A real scream

Like other horror spoofs (“Scream,” “Cabin in the Woods”), LCC’s production of “Slasher” follows a predictable plot formula peppered with stereotypical character tropes that it simultaneously identifies, dissects and sends up. Unlike its predecessors that celebrate genre elements, “Slasher” critically analyzes messages of female exploitation and the responsibility, thus dodging the claim, “It’s just a movie.” 

Combined with top-caliber performances spurred by director John Lepard, “Slasher” is  far more intelligent than its title suggests. Angharad McGaughey plays Sheena McKinney, a shapely college student cast as a “last girl” in Marc Hunter’s (Richard C. Redman) upcoming film, “Bloodbath.” Unfortunately, Sheena’s mother Frances (Madeline Nash) holds a vindictive grudge with Hunter and is determined to stop him and the film at any cost. 

Consummate stage veteran Redman anchors nearly every scene, giving ghoulish menace to his unscrupulous character with a piercing stare and powerful voice. McGaughey confidently holds her own, playing off questionable directions such as “Your nipples should be like rocks,” with appropriately skeptical expressions. 

Even with the bare-bones set and low-budget blood effects, “Slasher” never feels cheap. That’s primarily because Lepard grounds his actors with real emotions that make laugh lines hilarious and dark moments chilling. Contrary to Hunter’s directorial suggestion to Sheena, “I don’t want you thinking too much,” it’s clear that playwright Allison Moore and Lepard have the opposite in mind for their audience.

Lansing Community College Theatre
Through Oc.13
8 p.m. Friday & Saturday
LCC Black Box Theatre, Room 168 Gannon Bldg.
$10 adults/$5 students, seniors, LCC alumni
(517) 372-0945