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Lovers Lane

Directed by Jon Steven Ward
Available on Blu-Ray from Arrow Video

Thirteen years after the brutal murders of a young man and woman on Lover’s Lane, the hooked killer is on the loose and hunting down the children of his slain victims.

Low budget horror movie LOVERS LANE isn’t the 90’s slasher movie that comes to mind when you mention a hook as the murder weapon, but that doesn’t mean the film isn’t without its own merits despite a shaky start.

The opening scenes sets the tone of the film, as we see the carnage that the hooked killer can do, but not before featuring some cheeky in-car action as two teens get intimate at the secluded beauty spot. The police arrive to the bloodbath and Sheriff Tom Anderson, with his young daughter Mandy in tow, discovers his wife is one of the victims. The killer is captured and arrested and that’s the end of that… or so we think.

Fast-forward thirteen years later and the incarcerated hooked killer is still refusing to accept the crimes he’s committed. Supposedly ‘sick of prison food’, he manages to break out of his cell and flee the asylum he’s been locked up in. A bunch of horny teens at the school in town haven’t a clue what’s about to hit them, or should that be hook ’em?

The lack of a decent budget holds LOVERS LANE back from rubbing shoulders with the other notable slashers of the 90’s, along with some rough dialogue and pacing which can feel a little stiff or lacklustre at times. Despite this, the film has heart and some enthusiastic performances from its cast, particularly from Matt Riedy, as Sheriff Anderson, and Anna Faris as cheerleader Janelle, an actress who went on to spoof the horror genre in the subsequent Scary Movie franchise a year later. Not all the performances seen in the movie are that convincing initially, but the overall quality does pick up as the film progresses.

The beauty of horror movies is that you don’t have to have the best looking visuals so long as other elements are in place. After a slow and middling start, LOVER’S LANE comes into its own once the teens discover that their lives are at risk. Even though many of the kill details occur off-screen, there’s a few to quench your bloodthirst, one of which might even give Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving a run for its money, and it’s great to see the cat-and-mouse chase play out as the teens attempt to fight back in any way possible. There’s an impressive set-piece scene too, one that I certainly wasn’t expecting for the budget the film was working to, which is a delight to behold, whilst little moments of the killer creeping up on the kids should delight the stalk and slash fans out there with a couple of surprises along the way.

All the ingredients for a creepy teen slasher are present in LOVERS LANE and, whilst it may be rough around the edges, it delivers enough when it needs to. B-movie horror fans should have some fun with this, and I especially enjoyed listening to the writers and two members of cast discussing the making of the movie in the new 30+ minute interview that accompanies this Arrow Video release on the special features.

Rating: ★★★★★½☆☆☆☆

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About Bat 4442 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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