SLASHER MONTH: The Ladies Club (1986)

Based on Casey Bishop and Betty Black’s novel The Sisterhood — one of the alt titles along with Violated — this is the kind of movie that sets out to be a feminist film  and then must climb the challenge of its own marketing, which led director Janey Greek (“Ricky” by Weird Al, Spellbinder) to use the name A.K. Allen and lead actress Karen Austin to complain about how New Line sold the movie by saying: “I think the way the film is being marketed is tacky.”

You mean the tagline “Men who attack women have two big problems. The Ladies Club is about to remove them both.” isn’t classy enough for you?

Austin was on Night Court as he original romantic interest for Harry Stone for the first ten episodes and was John Candy’s wife in Summer Rental. Here, she’s LAPD officer Joan Taylor, who has been assaulted by three men who the system allows to get away with their crime. After meeting with a woman’s support group, she and other members — like Constance Lewis (Christine Belford) and Lucy Bricker (Diana Scarwid, forever Christina) — to hunt down men who have attacked women and surgically castrate them.

That said, if you’re expecting something fully sleazed out, this isn’t it, no matter what the posters promise. I mean, it’s not anything reputable either, but you know what I mean.

And you may ask, “Is this a slasher?” Ask all the dudes that the Ladies Club picked up in bars and had surgeons around to slice off their tallywhackers. I think they would definitely tell you that this is a slasher.

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