Mr. Robot Creators Release 8-Minute 80s VHS Slasher!
We horror fans have been given a special gift from an unusual source – the creators of the hit USA Network show “Mr. Robot.” If you haven’t been watching the show (and you really should), you missed out on another great episode this past week. More importantly, during the episode, we see a flashback where the characters Elliot and Darlene are sitting at home, watching an old VHS horror movie they used to enjoy. It’s a fake horror movie called The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie, featuring a killer who wears the same old Monopoly man style mask made famous by the fsociety organization in the series.
Well, I have some good news because it turns out the movie isn’t quite so fake after all. The creators have released an 8-minute cut of the slasher that you can now watch online, and it features all the glorious things you’d expect from an 80s slasher on VHS. So, just how great is it? Allow me to break down everything they did right:
A VHS TAPE!
Yep, they actually made a faux VHS tape and cover for it. Tell me that’s not glorious! It has the weathered look as if it had been sitting on a video rental store shelf for the past 30 years and even has a “Be Kind, Please Rewind” sticker on the front, along with a scribbled out price tag. Combine that with cover art and a bloody red font, and you have all the makings of a legit 80s slasher VHS tape. Would love to see them release a limited number of these for hardcore fans of the show to purchase.
They really nailed this part… right down to playing the tape in SP mode, having it in a 4:3 aspect ratio, the bad tracking, grainy footage, and even an FBI warning. It feels so genuine. Then you see a some 3D motion graphics for E-Corp’s Home Entertainment division pop up on the screen, and it feels like you could swap it out with the Cannon Films logo and nobody would think twice about it. The intro immediately takes you back to the Eighties, putting you in the perfect mindset that you’re about to watch a wonderfully bad horror movie on VHS.
You can’t have an 80s slasher without despicable character whom you want to see die horrible deaths, and The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie delivers them to us right from the start with a pair of loathsome siblings. They kick things off by talking about their Uncle Conrad, who supposedly killed himself when their father was given control of the family business and then proceeded to fire him. They mock him while sitting in the backyard of their mansion, getting ready for more of their yuppie friends to arrive for their 1985 New Year’s Eve party. And wow, these two truly are the perfect stereotypes of 80s yuppies: The sister is stuck up and bored with the world, and the brother is constantly insulting people – calling one of his guests a slut and his sister a bitch. All this while having a knit sweater tied around his neck? Oh yeah, these two are definitely gonna be on the killer’s smorgasbord.
When the brother runs off to answer the phone inside the house, the sister is left alone to make a classic horror movie mistake – doing drugs! She spoons some cocaine into her nose from a sizable jar that only a rich 80s yuppie would have. I also have to mention that her brother brags about their supply on the phone later on by referring to it as “Pure Colombian booger sugar.” Classic.
After doing some coke, she then stares at the creepy fsociety mask that her brother left on the table, and we know the killer will be wearing it soon enough. Left alone with nothing to do but drugs? Oh yeah, you know she’s gonna die, but how? Allow me to answer…
A BLOODY BOOMBOX!
Few things scream of the Eighties quite like a boombox, and we see the sister get up after snorting her cocaine to put some tunes on. She pops in a cassette tape, and guess what’s playing on it? “Love Is a Lie” by Lion – the same exact song that Crispin Glover did his infamous spastic dance to in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter! How’s that for an awesome nod to 80s slashers?
No sooner does the song begin than she turns around and comes face to face with the killer, whom she immediately recognizes as her Uncle Conrad. He’s now wearing the mask and has a polo stick, with one of the ends of the mallet sharped to a point. He swings it at her, and we immediately get a shot of the boombox being splattered with her blood as the title comes up and the tune kicks into full volume. It’s absolute retro perfection.
Another thing you need in a classic slasher is a fun killer, and Uncle Conrad delivers the goods! First off, we see him watching the siblings from a distance, only hearing his breathing and knowing that he’s just biding his time before he decides to strike. Then, in another homage to classic horror flicks, when he puts the mask on, we see through its eye holes, just like we did with young Michael Myers in Halloween.
And how about that weapon? Every slasher icon needs a great weapon to dispatch his victims with – Freddy has his glove, Jason has his machete, and Conrad has his polo stick. I mean, come on! Can you think of a more appropriate way to dispatch some spoiled rich kids than with a sharpened polo stick? To say I already love everything about Uncle Conrad would be an understatement. We need more slasher icons like this in modern times!
It only appears in the film for a brief moment when he checks the time, but I just felt the need to point out that the brother is wearing a Swatch watch. Bonus authenticity points!
BYE BYE, BROTHER!
The sister character may have been a vapid yuppie, but the brother is the one you really want see get offed the entire time, and his death is not one they shy away from at all. After grabbing him by the neck and shoving him into his pot o’ coke, Uncle Conrad throws the brother to the ground and steps on his neck. The brother pleads with him in the way only an 80s movie rich kid could, “I can write you a check that’ll change your life! How ’bout it?”
Before he can try to bargain his way out of the situation, Uncle Conrad begins to bash his brains in with the polo stick. It’s obviously a dummy head, but they don’t cut away at all during this scene and it’s a total throwback for horror movie gorehounds.
LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!
Their guests do eventually arrive, wearing acid wash jean shorts ‘n all, but it’s too late for their hosts have been killed and put on display. I always love it when a killer in a slasher proudly displays some of his kills for his future victims to see, so seeing the slayed siblings wearing party hats and noisemakers while dripping with blood is a real treat.
Last but not least, it wouldn’t be an 80s slasher without a topless scene, and Missy (the one whose breasts the brother kept talking about until he was killed) thinks she hears something off in the distance. Naturally, she goes to explore it without her friends and soon is being chased by the killer… but not before he rips off her neon pink shirt. She runs towards the camera, and before we learn the fate of Missy and her friends, the tape tracking glitches out. Excellent!
This little movie within a TV episode was a wonderful surprise for horror fans, and if there’s any justice in the world, I’m hoping we’ll get more segments from this slasher as the “Mr. Robot” series continues. Maybe sometime we’ll have a complete movie! Until then, you can watch “The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie” in all of its current 8+ minute gory glory at whoismrrobot.com/massacre.
So what did you think of this throwback mini-slasher gem? Drop a comment, and let us know!