VOTING CLOSED – WINNER: THE HITCHER
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Film producers, a cunning and savvy lot, are never prone to ignore a bandwagon to jump on if there’s money to be made in it. This is, of course, the reason for the massive glut of slasher movies released between 1980 and 1984 (they were cheap and had enough of a steady fanbase that it was hard to lose money on them) but the impulse spread beyond the limits of the genre at its purest. Slasher-like storytelling and slasher tropes became depressingly prominent in all horror subgenres in those days – and in certain respects, they still are – and even found their way into some non-horror places. This week, I offer up three very different movies with entirely different audiences in mind, made at three different levels of prestige; the only thing that unites them is that all of them aren’t quite a slasher film, yet all of them clearly emerged from the same crucible that resulted in Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees cutting their way through the world.
Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)
From IMDb: “Suddenly Laura Mars can see through the eyes of a serial killer as he commits his crimes.”
The Hitcher (1986)
From IMDb: “A young man who escaped the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked, framed for the hitcher’s crimes, and has his life made into hell by the same man he escaped.”
Silent Rage (1982)
From IMDb: “Dan Stevens is the sheriff of a small Texas town who checks out a disturbance which turns to murder.”