Suggested Audio Jukebox:
 Tricky Disco “House Fly”
 Shania Twain “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!”
 Pat Benatar “Love is a Battlefield”
 Talk Talk “Such a Shame”
 Fleetwood Mac “Little Lies”
 Def Leppard “Animal”
 Rockwell “Somebody’s Watching Me”
 Rick James “Super Freak”
 Hijack “Hold No Hostage”
 Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know”
 Elton John “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”
 Edwin Starr “War”
 Stevie Wonder “Superstition”
Do any of you have a good insect repellant you can lend me? I’ve been out here for hours now, traipsing around in the deepest woods, trying to make sense of my map and getting nowhere fast. Ordinarily I would be hesitant to go rambling in the forest at the dead of night as I know the kind of shit that goes down after dark in places such as this. However, there comes a time when a man must accept responsiblity for his foibles and look to correct them before all merry hell breaks loose. This is one such occasion. I had the very best of intentions when creating myself a final girl, the likes of whom slasher had been sorely lacking since the day dot. The very first thing I did was to toss away the rule book as I had no intention of following convention and wanted this particular heroine to be a little less squeaky clean than the usual alban haired cherry graspers.
Have you ever heard the term familiarity breeds contempt? Well that pretty much hits the nail on the head dead center with regards to stalk and slash movies. No wonder this subgenre’s success was so short-lived as it all grew mighty predictable mighty fast and we could ascertain the final girl from the very moment she said “I’m not putting that anywhere near my mouth Brad”. Chastity was the key, or that and sobriety anyhoots. Our final girl would be required not to drop those panties, toke on the bong when it’s passed, allow so much as a drop of alcohol to pass her lips, and would have packed her bathing suit prior to her camping expedition. The whole thing became woefully predictable and, as a direct result, slasher movies had pretty much died a death by the mid-eighties. If there were to be any hopes of a rousing comeback, then shit would need to change post-haste. That is where I came in.
To recap, my final girl was provided with half a dozen tools of the trade, none of which were particularly frequent back in the eighties. Uncommon sense meant she would not drop her weapon after flooring her assailant and neither would she attempt to tiptoe past his body, no matter how inactive he might seem. She would have her wits about her at absolutely all times and 20/20 vision in case this butcher decided to plan a sneak attack. That would also mean not backing herself into any corners and remaining in well-lit wide open areas at all times. I even packed a pair of Onitsuka Tigers in her rucksack in the event that she would be required to use those pretty getaway sticks as tripping on twigs is the most common cause of untimely death in final girls. Things were shaping up pretty well, even if I do say myself, but there were plenty of other words of wisdom I could impart before sending Candi Cockwarren backpacking.
The clue is in the title there as Candi was no mousy-haired momma’s girl and neither did she possess an intact hymen. Soundly shattered at thirteen by her Uncle Clive in the back of his 1980 Corolla after he had one too many Jäger bombs, she soon acquired a taste for the cock, and promptly slept with half the lacrosse team, earning herself a wretched reputation in the process. Outside of coitus, if you wished to see her sweat, then you would request a urine sample as Candi had sufficient impurities coursing through her ventricles to mix up a rather potent cocktail. Two alcopops were historically enough to make her game for pretty much anything and, being a keen swimmer, late-night skinny dipping proved a great way to express herself after drinking herself a skinful of judgement-impairing liquor. However, thanks to the Elocution Crash Course that I made her take beforehand, slurring her words needn’t be a side-effect. I’m not suggesting that Candi was a straight-A student as she had no respect whatsoever for authority and spent most of her weekday afternoons in detention. But she was more than just a pretty face and fluent in five languages. Should her antagonist be Russian, then don’t be surprised if she comes out with “Я думаю, что мы должны работать на тех нерешенных проблем детства” which translates to “I think we need to work on those unresolved childhood problems”. You can be a slut but that doesn’t mean you have to be a dumb slut.
Next up was The All-Important Rearguard as I had grown sick and tired of watching feeble co-eds failing to swing an axe with anything like conviction. Candi was a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, had a proud battle record of seven wins and no losses, and had no problem whatsoever with pulling back the ring pull on a fresh can of whoop when up against it. Given that I planned to provide her opponent a similar six-pack of training tokens, she would need to apply all of the above to stand any chance at all of making it through to sunrise. It seemed to be working a treat too as five of her friends perished as the party arrived at full swing and only the token black guy was granted a reprieve. My Crazed Killer deemed him deserving after he admitted that his first 7″ single was New Kids On The Block’s You Got It (The Right Stuff). Other than T.J. however, they all died somewhat horribly. That is, apart from Candi.
Before we pick up where we left off back at the old log cabin, allow me to reintroduce her opposite number, the unthinkably hideous Rodney Felchman. First things first, every psychopath needs a back story and that normally plays out one of two ways. Either he was bullied persistently as an infant and met his grisly end by way of a prank gone awry or camp counsellor negligence. Or he was inherently evil from first seed and that is all the explanation required. Rodney’s back story needed to be different, his motivation couldn’t be so hackneyed, as that would just make him one of the chumps. Thus, here is a little speed run through the growing pains of Rodney Felchman. By all accounts, he was your average eleven-year-old boy when tragedy struck. Well liked by his peers, he never had to deal with getting punked, came from a two-parent family who regularly lavished him with praise, and really didn’t fit the profile of kids who will one day grow up to be vicious nutbags.
Regrettably, he became a victim of wretched misfortune, as lightning struck without warning on his way home from band practise and damaged his spinal column irreversibly. Onlookers acted with both quick thinking and impeccable bedside manner, laying him in recovery position, performing CPR, and reassuring him until the paramedics arrived bang on time. They tried valiantly to retrieve his mobility but the damage was just too severe and Rodney was left as a paraplegic. His parents were available to tend to his every whim and paid for the very best rehabilitation available, despite being forced to take out a second mortgage. Visitation was frequent, nobody pitied him, but neither did they make light of his affliction, and he was given every opportunity to live a full and active life. So when he died suddenly in the summer of 1996 after contracting pneumonia, the whole town was devastated and erected a statue in the town square in his very honor.
Since his sorrowful passing, Dennis and Yvette Felchman have raised almost $40k for pre-adolescent spinal injuries and the school science lab has been renamed Rodney Zone as an enduring tribute to the sweet-natured boy. Gone but not forgotten then? Indeed, his legacy will always live on in the small town of Woodville. However, he wasn’t quite ready to step into the white light and, instead, decided to walk the earth as a phantom for the foreseeable, pondering where it all went wrong. There was no bitterness, no feeling of being mistreated, no call to exact his cruel revenge and every reason just to chalk this one down to experience. That was all going well too until he showed up on my gurney and I whispered a few sour nothings into his ear. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but it is I who is responsible for Rodney straying from the path of righteousness. I believe we call them white lies or porky pies if you’re Cockney.
I guess I didn’t think things through before informing him that his parents had tossed away all his table tennis trophies and cancelled his subscription to Mad Magazine. They’d done no such thing of course and his room was still a shrine to their beloved angel but there seemed no harm in bending the truth a little. I also revealed that his sweetheart Trudy had stopped dropping by his graveside to leave fresh lilies and none of his many friends so much as mentioned him in passing conversation any longer. He was understandably crushed and brimming with rage after having this bogus intelligence imparted on him and vowed to make every last one of them pay for disregarding him out of hand. I felt wretched for stirring shit up but slasher needs a new poster boy and I could really do with the merchandising royalties. Of course, I couldn’t unleash this beast without first supplying him with an identity and this part proved particularly challenging. We all knew the hockey mask and William Shatner mould only too well and I didn’t have sufficient human flesh close by to knock up something on the fly. So I used a dash of ingenuity instead.
It just so happens I am close friends with a gentleman by the name of Leslie Vernon. Leslie attempted to herald the new wave of slasher icons back in 2006 and, despite his very best attempts, it never quite took off. Currently he works in a call center and has become pretty much your everyday schmuck. He owed me a favor or two so I requested a loan on his mask and promised I’d have it back to him by Sunday lunchtime at the latest. It’s Saturday night (Friday was taken) and that leaves precious little window of opportunity for Rodney but he does look rather fetching in his borrowed head-gear and has taken to hacking and slashing like a pro. Naturally, he still needed to learn the basics, thus I schooled him on the dos and don’ts of getting ahead in the business. He now had no shortage of bubbling vitriol and knew precisely how to swing a machete, but there were other must-haves that could further aid in attaining dominance and I wasted no time in kitting him out, just as I had our Final Girl.
Feral Instinct was a must as a keen sense of smell could prove the difference between an impressive death tally and flatlining unspectacularly. Given that he was doomed to roam the forest perpetually, it seemed only right that he would be aware of how to think and hunt like a wild animal. However, while never more comfortable than when hanging in the elements, I couldn’t have him being a social outcast as it just seemed so passé. A healthy dose of Fun-Loving Attitude appeared vital and Felchman would never be happier than when dancing in the moonlight with a bottle of 8-ball in his grasp. Indeed, Priorities were of utmost importance here, as he would have far less inclination to slaughter anyone engaging in harmless tomfoolery. Should he be faced with sweet innocence and a pair of oiled-up vixens on a Twister mat, then he would opt for the former as his next intended victim and ogle the others as they writhe around on that plastic sheet, giggling playfully.
Next up was a Bag of Tricks and his was well stocked beforehand courtesy of a frying pan, Kool & The Gang vinyl 45, some bolt-cutters and the all-important machete. Sometimes you just have to appreciate the obvious and, what was more critical with the well-documented elongated blade, was how he chose to wield it. I reminded him of the validity in showing Mercy For The Underdog as this seemed too obvious a quarry to christen his instrument on. Instead, I focused on teaching Rodney The Ability To Destroy Something Beautiful and he duly showcased his strength in this key area. This was no small feat as the co-ed in question had ticked all the boxes thus far and was only too glad to relinquish her linen in the name of a healthy dose of good old-fashioned T&A. However, Rodney knew that there was a job to be done, and couldn’t be allowed to let such an exclusive chance go begging. Thus, he gutted the bitch, and sliced off her nipples as battle trophies. Made me damn proud is what he did and I’m not too much of a man to admit to shedding a solitary tear of immense pride as he twisted that blade in Missy’s lower abdomen.
Okay then, I believe that delivers us bang up-to-date. With the exception of T.J., all other lambs have been slaughtered, and it is left to Candi Cockwarren alone to put a stop to his bloody trail of destruction or be prepared to die trying at least. I have chosen to watch on from afar for two reasons. Firstly, this could be about to get decidedly messy, and I don’t fancy earning myself a mortal wound for getting too up-close-and-personal. Secondly, I’m a shameless voyeur and Candi has one helluva tidy rack of ribs on her. Like Crazy Ralph, I shall lurk back here in the undergrowth although, unlike this senile old-timer, I will be on the lookout for anything likely to garrote me. All being well, we will have crowned a victor in a matter of minutes, and have ourselves a slasher success story truly worthy of its weight in cellulite. Heaven knows, it has been on the cards for long enough.
We last spotted Candi dashing off into the surrounding woods screaming for dear life, as Rodney finished off her Twister buddy in no uncertain terms. You know what this means right? A long drawn-out chase, whereby my Crazed Killer somehow manages to make up any ground courtesy of his impressive warping skills and his victim’s appalling sense of balance. Actually, this isn’t at all how it’s playing out as, while those Onitsuka Tigers are more than earning their keep and Candi hasn’t made a solitary wrong turn, Rodney stumbled on a pile of loose twigs on exiting the cabin and fell flat on his face, where he then commenced to flail helplessly like a grounded pike. Anyhoots, enough about him for a moment, let’s rejoin our Final Girl and see how she’s faring up to her thankless plight.
First things first, she has located a spot where her cellphone can attain full signal and wastes no time in informing the authorities of her current position. Ordinarily this would amount to “I’m somewhere in twelve acres of woodland and that’s about all I can tell you”, but her orienteering skills have afforded her precise coordinates and the police only kept her on hold for around ten seconds so there should be a unit dispatched in less than no time. Using her Uncommon Sense, she has decided against covering her naked body up with a pile of conveniently discarded clothes over by the willow tree and, instead, has plumped on a late-night skinny dip as the nearby lagoon looks positively primed for the plunge. There’s even time for a spot of self-defillation and she gets off on the excitement of being such a fragrant exhibitionist. There is a patch of questionable fungi over by the lakeside and she guzzles a few caps just in case these mushrooms are as magic as they look. They are and it isn’t long before she is as high as a kestrel and entirely predisposed with the way that the moon light shimmers on the water.
Meanwhile, back at the log cabin, Felchman is struggling to make anything like an impact. That last hit on the bong has taken him right out of the game and he has taken several tumbles already in the first twenty yards alone. You’ve made your point Rodney, now it’s time to activate that Feral Instinct and sniff this babe in the wood down. Alas, this too is proving troublesome as his nostrils are far more adept at picking up trails of virginity than tracking down sexually pro-active young women like Candi Cockwarren. Perhaps I came a cropper when administering that Fun Loving Attitude as it appears he has given up his pursuit and is heading back inside for another hit on T.J.’s blow blaster. This doesn’t bode well and I believe I should grab myself a closer look-see as I’m staring to feel like I may well have broken the mould here for all the wrong reasons.
Curses! T.J. has just finished loading up the bong with potent hemp and is about to pass that shit along too for affording him an unexpected pardon. Thanks to his stay of execution, the two have become like old drinking buddies, and this is something of a backfire to my plans as it hardly makes for a tense final fifteen. There appears only one way out and that is to deactivate Felchman’s Mercy For The Underdog before the chance slips away. While reluctant to confiscate one of his gifts, I can’t just stand by while he gets any more wasted than he already is. Apologies T.J., I’m the first to root for the token black guy under normal circumstances, but the time has come to call an end to this association. Time for a spot of eavesdropping methinks.
“Don’t hog the goods Rodders. Puff and pass remember. I thought perhaps we could chat about the state of financial turmoil in Greece in the wake of the Great Recession”
What the actual fuck. Again my bad as I didn’t wish for T.J. to be a simple carbon copy of every other token black guy in slasher and it seemed like a good idea at the time to supply him a dash of general knowledge. This is simply too much and, worse still, Rodney appears to have contracted a hacking cough from this overpowering weed.
“Fret not my friend as every last splutter causes your air capillaries to open up and gets you even higher. Just go with it and we’ll have you well and truly fucked up in no time padre. You ready for another hit?”
Deactivating Mercy For The Underdog right about now and it seems to have worked a treat. No longer quite as fascinated in the economic fall of European countries, Rodney is now far interested in discovering what T.J.’s intestines would look like dangling from the tip of his chopper. Poor fella doesn’t know what has hit him as that filthy blade burrows a good three inches into his midriff, puncturing his left lung in the process. How’s that for opening up those capillaries T.J.? At least now you’ll die with a gormless smile on your face. Finally it appears that my Crazed Killer is up to the challenge and his chest is at full puff as he vacates the cabin and heads off to snag himself a Final Girl. Game well and truly on.
Back to the lake, where Candi has just concluded her third lap and is currently drying off in the bushes. She’s at a distinct disadvantage currently as she hasn’t yet slid those Onitsuka Tigers back on and is about to be caught on the hop. That said, she doesn’t wear that 20/20 Vision on those perfectly pedicured toes of hers and still has her head on a swivel in case any sneak attacks should play out so there is still hope. Indeed, she needs it right now as there seems to be movement coming from the shrubbery to her left. Could it be Rodney Felchman? Surely he hasn’t managed to cover so much ground already. Negative on both counts and Candi looks greatly relieved as the cavalry shows up right on time for once. It’s town Sheriff Pete Jones and he has answered this damsel’s distress call in record time. Of course, we all know how this plays out in slasher movies and it seldom ends well for law enforcement.
“Young lady. Are you okay?”
“Thank God you’re here. I’m in great danger officer”
“Well first things first, let’s get you covered up shall we? You’ll catch your death of cold out here”
Cock blocking bastard. Sheriff Jones deserves a slow and agonizing demise for that last comment alone.
“Thanks but I’d rather not”
That’s my girl. You stay naked Cindi. Don’t listen to this nondescript. Let it all hang free.
“I’m afraid I’m going to have to insist young lady. Here, I have a blanket in the back seat. Wrap that around you and I promise I won’t look”
There is nothing that grinds my gonads more than a cop who plays it strictly by the book. Hurry up Felchman and put this sorry excuse for a man out of his misery please before I off him myself. Fuck it, sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands.
“Who the hell are you kid?”
“Just a casual bystander”
“Stay right there boy. Don’t you move a solitary muscle. Miss Cockwarren, is this the guy?”
“No he’s just a friend”
“You see, I’m just a regular dumbass kid out way past my curfew and pose absolutely no threat whatsoever”
“Fine. Well make yourself useful and grab me that blanket from the back seat will you? This young lady will end up with hyperthermia if we don’t warm her up soon”
This is my chance. I pass Sheriff Jones and he doesn’t suspect a thing as I slide a box cutter from my coat pocket and assume position behind the unsuspecting flatfoot. Candi knows the score and isn’t about to blow my cover either as she knows her only hope of enduring this nightmare is to remain butt naked. I cannot resist the old throat cut as Tom Savini taught me all about how to sever those carotid arteries and there seems no more fitting a way to break my duck than mimicking the master. You heard correctly Grueheads, I’m forty-one-years-old and have never before taken a life.
I have now and crikey that was one helluva geyser. As Sheriff Jones slumps to his knees clutching his fresh cavity, I must admit to feeling reasonably pleased with myself. There are around ten pints of blood in the human body and at least five of those just jettisoned from the gaping wound I fashioned across his larynx. Candi understands that I did it for the good of the team and is wasting no time in slipping on those Onitsuka Tigers and preparing to reconvene her mercy dash. Alas, while I have been ridding us all of this unwanted distraction, Felchman has reentered the fray, and is advancing on her position with new-found purpose. It looks like this is where our face off will conclude and I guess it would be shrewd for me to retreat back into the foliage and wait for the proposed fireworks. Time to activate The All-Important Rearguard Candi. Let’s see what this bitch in heat is packing.
Rodney strides in with machete held aloft and aims his opening attack at her exposed shoulder-blade but finds himself thwarted by an eleventh hour combat roll as his freshly bled machete swings at fresh air. Candi takes full advantage of this opening to grab the Swiss Army Knife from her rucksack and drive its corkscrew attachment straight into her adversary’s temple. He plummets to the ground, where he appears inanimate, but she isn’t about to fall for the oldest trick in the book and neither does she discard her sole weapon. Instead she flees the scene immediately, running in the opposing direction from her down but certainly not out opponent. As is customary in such situations, Rodney is back on his feet in no time and soon hot on her heels once again. He swings his blade a second time, this time catching her off-guard, and claiming himself the advantage.
Candi ignores the pain of having her back slashed wide open and takes it like the trooper she quite clearly is, although not before toppling to the top soil and affording her imposing foe the opportunity for a secondary attack. Rodney takes this gratefully and hoists his machete high but this is all the time she requires to grab herself a handful of muck and throw it directly into his face. This proves enough to distract him temporarily while she clambers back to her feet and continues to build on her momentum. Her multi-tool comes in handy once again as she forces the can opener attachment into his left eye socket and twists it inhospitably. Sensing potential victory, she yanks it straight back out, and moves swiftly on to the pocketknife bolt on. However, going out like a pussy wasn’t in Rodney’s training, and it will take more than a couple of lucky strikes to end his reign of torment. Gripping the machete tight, he brings it back into action, removing her left arm from the elbow down in one fell swoop.
Not to be outdone, Candi lashes out, stabbing him forcefully in the one place no male wishes to be stabbed. With any hopes of a little Rodney now out of the question, he retaliates in the name of symmetry, removing her lower right arm to leave her well and truly stumped. This would be sufficient to defeat most opponents but Candi Cockwarren is no ordinary shrinking violet. Using every last dash of that Uncommon Sense, she begins bludgeoning him with her brace of exposed elbow joints, screaming not with fear now but furious anger. It has all got a little scrappy and our feuding pair are currently engaging in a spot of mud-wrestling. Given that she is still not wearing a stitch of clothing and I’ve always found amputees strangely arousing, there are no complaints here. It’s hard to know who is coming out on top as the whole thing is something of a blur but, by the look of it, each are giving it their all and that, in itself, has me swollen with pride.
After a good minute of scuffling, low blows, and bloodletting, it all falls eerily silent. Unless I’m mistaken, we have ourselves a clear winner and that victor appears to be neither of them. The injuries sustained by both parties were just too grievous and it looks like we have ourselves a stalemate. What an anticlimax. How the hell am I going to franchise this shit now? My Crazed Killer has fallen at the very first hurdle and there is no longer a Final Girl to decimate in the first five minutes of the sequel. I guess I should take a closer look just to ensure that there are no vital signs before calling this as a pretty woeful draw. Looking at the bloody pulp that was once Candi Cockwarren, it appears as though I have my answer. She’s as dead as a dodo, pure worm meal, and no rousing montage in the world could bring this plucky Final Girl back. I would honor her spirited endeavors by closing her eyelids if she had any left. Instead, I shall stand right here amidst the giblets and bow my head for a moment.
Rodney isn’t breathing either and sustained more than enough injuries to have grounded even the most superhuman of men so I guess I can’t be too disappointed. I can already hear the wail of distant sirens and that will undoubtedly be Deputy Tim Wheeler coming to clear up this almighty mess. Should he catch me covered in deep red coulis from head to toe, then he’ll likely put two and two together and lead me off to the cells for multiple homicide so it may be a good time to dispose of the corpses in the lake and make myself decidedly scarce. Stepping across Rodney’s felled corpse, he suddenly finds a second wind and grabs my ankle tight enough to completely shatter my fibula. The oldest trick in the book and I only went and fell for it. Now who’s the dick with ears? Grueheads, I’m banking on you lot to pick up where I left off, treat Rodney Felchman as your very own, nurse him back to health, and franchise this baby. Do that and my death will not have been in vain. Feel free to resurrect me for the premiere of Behold! The Ultimate Slasher Face Off! Part 4: The Final Chapter. A bolt of electricity should do it. You see, I’ve done my homework. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a throat right here which isn’t cutting itself.