Director: Jeff Lieberman
Starring: Alexander Brickel, Kateryn Winnick, Stephen Graham, Amanda Plummer, Wass Stevens, Joshua Annex. USA. 1h 40m.
I found this lesser known gem in the bargain bucket, it came as one of those double sided discs with an equally bizarre b movie, Killer X (1999), it stayed on my shelf for years until I had a particularly shitty break up and I decided to settle down with a tub of ice cream and sob into it with a terrible movie to remind myself just how shit my life was at the time but this stunning movie really uplifted my evening.
Directed by Jeff Lieberman, a meistro who lives to live life on the edge with psychedelic and wayward classics such as Blue Sunshine (1977), Just Before Dawn (1981) and Squirm (1976) under his belt, but with this modern approach to horror, he seemed to not take any aspect of this movie all that serious but it still manages to be a creepy comedy horror with some very dark undertones, totally different from this retro classics but so brilliant in it’s own quirky rights.
During the Halloween holidays Jenna (Winnick) returns form college to her family home on Bell Island, introducing her boyfriend Alex to her family, her younger brother Douglas “Dougie” (Brickel), who takes a disliking to him as he gets in between the tight bond he has with his sister. The adorable and overly gullible kid is addicted to a compute game called Satan’s Little Helper and while playing he makes a pact with Satan to kill Alex. Heading out to start hunting candy he bumps into a sinister character wearing a terrifying mask, this serial killer is making the most of the Halloween season and is out on a violent kill spree and after teaming up with Dougie the two head out to do their worst but somehow Dougie doesn’t really pick up on the imminent danger and brings “Satan” home to meet his family, coaxing him into killing Alex but not realising he’s slaughtered most of the town already, and seeing it as a big game Dougie seems really impressed with helping his buddy Satan out.
Ten points. Fifty points. Bonus points! A hundred points! Mom, he’s ripping his guts out!
It’s a quirky little comedy crushes the horror, with lots of slapstick slashing, there’s not a lot of gore, it’s not overly bloody but everything the Satan character does results in someone being killed, he poisons a house party with bleach, stabs a few people, beats a few people to death, he’s incredibly creative much like this movie.
It’s easy to write this off as just another terrible movie and some of it is totally cringeworthy but there’s a great vibe that runs through it, it really has a happy halloween theme but it highlights the common fears of the Halloween season, meeting strangers in masks, finding bodies on the porch, is it real or a prop, it really is the season which is ideal for killing.. not that i’m suggesting anything of course. Dougie and Satan really do seem like two long lost friends while they fly down the aisles in the hardware store on a trolly picking up chains, axes and knives, but this boyhood dream doesn’t stay to light hearted.
Amanda Plummer has a strange role as the kids mother, she’s pretty awesome in any horror movie and looks great in her Carmen Miranda costume but after husband (Wass Stevens) get slaughtered by her satanic house guest, she spends the rest of the film wrapped in plastic which isn’t all that weird for this project as anything goes on this fateful day, the more deviant the better. It’s quite upbeat though and all comes together with a curious ending involving Jesus.. buy buy this time you’d expect nothing less than weird. I’d personally like to see more blood and gore but there’s a lot of Je ne sais quoi. I just really enjoy watching it despite its flaws and terrible jokes.
R: Killer X (1999), Trick r Treat (2007), House of 1000 Corpses (2003), Night of the Creeps (1986)
L: Halloween Movies, Spree Killer Filcks