July’s Shudder line-up shows-off some sinister summer programming that will keep horror lovers thrilled all month long.
If you’re down for some campy slasher action, then the Sleepaway Camp trilogy has you covered. Sleepaway Camp arrived during the slasher film craze in the early ‘80s – and features one of the dopest movie posters the genre has to offer.
The plot follows a young girl who heads off to camp with her cousin. And surprise, surprise… bodies start dropping. By today’s standards, this movie doesn’t do anything we haven’t seen a thousand times before. Yet there is pleasure to be had in sitting back and watching the genre’s overdone tropes work themselves out right before your eyes. The movie gets bonus points for having a shocking twist-ending.
I haven’t seen Lake of Death yet, but its eerie trailer grabbed my attention. The movie looks like one of those chilling psychological horror stories where you can’t tell what’s real and what’s going on in the protagonist’s head. Lake of Death is based on a film (based on a book) that helped the genre gain a foothold in Norwegian culture. I’m ready to take a flyer on this one.
Shudder’s biggest treat this month is Joko Anwar’s insane horror-thriller, Impetigore. I caught the film during Sundance this past January, and it’s still the most intense horror movie I’ve experienced all year.
Anwar is one hell of a genre filmmaker. In terms of scare-factor, his 2017 bone-chiller, Satan’s Slaves, can go toe-to-toe with any film in The Conjuring series. And last year, Anwar directed Gundala, a balls-to-the-wall comic book movie that feels like a breath of fresh air compared to its North American competitors. If this man isn’t on your radar yet, then he should be. Put aside a few hours to dive into his thrilling filmography. You won’t regret it.
July 2020 Programming Highlights
(Titles available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK as noted)
Shudder Original/Exclusive Movies
METAMORPHOSIS (premieres Thursday, July 2)
In this fresh spin on a demonic possession story, Joong-Su, an exorcist, must face a demon he tragically failed to defeat in the past when it targets his brother’s family next. The demon assumes the form of different family members to sow confusion and distrust, destroying the unit from within. With his loved ones in peril, Joong-Su must face the demon again, at the risk of his own life. Starring Bae Sung-Woo, Sung Dong-Il and Jang Young-Nam. Directed by Hong-Seon Kim. A SHUDDER ORIGINAL (Also available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK)
THE BEACH HOUSE (premieres Thursday, July 9)
Escaping to a family’s beach house to reconnect, Emily and Randall find their off-season trip interrupted by Mitch and Jane, an older couple acquainted with Randall’s estranged father. Unexpected bonds form as the couples let loose and enjoy the isolation, but it all takes an ominous turn as increasingly strange environmental phenomena begin to warp their peaceful evening. As the effects of an infection become evident, Emily struggles to make sense of the contagion before it’s too late. Starring Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros, Jake Weber and Maryanne Nagel, directed by Jeffrey A. Brown. A SHUDDER ORIGINAL (Also available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK)
LAKE OF DEATH (premieres Thursday, July 16)
A year after her twin brother died a mysterious death, Lillian and her friends head to the old family cabin to say their goodbyes. But soon after they arrive, eerie and gruesome events begin to occur. As the lines between reality and Lillian’s nightmares blur, she must fight both an external and internal struggle to stay alive. Is a horrific local legend becoming reality, or is the real enemy among them?
Director Nini Bull Robsahm (Amnesia) took inspiration from Norway’s popular 1942 novel (and later film adaptation) of the same name (De dødes tjern), credited with sparking the country’s interest in horror. Robsahm shot Lake of Death on stunning 35mm and brought on Academy Award-winner Bob Murawski (Army of Darkness, Drag Me to Hell, The Hurt Locker) to edit. Starring Iben Akerlie, Jacob Andersen Schøyen, Jonathan Harboe, Sophia Lie and Elias Mun. A SHUDDER ORIGINAL (Also available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK)
IMPETIGORE (premieres Thursday, July 23)
(Sundance 2020 Official Selection) After surviving a murder attempt in the city, Maya, a down-on-her-luck young woman, learns that she may inherit a house in her ancestral village. With her friend Dini, Maya returns to the village of her birth, unaware that the community there has been trying to locate and kill her to remove the curse that has plagued the village for years. As she begins to discover the complicated reality about her past, Maya finds herself in a fight for her life. Starring Tara Basro, Ario Bayu, Marissa Anita, Christine Hakim, Asmara Abigail, directed by Joko Anwar (Satan’s Slaves, another Shudder Original). A SHUDDER ORIGINAL (Also available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK)
IN SEARCH OF DARKNESS (premieres Thursday, July 30)
Tracking major theatrical releases, obscure titles and straight-to-video gems, this four-plus-hour documentary explores ‘80s horror films year-by-year. Topics include groundbreaking practical effects; the home-video revolution; poster art and project marketing; creative and budgetary challenges; sound design and musical scores; the 3-D resurgence; heroes and villains; sex, nudity and “the final girl” controversy; and the pop culture context that fueled the genre. Filled with countless clips and entertaining moments, In Search of Darkness is a nostalgia trip through a game-changing decade, as told by both experts and the icons who influenced the modern landscape of genre cinema.
Featuring Tom Atkins, Doug Bradley, Joe Bob Briggs, Darcy the Mail Girl, Lori Cardille, John Carpenter, Nick Castle, Larry Cohen, Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Sean S. Cunningham, Joe Dante, Keith David, Katie Featherston, Mick Garris, Michael Gingold, Stuart Gordon, Andre Gower, Spencer Hickman, Kane Hodder, Tom Holland, Graham Humphreys, James A. Janisse, Lloyd Kaufman, Eric Kurland , Heather Langenkamp, Don Mancini, Harry Manfredini, Kelli Maroney, Robbi Morgan, Bill Moseley, Greg Nicotero, Phil Nobile Jr., Cassandra Peterson, Mike Redman, James Rolfe, Ken Sagoes, Ben Scrivens, Mark Shostrom, Corey Taylor, Cecil Trachenburg, Ryan Turek, Caroline Williams, Alex Winter, Heather Wixson, Tom Woodruff Jr., and Brian Yuzna,. Directed by David A. Weiner. A SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE (Also available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK)
New Movies for July
THE BURNING (Director: Tony Maylam)
When an ill-advised prank misfires, summer camp caretaker Cropsy is committed to hospital with hideous burns. Released after five years, hospital officials warn him not to blame the young campers who caused his disfigurement. But no sooner is Cropsy back on the streets than he’s headed back to camp with a rusty pair of shears in hand, determined to exact his bloody revenge. Starring Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Jason Alexander. (Also available on Shudder Canada)
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (Director: Dan O’Bannon)
Two employees of a medical supply company accidentally release a toxic gas that raises up the dead. Soon the area is overrun with flesh-eating residents of the local cemetery who are hungry… for human brains. Starring Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews, Miguel Nunez, Brian Peck and Linnea Quigley. (Also available on Shudder Canada)
SLEEPAWAY CAMP (Director: Robert Hiltzik)
SLEEPAWAY CAMP II: UNHAPPY CAMPERS (Director: Michael A. Simpson)
SLEEPAWAY CAMP III: TEENAGE WASTELAND (Director: Michael A. Simpson)
Bad campers meet brutal ends in this cult favorite ‘80s slasher series. In the first film, slightly traumatized and painfully shy Angela Baker is sent away to summer camp with her cousin. Not long after Angela’s arrival, things start to go horribly wrong for anyone with ill intentions. Who’s the secret killer? And what’s behind their murderous motivation? Things start out campy but get nastier and nastier until the shocking (and problematic) ending. In the sequel, the grisly murders that terrorized Camp Arawak six years earlier have become beloved ghost stories around Camp Rolling Hills. But as the campers uncover the truth behind the murders, their carefree days at summer camp come to a violent end. And in the series’ third chapter set at a camp for troubled youths, the psychotic killer that has roamed the woods and been the topic of many ghost stories is still lurking about. (Also available on Shudder Canada)
METAMORPHOSIS (see above for details)
JERUZALEM (Directors: The PAZ Brothers)
In this award-winning supernatural horror, two American girls on vacation follow a mysterious and handsome anthropology student on a trip to Jerusalem. The party is cut short when the trio are caught in the middle of a biblical apocalypse. Trapped between the ancient walls of the holy city, the three travelers must survive long enough to find a way out as the fury of hell is unleashed upon them. Starring Yael Grobglas, Yon Tumarkin, Danielle Jadelyn.
THE BEACH HOUSE (see above for details)
MANIAC COP (Director: William Lustig)
MANIAC COP 2 (Director: William Lustig)
MANIAC COP III: BADGE OF SILENCE (Director: William Lustig)Two New York policemen (Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell) and a policewoman (Laurene Landon) search for a killer in uniform who should be dead. In the sequel, the “Maniac Cop” is back from the dead and stalking the streets of New York once more. And in part three, when footage is doctored to place blame for a hostage’s death on a comatose officer, the “Maniac Cop” takes it upon himself to exact revenge upon those responsible for smearing her name. (Also available on Shudder Canada)
LAKE OF DEATH (see above for details)
NINA FOREVER (Directors: Ben & Chris Blaine)
Holly wants to prove she’s not some prude, but when she starts dating the brooding Rob, she’s not expecting a three-way relationship with a rotting corpse. Though the dead-ish Nina’s blood can be washed out of the sheets, the couple have to go to greater lengths to give her soul peace—if that’s even possible. Starring Cian Barry, Abigail Hardingham, Fiona O’Shaughnessy.
THE POOL (Director: Ping Lumpraploeng)
In this simple yet surprising film, a young couple find themselves trapped in a 20’-deep swimming pool with no way out—and that’s only the beginning of their problems. Starring Theeradej Wongpuapan, Ratnamon Ratchiratham. (Also available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK).
IMPETIGORE (see above for details)
PATRICK (Director: Richard Franklin)
A comatose patient uses telekinesis to kill in this terrifying Australian horror classic. Lying quietly in his hospital bed, one might mistake Patrick for a hopeless case. But Patrick’s more than meets the eye, and when he becomes fixated on his nurse, he starts using his powers to stop anyone who tries to come between them. Starring Susan Penhaligon, Robert Helpmann, Rod Mullinar. (Also available on Shudder Canada).
TURKEY SHOOT (Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith)
In a dystopian future, a group of prisoners become targets in a state-sponsored hunting game called a “turkey shoot,” where they’ll be preyed upon by evil gun-toting government officials. If the prisoners survive, they’ll be set free. But the prisoners don’t want to take that chance, and soon the totalitarian rulers find themselves with targets on their backs. One of Ozploitation horror king Brian Trenchard-Smith’s greatest films. Starring Steve Railsback, Olivia Hussey, Michael Craig. (Also available on Shudder Canada).
IN SEARCH OF DARKNESS (see above for details)