Tuesday, January 22, 2013

So, THAT'S how they do it!

In the post-Scream world of slasher-horror, I think only one movie even comes close to reaching that perfect balance of horror and self-awareness.  Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is that film.

For the uninitiated, this is a mockumentary along the lines of Best in Show or Spinal Tap.  An aspiring journalist and her team are following Vernon around to discover his secrets as a slasher-type serial killer in a world where killers like Jason, Michael and Leatherface are real. 

He discusses the identity he's chosen (based on a local urban legend) and walks the crew through his paces as he makes preparations to slaughter a bunch of teenagers and face the "final girl".  He introduces the crew to his mentor, shows them how he can move quickly along his killing grounds, discusses his training regimen and tells them how he lures his girl into place using the magic midget from Poltergeist and carefully doctored microfiche. 

 They're heeeeeeere!

He also explains how he believes that he is doing a good thing by getting the final girl to face him.  He believes this will define her as a person and she will be stronger for the experience.

One more important piece?  He introduces us to his Ahab.  The male protagonist destined to follow and attempt to thwart him.  Not all slashers have them. 

I'd be concerned about fat jokes, personally.  Ahab...

Now, some folks didn't care for this movie because it's TOO genre-savvy but I dig it.  Its blacker-than-black humor deftly deconstructs the slasher genre and gives us a world where we should all be suspicious of perfect suburbs and "days just like any other", where we shouldn't get too excited over special events and it would probably be safer if we just didn't attend.  A world where sex is a killer, babysitters are an endangered species, the corn is infested with children and the woods really are out to murder you in the face.

A world where I KNOW I would be the victim that gets one line and a sharp implement in the 'nads before the title appears but that's neither here nor there.

This is just an awesome watch.  So... go watch it. 

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