bizarre different direction. An all girl pop band slumber party is interrupted by a Freddy Krueger/Andrew Dice Clay amalgamation with a drill on the end of his guitar. I could go into detail but why bother? It also uses stock footage from itself and that’s pretty damn commendable.
1. Class Reunion Massacre (1978)
Brennan’s Reason: not only is it my favorite “Massacre flick” it’s in my top ten favorite movies of all time. Bizarro slasher with some unsettling costume changes, an extremely out of place religious message and a fantastic supernatural backbone that adds to the weirdness. Better known as The Redeemer: Son of Satan!, this late seventies proto-slasher is a must for any fan of the offbeat horror
ReelRat Sez: I’ve been sleeping on this. Time for me to wake up. I always loved the gorgeous poster art.
2. Women’s Prison Massacre (1983)
Brennan’s Reason: An Italian sleaze fan’s wet dream. Featuring a cast filled to the brim with exploitation favorites and the usual nekked flesh one comes to expect from the WIP genre. Begins like it’ll take the standard path (well except for opening theatrical prison production and the angry albino) but then Crazy Boy and his hang of violent misfits takeover the prison and all hell breaks loose. Laura Gemser (the only Emmanuelle I will acknowledge) must figure out how to survive and keep the injured special agent (Carlo de Mejo) alive. “I’d like to bite your nipples off!”
ReelRat Sez: Oh fuck. Bruno Mattei directing a Claudio Fragasso (Troll 2) script of a Black Emmanuelle film. That’s a holy trinity if ever there was one. Thanks for the reminder, I’m due for a re-watch!
3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Brennan’s Reason: There’s a reason this is a classic. Few films have successfully pulled off the level of intensity Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece accomplishes. It’s a pure nightmare from its completely unsettling opening flashes to its truck bed finale. I still have a hard time watching the dinner scene.
ReelRat Sez: Can’t argue here. Although how do I know you actually loved it when you haven’t even rated it on letterboxd? Shame! Credit to Daniel Pearl for killing it behind the camera and giving us so many iconic shots.
4. Meatcleaver Massacre (1977)
Brennan’s Reason: Christopher Lee collects a paycheck and bookends a fever dream of a film about a college professor’s demonic revenge. There’s some wonderful shitheel characters, death by cactus, Peter Falk impressions and a dog named Poopers. The whole thing is off and can’t recommend it enough.
ReelRat Sez: And the poster is koo koo bananas! (when I haven’t seen a movie I just comment on the poster).
5. Memorial Valley Massacre (1989)
Brennan’s Reason: Campers take on a caveman in a fright wig and black tube socks. There’s a fat man-child named Byron who rides an ATV and is taken out of the picture far too soon. Cameron Mitchell and William Smith make an appearance and Memorial Valley will never be the same
ReelRat Sez: With a 3.5 aggregate rating on imdb and a WHOPPING 2.4 aggregate on letterboxd, how can this NOT be worth your time?