Terror At Tenkiller
PLOT - After a terrible break-up at school, a young woman joins her girlfriend at Tenkiller, a lake where the two decide to spend the summer and get away from it all. It isn't long before one of the lake's residents go on a blood thirsty rampage, slowly stalking the two girls and leave a trail of dead bodies behind them.
LOWDOWN - There are certian movies, and certain VHS covers you don't ever forget. Among some of the more popular titles like Nightmare On Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors, and April Fools Day, Terror At Tenkiller was one of them. I still have a very vague memory of my mother renting this movie and watching it with her. Years passed and I tried over and over again to remember the name of this movie. All I could clearly remember was the title sounded funny, almost like it rhymed, and the artwork was a woman in torn clothing standing in a swamp reaching upward with the killer behind her. It wasn't until HorrorHound last September when my good friend Kristy Jett showed me some of the merch she had picked up. One of them was a Scream Theater double feature which had The Last Slumber Party AND Terror At Tenkiller on it. The second I saw the image all these warm childhood memories came rushing back at me. I right away asked Kristy where she had picked the movie up and sadly with some very bad luck the next day when I returned to that vendor that informed me they had just sold out of copies. Bummed up, I decided next show they were selling DVDs I would go straight to them first. Well cut to a few months later when I staffed HorrorHound in March, while walking around in a haze (I later found out I had the stomach flu.) I saw the same exact guys selling DVDs like hot cakes. Racing straight to them I picked up two double features of theirs, and yes one of them had Terror At Tenkiller on them!
It took me a while to finally find the time to sit down and re-watch this movie but I'm glad I did. The second I put this movie in nice memories of my late mother came back. I know, weird...I'm reminded of my mother when I watch slasher movies. Go figure. I guess it's because my mother was the reason I got into horror in the first place. In fact she was cool enough to take me to the video store all the time growing up and let me within reason rent almost any movie from the horror section that I wanted. I clearly remember this movie was her pick and all I really remembered was two girls sitting on a dock by the lake, that's about it.
Well the movie is VERY low budget, and very cheesy. It was 1986 where all these independent film companies were cranking out slasher after slasher to cash in on the huge boom that had taken the decade by storm. Terror At Tenkiller is a prime example of this. It's not very well made, the acting is terrible, and like I said the budget shows pretty clearly. Still, it's certian movies like this that win my heart over. What I liked about this movie was that it took it's time. As a writer, I like movies like that every once in a while. It's more realistic. It's at a slow pace that might not exactly hold everyone's attention, but it takes it's time to make you care about these two girls and the time their spending up at the lake.
I also found it clever that instead of masking the killer or keeping it a mystery, they decided to reveal who the killer was very early on. Even though the body count isn't huge, I did find the cutting off the arm bit pretty impressive.
With a creepy reveal, and a pretty cool ending song, Terror At Tenkiller did exactly what I wanted it to be. It was good old fashion 80's cheese. It brought back happy memories, and was a fun movie to watch in the middle of the summer.
Now onto The Last Slumber Party!