"Halloween Night" DVD
Join me in a collective
gasp of shock as The Asylum puts out a movie that's NOT based heavily
on previously released work! That's right, no cheesy knockoff this
time around, just a really-loosely-based-on-a-true-story romp called
Nope...no cheesy knockoffs here--this is all original cheese. Well...sort
of. And the flaming bag on our video store doorstep this week is
the positively cheese-laden story of an asylum inmate who kills
a couple guards, breaks out of prison wearing a mask, heads back
to the house of his birth and goes on a murder spree back in 1982.
I'm really, really hoping that there was no pun intended back there,
because if there was, I'm going to be fantastically disturbed.
And yes, I'm aware that that's really similar to the plotline of
John Carpenter's "Halloween". What, you were expecting
originality? Be grateful it's not a complete ripoff! At least there's
a larger victim pool to separate the classic from its pale imitation.
Pretty much from the get-go, something's going to be direly wrong
here. Whether it's thoroughly illogical contract killings or incredibly
familiar hospital exterior shots or just the incredible fun of a
hand somehow being inserted into a throat via an uncannily circular
hole, The Asylum's going to spare way too many expenses to trot
out the cheesiest low-budget romp it can possibly dredge up. At
least the ripoffs were halfway decent! I emphasize halfway; I still
shudder every time I think about "Hillside Cannibals".
And when our killer wanders out of the hospital clad in a bedsheet
and plastic mask, I begin to realize that we've left logic and decent
storytelling far behind us in favor of a series of mostly-related
plot holes so large they can be seen from light aircraft.
At least, until we trot out the lesbians. Then they become visible
The plus side about having Michael Gingold of Fango legend writing
this sucker is that he's amply familiar with all the standard cliches.
The minus side is that he's so familiar with all the standard cliches
that he apparently thinks their use is required by Federal law,
because there is not one he will hesitate to use. From the nigh-invulnerable
serial killer performing impossible feats of strength to the appearance
of titties to cover the sheer lousy of the plotline, Gingold knows
all the oldest tricks in the book and will execute every. Single.
Even worse, Gingold starts mixing his mythoses. While he's using
"Halloween" to kick things off, by the time things end,
he's lapsed into "Friday the Thirteenth Part Two", giving
the hulking silent masked killer a mommy fixation of such depth
that he actually stops in the face of a woman wearing her old necklace,
thinking it's mommy. And yet, to his credit, he has engineered an
elaborate ruse to take place about the middle of the film that goes
surprisingly and interestingly awry.
Despite how truly abysmal this film turned out to be, I'm still
glad I watched it. Remember when I said, not so long ago, that a
movie involving Eric Spudic was likely to turn out really unpleasantly?
Well, my theory has just managed to bear fruit again--Spudic's playing
a bit part in here, credited with the role of "Stu". Thank
you, "Halloween Night", for adding credence to my "Spudic
as Coal Mine Canary" theory!
The ending is a long, drawn-out sequence of slasher film nonsense
that Gingold should have known better than to perpetrate. Honestly,
it's been done to death so many times that it's not even relevant
any more. Even the twist ending is no longer a real twist--most
horror buffs will see it coming from at least three minutes out.
The special features include audio options, cast and crew commentary,
a behind the scenes featurette, bloopers, outtakes, deleted scenes,
and trailers for "Snakes on a Train", "The 9/11 Commission
Report", "The Straun House", and "Halloween
All in all, a couple of fair innovations can't save "Halloween
Night" from being the rock in our trick-or-treat bag that it
is. This sad, sorry sight engineered by people who should have known
better makes me weep for the genre just watching it.
Directed by Mark Atkins
Written by Michael Gingold
Starring Derek Osedach, Rebekah Kochan, Scot Nery, Sean Durrie
Produced by David Michael Latt, Sherri Strain
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