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Do you like slasher flicks? You know – Jason, Michael, Freddy. I bet you don’t like them as much as Leslie Vernon. He idolizes them and aspires to do his job as a killer as well as his heroes. He even has his own mentor guiding him on his journey.

Now what would you do if you just wanted to make a nice documentary about a serial killer? Seems like a perfect setup right? I mean, who would really want to be a serial killer and train for it, study for it? Of course you know the answer – Leslie Vernon.

Part documentary, part tongue-in-cheek parody, part horror (so like 33% each – maybe 34% for the parody thing), Behind the mask: The rise of Leslie Vernon may not have you guessing what’s going to happen (it’s a slasher documentary, duh), but does have it’s own twists to blur the movie and documentary lines.


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the rise of Leslie Lee Vernon behind the Mask, the Rise of Leslie Vernon. Yeah. Interesting. We got, we get our comedy early this time.

Rhys: Yeah. So looking back on it, Baskin was a universal film for our podcast because if you look at our last three seasons, Baskin could have been in any one of them.

True. You had friends you had a culture clash and you had a visitation. Behind the mask though was almost like custom made for this season, this movie this season’s all about jobs and professions and behind the mask has two professions. It has a group of grad students who are making a documentary for

Stephen: documentary, exactly.

For that, for their perspective. It’s a documentary.

Rhys: So you have their profession, and then you have Leslie Vernon’s profession, which he wants to become a serial killer,

Stephen: and he’s basing it off the classics.

Rhys: Yes. And just in a nutshell, the film tells the story of some documentarians who are interviewing someone named Leslie Vernon, who lives in a world where all of the slasher killers of the eighties actually existed.

And he strives to become one of them. Yes.

Stephen: And there’s references throughout, there’s lots of Easter eggs throughout here. Yeah.

Rhys: It’s, it reminds me a little bit of suck that way. Yeah. Where the, probably the more times you watch it, the more you’re gonna pick up. The film is a US film from 2006. It debuted South by Southwest that year and it released nationally in a kind of limited release in March of that year making $38,500 which was just about half of what it totally brought in for the year, which was 69 grand.

Okay. So it wasn’t making a whole lot of money. For a movie that focuses on the slasher films of the past, it runs an hour and 32 minutes. Yes. Which is like perfect.

Stephen: And overall they did a fantastic job. I, if you like scream, this is probably a good movie to watch. Yes. It takes the whole horror movie tropes and genre and pokes fun at it.

But this one pokes fun at it in a much more serious way than Scream. Scream is tongue in cheek all the way. They know that this movie’s making fun of it. This is making fun of it. But it’s in a subtle way because they’re treating it like it’s real and serious. And it is just how it is.

Rhys: It is perhaps one of the best films that has a serious discussion of the actual layout of the slasher genre.

Yeah. They go through piece by piece and talk about the symbolism and what things mean and why you do things just like you would in a regular literary conversation about these kinds of films. Except in this case, the guy actually intends to do all of this stuff.

Stephen: And it’s so funny. We’ll get to these scenes, I’m sure, but like the scenes where he is going, that’s my Ahab.

That’s my Ahab. And you laugh because you know exactly what he means. Yeah. And it’s every single, movie.

Rhys: This was nominated for eight awards and it won five. Wow. It is a found footage, satirical, meta documentary.

Stephen: That’s a right there. That sums it up in way better than I would’ve imagined you could.

Rhys: Yeah. There’s tons of nods to famous horror movies throughout. There’s nods to Hell Razr Friday the 13th, Halloween Nightmare in Elm Street Pet Cemetery, the Shining, the Blair Witch Project and Black Christmas the arguably one of the first person slasher films of all time. Yeah. There is a prequel or sequel that exists for this movie in the form of a comic book series that was published by Glen Echo.

It runs six issues. And I know that they’re trying to get a second, trying to get. Everything’s set up to do a second movie. Wow. But it’s a little difficult cuz it’s very small budget, small production company kind of thing. They set up Theary with two cameramen. And if you’re looking through it, the cameraman, one of them is an actual trained cameraman and the other one is not.

And you can tell which is which based on their shots. Doug versus Todd. Because Doug Holt, his camera like. Somebody who shoots a lot of footage. So he’ll can’t the, he’ll can’t the angle a little bit. And Todd is just standing there holding a camera recording stuff

Stephen: And I must say the whole concept of they’re doing a documentary, but they were filming it like it was a behind the scenes of the documentary, they didn’t film it.

This is a movie. They just happened to be making a documentary in the movie. It really was for the, for most of the whole film. It was like that. Yeah. And I lo I loved it. I know some people may say, oh, I was confused. I didn’t know whatever, but I didn’t have that problem. Not like when all five of your characters are dressed at and look alike with the same beards.

It’s not confusing like that.

Rhys: No. It’s by a guy named Scott Glosser. He wrote his thesis in college on the Shining and Horror movie conventions. And he left the mechanics of the film up to the professionals when he decided to make this movie. So when they got out there, The cinematographer had free range to do whatever he wanted.

Wow. Glastein wasn’t gonna step on his toes cuz he’s you’re the guy who knows how to do this. I’m gonna let you do your job.

Stephen: Which as an aside, I love that. And I think a lot of the bigger professional ones are doing that a little bit more too. Yeah. That they’re trusting their people to get the right thing, get the job done, and we hired you because we like your vision.

We’re not gonna step on you and tell you how to do that. We, yeah. I like that trend in our future movies here. He also,

Rhys: I was watching some interviews with him and he was talking about mo movies being smart versus movies being broad as in being accepted by a broad audience.

And he said Behind the mask is smart. Which was good. But he, this was after the movie’s been released several years later, but he’s but Cabin In the Woods was smart and Broad had a broad appeal and that’s why he thinks that was such a successful film While Behind the Mask really wasn’t because it was more of a niche audience.

Stephen: Yeah. And while we could go into a whole long discussion on what makes something broad appeal and not

Rhys: Yeah. The production for this film, they shot the whole thing in 31 days. Wow. And it’s really funny cuz they shot everything in 24 days with everybody and then brought in their two big stars and shot all of their stuff all in one week so that their time would be, nice and condensed.

Stephen: Which arguably, to put it in context, the first poison album took ’em 10 days to record. So that was very broad appeal, but arguably not smart. Yeah. Okay.

Rhys: So Scott Glasser wrote and directed this film. He hasn’t directed much bef, he didn’t direct much before and he hasn’t directed much since.

But he’s a student of the cinema and for him, the story and dialogue are the most important parts of the film, which, if you’re the guy who’s writing it, that makes all kinds of sense.

Stephen: We’ve talked about this too, some films that don’t have a lot of dialogue, but the setting and.

Going on really sets the film. And you’ve said it a million times, there’s something in horror for everybody. Find what works. Yep.

Rhys: He, one of the interviews he was talking about how difficult it can be to break into the film industry and he noticed that having something like a book or a comic book that it’s based off of gives you a little more leverage because you can go to distributors and finance people and say, look at how many people are actively already reading this we can make a movie.

Stephen: Which is interesting you say that because before the new MacGyver series started on tv, like four years before that, they came out with a MacGyver comic. And I’m like, Really 20 years later, they’re coming out the comic. And then I heard about the TV show. Yeah. So I think that’s exactly what they were doing

Rhys: well and that’s what he’s doing about trying to do a sequel was he decided he was gonna do a comic book first and see if he could get enough of a comic book following behind it to be able to use that to leverage it into getting a sequel Made smart move.

Yeah. He talks when. I’ve listened to a lot of directors on in interviews and some of them are like, Ugh, I don’t wanna be niched into the million dollar budget market, that kind of thing. Or some of them are like, no, my cast or my crew are the real stars, not me. That kind of thing.

There’s different kinds. This guy talks like he’s giving a lecture on marketing and business strategy whenever he’s being interviewed, which was really, I don’t wanna say refreshing cuz I find the topic kind of dull. But it was interesting cuz it was a very different point of view from other directors I’ve heard, interviewed.

He describes this as the office meets a nightmare in Elm Street. Cause you have the handheld camera and it’s all behind the scenes and then you actually have the horror that’s taking on.

Stephen: Yeah, I can see that, yeah.

Rhys: Movies that he cited as movies that he loved. He loved Get Out.

He’s in the Steve Camp there. And mother Aronofsky’s Mother, which if you haven’t seen it it’s worthy of a watch, it’s worthy of putting on a list for us to talk about. And it was bad enough that after Jennifer Lawrence was done with it, she stepped away from acting for just a little bit.

So he’s directed three other films. One is a documentary called Truth and Numbers, which I don’t know anything about. But it’s a documentary and it talks about numbers. So it probably is more along the marketing and business end of it. I don’t know that I’d be interested.

Stephen: It’s like the horror version of Schoolhouse Rock.

Rhys: Maybe he did a movie called The Truth Below. I think it’s a thriller. And the one that he’s working on now is called B four tm. And it’s actually just a working title of the next Leslie Vernon film. Got it.

Stephen: Wow, you really weed out there? I did.

Rhys: It’s I think this is gonna sound disgusting. I think when I coughed there, I,

Stephen: I don’t remember taking any acid. Yeah. How’s

Rhys: that? That’s a little better. It was a

Stephen: cool effect though, was I was like, wow, what is going on? Yeah. They really had some new features to Max, I must say.

Rhys: Nathan Bessel plays Leslie Vernon. He’d been in 15 films. And. He’s got three that are in production, including the B four TM that is being done.

He’s been in a lot of television shows. Csi, Miami, an episode of Numbers that, that

Stephen: is is there anybody that does TV that doesn’t do CSI or N C I S?

Rhys: He’s also on a show called Kill Count as Leslie Vernon.

Stephen: Okay, I know that. Yeah.

Rhys: Okay. The other mo other titles that he is been in like 20 years after and Off the Ledge and Chum I haven’t seen or I haven’t even heard of.

So Angela Gaither plays Taylor and she’s been in 36 films. With Beat four TM being her current upcoming project. She is a long line of television show she is on. The equalizer from way back when. Wow. And the Tracy Oman show she would’ve been 12 when she was in the Tracy Oman show back in 89.

But she’s also been in Grey Anatomy 24 CSI Law and Order. But she also has some pretty decent roles in movies too. Like she was in Jerry McGuire. Oh. So she’s acted with Tom Cruise. She was in Home Alone and Home Alone too.

Stephen: So 37 Home? Yeah.

Rhys: No, just those first two. Zelda Rubenstein was in this movie.

She’s one of the two big names in this movie, and a bunch of, you’re scratching her head going, who’s Zelda Rubenstein? This was the last film that she made. She died in 2010. She plays Mrs. Collinwood, the librarian. She’s been in 56 projects starting with America tho in 1979. Wow. You know that powerhouse.

But she’s most famous for portraying Tanina and Poltergeist.

Stephen: Yes. Which is a good nod to pass for. Yes.

Rhys: And I did not realize Tanina that voice is an affect. That’s not how she actually talks. Really? Yeah. And so she actually used that voice in this movie as a nod to that character from Poltergeist.


Stephen: awesome. It’s kinda Bernadette from big Bang Theory, she’s on the New Night Court right here and it doesn’t sound anything, but Bernadette kinda throws you off, right? Yeah.

Rhys: She had been a medical lab technician until she decided to become an actress at age 45.

Stephen: So there you go.

There. She was really short and she was 45 and she still had a good acting career. That’s hats off to anybody that thinks, oh, I can’t do it. I’m too old, I’m too short, I’m too whatever. There you go. Find your niche folks. It doesn’t have to be, not everybody’s gonna be Brad Pitt, just. Move on and do the best you can.

Rhys: And as if that wasn’t enough things for her to overcome. She was born in Pittsburgh, so

Stephen: Wow. That, see, that would’ve probably held her back more than anything. Now we’re about to get bombed.

Rhys: No, we can say that cause we’re as close to Pittsburgh as we are. Anything else?

Stephen: Which means none or not. Yeah.

Rhys: She had suffered a heart attack the year before she died, but complications from the heart attack or finally did her in about a year later. She had done some television, but like I said, she was known for Poltergeist. She’d been in all three originals and even showed up on the television show in the nineties.

Poltergeist Legacy. She was also in 16 candles and had an uncredited role in the Adams family film with the 1990s.

Stephen: Yeah, I think I remember her in that thinking about it.

Rhys: The other big star they had for this was Robert England. We talked, we went through his whole CV when we did Hatchet, so Yeah.

Yeah. Go back and watch Hatchet if you wanna see it.

Stephen: He’s, he was at, one of those characters talked about that from Leslie Vernon too. Yeah. Which did great. Nod. I love that.

Rhys: He actually has been kind enough to work with Glosser and to help promote the comic book series. Oh, that’s cool. Which I think is really nice of him.

Yeah. I haven’t seen his name associated with B four tm but Kane Hatter’s name is showing up in the new film. Oh.

Stephen: Yeah. It was nice to see him out of makeup. Yes.

Rhys: And I talked about, having the two big stars and I really feel he feel bad saying that because Scott Wilson plays Eugene.

The retired serial killer. Yes. He started his career in 1967. Wow. In the heat of the night, wow. Famous Sydney Point eight kind of film.

Stephen: But he’s probably most famous now for being Herschel on The Walking Dead. That’s

Rhys: right. He had been in 80 different pieces before he died in 2018. And by have in my notes for our younger audiences, he’s probably best known as playing Herschell in the Joaquin

Stephen: Dead.

Yeah. And he was good in this part. Different, if you’re used to only see him in Herschel and in Joaquin Dead, he’s different character.

Rhys: But like the list of things he’s been in he was in the Great Gatsby, the Right stuff, the Aviator. Young guns too. Not that’s, necessarily a fine piece of cinema, but the Exorcist three judge, dread, GI Jane, Pearl Harbor, the monster and the, I did not, this is insane.

Cuz this is like one of my favorite Korean horror films. He was in the host, huh? And I can’t even picture who he played in the host. Time to go back

Stephen: and watch it again

Rhys: I guess. So he was also in radio free Alba Muth in the oa. So he’s been in a lot of stuff. Yeah. Yeah. He was also, good enough that when they did that 27 day shoot, he was there for the 27 days.

He wasn’t like Robert Engel England. That’s a hard one to say. Robert England or it’s Elder Stein where they like came in just for that last week. Yeah. So this is an interesting film on a whole lot of levels. But one of the things that I find really interesting about it, and the thing that interests me the most about it is that this is the kind of thing that usually really pisses me off.

And it doesn’t, in this case, it’s shot in three different styles, which, yes. Which I’m not, if you’re typically doing a found footage documentary kind of thing, I wanna stay in that zone. And most of the film is shot that way, but there are times where the camera is showing us basically a conceptual illustration of a scenario that’s being described.

And then at the end, so the movie is satirical. Yeah. And it’s entertaining, but when you get to the last 20 minutes, it is literally just a 20 minute slasher

Stephen: film. Yes. Yeah. And I have right in my notes we’ll get to it. So for everybody that we recommended, this is a good spot to pause. Go watch the movie.

Now we’re gonna talk about it, right? Yeah. But I had that exact same kind of note. It wasn’t as Laugh out loud, funny as like Todd or Suck, right? It was satirical. Dry humor made me chuckle. I liked some of the references, little background things I did from the other horror movies.

Those always make me laugh. Those I love. But then we got to that last 20 ish minutes when the tide turns and the what’s her name, investigator changes things up and it turned straight into a slasher. And I found that less interesting than the rest of the movie. Cause I wasn’t going to get a straight out slasher.

I wanted the satirical humor and there wasn’t as much of that at the end. So I lost some interest in the end, actually. Yeah.

Rhys: And I think that’s the difference between a horror comedy and a horror satire. Is that Todd in the book of Pure Evil or shoot, Tucker and Dale. Tucker and Dale or any of those they are, Funny, like all the way through.

Almost slapstick. And this movie is much more subtle about its humor, but it’s still there. It’s not so subtle that you can, it’s not like the loved ones where you’re like, oh, there’s some kind of funny stuff there. But this is a really dark film. Yes. No, this is actually, you can tell it’s trying to be humorous, but just subtly,

Stephen: I, yeah.

I always liken it more to like dry British humor as opposed to we gotta hit you in the face. American humor.

Rhys: The movie opens with an Anchor Bay logo, and unlike I F C, anchor Bay is a complete roll of the dice when it comes to what you’re getting. Sometimes they’re good and sometimes they really aren’t.

It starts out like your typical slasher film. Where you have a waitress, an attractive young waitress taking the trash out. And this is shot like a regular movie would be, right? She’s taking the trash out to the dumpster behind the restaurant. She hears this noise, she looks over where it’s from, and the door that she’s propped open slam shut and she tries to open the door and it’s locked.

And so she runs down out of the alley. And this is just your typical seventies slasher film, except there would suddenly be a splash of blood against the alley wall and she’d be dead. But that’s how the movie opens. And then the title card comes up. Then we leave the black screen of the title card, and we see what looks like the lo a local news remote.

And it’s introducing us to Taylor, who is our interviewer in this film. And she’s reporting from Glen Echo, which if so, the movie was actually shot in Oregon, but they purposely put it in Glen Echo, Maryland as the setting, because Glen Echo, Maryland is probably within 15 miles of Brooksville, which is the home with the Blair Witch.

And only one time did they actually screw up and leave an Oregon license plate on one of the cars. Oh, I missed that. Yeah. The area has this kind of

Stephen: rotting. Did they screw up or did they do it on purpose? See, I would’ve left one license plate on purpose myself, for all of us license plate

Rhys: geeks out there being business for you.

The area has a rotting, dilapidated amusement park, which has been known as the Haunted Place. I don’t know what, that must be like

Stephen: they’re original in their naming. Yes.

Rhys: And then she goes into the speech about how tranquil places like that have a dark evil that lurks in the background. And then she goes on to mention, and this is your first, this is your first notion that, this is not the United States that we know.

She mentions Jason and Freddy and Michael, like they were actual people and friday the 13th and Halloween and Nightmare in Elm Street actually happened.

Stephen: W and even funnier later, the serial killers talk about, and they say Jay and Frederick and, and it, that, that cracked me up.

I like that stupid stuff too. Yeah. Like they’re on first name

Rhys: basises, they hang out

Stephen: together. Yeah. When I was talking to Jay at the bar, he gave me this little technique. Give it a try. Yeah.

Rhys: During part of this interview, she’s standing in front of the Red Rabbit Pub which is the pub on the matchbook that Dr.

Loomis finds in Halloween.

Stephen: I was wondering where that was from. It sounded vaguely familiar.

Rhys: Yeah. And so I found myself anytime anything had a logo, I was trying to look it up and see if it had any association with anything. She mentions Freddie Krueger, and when she does the hammer, the camera shows a house at 1428 Elm Street, which was Nancy’s address right in the original.

And there’s this guy looking at the camera walking in, and that is Kane hotter. That is. So that’s his little cameo. He doesn’t say anything. He just sternly looks at the camera and walks inside. Yes. Four minutes into the film, we get this rundown, a really brief rundown of Leslie Vernon’s backstory and his ambition.

So the concept’s interesting and it’s shot with all the gravitas of this actual documentary. Toski suddenly decides she wants to take another take, and then we realize, oh, we’re not actually watching, like the finished documentary we’re watching the filming of the documentary, right? So they’re outside of this little hou farmhouse and it looks like he’s not even home.

Because she walks up, she knocks on the door and we’re given this kind of glimpse into his psyche. He like suddenly pops out and surprises them. And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen creep. It’s on our list. Okay. So I’m not a big fan of creep. I like creep too. The reason I didn’t like creep was because I, there was no one in the movie I could root for.

I didn’t like anyone in the film. But the main character of the film, that’s his big thing. He loves to jump out, jump scares on, on people that and kill them. This kinda reminded me of that. Even though this movie came out long before Creep did from the start, Leslie is much more this enjoyable character than the character from Creep was.

He seems granted he is a little up much for me. He is pretty up. Energy wise, but he seems like a nice guy.

Stephen: Yeah. It’s his job. It’s just, it’s very, again, it’s very subtle. Yeah. This is his job and he treats it like that. He’s serious about it. It’s like talking to a ball player.

Rhys: Yeah. He gives the cast this tour of the house. He shows him his turtles, church, and Zoe, which are named after the pets from Pet Cemetery one and two. He seems like this gracious host. They move into the library and he’s very well-read and,

Stephen: But there’s always that little hu subtle hint that he’s not quite right.

He goes, yeah, I don’t like any pets that I can’t eat. Pause. And then they move on, yeah. Yeah. It’s

Rhys: that kind of hanging thing that he leaves at the end of every scene. Yeah. And he’s especially well read in the fields of human anatomy and magic and escapism. And he does this magic trick for them.

He is I got this great card trick. Who’s got a cart deck of cards? Anyone got it? And they’re all like, what? And he’s Doug, do you have a deck of cards? He’s like, why would I have a deck of cards? He’s check your front pocket. And he is oh my God, how’d those get in there? They move on to a sit down interview and Taylor’s asking him if what he’s doing isn’t just essentially terrorizing innocent people.

He goes on to point out that they’re there to learn how he does what he does, not why the, why he claims must come down to your own understanding of the process itself. And he stops the interview by suggesting they all go up to his old house, which the camera cuts due from there.

Stephen: Yeah. And that making it look like a documentary is done very well.

It’s not slip shot at all. It’s as if it really could be a documentary on real life.

Rhys: Yeah. And he points out that they’re grad students. And I think it’s really good because Taylor. Looks like she’s just starting to do interviews. Yes. She’s very stiff. She’s very proper while she’s doing it.

There’s no relaxed anything about her.

Stephen: And she’s, you always catch her like looking at the camera like, was that good? Did I say the right thing? She’s

Rhys: very indecisive. Yeah, like a new documentarian would be. They pull into his driveway and he points out the local kids dare each other to spend the night in the old farmhouse on the anniversary of his death.

This year though, he plans to reappear. He points out that he can’t live there, even though it’s being held in trust. Should he ever return? Because as far as Glenn Echo is concerned, he’s dead, but he holds onto it as an anchor to his legend. And that is what he’s gonna build off of.

Stephen: And the death itself, they describe it and it’s very, like a lot of ’em, like when they talk about how they killed Freddy which is what I took that as, the nod to it was fire and water.

But it’s also very classic like Frankenstein, it’s the villagers sending him over the waterfall. It’s not just shooting him. It’s not just, hanging him. They have to throw him over the waterfall. They have to burn the, it’s always that dramatic over the top mob villager thing.

Rhys: So the bad thing about watching this movie is that it’ll get in your head. And so for instance, now, if we were to watch Mama Again, When they describe what happened to her, I’d be like, oh my God, she’s a Leslie Vernon.

Stephen: Yes. They threw

Rhys: her over a waterfall. She died.

Stephen: And the funny thing is, we talk a bit about writing and storyline and, the heroes journey and the three act structure and all that.

That’s really what this whole movie does. It explains all of that. If you wanna write a horror movie, just watch Leslie Vernon take some notes. Yeah. And do what they say. It really, that’s as simple as it gets.

Rhys: Yeah. It’s really straightforward. He gets really serious when he is talking about the myths associated with the orchard behind his house where he hung his mother and then at the end he is like, just kidding.

And he, oh yeah. Cause he makes everyone stop. He’s can you hear it? Can you hear the Rope Creek? And he is I’m just kidding. The date is like a month away. We cut to daylight hours now and he’s working out on a heavy bag and he is complaining about how much cardio his line of work requires,

Stephen: which goes back to the one the zombie movie. With Woody Harrelson. Zombieland. Zombieland. Yeah. Cardio. That is so funny

Rhys: cuz I’m like, in my notes it says it’s vaguely reminiscent of rule number one in zombie land.

Yes. Just from the other side of the fence.

Stephen: Yeah. It’s funny when he talks about it, he says cause you’ve gotta do that stern walking while everyone else is running, but you gotta be able to catch up to him and it’s so true. Yeah.

Rhys: Yeah. If you think about it, Michael Myers walks around a lot.

How does he actually catch up with everybody? It’s all that cardio he does in the off season

Stephen: and it’s the off camera stuff. Yes. We get a big view of that off camera. You gotta do a lot of preparation and

Rhys: Yeah. He takes him to a school, for instance to scout out a target group and Taylor refers to them as his victims.

He begins to talk about the composition of the group. You have to have the attractive athletic group over here. You need some stoners over here. They pad your numbers late in the game, he says, but on top of it all, you need a survivor girl, or as we would say it, the final girl you have to have, he calls her his survivor girl to tie them all together and maybe survive the night while he is talking about this, the camera’s following this one girl, like she might be it.

And it pans across three girls in white dresses, jumping rope, which is a direct nod to nightmare in Elm Street. Yeah.

Stephen: And that one really stuck out because it’s wow, they’re wearing wedding dresses in the background. That one really stuck out. We’re

Rhys: at a high school and here are these like 12 year olds playing jump rope.

Yeah. In christening dresses. He points out that she has to be a virgin, which is just something that he can sense. He knows Taylor Wonders if he’s in the process of picking the girl out, he’s oh gosh, no. We’d be way behind schedule if I hadn’t picked out a girl already.

Stephen: Again, it’s a business.


Rhys: He en, he enforces this concept that there’s this natural order and pace to the task of being a serial killer. And I think you get this when you talk to anybody regardless of their profession, there’s always this, oh there’s a whole lot more that goes on that you really don’t get kind of thing.

And. There. You might be right when you say that, but a lot of times people in their own heads conflate the importance of their job, yeah. And Leslie Nielsen is Leslie Nielsen.

Stephen: Surely you don’t wanna call him Leslie. Surely.

Rhys: Leslie Vernon is doing the same thing here with his job as a serial killer.

The film cuts to the inside of the van at night, outside of the diner, and the waitress in here is the survivor girl. Her name is Kelly Curtis. Kelly Curtis in real life, not the actress, but if you look up Kelly Curtis, that is Jamie Lee, Curtis’s sister.

Stephen: Nice.

Rhys: The actress who’s playing Kelly is Kate Minor.

She’s probably best known for being in Shameless.

Stephen: He, ah, that’s right. So see that?

Rhys: There you go. He forbids the crew from talking to her and they agree they’re not gonna talk to her. So he gets them out of the van for what he calls a flyby, and that’s what we saw at the opening of the film. What we didn’t see was that he actually enlists Taylor to help because he ties a piece of fishing line to the brick that she uses to prop the door open.

And since Taylor’s willing to help, he gives the fishing line to Taylor, who’s hiding in the bushes. So she pulls the brick out, so the door closes and we saw at the start of the movie, then it goes perfectly. Yeah. It, everybody is amped. They’re all pumps by that, like Yeah, they’re excited. So he’s already.

Made Taylor an accessory to what he plans on doing. Yeah, I

Stephen: was thinking that. I’m like, yeah, you’re not have to worry about grad school anymore.

Rhys: That’s right. So someone else shows up and is entering the diner at the end of the scene and Todd’s who’s that guy? And Leslie’s I don’t know. I think it was Doc hollering who is the Ahab, which we’ll get to in a second.

But Doc Hoen, who becomes the Ahab, that’s in direct reference to the Shining Doc, was the name of the little boy. And Dick Hoen was the name of the janitor who became his friend. So right, doc

Stephen: Hoen. And he’s very obviously the character is very much Loomis. Yes. From Halloween.

Rhys: Yeah. The next day, Leslie takes the crew to visit his two best friends, Eugene and Jamie, who lived just down the road.

Eugene is a retired serial killer.

Stephen: So he’s retired. Great. Okay. Where did the money come from though? I was gonna say, how, what

Rhys: kind of, they have a 401k or is this a pension plan? Do they

Stephen: offer benefits with the, with this job? Yes.

Rhys: So he says Eugene is a retired serial killer and Jamie is his hot wife.

Jamie is lovely and she’s charming and she welcomes them into her home. But Eugene isn’t home. He’s buried out back in a sensory deprivation tank.

Stephen: That was that was weird. I couldn’t think of any specific horror movie that that was like a, trope from, or an Easter egg. But it was very weird considering the rest of the movie.

He points

Rhys: out that it’s good for training for yogurt Yoga like trance states. Yeah. That could be handy for someone in their line of work so you can appear to be dead and then suddenly stood up in the background. He explained

Stephen: it. Yeah, definitely. That’s why we got how many what, nine 10 Halloweens.

Rhys: And it turns out Jamie just kept forgetting that Eugene was back there, so he’d been in that tank for three days. Right back at the house. It’s just like a regular dinner party. Everyone’s just hanging out. Eugene comes out to the kitchen to help with dinner prep and he is talking about his old days and he is talking about how in the old days it was just, you just go in and you get as mini as you possibly could and then you’d get out.

But kids today like Michael and Freddy, they’re like artists, there’s so much, they elevated the game so high and then he starts to talk about the jobs that got botched getting caught, that kind of thing. And it makes him mad and it. Takes his anger out on a bunch of carrots, which elicits a little yelp from Taylor.

As he is done, the camera pans down and the carrots have basically just been minced. Yeah.

Stephen: And he does it without looking.

Rhys: Yeah. Yeah. He never takes his eyes off of Taylor while he is doing it. They’re eating out by the grill sausages,

Stephen: which that, that’s the, that’s a whole horror trope too. You always get the murder and then they focus on the meat cooking and pan out.

Baskin had it, I

Rhys: was gonna say, we just did this in ba

Stephen: Yeah. But I think most of the air horrors have done it one time or another yet Close up focus on sizzling meat on the

Rhys: grill. Yeah. And he’s wearing a hat and I looked it up because it’s a butcher’s and I was like, who is that from a horror movie?

No, it’s an actual meat provider from out of Texas. Oh. Which made me wonder if it might be like some non totex chainsaw massacre.

Stephen: I did the same thing. I saw that it was so prominent. I’m like, okay, where’s that from?

Rhys: Eugene explains his admiration for the slasher heroes that we know today.

They’ve elevated the art form to a whole new level, and they return like a curse over and over again. It changed the whole business. He says he might he might as well just be giving us a lecture on the success of slasher movies just as a whole. After dinner, they’re having coffee in the living room.

Eugene and Jamie is named after Jamie Lee Curtis. They seem like these wonderful hosts. They’re very supportive friends for Leslie Eugene’s, asking Leslie how the project’s going and, that kind of thing. Checking in, if you look on the back table by the lamp, there’s a Lamette configuration puzzle box from hell Raisers just sitting on the, I missed that one.

Yeah. And also Eugene’s car looks as suspiciously like a 73 Tmobile Delta Royale, which is the car used in all of the evil dead movies. Ah, good

Stephen: old Ash.

Rhys: Yeah. Eugene asks about his red herring. And as a group, Jamie, Eugene and Leslie decide killing a librarian would probably work well. So on the way home, Taylor asks what a red herring is.

He explains that it’s killing someone who’s associated with the survivor girl tangential. And we get the impression that Taylor really isn’t behind this. Maybe she’s starting to question whether or not she should actually go through with this at this point. So we get, we’re heading to the library and he shows them this article.

He’s made up involving a fictitious great uncle of Kelly’s, who, according to the story, raped Leslie’s mother. And he intends to get this article into the hands of Kelly, but he also lets the crew know that this is their last chance to back out. If you want out, this is your last chance. The next dean shows them all going into the library.

So apparently they didn’t back out right. They film him dropping

Stephen: the newspaper article too. Correct me up cuz he says, oh no, it’s all made up. We use CGI a lot. And I’m like, that’s funny because not until recently did they really use cgi. So all the classics they talk about, that was all practical effects and everything.

But I thought that was a little funny to say that

Rhys: if you take the concept that every serial killer from the movies actually exists and you just accept that, you’re just like, okay, that’s a thing. And you put Leslie into this. This next part is probably my biggest stumbling block for disbelief. Okay. To get over it because not only does he make a fake newspaper article, which okay, anyone can do that.

He inserted it into fake micro feast.

Stephen: I wondered about that.

Rhys: That’s not a skillset many people.

They lose sight of him cuz he’s taking this article over to set it on top of the card catalog. They don’t know where he is at, they’ve lost him. Then all of a sudden he gives him a little jump scare when he shows back up. And that’s

Stephen: again, he did that at the beginning. But that’s that thing, every time they turn around in the horror movies, that’s where the guy

Rhys: is it’s a Batman meme, right?

Yes. As soon as you turn around, he’s gone. He explains that he’s made a fake

Stephen: micro shoe. Oh man, I just got a visual of Michael Meyers. That’s Batman. That would make a comic book. Let me tell you, the spook stand a chance. You don’t have to be rich if you’re just a psycho. That’s right.

Rhys: He’s made up a fake microfiche reel and replaced the original one with the newspaper article.

In case Kelly wants to read the original article. He’s got the whole thing planned out, down to exactly what the librarian’s gonna say, and he tells him to keep the camera rolling and wish him luck. He’s so excited. He’s like a little kid. Yeah.

Stephen: And Taylor does, he enjoys his work. Yeah,

Rhys: Taylor does wish him luck.

Good luck killing a librarian,

Stephen: right? It

Rhys: seems some I’m wrong. Doug calls in over the radio. He’s outside to let them know some new guy is just showing up at the library, but nobody pays a whole lot of attention to that. Todd is busy not filming Kelly’s face. He’s check, scoping her out. The short skirt to large breasts.

Yeah. Until Taylor corrects him. He’s quite taken with her in an immature kind of creeper kinda way. Taylor heads off to the card catalog and finds the article and then the movie switches and we’re back to a cinematic view. She approaches the librarian about the article and like I said, her Zelda’s voice is just so perfect.

Yeah. And she’s, we get this legendary background of Leslie Vernon when he was born nine months after his parents’ wedding a bastard, presumably because of this rape that didn’t actually happen. He was abused and forced to live in Theder house of all places. Then he revolted on the night of a blood Red harvest moon.

Murdering his father with a hand side, which technically a side is a single-handed tool. You don’t have to say hand side, A sickle was the long one that the angel of death carries. But whatever. Okay. Hand side

Stephen: part, the part that I went, huh? Was he tilled the land. You don’t till the land with those.

You cut it down when it’s already grown. He

Rhys: hangs his mother in the apple orchard and then the towns folk, having heard of the tragedy, drag him from his house and toss him in a waterfall. And his body was never found

Stephen: that. That’s so classic again. You could take that as a template and play madlibs and just replace noun and a story horror movie Mads.


Rhys: Just about the time the librarian stops talking. And she does literally say verbatim what Leslie said she was going to. Oh, but that’s just a story. She stops talking. Kelly screams and we see Leslie standing behind her. But behind Leslie is Doc Hollerin who does look suspiciously like Dr.

Loomis from Halloween and he’s got a gun to stop him. The librarian falls over dead. I’m not really sure if Leslie killed her or she had a heart attack, cuz there’s no like kill scene, right? She just falls over, dead hollering, takes a shot, and he ends up shooting Leslie in the shoulder. However, if I’m Kelly, I’m pissed at that guy who’s taking a shot at the guy who’s standing two feet away from me.

Yes. I dunno if you’re a good shot or not, dude, but that’s a. Leslie and the camera crew recon her at the van and everyone is excited at how well this went. They’re like yes. And he is and I found an Ahab. And it’s you do realize he just killed someone. You recorded it, you witnessed it, but you’re all back here having a good time.


Stephen: considering it’s not our world, there might be different rules about this. Perhaps, who knows, maybe accessories don’t exist to crimes. That’s right. Perhaps maybe. Maybe for the, the woke serial culture, serial killer culture they are defending their own rights and they’ve gotten the laws changed.


Rhys: right. He goes off to tell Eugene and Jamie about how great it went. And we find out that an Ahab is somebody who was hell bent on stopping the killer, and Hoen was the psychiatrist who worked on Leslie as a boy and predicted he would end up back here. Taylor asks if Hoen is a new target, and Leslie’s no, I need him.

So he defines an Ahab as a personification of all that is good in society, who’s willing to protect humanity at great personal costs, which I think is a good thumbnail thing. I, the only thing I would add to that is that they’re also obsessively focused on the serial killer. Like at no time would you ever picture Dr.

Loomis talking about a baseball game score. It was all about Michael Myers, Eugene’s trying to keep him focused. Jamie’s just thrilled for him. So the crew the next day head to the diner. And they’re trying to interview or maybe warn Kelly, and she is obviously distracted. She’s looking everywhere. She’s talking to them.

Todd asks Taylor what she’s waiting for and just about. Then he notices that Hollerans sitting in a booth over by the window hollering, comes over and asks why they’re following Kelly and Todd’s we’re just sitting here, man.

Stephen: As he’s filming it. Yeah.

Rhys: He goes on to say that he knows who they are and that he knows that they know where Leslie is.

And he says his name isn’t Leslie Vernon. He’s Leslie Mancuso from Reno, Nevada. Now this jumps us down into a whole different rabbit hole because there’s a guy named Frank Mancuso. Yes. And he was a producer for lots of the Friday the 13th films. Yes. Yes. So maybe this was a nod to Frank Mancuso, but more interestingly, there’s a guy named Nick Mancuso.

He is the uncredited actor from Black Christmas who played the serial killer. Ah,

Stephen: he’s uncredited

Rhys: cuz he doesn’t say anything. You never see his face cuz the camera, you’re seeing through his eyes. So that has caused people to speculate that perhaps Leslie is an older version of Billy from Black Christmas, or maybe the son of Billy from Black Christmas in a,

Stephen: I wonder if they figured that out and did it on purpose that

Rhys: way.

I would assume everything else seems really purposefully done. Yeah. Yeah. Taylor and Todd and hollering tells him to expect to see more of him.

Leslie’s waiting for them at the van and he is pissed off. He knows that they were going to go see Kelly. He says if they wanna leave, that’s fine. It’s probably even preferred. He doesn’t wanna be dragging their dead weight around with him anyways. But he threatens her not to ruin his life’s work and he asks her where the trust is and she throws it back in his face and asks if he’s ever lived in Reno.

Then he grabs her by the throat and slams her head against the van. That’s enough. You win. I’ll tell you everything you need to know. He says,

Stephen: yeah. And that, that, that was a little interesting cuz that was uncharacteristic of how he’s been so far. It’s

Rhys: kinda like one of those things where you just suddenly got a glimpse of the actual person.

You got a glimpse behind the mask if

Stephen: you’ll Yeah. A absolutely. But it’s also interesting because you talk about all the. Horror characters that he’s mimicking, but he’s got the most character and personality for pretty much because the others don’t talk and they just chase people On. Freddy, arguably might be the most character out of all of ’em with backstory and motive and all that, but now we’re really seeing a character with multiple sides and stuff.

He is. And that, that itself is funny cuz he is the most 3D character in a flat character type of world. Yeah.

Rhys: Back in the house, he admits that he is from Reno and he just came here to do this. And Taylor’s like, why didn’t holler and turn you in? And it turns out Leslie has a restraining order against him.

So he would be admit, arrested for admitting he was anywhere near Leslie. I don’t know if that really holds in place, if someone’s planning on killing somebody, but again, maybe in this strange world of serial killers where they have their own

Stephen: rights, but it’s a good one of those Cause that’s a, an argument from them.

Why didn’t they just do this? Cause it would ruin the whole movie and fix it right away. There’s always those plot holes that they just ignore. This is addressing that. Yeah. In kind of an absurd way. Yeah. Cause it, Leslie planned it.

Rhys: Yeah. Taylor says she feels used and Liz is this isn’t about you.

This is about me. This is my life we’re talking about. And there’s this moment in the van on the way home, it looks like Taylor might actually be thinking about walking away from it all because it, that offer’s still there. But the next foggy morning, the van is headed back to Leslie leaning on his Prius.

It’s nice to know he’s ecologically aware. I

Stephen: read a note about that. I’m like, oh my God. That was the funniest because he’s a serial killer, but concerned about the environment. Yes. That sounds like some bad commercial.

Rhys: And it’s his Prius that has the Oregon

Stephen: plates on it. Ah, I don’t, I was totally laughing about the Prius and missed

Rhys: that.

Taylor’s back in on the project and they go inside to talk strategy. You don’t wanna stay in the house too long. You just get stuck playing hide and seek. You can’t grab them in the closet because that is a designated safe space. It symbolizes the womb. Don’t spend too much time on one person.

No one gets away. It starts in a bedroom When he kills a couple who are having sex, he has this like secret room, a staging room that he works out of. He’ll kill them and arrange their bodies to make it look like they’re sleeping. And then using a remote, he can trip the fuses the fuse box for the whole house.

And he’s already put dead batteries in all of the kitchen’s. Flashlights. Yeah.

Stephen: That was pretty funny in there cuz it’s always like none of the flashlights ever work.

Rhys: Yep. So now we switch to the cinematic recreation as Leslie is telling it about how he’s doing it. And this is just The regular ones, except it starts and then it stops.

It’s like the cinematic version of it, but it starts and stops as he interjects stuff into it all the time. So it plays out like this mini slasher film. The kid in the basement starts to fool around and then Leslie kills that guy letting the girl go, and that’s the starting gunner for the whole experience cuz he’s killed the lights.

A guy and his girlfriend go downstairs, they start fooling around. He kills the guy. The girl runs upstairs. Everything starts from there. I don’t know why he doesn’t count the two people upstairs as part of the start. Apparently that’s prep, maybe, I don’t know. Yeah. Que yeah. Freak.

Stephen: Yeah. Zero death.

Rhys: He takes that opportunity while everyone’s panicking to lay out the next section of his trap.

He takes a body out to the shed and puts it inside. And Taylor tells him just how sadistic it is, but it’s genius. He wants Kelly in the tool shed so she can grab the tools of the trade and come after him with them. Fortunately, he’s gone ahead and booby trap them all by cutting the handles halfway through.

So as soon as you use it, it’ll break. All the ax headss are loose, so when you swing them, they’ll fall off.

Stephen: He goes

Rhys: so far as to saw through branches on trees that are close to the second story house windows, so they can’t support anyone’s weight. And then he wholeheartedly goes into the whole Freudian phallic imagery that is associated legitimately with slasher films.

The situation to Taylor is that you find the empowerment of the phallic image ends up in her hands by using. Basically a representative for his penis to take him down. He takes his manhood and empowers herself with it.

Stephen: So it, it’s what in the psychological analysis of all of these movies.

Yeah. Which makes it even funnier. And if you’re, I don’t know if the writers originally were thinking those things when they were writing slasher movies, but it’s kinda what it comes out to be a, yeah. It happens

Rhys: so often. And that’s not even, that’s not Glosser and that’s not actually Leslie, that’s film critiques.

And people who are looking at these films, they’re the ones who came up with this stuff. Back in documentary format, he’s walking Taylor out to the tool shed, showing her all the various sabotage elements that he’s used on the tools. It’s cold out, she’s wearing mittens, and the mittens she’s wearing are the same ones she wore in home alone.

So he sits there and you just see how prepared he is. He can tell you how many exits are on each floor, and he’s eliminated some of them. He nails windows shut and he can control which way everyone’s actually gonna go. When they actually leave, go back into cinematic mode, he goes into further details to the evening, he’s, the kids will find the two dead bodies upstairs and then go to run, getting in their vehicle.

They’ll be missing keys or the engine won’t start cuz he’s disabled it. Then he can kill at least one of them in the car. That’s an easy target. And we go back to the documentary as Taylor’s telling him, Taylor tries to tell ’em how it’s gonna end. It all goes black to cinematic mode as the kids head to the barn.

Stephen: It makes me think of that Geico commercial they’ve had recently where the kids are like, let’s escape. Let’s go in the running card. No. Are you crazy? Let’s hide behind the chainsaws. Yeah. And the guy’s going really? They’re the creepy cemetery.

Rhys: Yes. So anyone heads to the barn loft, he picks them off.

Then they head for this green slide, but sh she’s forgetting about the Ahab. The plan is for Kelly to see him kill Doc hollering, leaving her as the last one there. She’ll run through the orchard and if the closet is the womb, the orchard is the birth canal. She’ll go through to the cider press shed and that will be where her moments of liberation will take place.

He makes it sound as though he wants her to kill him in this final showdown. It’ll make him the happiest man alive.

Stephen: Ted, yeah, we’ll just let that statement go. Okay.

Rhys: Then they’re out in the cider press and she’s so what’s the cider press do? And he’s it makes delicious fruit juice out of apples. But what they do that’s really important here is the filmmaker makes sure that we see how the cider press works.

So we realize that there’s this big metal plate and this kind of ratcheting screw thing. Cause that’s gonna come in handy later. Yes. Eugene is, Eugene shows up at the Andes Wishing Leslie well, Taylor asks some advice from the experts about how to get away and Eugene says run, but first thing, don’t ever hang out with a virgin.

Keep away from them if one and run. Don’t stop till the sun comes up. Don’t try to hide. We’ll find you. Don’t try to fight. We’ll kill you. Don’t ever look back. Taylor’s what about sticking together? And he is make sure someone’s slower than you.

Stephen: Yeah. So you can add these rules to the scream rules,

Rhys: right?

It turns out, Jamie, it was one of Eugene’s victims. She was one of his final girls and now they’re married, so

Stephen: there’s a lot more psychological in there. But we digressed. Yes.

Rhys: We’re down to the comb before the storm. Leslie is applying his specially formulated makeup. It’s got stuff in it to keep the blood vessels down and anti-inflammatory stuff on there, all kinds of things.

Taylor seems to actually be concerned about it. And he’s staying completely focused, focused on Kelly. She asks if he loves her and he says he loves the idea of her out in the bar, and he likens it to his Christmas and he starts to cry after he says that he’s so happy. Yeah. And Taylor reached over and takes his hand and the movie from this point on drops the satire.

The satire just disappears from here, and it just pivots into straight up, albeit odd slasher film,

Stephen: Which again to me became less interesting. I was enjoying what they did. I’m not sure why they made the choice to do that. I’d be interested to fi find out. I think

Rhys: the really interesting thing to me is the twist that’s coming up.

But the other cool thing is this is one of those cases where, And very successfully. The victims know the stereo killer by name and they know what he plans to do. And then in the end, it turns out you really didn’t, cuz he had something else entirely

Stephen: planned. And when we’re done, I actually have a different ending thought

Rhys: for you.

All right. The kids are here, the film crew’s hanging out in the staging room. Leslie comes in, gives his report about how many there are, what they’re doing. He’s pulled spark plugs from the vehicle, so no one’s getting away. Spark

Stephen: plugs.


Rhys: The, a couple moves into the bedroom next door. He puts his mask on, grabs his sickle, and goes in. And here the couple die. We just hear them. Be killed. Now Taylor seems disturbed and the cameraman seems surprised that this is actually going on. I don’t know why. He’s told you what he is gonna do.

Yeah. Leslie acts surprised that Taylor’s upset and he calls them all outside. He says, you’ve got, you’ve all gotta go cuz you just can’t sit around and watch this. You’re gonna have to get yourselves involved. We can’t have that. So just get outta here. And Taylor tries one more time to change his mind and he responds by saying he chose to be the counterbalance to all the things that we as society hold as good.

So he is being evil specifically to counterbalance the good of society, right? He pulls down his mask and heads back into the house. Todd zooms in on a closing

Stephen: shot. When he says that it makes him to be the almost tragic hero I’m sacrificing myself. You know that, that is a very interesting way to view all the serial killers, even though I don’t think you could apply that to all of them.


Rhys: but in his head he is. Yes. He’s performing

Stephen: an important task. We’re all the hero of our own story. That’s

Rhys: right. So Todd, they’re all planning on leaving. Todd’s zooming in as the lights go out and Taylor tells him to turn the camera off cuz they can’t just sit around and watch this happen.

Doug points out that’s what Leslie said she was gonna say. And it’s a hit that kinda like Leslie seems to have planned for this. She takes the cameras and puts them away and now we’re to just regular full cinematic for the last 20 minutes of this mini slasher film.

Stephen: And this may have been a thought or not.

When you really think about it, Leslie isn’t the most masculine name for a guy. It’s true. And there’s a lot of guys named Leslie, that seems like a very conscious choice to be calling this serial killer Leslie, cuz it’s, opposite the actor’s.

Rhys: Not overly imposing either.

Stephen: No, he’s not.

He’s a skinny little

Rhys: dude. If anything he would make you one of those kind of guys you’d be scared to get in a fight with cuz he is wiry and a little crazy looking. Yes. So you don’t exactly know what he is gonna be doing, but he is not like the kind of guy who would just stand behind you and freak you out.

Kane hotter. Like Kane hotter, right? So they go in, they plan on getting Kelly out, so they enter the house. It’s a chaotic situation. They ask the stoners where Kelly is. She’s upstairs with that Shane dude. So they head upstairs and find Kelly and Shane getting it on. And she is obviously not a virgin.

Stephen: Yeah. Experience not a virgin.

Rhys: This is, yes. This is not one of those awkward fumblings in the dark.

Stephen: And I made the comments watching it with Vicky. I said, see, this is why stoners aren’t gonna take over the world. Because they wouldn’t even try and stop the serial killer. They’re just like, oh dude.

Yeah. But then again, it’s usually drunk people and they’re just brazen, but they can’t stop ’em either cuz they’re drunk. So you’re kinda, either way damned

Rhys: if you do and damned if you don’t. At this point Todd’s convinced that Leslie doesn’t know that Kelly’s not a virgin. The lights go out as Kelly catches up to the team and asks why they’re following her.

And Taylor just says, everyone needs to leave. Which

Stephen: you just said that. Sorry, I’m interrupting that. I think Leslie did know she wasn’t a virgin, cuz he never intended for

Rhys: her. Oh, absolutely. Hundred 10%. I didn’t

Stephen: up on that. Duh.

Rhys: She is to tailor the red herring that the librarian was to Kelly?

Stephen: Yes.

Yeah. Okay. I just picked up on that. That’s pretty genius writing there. Yeah.

Rhys: Taylor says everyone’s gotta leave. She tells ’em the whole plan. Kelly asks where her friend Julie is, and the stoner says she’s in the basement. Kelly plans on going to get her, but Taylor says it’s too late. As the lights come back up in the house, Julie makes it upstairs to tell everyone there’s a man in the mask in the basement who killed Pete?

Poor Pete.

Stephen: Poor Pete

Rhys: Taylor tells Kelly the whole thing about the back of the diner. They look outside and see Leslie and Kelly faints, and now here we are. Wait, she’s supposed to be the strong one who overcomes ’em. She just passed out. She’s not a virgin. She’s the worst

Stephen: last girl ever. She’s not the last girl.

Michelle Geller would not be proud. Correct?

Rhys: In an effort to convince the sons to leave. They take them upstairs to show them the first couple, but they’re not there. And now Doug realizes they’re off. Leslie’s plan. What he said is not what’s happening, and he wonders why he’s changing it up. And Taylor says it’s because the extra people in the house, she’s still, it hasn’t dawned on her yet that she is the actual victim here right now.

Todd and Doug realize their targets too. The stoners, for some reason are going out to the tool shed. I never did understand why they plan to do that, but the

Stephen: stoners. But actually, think about it. Every horror movie has some stoner and they always make some stupid decision that you’re like, what are you doing?

There’s just they don’t make sense. Yeah. They go in and they dare each other. That’s the best part. Yeah. Man, you go, that type of thing. One of them

Rhys: goes and is look this crazy scarecrow man, of course, Leslie. And he kills him. And then the other one, he goes out and Uses a post hill, post hole digger drip the guy’s heart out and drop it in his hand.


Stephen: beating, of course.

Rhys: Yes. Taylor and the team see this and they decide to go back and get Kelly from the house. He had mentioned just in passing when she asked what happens if someone goes to the shed? He’s I’ll take him out with some tool, like a post hole digger or something. And so we get to see how that actually works.

Stephen: Right now the only thing that would’ve made this even better is if they had played, like while they were running around a bit, played the Scooby Doo theme song or something going on. Yeah.

Rhys: They’re sitting in the house and Kelly’s Bow says All the tires have been slashed. Doug asked what kinda Final Girl passes out and Todd asks What kind of Final Girl Bones her date?

And about this point Taylor had some information that she should have possibly passed along, but she instead continues to go on there’s a plan. It would’ve been handy for everyone else to know that she is a virgin and she’s probably the only one in the room who is, they decide that their van hasn’t been sabotaged yet, so they all get together to head out of there.

I don’t know why they thought their van wouldn’t be sabotaged. I

Stephen: was like that there. It’s huh, ok, but we’ll go with it.

Rhys: They run out there and they slide open the back door of the van and that’s where the couple from upstairs went. Leslie’s put them in the back of the van. They toss them on the ground.

Todd tries to start the van. It won’t start. Oh, of course. So they run back into the house. Taylor says he hated being inside. She says he’ll just stay in the house and protect Kelly. But Kelly wants to know why they’re protecting her. Taylor says, you’re his survivor girl. He believes you’re a virgin and he’s been you for months.

Kelly’s boyfriend asks what he’ll do now that he knows Taylor says he’ll kill all of them. So there’s no witnesses. So if she is seeing the big picture here, she’s not admitting it. Leslie rattles the doorknob, which freaks everybody out. Kelly smashes open a window and tries to climb out onto a pre ranch outside.

But of course he’s sawed through the mall, so it snaps. She falls hitting the ground, knocked out again. Everybody looks outside, they see Leslie standing by her looking up at them, and they flee the house. He starts walking after them.

Stephen: Very determin fast, but not running. Yes,

Rhys: the kids head back to the barn, which Doug points out is exactly where he wants them to go.

Todd figures, this is all part of Leslie’s new plan, and he decides shockingly he’s gonna sacrifice himself for the good of the group and

Stephen: Did you catch the line? He said, have a good summer. Oh my

Rhys: gosh, no. Yeah. Which is funny cuz it’s supposed to be autumn when this is taking place.

Stephen: It’s, yeah I caught that one.

It made me chuckle. Yeah, that was like the funniest thing in the last 15, 20 minutes.

Rhys: Leslie does chase him down cuz he is taunting him. He slips and falls into copious amounts of blood and Leslie’s on him. He tries to appeal to Leslie’s sense of humanity pulling his mask off. But Leslie breaks his neck, just snaps his neck.

Everybody else is in the barn and climbs up to the hayloft. And the reason that work, just because Todd distracted, Leslie, otherwise Leslie would be killing people in the hayloft. They’re all catching their breaths and the kids are questioning Taylor about how long they’ve known he’s been following them and stuff.

And right now is when Taylor finally gets it. It was never about Kelly or the other kids. Taylor’s always been the survivor girl here.

Stephen: You know what? We forgot something in the basement when Pete and his girlfriend were down there. We got the gratuitous boob shot.

Rhys: Yes we did. Without even showing the face of the actress.

So Doug says he’s got no virgin and Todd’s misled Leslie to a different direction, but the kids know the truth. They’re like, oh my gosh, Taylor’s a virgin. Then there’s a noise downstairs. So everyone finds a place to hide in the barn. Door opens, Doug swings a shovel in his dock, hollering in the head.

Lauren and her boyfriend head back to the loft only for Leslie to be there this time. He kills them both, but he falls out of the loft knocking himself out. Did he? Not really. He just looks like he knocked himself out. Doug and Taylor head for another exit blocked by hay bales. But as Doug’s pulling the bales away, he discovers the stoner’s bodies.

Leslie just does that classic slasher movie body sits up in the background, right? Denny’s behind Taylor, but hollering stops him from striking that gives her and Doug the opportunity to escape the barn. They go to the first slide that they should take and there’s all kinds of sharp, pointy things at the bottom of it.

So they find an alternative way out. Leslie kills Doc hollering Wink. Winky really doesn’t, Doug stalls him by saying that he loves Taylor and he’s gonna have to get through him, which he just cracked his head on board and Doug knocks him out. Yeah.

Stephen: Yeah. That was actually pretty funny too. Yeah.

Rhys: Taylor heads Taylor’s taking off.

She gets to the shed, finds Todd’s body there, grabs an ax, and then heads into the orchard. And right about now she’s fulfilling that whole last girl thing. She’s even pissed. Yeah. She’s like taking off her coach. She’s calling him out fully embracing that survivor girl trope. The chaser, the orchard is just suspenseful, but really uneventful.

Yeah. There’s a lot of tension cutting back and forth until suddenly he pops out and surprises her and she hits him with an ax.

Stephen: Which the whole chase, he, could have very well been done completely on purpose to make it feel that way. Because really most of them are like that. Oh yeah. You know what’s gonna happen, and there’s nothing that is over the top and interesting in a way.

It’s that final chase and, yeah. Yeah. It very well could have been completely on purpose to mock the movies.

Rhys: Yeah. We need five minutes of filler and we’re going to use it to build suspense, but nothing’s actually gonna happen. She hits him with an ax. Of course the ax breaks, she bends down to pick up the handle.

When she stands up, he’s gone. Which she should remember, he wears a bulletproof vest. So if hitting him with an ax will hurt, but it’s not gonna actually take him out. She continues on her journey. She gets to the side, her house, Leslie follows shortly after, and he comes into the side, her house.

He’s looking for her kind of leisurely looking around, and then suddenly she swings a block and tackle down and it hits him in the head, knocking him down. He takes her down and starts to strangle her. But about this time, she literally pulls the sickle out of his belt and stabs him with it, literally taking his own weapon and stabbing him with it.

She then sticks his head into the cider press and cranks that metal plate down. He says he knew that she was the one just before she cranks that handle one more time with a little crunching noise. Dousing the place in gasoline and lighting it on fire. I don’t know why you have gasoline in a cider house, but okay.

Stephen: It seemed like playing an FPS game. Why is this barrel here? Where’d this meg pack come from? No

Rhys: idea, but it’s there. She stands outside screaming into the night as the building goes up in flame. And then there’s this last jump scare as hollering and Doug suddenly show up in startle Taylor. Then they roll credits.

There’s a post credit scene that’s going on where they’re bringing a body in. And it’s Leslie’s body and the mortician is there and at the end the body sits up.

Stephen: Yeah. I, when they first started that, I told Vicky, I said, oh, they need the body to sit up. She goes, what? I’m like, the body’s gotta sit up.

She’s no, he’s dead. No, the body needs to sit up. Yeah.

Rhys: And it’s all being done behind talking Head psycho killer. Yes. Which Glasser said it actually took six months to get the rights to put that song in here. David Byrne is very particular about where his songs show up at in media. And she said the longest, he said the longest thing actually wasn’t Burn approving it.

It’s, there’s a person before him and that person like sat on the request for four months before they signed off and then it went to burn and he okayed it. Wow. But yeah I can see David Burn being parti very particular about his music and where it shows up. I get that. But like that whole marketing person who’s between you and them, I dunno. Yeah. Yeah. But that is behind the mask, the legend of Leslie

Stephen: Vernon. So here’s what I was saying, and I didn’t think it was what was gonna happen cuz it didn’t make sense for the way the movie was playing, but I would’ve at the point where it turns into just a slasher flick at the end.

It’s no longer the documentary. Yeah. I would’ve twisted it even more. And Taylor actually was trying to be a serial killer, and this was her training. And so at the end, she turns into the serial killer and kills Leslie to take over the mantel. Oh, that would’ve been good. Yeah. That’s what I would’ve, that’s what I said would’ve been a great movie.

But it didn’t fit what they were trying to do with the documentary.

Rhys: It wouldn’t the twist they had was pretty good. Yeah. I didn’t see him Taylor, as the target clear up until, The end there, but yeah, having her like kill everybody else. Yeah. That would’ve been pretty

Stephen: wow. Yeah. Yeah.

That would’ve changed it a lot. Yeah. So there we go. Leslie Vernon. Leslie Vernon. Hey again, it’s humorous. If you’re not looking for ver Tucker and Dale laugh out loud and humor. It’s subtle and it’s funny when it’s not it’s trying to be, but it’s not trying to be in your face.

Funny. Yeah.

Rhys: And if you actually want an introduction to the psychology behind Slasher films, this is definitely a very entertaining way to get it.

Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. And if you go to chat g p t and type, how do you make a serial killer movie chat? G p t is probably getting the info from this plot line. That’s right.

Yeah. Absolutely. All right. So what’s on the menu for next time? Episode three of season four. Next

Rhys: time we’re going to be talking about perhaps one of the most studied, debated, and documented films of all time that you’ve never heard of. It’s an old black and white called Freaks.

Stephen: Wow. Okay.

Rhys: Shout out to my buddy Paul, who turned me onto that movie.

Stephen: All right. Thank you, Paul. Can’t wait till we’re discussing it. Yep. All right, man. Talk to you later. All

Rhys: right. Take it easy.