Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Scott Glosserman

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Scott Glosserman
The slasher film is currently in limbo awaiting its third wave but if any film deserves to inflame the genre it’s Behind the Mask, a droll meta-movie documenting the rise of the next great super-killer. Creating a world where Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers are indeed real, first-time director Glosserman introduces us to Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel), a 20something upstart killer preparing for his next great killing spree. There to capture it all is a documentary film crew shooting every move the self-effacing and informative Vernon makes as he prepares and trains for his big night. From explaining why the "last girl” has to be a virgin to sabotaging the weapons left for victims to use against him, it’s a very detailed "how to” on the fine art of staging a slash ’em up execution on unsuspecting teenagers. While it’s a rush watching everything fall into place after seeing it all carefully planned, Glosserman doesn’t simply let it slide into satire — when the twist hits, Behind the Mask becomes the on-edge horror flick it was inspired to be. The cameos (Freddy himself, Robert Englund) and homages are purposefully obvious, and the casting of Scott Wilson to play the retired serial killer mentor is pure gold. And let’s not forget the titular mask, which is equal parts creepy and mortifying. The cast commentary reveals just how quickly they "knocked this fucker out,” shooting it on digital video. It’s busy and laced with sarcasm but from time to time, the foursome get down to business and shed some light on the production. The "making of” shows Glosserman’s apprehension as he learns the Hannibal Lechter prequel will be using a similar title as his film, a concern that couldn’t possibly have lasted too long. Deleted scenes like the "Walk/Run Demonstration” allow Vernon to show the documentarian just how killers track down their running prey by walking, while "Groundhog Day” is Wilson’s aged spiel explaining all of the abuse he’s faced in his time as a killer, from being burned and hanged to doused with bacteria-ridden holy water. (Anchor Bay) (Anchor Bay)