Easter Sunday 2014 Review

 Easter Sunday 2014

Directed by: Jeremy Todd Moorehead

Starring: Robert Z’Dar, Jeremy Todd Morehead, Ari Lehman

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Review by Luis Joaquín González

When I launched a SLASH above, I wanted to create an online guide to the truest form of Halloween-alike slashers for fans to use as a reference point. My motivation was that I’d been stung 748749849840940940-4hundreds of times reading a review of a ‘slasher’ movie only to go online and buy it then find out it was nothing of the sort. For me, writing the reviews wasn’t the important part, it was having a complete online list for genre fans. As the site has grown, I’ve had to start thinking more as a film critic and give an honest opinion on the direction, audio, blocking, camera placement etc of the pictures I featured. I took a few filmmaking courses and got an understanding of production from the earliest stages so that I could offer a constructive and informed view.87487498498409409094

My earliest exposure to slashers was those of the peak period and therefore I’ve always used Halloween as the prototype. I’ve made my thoughts clear on A Nightmare on Elm Street many times and the reasons why I haven’t posted it here. However, from its success, we did get a host of genre entries that did fit with the category’s trademarks, but had antagonists with a repertoire of wise-cracks. These were the likes of Nail Gun Massacre, Psycho Cop, Doom Asylum, Hollow Gate and Happy Hell Night. Personally, I am a big fan of a macabre tone and don’t see the benefit of mixing slapstick with horror. I’m smart enough to know though that there’s an audience for pictures of that sort, or, well, they wouldn’t exist, right?

Easter Sunday, the yet to be released addition from Jeremy Todd Morehead, plays like something straight out of 1986 and includes a killer with an array of quips larger than his arsenal of weapons. It tells the tale of a vicious psychopath that murders his family on Easter Sunday whilst sporting a creepy mask. Sometime later, an up and coming rock group called, The Heartbreakers, accidentally bring the 874874984094094040-0-4maniac back from beyond the grave…

I read an interview with director Jeremy Moorehead and he stated that he felt modern horror films had lost the humour that made them so addictive during the eighties. Many times on a SLASH above, I have said that the egotistic brats that populate a huge percentage of the post-Scream entries are no substitute for the goofy teens from the eighties. What Jeremy described as humour though, I would call charm; – and cinematically, there’s quite a difference between the two. After an intriguing and visually impressive credit sequence, Easter Sunday throws a whole heap of moods at us. We go from the throat slashing of a campy victim to a misplaced fart joke (?) and then on to the gratuitous murder of a sweet young child. This jumble of atmospheres continues throughout the runtime and creates a juxtaposition that I just couldn’t bring myself to digest, even though I really tried.874784398398309333

At times the comedic angle would wane and a dark, almost threatening, feel would generate from the scoring and some creative photography. During these parts, I felt myself subconsciously hoping that the runtime would maintain this flow, but alas, something silly would misplace all that’d gone before it. A fine example is when our protagonist (a spirited ‘look at me’ performance from director Jeremy Moorhead) informs his colleagues of how he fled the maniacal menace (a plot point that the viewer had witnessed and didn’t really need explaining). The scene is set-up well and it re-energises the momentum, but we then cut to a close-up of a character gulping down a burger in one mouthful and playfully jeering, which took the sting out of any ominous vibe. This is followed by the troupe discovering the dismembered head of their colleague in a refrigerator (a guy that 87487487498409409409was murdered then farted upon – no really), but instead of displaying fear or panic, we get a joke about the freshness of half a burrito that was left in the same fridge.

Look, I’m the first to admit that this approach may be one that I can’t personally appreciate and I feel guilty that I have to criticise the valiant work of a fellow slasher enthusiast. I don’t watch horror films for toilet humour and I can’t recall many slasher classics that succeeded with that approach. I almost coughed up ‘half a burrito’ when the lead told another player in a rare moment of seriousness, “No offence, but we’re not in the mood to joke 8748748749840984094090-4around”!?! – Really? For me, that was likely the funniest part of the movie.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is, if your characters aren’t taking the horror in your movie seriously, how can your audience? Would the grotesque axe-murder of a pregnant woman work in the middle of Naked Gun? It’s a shame, because there’s some sure signs of potential on display here. We get CGI gore by the bucketload, a couple of generally creepy moments and an unexpected shock at the 7848743983983093093093conclusion that I REALLY wasn’t expecting. It’s just that it was, once again, weakened by the moments that followed.

There’s a good slasher movie somewhere inside Jeremy Moorhead. If he sacrifices one tone to focus on the other, he could be a contender.  In fairness, Easter Sunday is not a movie I’d ever really buy into due to my personal beliefs and it’s important that other viewers keep in mind that if you like Horror with Porkys humour, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this film. It’s fast moving, gory and fun with moments that are truly commendable. For me though it felt like an express train that kept getting caught in engineering works. 

Slasher Trappings:

Killer Guise:√√

Gore:√√

Final Girl:√

RATING: a-slash-above-logo11

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Posted on March 27, 2016, in Slasher and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. GREAT SPAGHETTI GOD IN THE SKY! How did you get to see this?! 8U
    But splatstick and toilet humor, eh? Now you got me wavering…

    • My guess is that they let him see an advanced copy since he is a reviewer and all. But this movie has been delayed for 2yrs now. They announced on their facebook page that they finally have a distributor. So a dvd should be coming soon.

      • I’m still having my doubts on seeing it, them glowing pink eyes are saying enough. Still, as a reviewer, I guess I’ll dare myself to suffer…and hopefully not as much like how I suffered watching that dreaded 2016 Violent Shit movie…

      • I agree, Violent Shit was turgid! Easter Sunday isn’t that bad, it’s just really not my type of film – I don’t think horror and slapstick works to be honest. It’s worth seeing though

    • Brickstyles is correct it was a screener – I don’t like horror/slapstick combinations so I didn’t enjoy it – but those that do might enjoy it – Happy Easter !

      • Lets hope Gory Graduation is better then this then. Not all slapstick comedy slashers are terrible. Have you seen “Final Girls” or “Lumberjack Man”? I thought both were awesome.

        I do agree though most comedy slashers suck, Two that come to mind are “Return to Horror High” and “Evil Laugh” both of which I hated.

      • Hi buddy! Gory Graduation is from the directors of The Night Before Easter, not of this film – but yes, I hope it’s good! I have both Final Girls and Lumberjack Man, but I haven’t seen them. Return to Horror High was ruined by its comic angle, but I thought Evil Laugh was less OTT. I don’t mind humour if it’s well timed, but it’s when the laughs clash with the horror that films struggle

      • Your right I got Easter killer bunny films mixed up LOL. Wanna talk Charm no slasher has more charm then Graduation Day (although I haven’t seen Blood hook and your high on that film. I must get a copy)

      • Graduation Day is a charm machine haha – Blood Hook, isn’t so charming, but it handles horror comedy much better than this haha

      • Well I do enjoy a few splatstick like Evil Dead II and Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive, but the glowing pink eyes on this slasher…

        Happy Easter,too!

  2. Eric LeMaster

    Call me crazy, but wasn’t there a review of Fatal Exam posted after this, or was I dreaming? LOL

  3. Eric LeMaster

    For some reason, it wouldn’t show for me today until just now. I don’t know why. Probably my cache?

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