Simon Says (2006) starring Crispin Glover, Margo Harshman, and Greg Cipes. Directed by William Dear.
I love 80’s slashers and I also love Crispin Glover, who is an accomplished actor, director, screenwriter and author. But horror fans don’t care about any of that shit, we all know him as the ‘dead fuck’ who danced like his toaster had fallen in the bathtub in Friday 13th: The Final Chapter.
So I was super stoked when I came across a movie from 2006 that was an 80’s slasher throwback starring Crispin Glover playing identical serial killer twins that had somehow mysteriously escaped my notice. Actually, it’s not very mysterious, in 2006 I was too busy watching The Hills Have Eyes and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes, not to mention Hatchet, Rest Stop and er, Snakes On A Plane.
So what does this little gem have to offer? Well, in true slasher style, we get a bunch of ‘teens’ in a Scooby Doo van on their way to go camping. I say ‘teens’ because I can’t tell if they’re supposed to be older or if the filmmakers hired a bunch of twenty four year olds pretending to be eighteen. I fucking hate it when movies do that, I mean, you’re not fooling anyone. That’s why Sleepaway Camp is so fucking awesome, it’s the only time in slasher history that teenagers were actually played by teenagers.
Anyways, the group of teens is made up og the quintessential slasher victims: there’s The Jock (I don’t mean he’s Scottish, I mean he plays sports and stuff), The Boring Prude, The Stoner and The Sensible One (in a slasher this means she’s The Final Girl). As said group make a pit stop for supplies they’re confronted by a couple of grave diggers who warn them of the murders that have taken place over the years, in true Ralph from Friday 13th style. So far this movie is ticking all the boxes.
The group go to get supplies at a store and are confronted by one of the twins, Simon, who is the ‘slow’ one. He leaves and is replaced by the other twin, Stanley, who is the ‘sinister’ one. We then get a flashback telling the story of the twins difficult childhood, what with all the killing and murder and I almost spat my beer out when I realized Crispin’s father is actually played by Crispin’s father: Bruce Glover! Is this film genius or what?
So the teens or whatever they are get to the campsite and do what people do in slashers, smoke pot, go swimming, blah blah blah. And that’s when the killing starts, by Stanley dressed in a Ghillie suit (see, all those hours of playing DayZ paid off) and employing catapults that fire pickaxes with unnerving precision. It’s not often you can watch a slasher movie and say, ‘I’ve never seen that before,’ but this is one of those times.
And so the rest of the movie plays out, with Stanley yelling ‘Simon Says…’ in a weird accent that makes ‘Simon’ sound like ‘salmon’ and basically killing everyone, including a totally awesome scene of stamping on a poodle, causing the poor animal to explode. There’s even a scene with Stanley taking out some paintballers in a homage to Friday 13th Part 6 and a dinner scene with the Final Girl tied to a chair, surrounded by the corpses of Stanley’s parents a la The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This film has it all.
Like all good slashers it has a running time of eighty three minutes and the ending leaves it open to a sequel, clearly the filmmakers know their shit.
If you like slashers (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) give this a go, I had a real blast with this one.
Steve Barnard lurks in the Stygian swamps of South America. He divides his time between scouring ancient jungles for the lost City of the Monkey Children and watching horror movies. Literally any horror movie he can get his hands on. Especially Japanese ones.