Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) is an okayish disappointment.

If psychotronic cinema, or, when you get down to it, any cinema, is about experience then The Texas Chain Saw Massacre must be one of the greatest movies of all time. It is an unrelenting, exhausting, almost total-body experience; be it during its moments to shocking terror, its nightmarish social observations, its frequently disjointed surrealist turns, or its nihilistic horror spectacular. Even its soundtrack, which for the final third of the movie is dominated by the constant screams of its Final Girl being dredged through a stygian hellscape, is an emotive and evocative tour de force.

Obviously, it’s not to everyone’s tastes and the bulk of its greatness comes from pushing the boundaries of genre conventions, seeking to indulge the worst excesses of exploitation cinema, budget and talent constraints, and just plain dumb luck. But it is a singular, majestic vision that few have come close to matching. Especially its sequels, which for the most part cranked up the gore they thought was in the original and pissed away the cultural commentary that they clearly thought was an irrelevancy. So, when I heard (in the same week it was being released) that Texas Chainsaw Massacre* was coming out I was filled with indifference towards it.

Then I spotted it on Netflix, draped across the front page as its big welcoming offering, and it was Friday night and it would be rude not to.
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Killer Pinata (2015)


There is a grand tradition in the horror genre of random and ridiculous things getting possessed; Cars , Sofas , even lamps have been so afflicted, to varying levels of success. So let’s skip giggling at the pretext (even though it is joyfully stupid) and instead giggle at how funny this micro-budget comedy-horror is. Also, at how wonderfully messed up some of the ideas in this film are, as this is an effortlessly inventive bit of nonsense.
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Route 666 (2001) is worth a detour to see


If you’ve skipped over this before then I won’t hold that against you. The title belongs on a batch-produced teen’s horror novel that, the trailer looks like the footage was taken off of a VHS via a camcorder, and the cast is filled with “ooh, I remember when they were in good films!”. But I’m here to tell you that whilst there are a couple of problems with it, what we have here is a genuine, bona fide, hidden gem of a movie. Why didn’t it get bigger? Well, because it’s got that kind of quirkiness that makes it hard to sell to a mainstream audience and fun to watch for a psychotronic one.
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Nightmare Beach (1984)


I saw this one doing the rounds on the “so bad, they’re good” social media conversations recently, but to risk a fight with the people yelling “cult classic!” one too many times I can safely put this slasher on the “so bad it’s actually just a disappointing viewing experience” pile instead. And I use disappointing with great care because had the filmmakers put any care into it there was the chance of a decent film.
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Candyman (2021) – Because the candy man can…


If there’s one thing horror cinema loves, it’s a reboot, remake, or sequel of a damn fine bit of cinema from a couple of decades ago. And if there’s one thing horror cinema is awful at, it’s making reboots, remakes, or sequels that are any good. They forget what made the original worth watching, add nothing to the narrative, or alienate fans of the original. Well, good news for all: whatever Candyman 2021 is, it’s a damn fine follow-up to Candyman 1992.
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The Suicide Squad (2021) Review: Or “James Gunn is one sick puppy, and I love him”

Is it a reboot? Is it a sequel? Is it an investigation into the mind of the anti-hero, asking the question “can bad people still do good things?”? Who cares: I saw a man get ripped in half by a giant man-shark, in full-frame with slow-mo, and laughed like a hyena while it happened.


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Micky (1992)


We all know that, just as in real life, children are evil little homunculi, hellbent on destruction (at least I sure as heck remember being one). However, the Mikey in this movie is one step above by being a stone-cold killer; murdering well above his age with a variety of weapons and facial twitches. All because he just needs to feel loved but can’t be because he’s an absolutely awful little shit.


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The Banana Splits Movie (2019)


Reboots, reimaginings, and remakes have become so much a part of the movie landscape that they are now effectively their own genre of filmmaking. And, like with any genre, after the initial innovation and interest people start working out the form and pine for someone to do something exciting and innovative with it. Well, good news on that front! The people behind The Banana Split movie certainly took that to heart and transformed a beloved 60s kids’ show into a gore-filled slasher flick! Stop complaining, you wanted different and you got it!
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Chopping Mall (1986)

I first heard of this film when I was 10, reading a preview in Sky Magazine. The basic premise had everything my young mind needed: the promise of robots, onscreen dismemberment and a snappy title. They were simpler times then, and Terminator was the apex of cool, so I thought watching it would have just been the greatest thing ever. Needless to say, I didn’t, because my parents weren’t mental and neither were those anyone I knew, so this sci-fi horror went into the “must watch, eventually” pile at the back of my mind. Snap forwards to a few weeks ago and, in one of its few moments of usefulness, Amazon Prime suggests I might want to watch it. “Yes”, says I, “Yes I do!”. But for all my anticipation and childlike excitement, the older and (possibly) wiser me was worried it would turn out to be trash. And I was right, but it was still a really good laugh.
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Funnyman (1994) – Gross out British horror

Whilst the British movie industry has added many a fine villain into the canon of horror genres, it’s never been especially good when it comes to the comedic anti-hero side of things. Whilst Hammer Horror developed one of the definitive Dracula’s, Clive Barker birthed the undying Pinhead into the world, and we have enough psychologically-broken bastards to fill Broadmoor Hospital three times over (Max Parry from The Last Horror Movie still gives me the shivers, check that out but keep the lights on!)… but as soon as we give them a pithy one-liner it all goes a bit wrong, normally resulting in something halfway between Kenny Everett and Ken Russell. Maybe it’s a hangover from the 80s when any half decent horror got hurried to the thriller section, or maybe it’s because we were just embarrassed at how very good the Americans are at it.

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