Final Exam (1981, dir. Jimmy Huston)

A motiveless killer attacks a campus at end of semester. Curious character-focused Halloween-derived slasher pic with strong elements (it’s well-shot, builds to a decent climax, the baddie is great) but which struggles to fill its running time, substituting frat boy hijinks for a genre plot. Not uninteresting though.

Here’s the trailer.

Urban Legends: Final Cut [AKA Urban Legend 2; Urban Legends: The Final Cut] (2000, dir. John Ottman)

A serial killer stalks a group of film students. Tenuous (and only vaguely urban legend-ish) sequel that has fun moments and a couple of neat movie shout-outs, but which is unscary, not gory, is illogical, and has few characters to root for. The whodunnit angle gets lost in the process. A third movie followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Urban Legend (1998, dir. Jamie Blanks)

A serial killer stalks a campus, the killings inspired by urban legends. Generally satisfactory self-aware post-Scream whodunnit/slasher hybrid with pretensions to John Carpenter, though light on scares and grue, and clumsy in terms of representation. Fun support from stalwarts Robert Englund, Brad Dourif and Julian Ritchings helps. Two sequels followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Friday the 13th (2009, dir. Marcus Nispel)

Two groups of students spend weekends by a deserted summer camp; murders ensue. Clunky attempted series reboot/sidequel with perfunctory handling, and a focus on hunk/hottie/stoner soap operatics rather than story or logic. Not much good, to be honest.

Here’s the trailer.

Sorority Row (2009, dir. Stewart Hendler)

Eight months after the prank-related killing of a fellow student, those involved are each targeted for murder. Glossy loose remake of The House on Sorority Row, with a focus as much on hotties and hunks as much as the at-times inventive deaths and whodunnit stuff. Carrie Fisher is fun in support.

Here’s the trailer.

The House on Sorority Row [AKA House of Evil] (1983, dir. Mark Rosman)

After a revenge prank leads to a death, seven female students are killed off during a end-of-year party. Its awkward set-up notwithstanding, this is a superior subgenre example, building to a delirious third act that’s half-Hitchcock and half-Argento. Lots of fun for fans. An eventual remake followed.

Here’s the trailer.

The Slumber Party Massacre (1982, dir. Amy Holden Jones)

A teen sleepover is invaded by a drill-wielding escaped lunatic. Straightforward slasher pic that delivers in terms of softcore female nudity and sheer number of kills. A couple of quirky moments, a nice grossout gag, and a couple of satiric elements (the film was scripted as a genre spoof, though is played largely straight) help matters briskly along. Sequels followed.

Madman [AKA Madman: The Legend Lives] (1982, dir. Joe Giannone)

Camp counsellors in upstate New York invoke an urban legend: an axe-wielding maniac who killed his family, and who’ll come for anyone who calls his name. Riffing on the same source material as The Burning and others, Madman is a perfunctory entry in the slasher subgenre, though with a couple of interesting visual moments, and an odd downbeat ending.

Fall Break [AKA The Mutilator] (1984, dir. Buddy Cooper & John Douglass)

Students vacation at a beach house owned by the alcoholic father of one of their number; but Dad’s had a psychotic break. Minor slasher pic with a semi-professional cast, but some excellent make-up effects and an oddly jaunty soundtrack. For genre completists perhaps, but there are some quirky moments of interest.

The Burning (1981, dir. Tony Maylam)

Five years after being burned alive, a caretaker returns to the woods near his old summer camp job. Derivative but somehow superior slasher, benefitting from excellent practical effects and some arty directorial moments. Nods to Psycho, Deliverance and Don’t Look Now, plus some subtlety between the horny teens and the kills.