The Gnarliest Kill in the ‘Fear Street’ Trilogy Was Inspired by Kmart Night Shifts

The Gnarliest Kill in the ‘Fear Street’ Trilogy Was Inspired by Kmart Night Shifts

It’s Friday night, and you know what that means: TGIFS! Thank God It’s Fear Street!

Netflix’s entire Fear Street trilogy is now available to stream and it’s a blood-soaked throwback to the slasher movies of old. Scream, Halloween, Friday the 13th: they’re all influences. We’ll have a spoiler review of the full trilogy after the weekend once everyone’s had time to catch up with the third and final installment, Fear Street Part Three: 1666. In the meantime, we’ve been speaking with director Leigh Janiak, and you might be surprised by some of the other influences she’s citing: The Goonies, Terrence Malick, and…Kmart?

Warning: this post contains spoilers for Fear Street Part One: 1994

The first installment in Netflix’s trilogy has been out for two weeks already, but if you missed it and don’t want to know anything about anything, click away now.

You can bookmark this page and come back here when you’re up to speed with the first movie.

Consider this innocuous shot of the Shadyside Mall your last warning.

Breaking Down the Bread Slicer Death and Its Kmart Connection

Character deaths are an inevitable part of any slasher movie, but Fear Street Part One: 1994 manages to stage a particularly memorable one using a bread slicer in a supermarket. The Skull Mask killer feeds Kate (Julia Rehwald) through the slicer head first. It’s the experience that most of us have whenever we visit Kmart, right?

“The stuff of life. The saving place. Great brands, great value.” Death by bread slicer. Kmart.

In our interview with Janiak, courtesy of Danielle Ryan, the director did name-check said mart a couple of times, talking about how she once worked there. Check out what she had to say about the slicer death, below.

DR: So, first off I wanted to ask you just because this has been on my mind since I saw the first film. All three movies have some really gnarly kills in them, but the one that stands out is the bread slicer death from 1994. So I was wondering if you could tell me where that came from, what gave you all that idea, and how you executed it.

LJ: I think that part of the reason I kind of love the slasher sub-genre is finding crazy ways to kill people. So, that was obviously something that me and my fellow writers, as we were figuring out the movies, were always thinking about. And then if we’re going really far back, I think that the most incipient idea for this came from when I was a teenager, I worked at a Super Kmart. I grew up in Ohio in a suburb east of Cleveland, and one summer I took a job working at the Super Kmart third shift. I went in at like 9:00 PM, and I worked till like 7:00 AM because I’m a night person. I think that my time working in that grocery store all night…I just remember seeing all these weird people and coming up with these crazy ideas, and I just loved the idea of taking over traditional suburban spaces and kind of destroying them. It made sense that when we put our kind of finale of movie one in the grocery store, I’m looking for objects around that we could use.

That’s kind of where the bread slicer really originated. Filming it was crazy because we knew that obviously there would be the effects that were completely going to enhance the experience, but Julia who played Kate, she really just kind of came in at a next-level performance with just this very organic, real, raw terror and fear. Her screams were just so disturbing even when we were shooting, which when you’re shooting a horror movie, it’s not scary. You’ve got lights everywhere, people everywhere, but the emotion in her voice was so intense that we ended up using it, kind of like blaring it through the speakers when we were filming other scenes in the grocery store to keep Kiana [Madeira] and Olivia [Scott Welch] kind of engaged with what was happening with their friends and everyone.

The Fear Street trilogy is currently streaming on Netflix. Check the Kmart.com store locator for the ‘mart nearest you. No bread slicers, other goods, or services were provided by Kmart for the writing of this article.

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