I first discovered this slasher satire (recently released to DVD by Legend Films) during one of its many runs on cable in the early '80s. I recall liking it at the time, but I was a college kid with a fondness for beer, so I probably watched it through a hop and barley flavored filter. There's an obvious Airplane influence, though the laughs never flow as freely and the premise runs out of steam early on. The film's nostalgia appeal is probably its biggest selling point these days, and viewers watching it for the first time will probably wonder what all the fuss was about. Still, I'm glad I had a chance to reacquaint myself.
Since it was released in 1981, it's interesting to see how many of the sub-genre's cliches were already in place. The horror begins on Jaime Lee Curtis's birthday, as a randy young babysitter named Judy receives threatening phone calls from an asthmatic-sounding character who calls himself The Breather (voiced by Richard Belzer). Soon her boyfriend arrives and both of their fates are sealed when they decide to have sex (this IS a slasher film after all). The two are done in by the clever and deadly application of a paper clip and a garbage bag. Like all good slashers, The Breather has a trademarked look, though the green rubber gloves and galoshes just don't have the same impact as a goalie mask.