Cult Movie Essentials

Cult Movie Essentials- Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is a 2006 horror film / mockumentary directed by Scott Glosserman. It stars Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals and Robert Englund. The film is an homage to the slasher film genre. It follows a film crew that documents an aspiring serial killer who models himself according to slasher film conventions.

The “documentary” follows up-and-coming serial killer Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel). Leslie lives in the small town of Glen Echo and his life’s goal is to become a master in the art of fear, just like his more infamous contemporaries, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers – who in this world existed as real people whose crimes have been well documented.

Leslie Vernon (Behind the Mask) 02Leslie has enlisted the aid of grad student documentarian Taylor Gentry (Angela Goethals)   and her two cameramen, Doug (Ben Pace) and Todd (Britain Spellings) to record his ascension of the serial killer mountain. Taylor has a one-on-one interview with Vernon, who affably details the tricks of the trade. He also illustrates the numerous pitfalls that come with his chosen profession, as well the rules and code of ethics that every serial killer worth his salt must abide by.

Leslie brings the crew to the home of his mentor, Eugene (Scott Wilson), and his wife Jamie (Bridgett Newton). Eugene is an elderly man and a retired serial killer. He adds some insight into the evolution of the industry and comments how today’s serial killer’s have a much tougher go at it then the older generations.

Leslie shows Taylor his primary target, his “survivor girl”, Kelly Curtis (Kate Lang Johnson). Kelly is a young, blond-haired, “virginal” woman who works at a diner. His intent is for Kelly to be the one member of her peer group to survive Leslie’s carefully prepared massacre, and quite possibly, be the one who will ultimately defeat him. Leslie convinces Taylor Gentry to assist him in a “fly-by” scare outside of the diner where Kelly works.

Leslie Vernon (Behind the Mask) 03

Later, he details his “red herring” strategy, which involves killing someone who only has marginal contact with his prime target, but is not someone whom Kelly is intimately close to. For this, Leslie chooses Mrs. Collinwood (Zelda Rubinstein), the old librarian from the Glen Echo Library. Kelly spends a lot of time here, and Leslie manipulates her into asking for Mrs. Collinwood’s assistance on researching a thirty-year-old newspaper article.

Donning his torn-up overalls and green fright-mask, Leslie is ready to slaughter Mrs. Collinwood right before Kelly’s eyes. Suddenly, a well-dressed elderly man, Doc Halloran (Robert Englund), bursts into the library shouting Leslie’s name and waving a gun. Screaming, “No more. It ends here!”, he fires off a few shots and Leslie takes one to the shoulder. The Librarian faints and Kelly runs off screaming, but Leslie and Taylor’s crew manage to escape the library without further incident.

 

Leslie then leads the documentary crew into his final grand plan…

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