sla-sher [noun]

We’re gearing up for #SummerOfSlash 2017 and it’s time to set some guidelines. First, let’s preface this with “How To Survive a Horror Movie,” by Randy Meeks:

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Rule 1: You can never have sex.

Rule 2: You can never drink or do drugs.

Rule 3: Never, under any circumstances, say, “I’ll be right back.”

Those, of course, are from the iconic scene in Scream, delivered famously by Jamie Kennedy. I think that’s a good starting point. There are, naturally, exceptions to the rules. For instance, JLH survives I Know What You Did Last Summer after (presumably) banging FPJ oceanside. Tucker and Dale make it to the end of their ordeal after drinking a couple dozen beers. And… well, I can’t think of an example for Rule 3 off the top of my head, but I’m sure that rule’s been bended several times as well.

On this week’s episode we tried to come up with our own definition of a slasher. I contend that the actual killer needs to be some sort of unrelenting force of evil – be it human or otherwise (which is why I consider Final Destination and No Country For Old Men slasher movies, but I’ll get to that at a later date). We also realized that, for the most part, the killer usually starts out with revenge in mind, but gets a taste of that sweet, sweet killing, and proceeds to mow down anything and everything in his/her/its path (ie. Slaughterhouse, Friday the 13th, etc.).

Two other ingredients: cops and teenagers. In a slasher movie, the cops are there, but are far enough away that they can’t help, or they’re around, but also bumbling idiots that distract easily (Dewey from Scream). A little exception to that is in Sleepaway Camp. People are dying left and right, the cops are on the premises, but it’s like they turn a blind eye. WTF! The other ingredient – teenagers – are a must. (If not teens, then young adults could be a decent substitute, ie. The House On Sorority Row.) Teenagers are, well, dumb. We’ve all been there, folks. What are the boys focused on? The girls. What are the girls focused on? The boys (or bully girls). Not one of them is focused on the thing lurking in the bushes, wielding a sharp object, intent on destroying every last one of them. Teenagers. Are. Perfect. (For a slasher movie.)

If you loosely follow Mr. Meeks’s rules to survive a horror movie, mix in the three ingredients mentioned above, and turn off the lights, you have yourself a slasher film. Not necessarily a GOOD one, but a slasher film nonetheless.

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