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The Most Bizarre Slasher Movies Ever Made

For many movie fans, the horror genre is split up into two distinct categories — slashers and everything else. But while some of the most iconic slasher villains have, for many, become their imagination's go-to boogeymen when something goes bump in the night, not every attempt at crafting the perfect killer lurking in the shadows has been a total, creepifying success.

For every Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, or Jason Voorhees, there's a slew of failed creatures, killers, and psychopaths that didn't exactly leave a lasting impression on people's concept of fear. However, that doesn't make their grim adventures on the big screen any less captivating. In short, if you consider yourself a horror fan, there's an untapped well of great slasher villains that may have missed the mark on being mainstream but are worth your attention nonetheless.

To help film buffs dive into the stranger side of the slasher movie genre, below is a rundown of some of the most bizarre psycho killers to slash their way through film history. (Be warned, there are major spoilers below.)

Sleepaway Camp is a slasher movie with a bizarre twist

Released in 1983, this strange little slasher film borrows its setting from one of the most popular horror movies of all time, Friday the 13th. However, its setting at a summer camp with a mysterious, unseen killer is where the similarities between the two movies ends.

The first of a complicated trilogy, Sleepaway Camp sees a young girl named Angela go to live with her eccentric aunt after an accident claims the life of her father. The situation has made Angela a bit of a shy recluse, which causes her anxiety when she's shipped off to Camp Arawak for the summer. No sooner does she arrive that bodies start dropping at the hands of a mysterious off-screen killer.

And that's when we get one of the most infamous twists in horror history. 

As it turns out, Angela was actually born as Peter, but her eccentric aunt forced her to live as Angela. At camp, she's bullied relentlessly, and she's eventually forced on a murder spree as she questions both her gender identity and sexual identity after a boy at the camp starts to like her. 

The twist ending made its impact on audiences and spawned three sequels, with Angela having gender reassignment surgery and acting as a boisterous, camp-obsessed counselor. However, those films lost a lot of the mystery that made the first movie so interesting. Still, Angela Baker persists as a great slasher villain, chopping her way through countless generations of victims at Camp Arawak.

Black Christmas features some truly scary phone calls

Before Michael Myers hit the scene in 1978 with Halloween, another killer made their mark on horror and took an even more beloved holiday by storm. Black Christmas tells the story of a group of sorority girls who are being harassed over the phone by a mysterious caller who takes the yuletide opportunity to sneak into their sorority house and murder them one-by-one. And unlike other horror movies where the killer and their story are put front and center, Black Christmas keeps its killer and his motivations incredibly vague, forcing the audience to go back and put the limited pieces together.

When the killer calls, his phone etiquette is less than charming. As the girls listen, he carries out scary conversations with himself that involve a person named Billy (presumably him), a girl named Agnes, and their parents. The phone calls are unclear, interspersed with incredibly obscene threats of sexual violence against the sorority sisters. However, it becomes obvious that something awful happened between Billy and Agnes, something that may have happened when Agnes was a baby. Regardless, adult Billy can't seem to shake it, and it sends him on a murder spree, resulting in some truly gnarly deaths.

Although the filmmakers tried to keep the killer's origin vague, the movie's popularity propelled it to get two remakes. The 2006 version explains that Billy was a child who saw his mother and her lover kill his father. He was then locked in an attic where, uh, some upsetting stuff went down with his mom, resulting in Billy's sister/daughter, Agnes. Meanwhile, a 2019 remake throws Billy out of the equation altogether in favor of a misogynist cult.

Chopping Mall is campy robo-fun

While slashers are typically psycho humans or supernatural creatures, the 1986 film Chopping Mall goes in its own direction by establishing a trio of robots as the villains terrorizing a group of teens.

When Park Plaza Mall gets a state-of-the-art security system that includes robots designed to patrol the mall after-hours with tasers, tranquilizer darts, and, for some reason, laser guns, the owners think they've hit the jackpot. However, when lightning strikes the wrong spot and wreaks havoc on the security system, the robots go haywire and start killing everyone they come across. This doesn't bode well for a group of eight teens who've chosen tonight to have a party in the mall. What ensues is an evening of head explosions, gunfire, and people being burned alive. The teens, while resourceful, prove no match for the bulletproof robots or their high-tech weaponry.

If the premise sounds a little goofy, that's because it is. Not only does the film seem to be in on its own joke, but the campiness and violence are both way over the top. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't capture the claustrophobia of a good slasher film, as the group is relentlessly pursued by an enemy that doesn't sleep, get tired, or think about anything other than the most efficient way to render them dead. 

Unfortunately for fans of that kind of slasher, it seems no one enjoyed this 77-minute feature enough to actually bother with a sequel or a modern-day remake, leaving the killbots with a one-off in the slasher movie canon.

Jack Frost is one of the strangest and snowiest slashers ever made

It seems a good benchmark of a bizarre slasher film is how well it can take something wholesome and make it murderous. Such is the case for Jack Frost, the definitive movie about a killer snowman that comes to life for ... reasons.

The premise is that a prison bus carrying a prolific serial killer crashes into a genetics company truck. The killer, not-so-subtly named Jack Frost, gets chemicals on him that fuse him with the snow, thus creating a literal killer snowman. Not content to just be a medical marvel, Jack continues his killing spree, even going as far as to sexually assault a woman during a night of utter debauchery that grips an entire town and brings the FBI down on him.

The film is clearly not trying to be the scariest horror movie out there, as it has moments of overt dark comedy. However, this Christmas horror flick still did well enough among horror fans to receive a sequel titled Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman, which sees Jack return with a psychic bond to the man who encased him in antifreeze at the end of the first movie. However, this time, the FBI is hot on his trail, fully aware that, yes, a killer snowman exists.

Cutting Class lightens things up with some bizarre comedy

Released in 1989, Cutting Class isn't just a completely bonkers slasher movie. It also has the distinction of being one of Oscar-winner Brad Pitt's first leading film roles. Similar to Friday the 13th and Sleepaway Camp, this incredibly '80s-looking movie doesn't reveal its killer right away, opting instead to shroud the villain's identity in mystery and misdirection, even briefly placing the blame on Pitt's character, Dwight.

The film opens with a high school learning that a troubled teen named Brian was released from a mental institution after possibly murdering his father. He soon gets a crush on a girl named Paula who's already the object of Dwight's affection, not to mention an incredibly creepy school principal's object of lust. When bodies start dropping, the movie makes a big effort to make both the audience and the characters believe that Dwight, who has anger issues, is behind it all. However, to the surprise of almost no one, it turns out that the killer is the not-so-reformed mental patient who already killed his own dad.

Cutting Class seems to know exactly what kind of movie it is, even billing itself as a dark comedy. Sure it has its fair share of violence and suspense, but it also peppers in some lighter moments, such as Paula's wounded father trying to teach a dog enough English to go get him help. Although the film didn't spawn any sequels, it remains a pop culture staple for anyone looking for a good scare, a good laugh, and to do some light ogling of a young Brad Pitt two years before he got famous with Thelma and Louise.

Dead Snow melds the zombie flick and the slasher film into one crazy movie

It's been said that the two things that are okay to kill without mercy in movies and video games are Nazis and zombies. The 2009 film Dead Snow takes that ball and runs with it. 

While zombie movies don't technically fall under the slasher genre, Dead Snow manages to wiggle in there thanks to the fact that its undead horde is actually led by a villainous figure named Standartenführer Herzog, a Nazi personally tasked by Adolf Hitler with destroying a small Norwegian village during World War II. However, he instead leads his men on a legendarily tortuous occupation of the village. When the Nazis fall, Herzog's men begin looting, collecting the town's valuables in a single wooden box before being killed by the rebellious townspeople. Years later, when a group of teens discover the box, Herzog and his men come back to life as zombies and resume their orders to destroy the town.

Sound bizarre? Well, it gets even weirder in the sequel. After a failed attempt to return the treasure to the Nazis in exchange for the last surviving teen's life, a sequel sees that teen accidentally getting Herzog's arm attached to his body. Again, zombie movies aren't typically what you think of when you think if slashers. However, the fact that Herzog orders literal monsters to occasionally do his dirty work shouldn't exclude him or his freaky film from the list.

Stage Fright adds musical numbers to the slasher genre

While the 1980s produced perhaps the highest volume of top-to-bottom crazy slasher films, this 2014 installment came late in the game but still has all that '80s craziness. Stage Fright finds its home in the world of theater, and while films like The Gallows have mined the creepy setting of a stage in subsequent years, no other film has anything like the tone of Stage Fright.

The movie focuses on the murder of an acclaimed theater actress. When her daughter, Camilla, grows up and is bitten by the acting bug herself, she makes her way to a failing theater summer camp that's performing her mom's last play. Camilla easily secures her mother's old part, but it becomes clear that the production is cursed. A killer — complete with a frightening "Opera Ghost" mask — starts murdering cast and crew members left and right, leaving the young woman to untangle the mystery of her mom's death. 

What sets this rather dark tale apart from other slasher movies is the fact that, being set in the world of theater, the brutal mayhem is often intercut with full musical numbers. So, for anyone who likes a good teen murder party but feels these films lack the dramatic flare of a Broadway production, Stage Fright is perfect for you.

The Gingerdead Man is unhinged holiday horror

Horror filmmakers love taking shots at Christmas, but if you want to talk about weird ways of turning the holidays into a bloody gorefest, well, prepare to run as fast you can to check out The Gingerdead Man.

The movie stars Gary Busey as wild killer Millard Findlemeyer. After a botched robbery lands him in the electric chair, he's cremated, and his ashes are sent to his mother, which is somehow where this story begins. It turns out that Findlemeyer's mother is a witch who places a curse on the ashes and ships them, disguised as a gingerbread cookie mixture, to the woman who testified against her son. When the baker makes it into a cookie, a dash of blood magic and some lightning reanimate Findlemeyer as a killer gingerbread cookie.

As the insanity goes on, people start to die until one brave soul does the obvious thing — eat the cookie. Unfortunately, eating the Gingerdead Man only succeeds in allowing him to possess you. So yeah, this movie is by far one of the strangest concepts to base a horror movie around, but it seems to have worked. The parody film spawned two equally crazy sequels that see Findlemeyer terrorizing new generations of people, even managing to go back in time to the 1970s at one point in a misguided quest to regain his human form.

Silent Night, Deadly Night unleashed a murderous Santa Claus

A lot of people have tried to put a dark spin on Christmas, but none have done it more controversially than Silent Night, Deadly Night. In fact, the film's marketing campaign, which put a heavy emphasis on the killer being Santa Claus, drew so much outrage that TriStar Pictures pulled it from theaters just a week after its release.

The gory film focuses on a young boy named Billy, who witnesses his parents die at the hands of a madman dressed as Santa. That trauma, mixed with years in a pretty lousy orphanage, results in Billy finally snapping one day when someone inappropriately forces him to dress as Santa Claus at the toy store he works in.

What ensues is a violent and blood-soaked massacre that sees Billy kill not only the co-workers who wronged him but any young person he deems "naughty." Eventually, Billy makes his way back to the orphanage that was so cruel to him all those years ago, where he meets a grisly end at the hands of local law enforcement. However, it's implied that he passes his murderous insanity onto his younger brother, Ricky, who was an infant in the car the night his parents died.

Despite its controversy, the film spawned several sequels, mostly focused on Billy's brother. However, many of them pulled away from the idea of having a Santa be the killer in favor of presenting some less jarring yet still twisted holiday tales.

Leprechaun is one of the most bizarre slasher movies ever

Growing up, kids around the world heard tales of a mysterious Irish creature that's obsessed with hiding his gold at the end of a rainbow. However, one 1993 film asked the horrifying question, what if the leprechaun was murderously obsessed with his pot-o-gold?

Well, in the film that gave Jennifer Aniston her start on the big screen, a killer leprechaun (Warwick Davis) comes to America after a man returns from a trip to Ireland having stolen his bag of gold. Fortunately, the man manages to trap the monster using a four-leafed clover. However, when some young people take the clover, the leprechaun emerges and wreaks havoc on their quiet farm in search of what's his. Armed with unnatural strength, speed, wit, and a little bit of magic, the leprechaun starts murdering people one-by-one.

However, unlike the more soft-spoken killers of the slasher genre, the leprechaun doesn't lurk quietly in the shadows. He has no problem mouthing off and making his presence known to the world. As a result, the film spawned a staggering seven sequels (including a soft reboot in 2018 that replaced Davis with a new actor, much to fans' chagrin). After two campy and violent sequels, the leprechaun found himself in some unique territory, including outer space and in the "hood." He was also rebooted in 2014, but that adventure is pretty non-canonical. While his origins aren't necessarily complex, Davis' performance is iconic, and he successfully creates a relentless horror slasher that's driven by a single, primal desire — his gold.