Tuesday, 29 May 2012



Dir: Tony Maylam
Starring: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Jason Alexander

I watched this Friday the 13th ripoff when I was pretty young and remember having a fair bit of fun with it when the group I watched it with all adopted a character to see if we'd survive.
In retrospect, this was not the most cool thing I have ever done.
Does this slasher still have what it takes to make me smile?

SUMMARY: The film opens with an eerie flashback. Well, I think it was meant to be eerie.
At the awesomely named Camp Blackfoot a bunch of 70s/early 80s kids with white guy fros and shorts that are far too tiny decide they have taken enough shit from the caretaker, Cropsy. Seems he's kind of a dick to the kids so they're going to show him what's what. Prank time!
One of them (wearing a superb Camp Blackfoot t shirt that I now want to own) tiptoes into the shack where a hammered pissed Cropsy is sleeping and lights something in a box. Yeah, you're telling him, tight-short crew!
He slips back out and all the kids bang on the window to rouse Cropsy from his drunken stupor. He slowly comes around and is greeted with... a maggoty rotting skull thing with candles in it!
That is a bit beyond clingfilm over the khazi, dude.
Cropsy goes batshit, as you would, and knocks it over. His booze soaked shack and clothes go up in flames. The tiny-short crew leg it. Nice.
Cropsy is taken to hospital and a seriously pimpin' black orderly explains that Cropsy was burnt so badly it's a miracle he survived. He then invites a new doctor to come and gawp at Cropsy. PROFESSIONALISM.
As the superfly orderly refers to Cropsy as a Big Mac, I silently weep a little because I KNOW no other character will be as cool as this guy. The anticipation builds nicely as Dr Dolemite draws his D.I.S.COlleague closer to Cropsy... who grabs Shaft M.D. by the hand!

That jive turkey muthafucker!

At this point the orderly pulls a face which is a little less cool. I still feel you though, bro. In my head he leaves this scene and promptly works in every other horror film hospital in history. He would get on gangbusters with Budd in Halloween II!

Anyway from here we get some not at all derivative credits with a theme that sounds NOTHING like Halloween's. Oh no.

Anyway, despite his penchant for grabbing playahs, the docs let Cropsy out. Even though a voice over says he is hideously deformed on the outside and now homicidal with rage.
Cropsy gets out of hospital hiding under a big coat, hat and gloves... and promptly approaches a SERIOUSLY rough hooker. Hey, it's been 5 years, his wang now looks like the inside of a lava lamp, beggars can't be choosers.
The ropy old hooker shows lots of cleavage and leg. And smokes.

I'm sure she'll be fine.

Oh, then she sees his face and freaks out and tells Cropsy he is not getting any.
If a hooker says that to you, you'd probably feel pretty low.
Cropsy confirms this by butchering her with a pair of scissors and smashing her head through a window.

People in this film overreact A LOT.

Cut to a lovely tranquil lake and another summer camp - Camp Stonewater.
(So this takes place at a summercamp where a bunch of irritating teens are butchered by an inhuman killer. HOW original. Why did nobody else ever think of this great idea?)
There are lots of teens playing a wholesome game of what appears to be No Bra Baseball. This acts as an intro to our victims. Hey look, there's George Costanza from Seinfeld! He's young(er)! And slim(mer)! And he has (some) hair! YAY! The rest are pretty non-descript. There's the girl who will clearly survive, a skinny boy whose tiny shorts make me start to panic about what kind of film this is, a guy who's name should be Hero McSquarejoy, a slutty blonde and a dick called Glazer. He is kind of muscular and a total tit.
He rules.
Amongst this bustling hubbub of (non) character development Cropsy turns up.
And fails to kill someone.

Er, so he's a bit shit?

More character stuff. It's so mindnumbingly awful I start thinking about Superfly Orderly and Budd having a weekly medical procedural tv show. Kind of like House but with dopeass bitches. Yeeeeeah.

Oh, hang on, the slutty blonde is having a shower. And there are boobies. She has just got more naked than the hooker earlier. Life expectancy 0.000000000000021%.
Suddenly she catches WEIRD GUY ogling her.
[Every man watching this film blushes]

Her indignant cries draw other people along. WEIRD GUY says he just planned to scare her. Yeah, that is some NORMAL behaviour right there. Hero McSquarejaw and the survivor girl have a bit of a tiff over whether they should kick him out. They don't.
My god, these teenagers are 35 if they're a day.
Meanwhile Glazer pounces on WEIRD GUY. Seems he has his sights on slutty blonde and he will whoop some booty if WEIRD GUY doesn't do one.
Glazer here does something BRILLIANT. After lambasting WEIRD GUY he gives him an alpha male Pec Flex of DOMINANCE that sends him skittering for the hills. Ha ha ha, Glazer, you're such a twat.
It seems George Costanza and his tiny shorted friends agree because a bit later they shoot Glazer up the jacksy with an airgun, then moon him.
There is a whole screen of manbutt and a couple of droopy nutsacks here. No wonder this film was banned.

That night WEIRD GUY sees Cropsy stalking around outside the cabins. One of the nameless fodder girls says she will sleep with the letchy fodder guy. NOBODY in the world gives half a shit about eiher of these developments.
Next day the, ahem, 'kids' go canoeing. They splash each other. FFS it's been 30 minutes since anybody died!!!!!!!!
Superfly Orderly and Budd wouldn't put up with this shit.

Ooooh, now we have a campfire! Hero McSquarejaw tells Cropsy's origin story. You know, for people that skipped the first chapter on the dvd because they're high-rolling jetsetters and time is money.
Finally those two that plan to shag nip off together and go skinny dipping. She kind of changes her mind at how pushy he's being and he spits his dummy like a total dirty sleazebag.
The girl storms off... but her clothes have gone!
Cut to a naked girl walking about in the woods. Hmmm, this was clearly made before razor companies invented ladyfuzz trimmers. That thing is like Tina Turner's head!!!!
Oh and then Cropsy cuts her throat with his KILLER SHEARS. About bloody time too. 45 minutes passed without a kill!

The next day the girl is missing (obviously) so everybody blames the sleazebag. He had that coming. They then notice that the canoes are gone and Survivor Girl and Hero McSquarejaw decide that nameless fodder girl took all of them.


Rather than say that these two are fucking idiots, the other teens decide to build a raft to get back to the main camp. Once it's done, we get the sequence that lead to this film getting banned.
Some of the kids row the raft down the river and spot one of the canoes. They head over to it... and Cropsy jumps out to kill the shit out of them!
Tom Savini (THE GENIUS) did the effects for this scene and, fucking hell, is it gory. Body bits go flying, blood pumps everywhere, we get close ups of the shears slicing into flesh, the whole shebang.

This makes up for that 45 minutes of bollocks.

Meanwhile Hero takes some of the boys, including WEIRD GUY on a bit of a hike.
Finally Glazer and slutty girl get some jiggerypokery time. Go on my so..., oh, he went off halfcocked. Glazer, man! He feels a bit embarrassed but she doesn't mind so he runs off to get matches... CROPSY!
Byebye slutty girl! That was such a shock to me!
Glazer returns but WEIRD GUY follows because he is a PERV. Glazer approaches slutty girl's sleeping bag... but Cropsy jumps out! FUCKER! Then slams Glazer into tree with his inhuman psycho killer mega strength! FUCKER! And then pins Glazer to said tree by his throat!!! FUCKER! WEIRD GUY shits his tiny shorts so hard they stretch to full size ones and runs off to warn the others. FUC.. oh, wait, that's kind of sensible. Carry on.
WEIRD GUY wakes up Hero McSquarejaw and tells him what happened. Remembering WEIRD GUY's silliness re: a scary dude outside the cabin earlier (which I had already forgot about because it was SO BORING) Hero decides to investigate rather than believe WEIRD GUY. So Cropsy knocks him the fuck out. Since when did he do that shit? Cut his heroic jaw off or something!
WEIRD GUY legs it. Cropsy follows. In time Hero comes around and follows after them with a heroic axe.
Back at Camp Nonentity, the boring faceless, nameless kids find the raft and all the bits of their friends. Finally people start to realise that shit is amiss. They hop on the raft and skedaddle back to the camp. Survivor Girl does the most useless girly run in history as she grabs a mate, radios for help and jumps back into a motorboat to go back for Hero and Weird Guy.
But WEIRD GUY has been captured by Cropsy and taken into an abandoned mine while Hero McSquare jaw follows.

I won't give the ending away other to say that the final reveal of Cropsy's melty, Harry Redknappesque face is ace AND stupid all at once.
Much like this whole film. It's oddly compelling, but borrows so heavily from Halloween and (especially) Friday the 13th that you can't help but feel you've seen it all before. Plus that dead 45 minutes in the middle of the film is EXCRUCIATING.
Tom Savini's effects are pretty much the saving grace to this film. It's worth watching if only for those, especially during the gory Raft Massacre, which is (wait for it, wait for it...) SHEAR brilliance.

AH HA HA HA HA HA HA... oh, please yourselves.

Superfly Orderly would have loved that.

HEY, I KNOW YOU: JASON ALEXANDER - George Costanza. Seinfeld. Nuff said.
HOLLY HUNTER - Yes, THAT Holly Hunter plays one of the boring, faceless, personalityless dwellers of Camp Nonentity. I do not imagine her role in this film features too prominently on her CV...

EVIL ON TWO LEGS: Cropsy is your generic, hideously burnt, hardware toting psycho driven by homicidal rage. The level of characterisation for him is ABYSMAL.
He was a caretaker at Camp Blackfoot. He was mean to the kids. He was a drunk and would beat/harass certain campers. And one day they got angry at his shitty 'tude and accidentally burnt him. The extent of his injuries was so severe that it left him seriously disfigured and insane. So he heads to a neighbouring camp and starts taking his misplaced rage out on the teens with a pair of shears. 

Um, that's about it.

A little more interestingly, the name Cropsy seems to be a bastardisation of Cropsey, a name used for an urban legend bogeyman, most notably in Staten Island and up and down the Hudson Valley. The Cropsey Maniac (to give him his full name) is the equivalent of the man with a hook for a hand, the axe wielding maniac under the bed. There has even been an award-winning documentary produced on this urban legend.

However, I bet none of these versions look as awesome as THIS!




Tom Savini's amazing gore effects are on full display here! AWESOME!

Ok, I need to be more specific? Fine: 'Let's see whatcha got,' 25-YEAR-OLD TEENAGERS!, HEY, WE'RE THE FUN GUYS! CHECK OUT HOW MUCH WE LOVE TO CHECK OUT GIRLS!, SHOWERBOOBS!, 'Who's there?', 'I'm gonna tear you up so bad, your own mother won't recognise ya!', SO THIS IS WHAT THE KILLER SEES THEN..., 'I saw it! It was there!', EVERYBODY GATHER ROUND THE FIRE AND LISTEN TO THIS EXPOSITION,'You're crazy!', NUDITY = DEATH, SEX = DEATH, 'I'm coming right back', EVEN IF YOU RUN A WALKING BADGUY CAN CATCH YOU, ONLY MY OWN WEAPON CAN KILL ME... (or not), FLAMETHROWERS ARE COOL

DIALOL: Tiny Short Crew Leader: 'Tonight's the night that we scare shit out of Cropsy!'
SUPERFLY ORDERLY: 'After two months of working here, you'll start to feel like an old man. Guys like you won't last five minutes. Hey, there's this guy down the hall in the burn center I'd like you to see. After you see this guy, you'll never want to come back in here again. Man, this guy is so burned, he's cooked! A fucking Big Mac, overdone! You know what I mean? And, it's a miracle that he's still alive. If it was me, I'd prefer to be dead. No way I'd want to be this freak. He's a monster, man! I've been working here 10 years and I'm telling you, I've never seen anything like this. Come on in here, man. This is what you've got to see. This is where it's at!'
Slutty Blonde: 'He's a sexual pervert!'
HERO McSQUAREJAW: 'There used to be a camp not far from here, just across the lake. It was called Camp Blackfoot. No one goes there anymore. Everything burnt down. This camp had a caretaker, and his name was Cropsy. Now, this Cropsy was a drunkard... a sadist, and he got real pleasure out of hurting... scaring. And he had these garden shears. The kind with long, thin blades. He carried them all the time, wherever he went. And he had this kind of demonic way of looking at you. One time, Cropsy really went after this kid from Brooklyn, followed him around night and day. He made this kid's life a living hell. But this time, he chose the wrong guy, 'cause the kid and some of his buddies had planned a little prank. Only problem was, the gag went wrong. The next thing anybody knows, Cropsy's trapped alive and burning in his bunk. They try to get him out, but the fire's so fierce, they can't reach him. All they can do is stand outside and listen to him cry out in agony. They say his smashed his way through the bunkroom door in just a mass of flames. And as he burned alive, he cried out, "I will return! I will have my revenge!" They never found his body, but he survived. He lives on whatever he can catch. Eats them raw, alive. No longer human. Right now, he's out there. Watching, waiting. Don't look; he'll see you. Don't move; he'll hear you. Don't breathe; you're dead!'

10 WORD WRAP UP: Silly Friday the 13th clone with cool gore effects (eventually)

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