194 – Slasher Stories

The Mythcreant Podcast

Is that a noise outside? It’s probably nothing, so ignore it and go get some alcohol for our underaged drinking party. Nothing will go wrong. That’s right, this week we’re talking about slasher stories, everyone’s favorite genre where breaking from societal values is punished by brutal death. We discuss the origins of certain slashers, how slashers work in roleplaying games, and how to subvert the genre’s toxic tropes.

PS: Let teenagers trick-or-treat. We’ll stand for none of that age-based gate keeping here.

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Character Karma

Friday the 13th


Behind the Mask

Halloween Films

Nightmare on Elm Street



Hunter: The Vigil




Cabin in the Woods

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  1. SunlessNick

    Lampshading is the term I’d use for Cabin in the Woods, at least in most aspects. The closest it gets to deconstructiom, I think, is with the “slut” and “virgin” characters. Jules is the sex-positive blonde, but she’s also in a committed and loving relationship – while Dana is the one who’s just come out on affair with a professor – but Dana is the one who thinks *she* did something wrong, while Jules is adamant that no, *he* did. That last part is how they can fit into the slots, but the way of getting there is very off the stereotype.

    One film that was better than any kind of rational expectation was Freddy vs Jason. The “slut” character in that was interesting – she acted the way she did because she was depressed and sex was the only way she was able to feel like people cared about her. She still died first out of the main characters, IIRC.
    (The film also subverted the “always isolated and alone” part, with Jason showing up at a rave and just massacred as many people as he could).

    Another one to mention is Harper’s Island. This wasn’t a film, but a 13 episode series, with one or two people dying per episode. Compared to a slasher film, there was a lot more room to develop the characters, and a lot more historical investigation. But as well as a slasher film, more than anything else, it also resembled a cozy mystery (isolated location, group of interrelated characters, secret relationships, the killer being near-certainly one of them).

  2. Julia

    You can do a slasher story that defies tropes in another way: by killing off characters that viewers would assume are best suited to survive the situation but in actuality their overconfidence is a liability. For example, in Aliens the tough space marines get picked off one by one, but one of the last survivors is a little girl whose strategy is to run and hide.

  3. Andrew

    @17:00. For the idea of a jenga tower that collapses faster:

    The stability of the jenga tower comes from the fact that the tower is made up of blocks with large surface areas meaning it takes a lot to get the center of gravity past the tipping point: so, if you decrease the amount of area each block makes contact with the blocks above/below it, you decrease the overall stability of the tower.

    So, the pieces of a fast-falling jenga tower would be regular jenga blocks, but with their tops carved on a slant or curve, giving the center of gravity a narrower range of forgiveness. You could even change the ratio of fast-falling blocks to regular blocks to modulate the difficulty of the tower as the story progresses (For example, starting with a mostly regular tower and subbing in fast-falling blocks with each death).

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