31 Days of Horror: Totally Killer is a totally awesome 80s-style slasher

Totally Killer - Courtesy Blumhouse / Amazon Prime
Totally Killer - Courtesy Blumhouse / Amazon Prime /

Amazon Original horror film Totally Killer is now available to stream, and it’s totally fun flick. Starring Kiernan Shipka (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and Olivia Holt (Cruel Summer), it’s a slasher that is like a mashup of some of the best 80s films.

Here’s the recipe for Totally Killer: Take a dash of Halloween, Back to the Future and Heathers, then add a sprinkle of Scream and The Final Girls. Serve with some slasher moves and a healthy dollop of humor.

As someone who is old enough to have seen all of the above-mentioned films when they were released in theaters, the 80s vibe rang true, and I thoroughly enjoyed a little trip back in time. It was also fun to spot the homages throughout.

Back to the Future is actually mentioned by the characters, as is Scream, the main character is named Jamie, there’s a Randy…you get the idea. But it doesn’t feel forced, and it’s an enjoyable ride.

The premise is simple. Jamie is a teenage girl at odds with her mother Pam, who seems a bit over protective. But there is good reason for this. When Pam was a high school student, three of her friends were stabbed to death by a masked man later dubbed “The Sweet Sixteen Killer”, so named because he stabbed each of his victims 16 times. All of these years later, people are still talking about the murders, which have remained unsolved, and Pam lives in fear that the killer is going to return for her or her loved ones.

Totally Killer
Totally Killer – Courtesy Blumhouse / Amazon Prime /

On Halloween night, Pam herself is stabbed to death, and Jamie ends up going back in time to change what happened – saving her mother in the process. How she gets there will be explained when you watch, but it’s interesting watching Jamie encounter not only the teen versions of Pam and her friends (who are referred to as “The Mollys” because they like to dress like Molly Ringwald), but also her own best friend’s mother.

There are lots of examples of how lax things were “back in the day” versus how sensitive and careful we are now. For example, Jamie goes to the school office with an elaborate story of why she is there (she claims to be an exchange student from Canada), and why she needs to see certain students. But the secretary just looks at her blankly and tells her to go ahead. What, no ID check or paperwork? Nope, just walk into a classroom in a public school, no problem.

Jamie is consistently shocked by the political incorrectness going on all around. A girl is referred to as “Fat Trish”, there is some slut-shaming talk, etc.

It’s a wild and crazy premise for a film, one that includes a photo booth/time machine, a Gravitron-type carnival ride and a few touching moments – nothing as deeply emotional as in The Final Girls, but still sweet. And the cast is good, so it’s easy to get caught up in the story.

Totally Killer can only be seen on Amazon Prime Video, so head on over for an awesome time.

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