The night crew of a small local supermarket are stocking up for the night when they find themselves being stalked and killed by a maniac.
The last time I watched this it was on a really crappy VHS copy, so seeing it nice and crisp this time around was a pleasant treat. The film follows the standard slasher formula, more or less, but never falls into the trap of actually being a standard slasher.
Although not a comedy, it has a very dark sense of humour and makes no secret of this as it churns out all of its fun and gory kills. The effects are dated, but good and obviously still better than CGI crap. The camera work is pretty cool and fun as well, ranging from cheesy (the prison) to clever (knife in the head).
One of the things that sets it apart from a typical slasher is that whilst most of the characters are young people, they aren’t being punished for being young; they’re not having sex, doing drugs, being reckless or ‘having fun being young’ – they’re at work, working. They all seem like nice, regular people and there’s absolutely no reason to want them to die or for us to enjoy watching them die. Except that the film makes clear its tone and there’s no real development of them beyond ‘hey, let’s go on a date on Saturday’.
Carrying on from this, the characters are also never really in a position to make stupid decisions because they’re busy working and unaware that anything is happening. The killer sneaks up on them and they don’t get a chance. This also makes the ‘final girl’ easier to swallow because she’s not a totally unlikable, annoying screaming girl who gets all her friends killed and happens to be the last one left. The conclusion of the film is a little strange, but keeps its humorous tone.
A very fun slasher with some awesome kills that really show off the creativity of the director. It is literally nothing more than a ‘fun slasher’ though – it’s not really a spoof or satire or a social commentary. It exists to entertain and that’s exactly what it does. And Sam Raimi is so goddamn adorable.