2 Mar 2015

SLASHER FILM RULES - Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  Are the slasher film rules true?

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, is a part-mockumentary post modern homage to slasher films, does it follow or just reference the slasher film rules?

The following may include spoilers for
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

Rule #1 - There Will Be A Warning...

Leslie calling Taylor to film his killing spree counts, at least for her, as a warning.
For Kelly, there are local legends, Leslie plants fake newspaper stories and there's a creepy old librarian, Mrs Collingwood to tell them too.

Rule #2 - There Will Be T&A
Leslie outlines that his first victims will be having sex.  He also tells a story of what will go down, which includes Lauren's breasts being exposed.  Taylor points out that his is a little gratuitous.   A major plot point is that Kelly, previously said to be a virgin is caught riding a guy reverse cowgirl.  Although she's naked, her nudity is covered.  There's later a couiple of upskirt shots of Lauren.

Rule #3 - Death Will Be A Punishment For...

Leslie is deliberately following the rules.

A:  SEX - Two are killed during the act.  Two others are killed for participating in the act.  Two are killed for planing to.
B:  NUDITY - One of the characters is killed for assumed nudity.
C:  DRINKING - Although Kelly doesn't drink and is killed, those who drink die.
D:  DRUGS - Two stoners are killed.
F:  CRIME - Breaking into the house, I guess, but unnecessary.  Taylor and Doug, who survive are accessories to some of the murders.
H:  BYSTANDERS - Mrs Collingwood, the librarian, specifically killed to freak out the faux-final girl.

Rule #4 - Never Go...

A:  THE BASEMENT - The basement is set up as a specific kill point to kill Pete and for Lauren to escape.
B:  UPSTAIRS - Leslie specifically sabotages escape routes from upper floors, causing Kelly's death.
C:  FOR A SHOWER - No one showers.
D:  OUTBUILDINGS - Leslie specifically states that only Taylor can go into the toolshed.
E:  RUNNING OFF TO THE SAFETY OF THE FOREST - Todd does, but thinks he'll be safe because he's working with Leslie.  Leslie specifically states that you can't let people run off because it's embarrassing if they escape.
F:  ANYWHERE ALONE - Many of the deaths.

Rule #5 - Order of Death...

A:  THE FIRST PERSON ON SCREEN - Kelly is the first person to appear on screen.  (Fail).
B:  THE BLACK MAN DIES FIRST - No minorities.  (NA)
C:  THE STONER:  Unnamed Stoners.  Killed late (Fail)
D:  THE BIMBO - Kelly initially portrayed as the virginal potential final girl, she turns out to be sexually active (enough for Lauren to comment on it, and seems jealous that Lauren went into the basement with Pete).  She also falls to pieces completely when things go down and is partially responsible for her own death.  The female member of the couple killed having sex is also counted, since all we know about her is she goes for sex soon after the party starts.  (Pass).
E:  NERDY/FUNNY GUY - Todd.  Overweight and always making wisecracks.  (Pass)
F:  MACHO JERK - Pete, Shane & Unnamed Sex Guy.  (Pass)
G:  STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER - Lauren, sure, she goes into the basement with Pete and if Leslie's supposition is correct almost has sex there.  Even if that's true she holds it together better than Kelly and asks some relevant questions when the time comes and is the first to guess the status of Taylor's hymen.  (Pass)
H:  THE PROTECTOR - Doc Halloran, the movie's "Ahab."  Seemingly dies in the correct order, although he survives.
I:  THE SENSITIVE GUY - Doug becomes one, although earlier he may count as the a nerdy/funny guy.  Seemingly dies in the correct order, although he survives.
J:  ANIMALS & CHILDREN - No children or animals.
K:  THE FINAL GIRL - Taylor. (Pass)

Order of Death:

1.  Mrs Collingwood [?]
2 & 3.  Unnamed Couple [F & D]
4.  Pete [F]
5 & 6.  Unnamed Stoners [C & C, some E]
7.  Kelly [G]
8.  Todd [E]
9.  Lauren [G]
10.  Shane [F]

Rule #6 - Especially When They Are Most Needed, The Following Things Cannot Be Relied On…

A:  COMMUNICATION DEVICES - Some notes there is no reception when they need it.
B:  LIGHTING:  Leslie's rigged a remote to take out the fuse and put dead batteries into all of the flashlights.
C:  VEHICULAR TRANSPORT - Taylor points out that the van won't start when Todd has trouble doing just that, because she knows Leslie's got to it.
E:  THE AUTHORITIES – The authories aren't mentioned (apart from the origin story).
F:  WEAPONS - Leslie pre-rigs the weapons to fall apart.
G:  ESCAPE ROUTES - Leslie sabotages and nails up escape routes from the house.

Rule #7 - The Final Girl


(Although there was Kelly, the faux-Final Girl.)

A:  FINAL - Yes.
B:  GIRL - Yes.
C:  MASCULINE - Always whering jumpers, and jeans or combat pants.  Shortest female hair.  Taylor is an ambiguous name.
E:  VIRGINAL & INNOCENT - Virginal.  Although she plays along with Leslie for a while, after the couple is killed she develops a conscious.
F:  WILL BE REBORN - She goes through the rebirth ritual, exactly as Leslie described it.

Rule #8 - The Killer has a connection to...

Leslies Vernon/Mancuso

A:  LOCATION - The venue is the Vernon farmhouse.
B:  THE FINAL GIRL - Leslie picked Taylor as the "Survivor Girl."
D:  OTHER VICTIMS - Leslie says he spent a lot of time picking the group he'd menace.
E:  FEMININITY - A little, but not significantly.
F:  SPECIFIC LOOK - Leslie cultivates a specific look..
G: WEAPON - Mostly carries a scythe, but kills with other farm implements too.

Rule #9 - Evil Never Dies...

The issue of the immortality of evil is touched on in the movie.  The idea that a killer can slow his breathing and heart rate and appear dead is shown.  The fake backstory also includes a child, assumed dead returning.

A:  ALWAYS KILL THE BAD GUY TWICE - On at least one occasion Leslie falls and lies still.  However, it isn't really accepted as his death.
B:  THE BAD GUY LIVES ON - Shown during the closing credits.
C:  EVIL IS IMMORTAL - Suggested in this film as being mortal but as noted able to fake their death.  It is also suggested that they are preforming work necessary for society and it will be done over and over.

Rule #10 - The Sequel Will Be Bigger/More Formulaic

The makers have been working on a sequel/prequel:  B4TM: Revenge of Leslie Vernon.  The following information is recorded for possible later reference.

C:  THERE WILL BE MORE T&A - One set of breasts and some suggested nudity.
D:  MORE AND BIGGER DEATHS - Ten murders, most of them pretty low on gore.


The rules were pretty much followed completely, and that was, in fact the point.

~ DUG.

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