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MattFini’s Halloween Top 10 Lists: Overlooked Slashers



It’s hard to surprise people when putting together a list of the best slasher movies and, in the interest of doing so, I thought I’d exclude all the genre mainstays from the list. This list doesn’t necessarily represent the “ten best”, but rather some of the slasher subgenre’s more ‘overlooked’ offerings.

MattFini's Halloween Top 10 Lists: Overlooked Slashers

10. The Mutilator (1985)

It can be argued that this film’s greatest asset is its amazing tag line (By Pick, By Sword, By Axe, Bye Bye!), but that’s doing a bit of disservice to director Buddy Cooper’s only attempt to run with the slasher big dogs.

First we’ve got one of the most preposterous killer motivations in the subgenre: a child, cleaning his father’s gun in an attempt to gleam his daddy’s affections, accidentally shoots his mother dead. Dad comes home, flips his lid and viola! Instant slasher!

If you track down the uncut version, you’ll get the goods when it comes to slasher mayhem – especially in that infamous hook scene. And dig, if you can, that annoying Fall Break song. I can’t say I love it, but it makes me laugh every time.

9. The Deadly Intruder (1984)

Unless you can’t get enough of them 80’s slashers, you’d do best to mosey on away from director John McCauley’s attempt to turn Halloween into a domestic thriller.

Following one of the most implausible institution escapes you’ll ever see, a psycho killer sets his sights on a small dinner party (populated by none other than Danny Bonaduce). There’s gratuitous nudity (courtesy of our heroine, Molly Cheek), ridiculous red herrings and some of the most ill-fated slasher fodder I can recall (check out the fate of the poor telephone line repairman). And if that’s not enough, you’ve got some of the most “hands off” cops ever seen – complete with farting dog!

Deadly Intruder isn’t great, but it’s a wholly entertaining slice of 80s slasher madness, with all of the violence and nudity you could hope for. Why, oh why, isn’t this on DVD yet?

8. Hospital Massacre aka X-Ray (1982)

The early 1980s weren’t the best time to be in the healthcare industry as it seemed like every few months another slasher was busy carving up the staff members of their local hospitals. In between Halloween II and Visiting Hours came Hospital Massacre, in which a diabolical madman targets Playboy Playmate of the year, Barbi Benton.

Barbi checks into a hospital for some routine tests but soon finds herself at a madman’s mercy. Having switched out her results for some that will keep her confined (against her will), he comes after her with a vengeance. There’s some solid gore on display through decapitations, stabbings and a nasty ‘axe to the head’ bit, and Benton shows us the goods in a gratuitous examination scene.

If you can swallow the notion that Benton somehow becomes trapped against her will, Hospital Massacre brings its A-game and slasher fans will not be disappointed.

7. Intruder aka Night of the Intruder / Night Crew: The Final Checkout (1989)

Having spent ten years of my life working in a grocery store, I’d often find myself thinking back to Scott Spiegel’s night crew-based slasher flick when my least favorite co-workers would work night crew. In this movie, a small town grocery store is slated to close down; only somebody doesn’t want that to happen!

Raimi brothers, Sam and Ted, are on hand as victims in this fast-paced slasher flick (with Sam’s death being one of the most vicious). Our killer’s identity isn’t especially difficult to determine, but the wide variety of gory deaths more than make up for the lack of surprises. Director Scott Spiegel makes great use of the setting and the 80 minute run time zips by.

This one’s as fun as they come.

6. Return to Horror High (1987)

In 1982, Crippen High was devastated by a series of brutal murders, but the killer was never caught. Flash forward a few years and a team of low budget filmmakers have descended onto Crippen’s grounds to recount the tragic story. Of course, that pesky, uncaught killer also comes a calling …

This one is plays it up for laughs, and the murder sequences are admittedly a bit on the silly side (the Biology teacher is pinned to his desk and sliced open), but these guys were trying to do something different within the subgenre. It’s not a high body count, but we’ve got more twists and turns than you can keep track of and the cast – yeah, Clooney’s in here – is fun to watch. Alex Rocco, in particular, is a standout as the sleazy producer.

I’m also a big fan of the theatrical trailer, which doesn’t have much to do with the movie but makes for one hell of an image!

5. Silent Scream (1980)

One of the most criminally neglected genre films, Silent Scream isn’t all about the body count, making a solid effort to build lots of ambiance through its ‘old, dark house’ setting, which means it’s worth a look for those among you who don’t revel in dead teenagers (shame on you!).

We’ve got the creepy house, a truly crazed slasher and an attempt to give Psycho a run for its money not only with a shower scene, but also in a young man with mommy issues. The pace is slow, but it builds suspense, unfolding into a very memorable climax.

One of the classiest of all slasher films, this one won’t please those who want an endless display of sex and violence, but it’s among the most well-crafted. Rumors are that we’ll be getting a DVD release sometime in the near future, let’s hope it turns out to be ture.

4. Slaughter High (1986)

”Marty majored in cutting classmates.” And that tagline doesn’t lie, either. Here, one of our most diabolical slashers somehow stages a dummy five year reunion and successfully manages to lure back all of those who wronged him.

Don’t watch this one unless you’re fully prepared to roll with the stupid: Characters react in ways which go beyond dumb, and this five year high school reunion is home to the oldest looking twenty three year olds of all time (a popular, but valid criticism). But Marty’s jester mask gives him an intimidating presence, despite the nonsense, and this one dabbles in some solid gore (just make sure you’re getting the uncut version).

Harry Manfredini, Mr. Friday the 13th, supplies us with a vaguely familiar score, and Caroline Munro is one hell of a sexy final girl. Plus, there’s enough hijinks here for three movies. Nah, it’s not really that good. It’s awesome.

3. Satan’s Blade (1984)

This slasher mixes elements of the supernatural in with the ‘stalk and slash’ formula and the end result makes for one of the best!

When some poor sod stumbles across an old, cursed knife, our soon-to-be madman becomes possessed by an evil spirit and goes on an immediate rampage at a nearby ski lodge. Lots of attractive college girls fall victim to the blade and there’s a really nice, claustrophobic feel within the isolated ski lodge.

This one has its share of clunky bits, but also enough mainstays to keep slasher fans happy. I’m not sure why this one has become so much of a rarity over the years as it’s worthy of rediscovery. If you’re a fan of masked madmen, track it down.

2. Madman (1981)

Okay, this one isn’t really that overlooked. It’s got a fairly steady following and the OOP DVD has become a highly sought after collector’s item on eBay. But, you know what? I’m such a fan that I’m including it here.

From the opening campfire story (distinguished because our main character sings it) to the genuinely creepy first appearance of Marz, right down to the classic ‘hood decap’, this one is a must see. You’ve also got a hot tub love scene that defies description and one of the very best endings in the subgenre’s history.

Marz is an intimidating killer, to be sure, and that’s more than enough reason to recommend this one. See it on the big screen if you can to realize just how much of a difference the theatrical experience can be!

1. Just Before Dawn (1981)

The Oregon mountains are the setting for this slasher flick, which pits five twenty-somethings against a backwoods, hillbilly killer. The deaths aren’t plentiful, but each of them memorable. Most notably is Jamie Rose’s ill-fated skinny dipping sequence. Gregg Henry is quite good as the tough guy survivalist who grows weaker as the movie gets longer and Deborah Benson’s short, short, short s are almost worth the price of admission alone.

Plus, you have to love the way in which our killer is bested in this one – one of the very best scenes the subgenre has to offer. Director Jeff Lieberman makes fantastic use of the nature setting and moves the action along quite nicely.

Suspenseful and bloody, it’s easy to forgive some of the nonsensical character behavior because everything else is executed so perfectly.


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Fearsome Fates: Top 10 Deaths from the Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise



Nightmare 4

How can you escape death when all it does is wait for you to fall asleep? This question of human vulnerability led the late filmmaker Wes Craven on a journey that culminated in one of cinema’s most deleterious and recognizable horror film icons: Freddy Krueger. The man in the Christmas sweater and dirty brown hat is every bit as important to the horror genre as Darth Vader is to science fiction.

What ultimately separated the Elm Street ventures from other macabre movie franchises like Friday the 13th and Halloween was the creativity with which Krueger disposed of his victims, and the fantasy-based elements of the kids’ extravagant nightmares. The gimmick of dying in the dream world equating to death in reality spelled doom for those trying to outrun Krueger’s wrath.

After nine feature films and a calamitous television series that is best left buried in the past, the Elm Street series was more hit than miss.

With that in mind, here are the Fearsome Fates: Top 10 Deaths from the Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise.

10. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (Carlos)

“Nice hearing from you, Carlos” – Only Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) was worse in the Elm Street saga than Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991). However, the lackluster sixth installment of the franchise gives fans one very memorable, bone-chilling death sequence. Carlos (Ricky Dean Logan) is attacked by Freddy and the youth has his ears cleansed courtesy of a monstrous Q-tip. Carlos is deaf and loses his hearing aid in the scuffle. Carlos manages to retrieve it only to have the hearing aid meld with his head and ear.

Everything Carlos hears is amplified thanks to Freddy’s torturous hearing aid. Krueger pulls out a chalkboard and then scrapes his sharp claws across it to create an unbearably loud symphony of screeching, which results in Carlos’ head exploding. Freddy blows the kid’s mind, literally.

9. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (Taryn)

“Let’s get high” – Director Chuck Russell and writer Frank Darabont’s much-needed assistance on the Elm Street series marked the beginnings of much more creative carnage, in terms of Freddy’s surreal means of disposing of his victims. While trying to join Kristen (Patricia Arquette) in the dream world, young Taryn (Jennifer Rubin) is separated from her fellow Dream Warriors. With her punk-rock hairdo and knives, the former junkie does battle with Krueger.

Just as Taryn thinks she has gained the upper hand, Freddy turns the tables on her. Krueger reveals that all of his fingers have been replaced with drug-filled syringes. Taryn gasps when she finds tiny little mouths have replaced her drug scars. Freddy injects all of the needles into her arm and pumps her full of the fatal cocktail. Taryn’s screams, as Freddy smirks, “What a rush.”

8. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Glen)

“I’m your boyfriend now, Nancy” – Johnny Depp made his acting debut in the original Nightmare (1984), but his character of Glen didn’t fair too well. Skeptical of the existence of child killer Fred Krueger, Glen comes to the same grisly fate as the other children of Elm Street even though his stalwart girlfriend Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) implores that he doesn’t go to sleep. Glen welcomes his nightly slumber anyway.

Freddy’s glove emerges from the youth’s mattress, latches onto Glen, and pulls him into the bed. Blood explodes from the hole and cascades like a violent waterfall. In uncut footage from the scene, the bed even spits Glen back up with his body slathered in blood.

Wes Craven felt the scene was scarier and more effective without knowing what Glen’s corpse looked like, and it certainly makes one of the following scenes, which occurs between Lt. Thompson (John Saxon) and his officer, much more eerie as they discuss the crime scene’s gruesome atmosphere.

7. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (Greta)

“Bon appetit, bitch” – Greta (Erika Anderson) is an aspiring model who watches her weight. When Greta’s mom throws a dinner party the teenager has absolutely no appetite, because her friend Dan Jordan (Danny Hassel) has been killed in an accident. Greta falls asleep during the dinner and Freddy takes full advantage. Krueger shows up in a chef’s hat and proceeds to force feed Greta, in a monstrous-looking high chair.

Greta tries to spit out the pulsating food, but Freddy continues to shove it down her throat. With each passing bite, Greta’s jowls grow more grotesque. Engorged, Greta falls into Freddy’s arms and she eventually chokes to death. This could easily have been No. 1 on our list, if the scene had not been butchered by censors.

The horrifying truth revealed in Stephen Hopkins’ director’s cut: Freddy is feeding Greta to herself! Greta’s stomach has been cut open and Freddy is scooping up her insides and forcing them down the teen’s throat. It’s a chilling and nauseating death sequence, in what is sadly one of the weaker installments of the franchise.

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (Debbie)

“You can check in, but you can’t check out” – What happens when you team the winsome actress Brooke Theiss with special effects artist “Screaming Mad” George – aka Joji Tani? You get one of the most bizarre death sequences in Nightmare history. Poor Debbie (Theiss), a fitness guru, is really only afraid of one little thing – cockroaches. Naturally, Freddy turns Debbie’s worst fear against her.

While working out, Deb dozes off. She seems to still be in her home gym when Freddy suddenly appears. In a test of strength, Freddy grabs the bar, loaded with weight Deb is trying to bench press, and slowly forces it down toward her. Deb loses the fight and her elbows bend and crack open, under the immense pressure. Her arms are quickly replaced by the legs of a cockroach.

Deb slowly continues her bizarre metamorphosis, until she becomes an oversized bug. Trapped in a roach motel, Deb watches in horror, as Freddy smashes the trap in his hand. Deb’s bug-like guts, and the innards of the roach motel, spew out as Krueger cackles in triumph.

5. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (Dan)

“Better not dream and drive” – In the tradition of surviving Elm Street children making it to the sequel, Dread Central presents for your approval Dan Jordan (Danny Hassel). After the events of The Dream Master, Alice (Lisa Wilcox) and her boyfriend Dan are expecting a little bundle of joy. But before they can celebrate the baby’s birth, the couple must endure the wrath of Freddy Krueger once more. Surprisingly, Alice begins dreaming while she is awake. While working a shift at the Crave Inn, Alice comes face to face with both Freddy and his mother, Amanda Kruger (Beatrice Boepple).

Frightened, Alice calls Dan and begs him to join her immediately. Dan ditches his friends at a high school swim party, jumps in his truck and races to his love. Dan falls asleep on route and is confronted by Freddy. The two engage in a high speed race down a busy highway, while Krueger drives like a bat out of hell. Freddy violently shifts gears and Dan is thrown through the windshield.

Frantic to get to Alice, Dan absconds with a motorcycle parked out front of the school gym. But the teen is still asleep and now at the mercy of Freddy’s demonic cycle. The bike begins to merge with Dan and the two become a weird cyborg/motorcycle concoction. Sadly, the nightmare and reality ends when Dan crashes just yards shy of reaching Alice. Like so many other horror film sequences, this one was mercilessly chopped by the ratings board.

4. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Tina)

“Tina, watch this” – Filmmaker Wes Craven’s original Nightmare remains the seminal work that spewed into a cavalcade of money-making sequels, merchandise and a brief series on television. And while the first Elm Street venture is much darker than many of the other films in the series, its first death scene did not lack creativity. Tina (Amanda Wyss) is having bad dreams. After a particularly scary nightmare, Tina, not wanting to be alone while her mother is out of town, invites her best friend Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and her beau Glen (Johnny Depp) to spend the night.

Tina’s boyfriend Rod (Nick Corri, aka Jsu Garcia) shows up unannounced and takes her mind off those pesky dreams with a sexual romp. However, the hours following take a dark and ominous turn when the lovers fall asleep. Freddy returns to Tina’s nightmare but this time he does away with her. The sequence is one of pure fantasy and horrific brutality. Tina’s stomach is sliced opened. Blood spews and the teen screams for Rod’s help, as she is helplessly dragged up the walls and across the ceiling of her mother’s bedroom.

Rod is forced to watch, as his girlfriend is gutted like a fish and tossed around the room. Sadly, what is transpiring in Tina’s nightmare is happening in reality, too. Tina is slain and Rod is arrested, leaving it to Nancy to figure out how to stop Freddy before there’s no one left to sleep.

3. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (Joey)

“How’s this for a wet dream?” – After defeating Freddy in Dream Warriors, the three remaining Elm Street children quickly succumb to Krueger’s revenge. After Kincaid (Ken Sagoes) puts up a valiant, but ultimately useless effort, Freddy moves onto Joey (Rodney Eastman). Joey’s weakness has always been women and while he watches MTV from his waterbed, Joey doses off.

He seems to wake up, as his bed begins to violently thrash about. Joey pulls back his comforter to see the sexy and quite naked Hope Marie CarltonEnamored, Joey watches as Hope swims away into the unseen depths of the waterbed. Suddenly, Freddy comes exploding through the clear mattress.

He grabs Joey and cackles. The pair wrestle, but the best Joey can do is scream for fellow dream warrior Kristen (Tuesday Knight). Freddy slices and dices, as Joey vanishes and the water in his bed turns blood red. It’s one of the most creative deaths in the series and it comes with a great zinger.

2. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (Jennifer)

“Welcome to prime time, bitch!” – Mental patient Jennifer (Penelope Sudrow) cons the orderly Max (Laurence Fishburne) into letting her watch a little T.V. after hours. Jennifer dreams of going to Hollywood and becoming an actress, but this time her nightmare man awaits.

The television screen is static, so Jennifer changes the channels. Without any success, she hits the T.V. A pair of mechanized Freddy arms bursts free from the side of the hanging television set and snatches up the frightened girl.

Krueger’s head then emerges from the top of T.V. He smiles and barks at her, “This is it, Jennifer – your big break in T.V.” After Jennifer screams some more, Mr. K utters that now most famous line, “Welcome to prime time, bitch,” as he slams her head into the television screen. Max returns to find Jennifer’s corpse hanging head-first from the T.V.

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (Phillip)

“He was wide awake, all the way down” – Phillip (Bradley Gregg) is just another of the tortured teens incarcerated in Nightmare 3. Sadly, audiences do not have the chance to discover Phillip’s dream power, because he is immediately snuffed out by the guy in the dirty red and green sweater.

Phillip does exhibit an artistic talent for carving puppets, not to mention a proclivity for sleepwalking. Freddy exploits both. In Phillip’s nightmare, Freddy comes to life in the vessel of one of his unfinished puppets. Phillip watches in horror, as Kruger grows to his natural life-size form. Freddy then slashes open Phillip’s arms and legs, pulls out his bloody veins and transforms the boy into one grotesquely deformed puppet.

Krueger directs Phillip, as a puppet master would guide his marionette, and sends the teen hurling off the top of the mental hospital. The other kids watch as their friend plummets to his death, and the method suggests not murder but suicide.


Which deaths were your favorites? Were there any that didn’t make our list you’d like to have seen included? Sound off on social media!

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Fearsome Fates: Top 10 Deaths from the Friday the 13th Franchise



Filmmaker Sean S. Cunningham took John Carpenter’s Halloween, ripped it off and helped further a bloody new sub-genre of horror movies: the slasher film. There are so many memorable flicks in the Friday the 13th film series, which are loaded with splatter and suspense. Pound for pound, there are more beautiful women and devilishly creative fatalities than most other Silver Screen series – a bloody legacy. With 12 installments, boasting a body count of nearly 200 victims, there are so many unforgettable moments.

And with that in mind here is Dread Central’s Fearsome Fates: Top 10 Deaths From the Friday the 13th Franchise.

10. Friday the 13th Part III (Vera)

There are sexy casts and then there are the alluring women of Friday the 13th: Part III (1982). They have to be one of the best-looking groups of actresses ever assembled during what was the height of the slasher films. Poor Vera (Catherine Parks) has the dubious honor of being Jason’s (Richard Brooker) first victim when he first dons the now trademark hockey mask.

After stealing the new facial guise from camp pariah Shelly (Larry Zerner), Jason uses a harpoon gun to fire a spear into lovely Vera’s eye. This is one the most memorable deaths, of the franchise, and the cherry on top is the fact that it’s in 3-D. Yes, it’s bad 3-D, by today’s standards, but die-hard audiences love it.

9. Friday the 13th Part 2 (Mark)

Will Jason attack a man in a wheelchair? Unfortunately, Friday fanatics know the answer to be yes. All these years later, fans continue to feel horrible for the handicapped Mark, portrayed by the late actor Tom McBride. Mark is waiting patiently for Vickie (Lauren-Marie Taylor) to return to him, because after all their flirting they are finally ready to have sex together.

Jason (Warrington Gillette) surprises the crippled boy, while he waits outside, and smacks Mark with a machete to the face. Mark rolls backwards in his wheelchair down a steep staircase. It’s a brutal kill, and it is too bad Mark didn’t get the chance to get laid in the first Friday sequel.

8. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (Deborah)

This is by far and away the worst Friday the 13th film ever made, and that’s saying something since Jason Voorhees spends other chapters of the saga killing people in New York City and outer space. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) is just a gross slap in the face to the fans, as the filmmakers Adam Marcus, Dean Lorey, and Jay Huguely decided to show Jason (Kane Hodder) killing his victims via possession. Wait, what?

Now, despite being the worst of the series, there is one spectacular kill. Luke (Michael B. Silver) is having sex with Deborah (Michelle Clunie) in the woods. Jason sneaks up to their tent, even stepping on the condom the pair should have been using, as he approaches.

After Deborah climbs on stop of Luke, Jason impales Deborah with an old sign post through the tent in which the couple occupies. In one violent motion, Jason rips the post upward and splits her beautiful body in half. This is a waste of an attractive woman, but still one of the most satisfying kills ever.

7. Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (Hawes)

This is such an important entry in the series, because Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) is the film that made Jason (C.J. Graham) supernatural, and the first kill really sets the beautifully violent tone. After inadvertently bringing Jason back to life, Tommy Jarvis (Thom Mathews) watches in horror as his friend Hawes (Ron Palillo) is brutally murdered. In an awesome display of brute strength, Jason punches a hole in Hawes’ chest.

His arm extends through Hawes’ back and the youngster’s heart is clutched in Jason’s demonic grasp. Side note, it may also be satisfying to those who recognized Palillo from his annoying character Horshack on the television show Welcome Back, Kotter. It seems that Jason felt the same way about that show as many others did when he ripped Horshack’s, I mean Hawes’ heart out of his chest.

6. Jason X (Adrienne)

After the disaster that was Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)—and the fact that there were eight years between these films—it was a stunner that somewhere a room full of executives actually green lit the idea of sending Jason (Kane Hodder) into space. Unfortunately, the film had a rather short theatrical run.

As bad as it turned out to be, there is a very memorable kill. While Adrienne (Kristi Angus) examines Jason, our masked menace slowly comes back to life. As she inspects the killer’s tissue under her microscope, Jason sneaks up behind her.

Jason drags Adrienne across the room, forces her head into a sink of icy coolant (freezing her face) and then slams her head into the counter, causing Adrienne’s head to explode on impact. It’s the high point of the film, unfortunately.

5. Friday the 13th Part III (Rick)

This might be the best/worst example of what happens to a lovelorn character in a horror film. Rick (Paul Kratka) desperately tries to reconnect with his old flame, Chris (Dana Kimmell), during their time at Camp Crystal Lake. Unfortunately, Jason (Richard Brooker) gets his hands on Rick before Chris has a chance to see what a great guy she has.

While checking the exterior of their cabin, Jason grabs Rick and gags him with his hand, blocking Chris from hearing Rick’s screams for help. When she returns to the interior of the cabin, Jason hoists Rick into the air, squeezes his head, and pops it like a zit.

The result is Rick’s eye squirting out of his skull, in all its 3-D glory. It was the cheesy 3-D effects of the early 1980s, and you can see the eyeball traveling down the wire toward the camera, but it’s still one of the best “Oh my God!” moments in the series. 

4. Freddy vs. Jason (Trey)

Jason (Ken Kirzinger) doesn’t waste any time, as he quickly dispatches Gibb’s (Katharine Isabelle) obnoxious boyfriend, Trey (Jesse Hutch), during the opening moments of the film. After an off-screen sex romp with Gibb, Trey lies in bed with a beer when Jason strikes.

Voorhees repeatedly plunges his machete into Trey’s back and then folds the youth up in the bed like a taco shell. It’s an awesome display of Jason’s power and director Ronny Yu’s obsession with loads of blood and gore. Audiences that had any qualms about whether or not Freddy vs. Jason (2003) would live up to their own respective franchises should have been alleviated right then.

This is one of the most memorable deaths in either series, and the film is one of the best Freddy and Friday films made – a great monster movie melee.

3. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (Judy)

The only actor to play the character of Jason Voorhees more than once is fan favorite, Kane Hodder. This was his first appearance as the man behind the hockey mask, and his favorite kill as the character is in this film. While waiting for her boyfriend to return to their tent, Judy (Deborah Kessler) gets comfortable in her sleeping bag. Jason cuts his way into the tent and scoops up Judy in the sleeping bag.

Jason drags her, kicking and screaming, to a tree. Jason then hoists the sleeping bag into the air and slams Judy’s head into the tall timber in one hellacious motion, which cracks her skull. It’s so simplistic and yet diabolically creative.

2. Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (Sheriff Garris)

Sheriff Garris (David Kagen) is hiding at the campgrounds after an unsuccessful first encounter with Jason Voorhees (C.J. Graham). But, when the sheriff hears his daughter Megan (Jennifer Cooke) screaming for help, he rushes to confront Jason in order to protect his girl.

Garris attacks Jason and begins beating him with a tree branch, forces him to the ground, and climbs on top of him, as he repeatedly smashes a rock into Jason’s skull. But, Voorhees gets the upper hand and forces Garris backwards in the wrong direction – folding the sheriff up like a lawn chair. The sound of Garris’ back breaking is what makes this death so effective, and it is one of the most chilling and creative deaths in the Friday films.

1. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (Jason)

This is truly a case of saving the best for last, and it’s the only kill on our list that wasn’t carried out by the man behind the hockey mask. In what was supposed to be the final Friday the 13th movie, Jason (Ted White) squares off against siblings Trish (Kimberly Beck) and Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman) at the film’s climax. Jason is fixing to murder Trish when Tommy takes him by surprise by revealing himself on the staircase with a bald head.

Jason is confused, as he stares at the young boy who has shaved his own head to look like a young Jason Voorhees. Trish grabs the machete and swipes at Jason’s head, which only knocks off his hockey mask. Trish drops the machete and screams, as Jason closes in for the kill, but Tommy picks up the weapon and slams it into Jason’s head. With the machete caught in his left eye socket, Jason drops to his knees and then headfirst toward the floor.

The flooring shoves the machete upward, as Jason’s head slides down the weapon. And, here’s your cliché of the day: Jason got an eyeful. This is by far and away the very best kill in the franchise. Plus, this film is one of the best of the series. You can’t go wrong with the Final Chapter; it is classic horror cinema.


Which deaths were your favorites? Were there some that didn’t make the list you can’t believe the author omitted? Kevin Bacon and Mrs. Voorhees? Sound off on social media!

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Horror History: More Doctor Who Sightings in Horror Movies



Sighting “Doctor Who” actors appearing in horror movie roles has opened floodgates of discussion on social media! Yes, the films I mentioned in my last Dread Central article are not the only horror movie appearances of Doctor Who.

In my last article we saw Patrick Troughton as the priest in 1976’s The Omen, as Inspector Kanof in The Gorgon (1964), and in 1970’s Scars of Dracula. We reviewed Jon Pertwee in The House that Dripped Blood (1971). We recognized Tom Baker in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973).

As working actors, these three pop up in movies and TV shows throughout the decades, and there are many more Doctor Who sightings, like the uncredited Patrick Troughton police inspector role in Season One of “The Saint.” While we once again time travel in this article, I’m going to continue to concentrate on the first four actors who played the good Doctor.

Since I left the first Doctor out of my previous article, we’ll start with William Hartnell. His comedic performance in the thriller Midnight at the Wax Museum (1936), 30 years before setting the standard for Doctor Who, proves this actor was well known and well seasoned when picked for the then-new BBC kid’s program.

Midnight at the Wax Museum, also called Midnight at Madame Tussaud’s, is about an explorer spending the night in Madame Tussauds Chamber of Horrors. The film was actually shot in Madame Tussauds; I remember it to be spooky, but when I saw it, I was very young.

Good luck finding this film to watch now. Even harder to find is Hartnell’s I’m an Explosive (1933), in which he starred (I assume) as the son of an inventor who accidentally drinks an explosive liquid. Sounds like horror to me.

Vault of Horror (1973) is much easier to get hold of and features the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker. An anthology film based on EC comic book tales written by Al Feldstein and Bill Gaines, Vault of Horror delivers like any of the Amicus horror movies: similar to Hammer in that you know you will be entertained.

Vault of Horror is a follow-up to Amicus’ Tales From the Crypt (1972), also based on EC comic stories. Both are directed by Roy Ward Baker and contrive ways to string together separate tales.

In the fifth segment of Vault of Horror, Tom Baker portrays a poor artist who finds a way to exact revenge on those who wronged him. Baker plays this character with a low-key subtlety, giving depth and sympathy to a character that could have come across whiny, cruel, or witless.

We’d be here all day if we counted Peter Cushing as a Doctor, due to his horror work with Hammer Film Productions and more.

Cushing portrayed the Doctor in two mid-’60s movies, Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., films generally regarded as outside the mythos, although explaining their existence is a fun fanboy exercise. Feel free to post your explanation below!

Cushing’s Who was less crotchety than Hartnell’s portrayal of the character, and Hartnell’s was the only Doctor at the time. You could say Peter Cushing was the first actor to take Doctor Who in a different direction.

It has been fun time traveling with you! Your comments below are encouraged and appreciated.

Gary Scott Beatty’s graphic novel Wounds is available on Amazon and Comixology. Is madness a way to survive the zombie apocalypse? The strangest zombie story ever written, Wounds throws us into a world where nothing is beyond doubt, except a father’s concern for his wife and daughter. If you enjoy that “What th-?” factor in graphic novels, you’ll enjoy Wounds. For more from Gary Scott Beatty, visit him on Twitter and Facebook.

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