Friday The 13th Taught Terrifier What Not To Do With Its Infamous Hacksaw Scene

At this point, it's safe to say that "Terrifier" and the brand-new, just-released "Terrifier 2" have both found a comfortable place within horror fandom as relentlessly gory odes to the very edge of the slasher genre. As much as the "Terrifier" films revere the B-movie splatterfest, however, they also take advantage of their position as a squarely modern horror movies, unbeholden to the limits on violence that plagued the slasher heyday of the '80s. Part of director Damien Leone's mission in creating "Terrifier" was to envision what an uncensored "Friday the 13th" film would look like if there were no sudden cuttaways from the gruesome kills.

Modern audiences often think the slaughters conducted by Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and their are bloodier than they actually were. The MPAA butchered many of these slashers' kills more than the slashers butchered their victims, especially as the films became more popular despite (and most certainly because of) their lurid content. The "Friday the 13th" series was the most famous casualty of this censorship, as entry after entry was met with heavy edits from the MPAA to cut down on the gore. Most notoriously, "Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood" was nigh-bloodless despite having some of the most brutal outtakes in the entire franchise, according to the surviving workprints.

 Leone's approach to the kills in "Terrifier," however, are so unflinching that it feels like an act of vengeance against those who dared to neuter the slasher massacres.

The good stuff

Jason may have racked up a kill count that stretches over the 150 body mark throughout his 12 movies, but arguably none of them have reached the level of brutality that Art the Clown, the star of "Terrifier," has indulged in. Well, at least in regards to one particular murder. In the most infamous scene of the original film (and this is very upsetting, so please turn back if you have a weak stomach), Art hangs a woman upside-down and proceeds to slowly cut her in half with a hacksa,w starting from between her legs. There is nothing left to imagination here, no cuttaways to spare the audience from seeing everything in horrible detail. 

Leone intended this to be a response to the censorship of the '80s slasher films, as he explained in an interview with Dread Central:

"Here's the thing with most slasher movies, especially the American ones in the eighties, 'Friday the 13th's and stuff, even if the scenes are graphic, you only saw them for quick glimpses... I would say the first kill in 'Suspiria' with the heart was the inspiration for the kills in 'Terrifier.' The scene is just relentless, it never ends ... when the person should be dead they're still alive ... That's the good stuff! Especially with a slasher movie, that's the stuff we all want to see, and it's almost insane when you go to see a slasher movie and you're cheated out of the most important part of the kill."

Interestingly, Leone cites the giallo films of the '70s as a key inspiration, just as they were the muse for the American slashers of the '80s. As a result, "Terrifier" is a mix of different influences that are nevertheless all part of the same putrid pool of flesh and viscera that make up the modern slasher movie.