It’s a Horror to Know You: Luisito Joaquín González of A Slash Above!
1. What is the first film that ever scared you?
I was quite squeamish as a kid and I remeber I used to get scared even by murder mysteries on TV. But that changed forever when I saw John Carpenter’s Halloween. I was about eight years old (I think) when I watched it and I was petrefied! Michael Myers was like nothing that my little eyes had ever seen before. I can recall that walking from one room to another with the light off was almost impossible. The mystery of that open ending kept me seraching for years. I always wanted to know how and why he could get back up after so many bullets. It’s amazing that we never really get a real explanation.
That’s how I became a fan of slasher movies, because I was always trying to get that same feeling that I got from Carpenter’s seminal flick. After a while, I noticed that it was a pretty niche sub-genre to follow as stalk and slash flicks generally get a hard time from critics. They’re also quite hard to find, so I have spent the past nineteen years tracking the rarest entries down. Most of them are fairly bad, but there is most definitely enjoyment to be had in watching them.
2. What is the last film that scared you?
To be honest the last film that really made me jump was The Ward from 2010. I agree that it was by no means classic Carpenter, but I remember we were watching it in a big empty cinema and some of the shocks were quite effective. Before that I thought that [REC] from 2008 was quite scary, but after something like 800 horror movies, it takes something special to get me now. If I ever fancy a scare, I go for one of the older ‘classics’ like Baron Blood or La Residencia (The House That Screamed). I’ll give you one that you may not be aware of. The film Alison’s Birthday from Australia is fairly rubbish, but has one of the most terrifying opening scenes anywhere ever. Seriously, it used to terrify me.
3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.
There’s so many! Of the recent ones though, I thought that The Mist was deserving of higher praise. The downbeat ending and the grim environment of impending doom were exceptional and it’s one that I feel may grow in popularity in ten years or so. Another that is regularly overlooked and undeservedly so is Small Town Massacre (a.k.a Strange Behavior/Dead Kids) from 1981. I know, you are probably wondering what the hell it is, right? Although not scary, it is superbly acted, brilliantly plotted and it boasts a unique retro vibe. The small town community is something that I think really gives it an authentic character. My last is Al Filo Del Hacha (Edge of the Axe) from 1988. This is a no nonsense straight-up slasher flick and probably not so different from the countless others that were made for next to nothing around this time. What makes it stand out though are the characteristic performances, the twist ending and the absolutely gorgeous backdrops.
4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.
Now this is more my area of expertise. I grew up on rubbish, but charming horror. I love 1988’s Blizzards of Blood or Iced as it’s more commonly known. The dialogue, personas and attempts to be sinister, whilst failing – drastically, make it all the more fun. It’s so unbelievably campy that it will cheer you up quicker than twenty bottles of Prozac. The character of Carl should become like an ambassador for eighties cheese. Next up, Mausoleum from 1983. A terrible, terrible film in every which way but lose, but if you don’t get kicks out of seeing a beautiful ex-Playboy centerfold with yapping fangs for breasts, then you’re lucky enough to still be very sane. But people, like me, who ‘lost it’ many moons ago, will be in riddles of laughter all the way through. Last but by no means least, I would have to say Burial Ground from Andrea Bianchi. The gore, the cheese, the bad acting, the kid trying to get it on with his mom! Yes it’s all those things and more; a horror flick filled with more funny parts than a Jim Carrey omnibus. In fact, many of the Italian Zombie films from that period were great fun. It wasn’t only the stalk and slashers.
5. Send us to five places on the Internet!
VEGAN VOORHEES – A fantastic site dedicated to slasher films, where the authors are always first with the newer entries.
A SLASH ABOVE – Is it egotistical to put my site here? I hope not, but I am concentrating on reviewing the most obscure slashers along with the classics, so maybe you will find something you like there!
THE TERROR TRAP– One of the oldest horror websites on the web and easily one of the best. Intelligently written reviews and a really nice lay out make this one a must.
HORROR.COM FORUMS – Great forum for chatting with other fans of horror. The people logged on are generally full of knowledge and good fun to speak with too.
SLASHER STUDIOS – These guys don’t only love slashers, they make slashers too! What more do you need?