SLASHER.COM *** USA 2017 Dir: Chip Gubera. 89 mins
Over a decade ago, director Chip Gubera made the good-natured SONG OF THE DEAD on a shoestring, and his latest, SLASHER.COM offers another enjoyable riff on genre conventions. While a serial killer claims his latest victim from the online dating world, meek, awkward Ben Kaplan and confident Morgan Carter take a weekend cabin in the woods break after a successful first date. Sadly, they picked an area overseen by the warped Myers clan – mumsy but horny / deranged Jewel Shepard and pervy brute R.A. Mihailoff are in the habit of abducting visitors to join their warped “family”..
Like last year’s MODEL HUNGER, this has an interesting, playfully demented role for an older actress fondly remembered for earlier genre work: Jewel Shepard, a key player in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, makes for a notable mad matriarch while erstwhile Leatherface Mihailoff (who looks like a Saturday afternoon TV wrestler from the 80’s) is well cast as the corpse-groping, incestuous “Dad”. It ultimately amounts to yet another variant on the TEXAS CHAINSAW trope of a freaky, in-bred backwoods family, but it’s performed with spirit (Carter is a sexy, spunky heroine) and the final fifteen minutes throws out guessable but fun tongue-in-cheek twists, including a game of one-upmanship between rival killers and a suitably fucked up ending. Gubera doesn’t flinch from unpleasant gory details and also adopts an honest, grubby 70’s exploitation aesthetic that ensures a buxom character’s breast falls out of her top just as she falls on to a well-placed blade.
Review by Steven West