FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 28, 2022

SHOCKtober Day 28

Wow, the end of SHOCKtober is nigh already! It really makes you think, doesn't it? The way time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin'...into the fyoo-chuhhh *space noises* 

In case you have not memorized the names of the twelve months (in English) and/or you do not have your calendar of, like, baby animals or hot firemen or whatever nearby, in practical terms the nighness of SHOCKtober's end means that it's almost time for November's Revenge. BLOODvember, if you will. The continuation of all things pumpkin spice. The crunch of fallen leaves, the chill in the air on a clear day! And the perfect time to watch today's favorite character in her natural setting (aka the movie she's in)...of course I'm talking about...


If you've never seen Maddy before, well, trust me when I say you've never seen a character like Maddy before, either. If you have seen Maddy before, well, you probably don't know exactly what to make of Maddy, but you know you love her. That is as it should be.

I love the horror movie moments that hint at the more mundane moments of a character’s life (bonus points if it’s moments of the killer’s life). Give me Valerie Johnson filling out paperwork to change her name to Rhonda Johnson and acquiring a small business license before embarking on her aerobics-n-murder career in Killer Workout. I love the image of Michael Myers having to stop for gas during his cross-country road trip to find Laurie Strode in Halloween H20.

That said, I am not one to bemoan a lack of mundane details when watching a horror movie. I spend no time at all wondering why Rose never said “I’m hungry!” and stopped for a snack whilst wandering around Silent Hill in search of her daughter. Did the women in The Descent need bathroom breaks during all that time they spent trapped in that cave? Did any of them have to find a dark corner for peein'? I don’t care, it’s none of my business! 

Usually the weird character gets a brief moment of, you know, weirdness before focus shifts to the killer and their would-be victims, but in Blood Rage we are treated to an entire subplot revolving around Maddy, who is never in mortal danger at any point. The movie revels in the banal details of her life at home while a fairly standard—if low-budget and quirky—slasher flick happens outside her door. Teenagers run around a Florida apartment complex and engage in typical horror teen behavior such as having sex, getting killed, and, uh, playing tennis, but Maddy is living in her own private Douglas Sirk by way of John Waters melodrama, engaging in housework as a means to combat her stress over the idea that her psychotic son is ruining her Thanksgiving holiday. 

She scrubs the oven to a shining gleam. She drinks copious amounts of wine. She vacuums. She drinks wine while vacuuming. She sits on the floor in front of her open refrigerator, scooping up leftover green beans and shoveling them into her mouth. When her calls to her fiance Brad’s office go unanswered, rather that walk over there (it's like two doors away) she spends a good 20 minutes trying to convince a phone operator to help her and delivers not one but two of the weirdest, greatest monologues that horror—nay, that cinema!—has ever seen.

Oh no no no, that’s impossible. You must have dialed the wrong number. No, he’s definitely there. Could you please just re-check that number for me? Because this is a real emergency. Why not? Look, look, look, you don’t seem to understand. This is a real emergency. This is a real emergency! I mean he’s definitely there. He is waiting for my call right now, he’s sitting there and waiting for my call. This is very important! Operator, I’m begging you, this is a real, real emergency!
It probably won’t surprise you if I say that Maddy constitutes the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table of my mind, like one of those expandable crepe-paper turkeys, thanks in particular to the delightfully unhinged performance of Louise Lasser.

I don’t know who made the final decision to let Louise Lasser loose in front of the camera and let her indulge in every strange whim she had, but that person will forever hold a special place in the big bowl of not-cranberry sauce of my heart. In fact, I love it so much that it’s got me rethinking my stance on mundane details. If they’re going to be this bizarre, give me all the mundane details! In the inevitable re-re-reboot of Halloween in ten five years, I sure hope to see Laurie Strode shoveling green beans in her mouth, unaware that Michael Myers is somewhere out there…filling up his gas tank.


Steve K said...

Last weekend I showed a bunch of horror newbies Night of the Demons (1988) in anticipation of Halloween. In a few weeks, I'm showing them Blood Rage for Thanksgiving.

What's a good Christmas movie in that vein for December? Obviously Black Christmas is WAY too classy.

Thank you for all the posts this month!

Stacie Ponder said...

Thank you for reading!

Hmm as far as that kind of Christmas vibe...Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2? It's pretty crazy and Eric Freeman's eyebrow acting alone is worth the price of admission!

Steve K said...

Not going to lie, my pinned Twitter post is a collection of actors whose eyebrows I adore, and front and center is the brother of the protagonist in Brain Damage. I love me some eyebrow acting. Thanks for the recco! --- I haven't seen SNDN2 yet!

Stacie Ponder said...

Oh you're definitely in for a treat!!

Princess J said...

Jack Frost. Not the Michael Keaton flick, it’s the one with the tagline “He’s chillin’ and killin’.”

I saw something called Krampus with Toni Collette that was interesting.

Silent Night Bloody Night with Mary Woronov.

Another good(?)Thanksgiving movie would be Blood Freak.