Director – Cameron McCasland (Bonehead)
Starring – Stacey Dixon (Hell House, Beyond the Wall of Sleep), Shawn C. Phillips (Porkchop 3D, Zombie Babies), and David Vaughn (Punchbug)
Release Date – 2014
Rating – 3.5/5
One of the many, many aspects of 80s slashers that I like is the culture of that time. I love the way the films look, the soundtrack, the wardrobe, and all the pop culture references that most people have forgot about as time went on. The huge influx of 80s throwback slashers try hard at trying to create that perfect 80s vibe but very few are able to actually pull it off. It is not because they did not try because that is not the case. However, it is usually because they lacked the funds.
When an indie slasher is able to pull the vibe of an 80s slasher off while giving the viewer an authentic period piece then you know you have a good one on your hands. Several weeks back I stumbled across the Facebook page for the upcoming slasher The Lashman. I checked out the trailer and could easily see this film was made by a fan of 80s slashers for the fans of 80s slashers and I had to see it. I reached out to the director, Cameron McCasland, and he was nice enough to send me a link to the online screener. Thank you Cameron for that!
**Spoiler Alert**The Lashman follows a group of twenty-somethings as they decide to road trip out to a cabin in the woods for a little bit of debauchery before returning back to school in a few days. While drinking around the campfire one of them tells the others about the legend of the lashman. The story of the lashman can be traced back to the wild west when a leather-smith arrives in town to make a name for himself. However, the locals did not take kindly to strangers coming into town and kill him.
The others don’t hold stock in his ghost story and go about having a good time. Slowly throughout the night the lashman shows up with his leather bound bullwhip and bloodshed follows.**Spoiler Alert**
When I write a review I usually like to spit a few facts before I go picking it apart but this film went straight into topless action and so will I! (Removes shirt) The acting in this film is amazing. I have seen Kaylee Williams and YouTube star Shawn C. Phillips in numerous films (most of which are together) and I have to say this is the best work I have seen from both of them. They both have grown so much since I first seen them on screen together. The rest of the cast did a great job as well. They all showed extreme amounts of talent and I would bet this is not the last time we hear from any of them.
The story for this one is just like so many “in the woods” slashers. However, this film is able to do what so many in recent years have tried and that is create a modern 80s slasher throwback that follows the slasher formula perfectly. The film is also an outstanding period piece. McCasland has an eye for detail and was able to make the film look as close as possible to being made in the 80s. The wardrobes, cars, surroundings, and pop culture references are all there.
McCasland is also able to make a period flash back in his period piece. The western scene looks fucking amazing. In fact, the western scene looks better than the rest of the film. With all that being said, the film is not able to capitalize on one aspect that many people love about slashers and that is the slasher himself. Almost all of the slasher flicks in the 80s tried like hell to create a killer that would go on to become an icon. The killer, as fun and original as it may be, does not have that look to make it memorable.
Finally, the film has some very unique kills that fits the killers unique weapon. The special effects are nothing awe inspiring but they did fit the kills to make them very effective. Fans of slashers know what to expect when it comes to kills. Overall, The Lashman is a slasher for the fans of slashers and not the pop horror crowd. The film has topless women, a unique killer, and a format we are all familiar with. Check it out!