Slasher movies

Happy Halloween everyone! Or whenever you read this post. This is supposed to be about slasher movies. Although I’m not a horror fan at all (it simply doesn’t entertain me, exceptions like Dance of the Devil may exist), slasher movies have their own appeal. They have their own laws, they work according to certain mechanisms and sometimes have very little in common with horror. I have seen quite a few of the classic slasher icons Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger or Leatherface. Almost always, however, I’ve only seen the very first film for the film education and then the newer films or reboots. From Halloween, Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street, the sequels have never really appealed to me.

This post is a collection of my miniatures of the slasher genre. The post is updated and grows when I paint something new. So it’s worth to look in again and again 🙂

Halloween

It all started with Halloween. H20 was, I think, the first or one of the first slasher films whose release I consciously noticed and wanted to see. I didn’t see it until much later, but Michael Myers was always present as a character. I definitely wanted to have a miniature of him. For me, Michael is not only the incarnation of a slasher, he’s also almost always entertaining when he shows up (that sounds weird, right?). Just a pure evil slasher with a little dash of coolness. And let’s not forget that we probably wouldn’t have seen Jamie Lee Curtis in her later films if John Carpenter hadn’t cast her in the first one in 1978 – what a big loss that would have been!

Here’s the trailer for the first film. I find the film hard to bear today, because it is so super slow inszieniert and our viewing habits so no longer corresponds. Of course, all old slasher films have aged poorly, but here I’m particularly struck by how slow and lacking in suspense it is from today’s perspective.

I very much enjoyed Rob Zombie’s two reboot films, which tell their own and closed version. That worked perfectly for me. Slasher films don’t always have to continue in endless series. I also found Halloween 2018 quite good, though I’m not a fan of this modern-day undoing of ignoring everything possible and instead connecting at the very beginning. In this case it worked denooch, unfortunately I then found Halloween Kills just awful. I have no desire to see the third part of this new triology (it was clear that it has to be a triology, right?). But I thought the first teaser for Halloween Kills was ingenious:

In times when trailers already give away the whole movie and teasers are often not much help, this teaser is a blessing. It is short and has it all. It immediately follows the end of the predecessor “Halloween 2018”, builds up a little atmosphere and then shows us Laurie and the other survivors as they move away from the burning house. The fire department drives past them with blue lights and sirens and Laurie screams “Let him burn!” in despair. You don’t have to be a connoisseur of the legalities of slasher movies to know what Laurie knows: putting out the house will save Michael, and it was all in vain. The horror continues. The teaser makes clear with a few seconds and the simplest means what is going on and leads to the sequel. Unfortunately, the film was a disappointment.

My Michael Myers miniature is from Studio Miniatures. A great design, clean casting, almost no cleaning needed. I used the leaf stamp from PK-Pro for the base. The leaves give the miniature the right fall feel and are an easy way to give Michael Myers a themed base. I’m totally happy with his overall look. Trick or treat!?

Friday the 13th

As mentioned, I’ve seen all the remakes/reboots of the popular slasher films. However, the one I remember the least was the remake of Friday the 13th. Was it any good at all? I don’t. I do remember Freddy vs. Jason pretty well, though – we had a lot of fun there, but maybe it was just the beer.

Studio Miniatures
You‘re going to Camp Blood, ain‘t ya?

When I discovered Studio Miniatures’ horror range, I had to buy at least the iconic Slashers (of course). The plan is to build a small scenic base for each of them to match the environments in their movies. Jason is associated with Camp Crystal Lake or the lake, so I wanted him to be on the shore of a body of water with some reeds. The reeds came from Ziterdes. I’m very happy with the result, even though now his machete is a bit hidden.

One anecdote about Friday the 13th should be mentioned: I never realized that the very first Friday the 13th movie in 1980 cost only $550,000 but grossed $59.8 million. No big surprise they made sequel after sequel to milk the cow.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

You can’t talk about slasher movies without thinking of Freddy. He is the particularly perfidious master of slashing. Freddy came with an extra right hand with a hatchet, but of course I didn’t hesitate for a second to take the claw hand 🙂

A Nightmare on Elm Street
“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you!”

Oh, and as for the movies… I haven’t seen any of the original Elm Street movies. There are compilations on youtube with the goriest kills I’ve watched and I think you get a wonderful impression. I did see the 2010 remake with Jackie Earle Hailey, which I didn’t think was bad at all, but I can imagine why fans of the original films didn’t like it. From what I understand, the films have fluctuated in quality and some consider the second (or third?) to be the best. Originally I wanted to see them all (for the sake of completeness), but I didn’t have the time and it wasn’t important enough. I think I’m just too much of a dreamer myself to like the idea of Freddy….

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Let’s continue with Leatherface. I bought the remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre from 2003 unseen on DVD right after it came out and actually liked it, I think it’s great and tightly staged. I knew the original only from hearsay, in Germany there was no official way to see it. I made up for it a good 10 years later and unfortunately found it unviewable. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I think I found it just insanely tiring and overdone and in any case badly aged. An older generation probably sees it differently, and so for the first time I found a remake to be a sensible, contemporary reimagining. For me, Leatherface is undoubtedly one of the great representatives of slasher films.

“Who will survive and what will be left of them?”

Sure, Leatherface had to be in the collection. The figure is from Studio Miniatures and comes in a set with Leatherface from the second original movie with suit and chainsaw. I haven’t seen the second movie and plan to rebuild the second figure at some point, it won’t be painted for now.

I wanted Leatherface to look dirty, which I think he did quite well. A worthy appearance in my Horror Icons series.

Chucky

Chucky is one of those movie characters that I knew long before I saw the movie. I was still a child, so others have already told me about it, who have somehow already seen this film. Since horror films, as I said, have never particularly appealed to me, I have also caught up with the first part quite late in the sense of a cinematic education, but then I gave me all the other parts. The idea I find quite funny and he is quite humorously made, but he has not really entertained me. Are they slasher films at all? The fact that it has persisted with sequels and has remained largely in the hands of inventor Don Mancini, I still find remarkable. So here is my little (again!) tribute to Chucky.

Die Mörderpuppe
“I always come back!”

The miniature is from L72’s Metal Miniature Musings and was picked up by me when I absolutely had to order E.T. back then. It is made of resin and captures Chucky excellently – I think he is immediately recognizable. The modeling turns out a bit knobby, but given the size and subject matter (doll, not a real person) that doesn’t weigh heavily. I wanted a reasonably thematically appropriate base and went for a plain black and white tiled kitchen floor. I’m absolutely happy with the little killer and just hope that it doesn’t start a life of its own now.

The Silence of the Lambs

Okay, okay, Hannibal Lecter is not a representative of slasher films, of course. I’ll still list him here as an iconic figure of the horror film. Sure, one can argue whether this isn’t more of a thriller. But the figure itself is for me a straight horror character, which is in no way inferior to the above representatives.

Das Schweigen der Lämmer
“All good things to those who wait. I’ve waited, Clarice.”

Hannibal Lecter was also an iconic figure that was known long before I was able to see “The Silence of the Lambs” myself. At the same time, it’s one of those films that, for me, was subsequently devalued by reading the book. It’s often the case that you read a book first, then see the movie, and the movie usually doesn’t measure up to the book. If I see a movie first and then read the book, I usually reconcile the cinematic images with what I read while reading and it still mixes quite well, so it doesn’t hurt either of them.

After seeing “The Silence of the Lambs,” I was so intrigued by Dr. Hannibal Lecter that I read all the novels in Thomas Harris’ series. While I always had Anthony Hopkins in mind, I developed my own idea of Clarice Starling and became very detached from the film. I devoured all the books, watched the movies only for the sake of completeness, and didn’t like any of them much. As for the books, “Hannibal” was the highlight for me.

Of course, it’s no surprise that of everything that makes the film work, Anthony Hopkins’ performance is the only thing that passes the test against the original for me. I just can’t imagine him any other way. Even the portrayal of Mads Mikkelsen in the series “Hannibal” was an interesting, alternative approach for me, but nothing that could really captivate me. Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter remains the non-plus-ultra for me. I’ve pondered for some time whether he belongs in my “Horror Icons” series.

While the films are certainly not horror films, and there are aspects of Hannibal Lecter that are more fascinating than the sheer cruelty and cannibalism, the character is still one for me with iconic status of malevolence that serves as a stereotype of the “civilized” abysmal. When one thinks of Hannibal Lecter, one thinks of a mass murderer who, while intellectual and cultured, is nevertheless callous and boundary-pushing. For me, he has his clear place in a Hall of Fame of horror, even if he doesn’t actually belong to that genre.

The miniature is from Studio Miniatures and depicts him in the legendary interrogation scene with straitjacket and face mask. The inability to move due to the fixation on the cart is part of the atmosphere for me. Not only are the arms tied, the man is prevented from even the slightest movement, that’s how dangerous he is. That’s why I wanted to give my miniature the cart. It was quite a challenge to build this myself in the appropriate scale. The frame is made of aluminum wire that I carefully bent, some parts are made of plastic cardboard, the wheels are tiny parts that I cut from a special dowel and the straps are Green Stuff. The figure itself is unchanged except that I bent the legs together a little.

I am quite satisfied with the result. It captures the danger of the moment for me and presents Hannibal Lecter as he should be presented appropriately – otherwise perhaps in a suit with a glass of wine in his hand. I’m not satisfied with the painting, but it doesn’t look as messy in real life as it does in the photo.

Posted in Horror.

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