Trash Or Terror Tuesday: Final Stab (2001)

It’s time for #TrashOrTerrorTuesday

…when I examine a film that’s been languishing in my personal library to determine if it is #Trash or #Terror

– or more importantly, if it deserves to stay in my collection.

And so, out from the dusty shelves of #VHS tapes & DVDs comes…

DVD case for Final Stab (2001)Final Stab (2001) by #DavidDeCoteau

w/#JamieGannon #MelissaReneéMartin #ErinnHayes #BradleyStryker

A game with fake blood and knives becomes a nightmare when someone starts slaughtering teenagers.

“The Reality of this Game… is Murder”

#Horror #Slasher


Final Stab (2001) was made by David DeCoteau, who used to live right across the river from me. I know this because my friend Ian happened to live in the same building. And when I say right across the river, I mean in winter time I could walk across the ice and make it from my apartment door to Ian’s in under five minutes. When the river wasn’t frozen, I had to use the nearest bridge, so it took more like ten or twelve minutes. I went there to visit Ian one day, and as I  buzzed his apartment number, I noticed another name on the directory: D. DeCoteau. I wouldn’t have thought anything about it, except that I had heard that David DeCoteau had recently moved to Winnipeg after making The Brotherhood III: Young Demons (2003) here.  Could D. DeCoteau be David DeCoteau, I wondered?

VHS box for Robot NinjaA while later, I listened to the commentary track on the The Brotherhood III DVD and, from what DeCoteau said, I could tell that he was, in fact, living in my buddy Ian’s building. How cool was that?

I first read about DeCoteau when read J.R. Bookwalter’s B-Movies in the ’90s and Beyond. At the time, DeCoteau was working in Hollywood for Full Moon Pictures, and also making and distributing movies under his Cinema Home Video label. He produced movies like Bookwalter’s classic Robot Ninja (1989). In those days, I found reading about guys like Bookwalter and DeCoteau to be inspirational. 

And now one of them was living across the river from me!

Alas, he moved to Montreal a couple of years later. And my buddy Ian moved to a place that was a 35 minute walk away. Nothing gold can stay, I guess…

But why am I not talking about Final Stab (2001)? 

Possibly because it’s not that interesting (sorry, Dave). It was apparently made as a fake sequel to Scream (1996). It was supposed to be titled Final Scream, but Dimension Films threatened to sue, so they changed the title to Final Stab (which was a reference to the fictional movie Stab in the Scream movies). As low budget Scream rip-offs go, it’s actually not bad. It has enough interesting twists and turns to keep me interested, but ultimately I’d rather just watch Scream (or one of the official sequels).

Poster for Dr AlienSo, what’s the verdict?

Final Stab (2001) is a very mild Terror, with a few hints of Trash. I enjoyed it more the first time I saw it, 15 or 20 years ago, but it was interesting to see it again now. I think twice, however, is probably enough.

It should be noted that I have enjoyed other David DeCoteau movies much more. Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988) i and Dr. Alien (1989) for instance. And Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge (1991) is one of the best films in the series, in my opinion. Those ones will be staying in collection. Final Stab? Not so much.