Review: Slashening: The Final Beginning (2020)

  • Director: Brandon Bassham
  • Writer: Brandon Bassham
  • Stars: Lloyd Kaufman, Addie Weyrich, Rasheda Crockett

Review

Aliens, Friday the 13th Part 2, Hellbound: Hellraiser 2, Hostel Part 2, The Purge: Anarchy, Prom Night 2: Hello, Mary Lou and now Slashening: The Final Beginning. What do all of these films have in common? They are all sequels that are better than the original. Suit up in your best politically correct armor because Slashening: The Final Beginning has a lot to say and no one is safe from it’s laser focused eye on social politics.

To say that bringing a Slashening sequel to the screen was a labor of love would be an understatement. Writer/director Brandon Bassham utilized a Go Fund Me campaign and lots of social media begging to get the funding to complete the film. He even did an interview with myself and Eric Dinsmore talking about the ups and downs of finishing the film (Read that here). Bassham never gave up and we have all been justly rewarded with a truly funny movie that not only ups the ante on absurdity and social commentary, but has a truly outrageous sex scene that I can never scrub from my mind and a real banger of an original song that was in my head for days, even though I couldn’t sing it out loud because, well, you’ll have to watch the movie to know the answer to that.

Opening in the house where the events of Slashening took place, we are brought up to speed on all of the girls and pizza delivery drivers who have perished previously. This, of course, does not stop the new party people from partaking in the one thing that always guarantees a swift death in a horror movie: sex. Docking, consent talk, genital mutilation, making fun of the slasher, it’s all here and it’s all in such wonderfully bad taste.

We then join Madison Santangeli as she tries to move on with life after her father has passed. Why focus on Madison? Her dad is the one that kept sending all of those poor pizza delivery drivers to the house and he simply could no longer live with the guilt of that and he suffers multiple failed suicide attempts. Yup, there is some jokes at the expense of suicide. Consider yourself fully warned that nothing is off limits when it comes to the humor in this movie. Madison is in a therapy group where she befriends the members and this is what gives us our new batch of people to kill.

Bassham shows off his skills behind the camera while simultaneously making fun of the myriad ways that drama is “enhanced” with a 360 degree pan or a rack focus, specifically. His comedy is also eerily timely and on point, especially considering how many years he has worked on getting this movie to us and this makes Slashening: The Final Beginning a weirdly important movie right now. With all of the truly serious and ugly things currently happening in our day to day world, absurdist comedy with a healthy dose of truth telling under the surface may be the very thing to allow you to let off some steam. Horror is always a barometer and mirror of the ugliness in the world and TSTFB is no exception. Gentrification, feminism, consent, racism, millennial entitlement, it’s all here and it is all being dragged for filth. Couple this with an original score of music that expertly accompanies all of these issues and Bassham has created a tinder box of low budget horror that uses off color humor to point an accusatory finger at us that we all deserve.

From the house of Troma, make no mistake that this movie was made on a bare bones budget, but in no way does it ever feel like any of the cast or crew approached it as such. In fact, Lloyd Kaufman is known for creating a very safe and respectful environment on his film sets and his cameo is a wonderful treat. Honestly, there are so many things in the movie that I want to talk about because I found them so damn funny, but it would be unfair to ruin any of the fun to be had while this movie eviscerates modern day American culture and hypocrisy. I will say that I still wish I hadn’t seen that one sex scene, but I also no longer wonder what Hedwig’s angry inch may have looked like. Not for everyone, not sleek and shiny like the ten thousand Blumhouse releases we get every month, no familiar faces or household names, but Slashening: The Final Beginning is truly one of the most fun horror movies I have seen in a long time.

Lisa Fremont

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