3 and a half stars   

directed by: Greg Huson
starring: Scott Weinger, Brad Hawkins, Lindsey McKeon, Juleah Weikel, Holly Towne, Peter Riggs, Billy O'Sullivan, Candace Moon

(back of video blurb):

"At one of North America's most exclusive ski resorts, several skiers have been found dead in very bizarre circumstances.

The brutal slayings are believed to be the work of a mysterious skier dressed in black, who has recently appeared on the slopes.

Kimberly Van Arx has invited a group of her college friends for a snow boarding weekend at her wealthy father's private ski retreat. The gang settle in for a long night of booze and ghost stories. But soon they discover that they are not alone."

choice dialogue:

"For future reference, Kimmy, next time we're being stalked by a serial killer do not go in the basement."

Sage advice

slash with panache?

[review by Justin Kerswell]

Horror comedies are notoriously difficult to do. Not many films can walk the tightrope between chills and laughs without coming a cropper, so it's refreshing to find a movie that manages to do it so well. SHREDDER is an amiable throwback to the slashers of the early 80's, which plays, for the most part, it's horror straight and gets its mirth from an agreeably black streak and generally witty dialogue.

Death to snowboarders!

In time honoured fashion, a group of hedonistic teens head out into the wilderness looking for good times (only to find, well, I think you know). Headed by Kim (Lindsey McKeon), the little rich girl, who's Father has recently acquired the snow lodge at Rocky Summit, where the group are heading to; with her, Cole (Scott Weinger), her boyfriend, who's vaguely irked that she's invited along her friends when it was supposed to a weekend away just for the two of them. Also, along for the ride is Robyn (Holly Towne), a foxy brunette with a neat sideline in flirtatious double-entendres; Ginger Kirk (Peter Riggs) and his snow boarding buddy, and all round pranker, Skyler (Billy O'Sullivan); rounding off the group is the faintly acerbic, and possibly sapphic, Pike (Juleah Weikel).

Stopping off for a rest-room break, the girls bump into the hunky, foreign sounding Christophe (Brad Hawkins). "I'm European.", he tells them enigmatically, before commenting to Robyn, who's standing under a leaking veranda, "You're getting all wet"; "You can tell?", she purrs back shamelessly. Needless to say, he comes along for the ride.

There's someone out there!

The group get to Rocky Summit; half of them get straight down to hitting the slopes, whilst the others explore the less than welcoming, dilapidated and cavernous accommodation. Kim sends Cole and Skyler into town to stock up on booze. They end up in the local bar, and are faced with the usual gormless, inbred looking locals who just sit and gander at them, and the barman who - like many crazy old coots before him - regales them with warnings of impending doom: "Rocky Summit. Stay away from it - it's dangerous. Eeevil!". Cole and Skyler skidaddle back to the others, but not before Skyler spots the bartender's pretty daughter.

An evening of drinking games and shaking off clothes commences as the snow whirls in the dark outside. Suddenly there's a knock at the door. The group lets in an agitated Sheriff, who tells them they all have to leave immediately, and that he has a good mind to arrest them all for trespassing! Kim tells him that her Father owns the lodge now; Robin tries to smooth the situation over in the best way she knows how, looking at his name badge, "Toney ... is that as in tiger?!". Warming to them the Sherrif allows them to stay the night, as long as they're out in the morning.

Nothing like stripping and boozing to attract unwanted attention ...

Naturally, the group are curious as to why the locals are all so keen to see the back of them - and what's with all the talk of murders? Kim tells them something she had been keeping to herself: "Like a hundred years ago, or so, when snow boarding was new ...", she starts, telling them the tale of how a little girl had died after being run off the slops by some drunk 'shredders'. But, unbeknownst to the group, as they settle down for the night, a mysterious skier, all dressed in black, is stalking the snowy hillsides, hell bent on revenge and looking for teenage prey ...

The slippery road to hell!

With a bellyful of red vino, SHREDDER was a helluva lot of fun; I can't vouch it'd play as well sober (but, really, what trashy slasher flick would?!). It's clear that the cast are having a blast with the material, and easily slip between straight slasher action and twisted humour. Like I said before, the humour doesn't ruin SHREDDER, rather make it all that much more fun to watch. There's some pretty funny touches: it soon becomes clear that the killer is more than a little anal about ski safety, it dawns on one of the group, "We're irresponsible, negligent skiers. That's why he keeps killing us, we broke the rules!"; it also made me chuckle when two if the characters are screwing in the jacuzzi, the girl bouncing around on the guy's lap in an orgiastic frenzy, when her boyfriend catches them at it she feigns innocence and shrieks, "It's not what it looks like!". Well, it made me laugh anyway. And, of course, there's a great running gag where a corpse hanging from the ski-lift is missed by everyone as it slowly trundles up and down the snowy hillside.

There's snow turning back now!

Only a couple of grating characters threaten to overturn the goodwill this film generates (and what would a slasher flick be without the ones we hope and pray will die first?); that and a intermittent and jarring quick cuts to shakey-handcam vision (one of the group has a omnipresent video camera). There's also five minutes in the closing quarter when I lost the plot (but that may have had more to do with the booze!).

Greg Huson, to his credit, has made one of the best post-SCREAM straight-to-video slasher flicks; it's certainly better than those 80's ski lodge maniac-on-the-loose movies, the ultra trashy ICED (1988) and the skid row SATAN'S BLADE (1982). With just the right mix of boobs 'n' blades 'n' black humour, SHREDDER is, unexpectedly, a bit of a treat; so it's something of a mystery as to why - at time of writing - it remains unreleased in the US.

BODYCOUNT 12   bodycount!   female:4 / male:8

       1) Male nearly decapitated in trip wire
       2) Female falls to her death
       3) Male stabbed in forehead with spike
       4) Male run though with icicle
       5) Female hung with scarf
       6) Male hit over the head with a shovel and then drowned
       7) Male has spike stuck through face
       8) Male found with throat cut
       9) Female stabbed with ski pole
     10) Male decapitated with trip wire
     11) Male glimpsed dead
     12) Female pulverized in snow macerator