Let the Halloween episodes roll in! What better show to kick off the spooky holiday season than Scream Queens and its take on the modern "All Hallows Eve" sensibilities. The episode, this week titled "Haunted House", kicked itself off with the not so fantastical event of Chanel-o-Ween; clearly a take on the YouTube generation and their never ending desire to subscribe and thrive through view counts.
The Leprechaun series is one of the more interesting horror franchises in existence. The intriguing aspect is not from a catalogue of exceptional films, quite in fact more than half are subpar and a chore to sit through, however their level of note comes from how many were made before the right formula began to work. It wasn't until the fifth straight to video entry, Leprechaun in the Hood, that bringing a semi-slasher leprechaun character into the real world actually worked.
If the first two episodes of Scream Queens during the premiere didn’t clearly define the tone of the series for viewers, then this weeks “Chainsaw” episode will leave no doubts. The holy trio of Chanel’s running Kappa House are still reeling from the death of Chanel #2 (Ariana Grande); reeling meaning either they don’t care or worried that their bloody hands will be revealed. Of course, most of the girls aren’t suspicious other than Grace (Skylar Samuels) and Zayday (Keke Palmer) who find the second Chanel’s Instagram postings to be a little sketchy.
The melding of horror and comedy is always a tricky situation. Typically it falls farther onto one side of the coin where the horror takes over in all its bloody glory, or the horrific elements go too far and become slapstick comedy. However, there are the stand outs that work such as Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead II. Ryan Murphy, creator of Glee and American Horror Story, has worked in both realms of the comedy and horror genres.
Easily the most notorious film in the franchise, Leprechaun in the Hood is a later entry in the series that jumps the shark so far that they're not even on the same radar. Leprechaun 4: In Space followed the same grasping for straws style of Jason X and Hellraiser: Bloodline by jettisoning the green tinted killer into space and delivering nothing but quirky smirks to the audience. Apparently the only logical step after space was conquered was for the Lep to head back down to earth and right into the hood.
The first in the series to release straight to video, Leprechaun 4: In Space takes a brand new direction from the previous three films. In case the title doesn't completely give it away, the Leprechaun is back, however this time he's ready to take on the final frontier of space. Still present are the "classic" plot points that the leprechaun slasher is known for overall. The need to maintain his gold supply, finding a wife, and killing anyone in his way with a pun to start. The successful aspect to the space romp is that the film does not ever take itself seriously.
The alarming aspect to the mid 90's is that this was the time period when the horror franchises of years past had finally reached their boiling points. Freddy had already been put to bed by his creator with New Nightmare, Michael had reached his final origin story with The Curse of Michael Myers, and Jason was in hell. The slasher icons and franchises that had dominated the 80's and early 90's were in either in dire need of a reboot or the final nail in the coffin.
There are franchises where more than two films existing within it seems incomprehensible. While horror characters can be taken into new and "interesting" territories in order to keep a franchise fresh, it does not necessarily make them successful entries. The original Leprechaun film was a crazy and arguably ingenious marketing tool to get audiences to view it out of the sheer curiosity of how a leprechaun could act as a killer. This curiosity gained enough support to allow a sequel; not just one either.
Over at BGH headquarters we have found ourselves in the midst of Pinhead's pain and blood filled world. Pain seems to be the operative word for this retrospective. The BGH New Class tackled Hellraiser IV: Bloodline which was so crazy that writer Ben wanred us of the insanity we were about to step into while live tweeting. Picture a film set in space but also nodding to a life wearing powdered wigs. Add a plot to that idea and the movie essentially takes form; oh, and don't forget to take any logic out. We did manage to survive this week due to the love and support of BGH followers.
While some horror icons like Michaely Myers, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and even Pinhead are famous for their bone chilling personas and long running franchises, there are the B-side characters to not forget. Some are not in the same league as the Jason's of the world simply because they came at a time when slasher films weren't very welcome. Some only had a few entries in their series which didn't give enough time for audiences to be captivated and intrigued to see more. There is one, however, that has several films and even a reboot under its belt.