Well, since my movies won't arrive in time for this week's entry, I've decided, once again, to see what YouTube has to offer. Luckily, a few of their slasher choices were new to me...it's always fun to gamble on the unknown! So, prepare to be SPOILED, as I watch something from the early 1980's called Hell Night...
The movie starts smack dab in the middle of a rowdy, drunken bash. Linda Blair stars in this one, hopefully minus the head-spinning and pea soup vomit. There's also Vince Van Patten, so this definitely has the 80's vibe going for it. By the way, if you watch these movie while reading along, watch the volume. The opening rock song is pretty much just a wall of screeching noise.
The first character we meet is Peter, the studly president of the fraternity co-hosting the Halloween party. His costume is some kind of swordsman or something. He turns the charm up past 11, and attempts to woo a pretty girl serving drinks, when his frat brother, Scott--the most awkward-looking pirate ever-- interrupts the conversation.
When Peter looks away for a second, he spots Marti entering the room. She's a new sorority pledge, played by Linda Blair, and she's dressed as some kind of Victorian-era woman or royalty perhaps. She came to the party with a friend dressed in a some kind of leopard dress. Maybe she's supposed to be Wilma Flinstone. Is my complete apathy for this thing showing?
Anyway, according to Wilma, Peter looks forward to the Halloween bash all year. So, given that classes in the fall most likely begin in September, Pete's only excited for roughly 2 months. Unless they mean immediately after the shindig, in which case, he's excited until December 31st, because then he begins a new year. (yeah yeah, I know what she meant, I'm just mocking the movie out of boredom, until something interesting happens.) I need a nap, so my cat, Tom will watch this until I'm up again. Everyone, meet Tom. Tom, everyone.
Meow meow loud music meow drowning out dialogue meow. Entire party drives through town in cars meow, until they reach big iron gate meow. Pete lets them into place called Garth Manor, meow, because new pledges always spend one night inside meow.
Garth Manor was occupied by various Garth family members meow, until the last Girths gave birth to a mutant girl, meow. Then they had another child, who was born blind deaf, and mute. Then a son, Mort, was born. He was a Mongoloid, meow. The father was so upset his deformed children, meow, that he decided to kill himself and his family. When police arrived to check out the place, young boy Mort's body was nowhere to be found....
Thanks, Tom, I'll resume watching. I'm feeling better meow...errrrr, I mean now. Anyway, inside the mansion Peter tells the 4 pledges that they can sleep anywhere they want, with whomever they want, until morning. The 4 pledges are Marti; an annoying British girl named Denise(her first big bit of dialogue, featuring her trying to act "drunk" is painful); Some guy dressed as Robin Hood who looks like Blake on Workaholics; and a guy dressed in a generic-looking 1800's suit suit, named Jeff. I guess the costume budget ran out.
Anyway, after they're locked in for the night, they're handed a gun through the iron gate, in case they run into trouble. Then everyone else races away into the night.
The four pledges head inside, where Denise reveals that she snuck in some alcohol and drugs. She and Robin Hood run upstairs to fool around, leaving the other 2 alone. Jeff and Marti together downstairs. Jeff gets the fireplace going, while Marti lights candles.
Then they decide to fight. Marti sees Jeff as nothing more than a spoiled rich kid, while he sees her as a tight-ass liberal. Wait, didn't Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan already play these 2 in a movie? I wonder if they'll keep debating each other as the killer strikes?
Upstairs, the action is even worse. While Diane crawls around on the big bed, Robin Hood is distracted by his desire to shoot arrows at different things around the room. This culminates in him shooting an arrow at her ass. Then when he jumps her bones, she'd rather talk about his love of surfing. Using her body as a surfboard, he demonstrates what hitting the waves is like for him.
Outside the house, Peter, Scott and Wilma show up. They've returned to scare the pledges, and try to make them escape before morning. Peter sends Scott and the cheetah to the other side of the house, while he sets up some stuff on his side.
Back in the study, Marti asks Jeff why he's friends with the jerky frat guys, and he tries to list their good qualities. Then he turns the tables, and asks her, if she hates the fraternity/sorority tradition so much, then why is she pledging? She explains that she did it to hopefully get a circle of friends going on campus. In fact, she's a shoo-in to join, because she struck a deal with the sorority:if she helps them on papers and tests, she's in as their sister.
Then someone screams for , like, a fortnight. We discover that Robin Hood is named Seth. Even his date didn't know that, as she'd been calling him Wes. Boy, it sure is nice to root for smart characters for a change...
Anyway, let's get back to the screaming. The pledges hear another one upstairs, so they head up, and find the wire connected to the speakers that the noise was coming from. Jeff fiddles around with it, and Peter(on the roof) realizes that his control box for the sound effects is no longer working.
Frustrated, Peter asks Wilma Flintstone to go around the mansion, to rig another prank. She starts whining about wanting to stay and watch the prank. When she leaves the guys make fun of her. Nice.
Wilma is sneaking around, when she hears a noise. It turned out to be a big, scary completely innocent owl. Hey, have you ever noticed that owls are in the majority of these outdoor scenes in horror movies, but you almost never see one in real life?
Oops, while I was distracted by that, Wilma was being dragged down into a hole that was covered by leaves. She sees her attacker and screams, and the killer then chops her head off. It goes by fast, so don't blink until you see Marti in the next scene.
Marti and Jeff finally seem to be getting along....and that's when the loud screaming resumes. Jeff tells Marti to stay by the fireplace until he returns. In the main hall, he sees Seth, wearing the goofiest pair of boxers that money can buy. After a quick chuckle, he asks Seth to help him find the pranksters.
While waiting for Jeff's return, Marti gets pretty spooked. She finds the door locked, then hears a noise behind her...it's a...it's a....g-g-g-g-g-GHOST!!! And it's limping very slowly in her direction! My god, I haven't been this scared since that one time my girlfriend bought a pregnancy test, and....um, never mind.
Anyway, Velma found a ghost, but Scooby and Shaggy haven't come to the rescue yet. As the zombiesque spirit creeps ever closer, Marti finally forces the door open, and nearly knocks over Jeff and Seth. While Jeff plans to return to the bedroom for some hanky-panky. Peter goes back into the study with Marti, where he has her recreate what happened.
Outside again. Scott and Peter open a hidden passageway. They're getting ready to set the scene of another prank, involving a dummy head, wearing a rubber mask...If this one ever gets a remake, let's hope that they get rid of most of the prank crap, add more pledges, and have a steadier pace with the kills. I'm practically asleep here.
Up next, Marti watches Jeff climb a tree. He finds the control that locks and unlocks the door, and disables it. Then he goes into Jennifer Love Hewitt mode, and shouts a warning to Peter and Scott, that he'll find them and kick their collective asses if the pranks don't stop soon.
Scott sets up the dummy, and hears a noise. Then the screen goes black, which is as helpful as it sounds. Luckily it doesn't last long, as we see that the killer has hidden in FRONT of Scott. It's as if even the killer knows how brain-dead these guys are, and is siding with the audience.
Anyway, Scott finally realizes that someone is hiding behind the structure in front of him. He stands up to take a closer look, and assumes that it's someone trying to trick him. When he turns back to setting up the prank, a hand grabs his face. The killer then uses his other hand, and Scott gets his neck broken, as well as his head getting some swivel action.
In another bedroom, Marti and Jeff look for more wires and pranks. Then they botch a jump-scare by allowing us to glimpse a fake skeleton through the ajar bathroom door, seconds before the door is opened by Jeff. D'oh! He jumps, then gets rejected by Marti when he tries to get into her bed. Ain't your night, Jeffster.
Back together in another bedroom, Seth and Diane are asleep, but she wakes up with a start. "Little ditty, 'bout Seth and Diane/2 American kids, doin'the best they caaaan/ Jeff's gonna be a surfboard star/Diane'll be an annoying drunk, in the backseat of Jeff's pot-smelling car!"
*takes a bow*
Anyway, so Diane's awake. She's out of alcohol, so she decides to explore the mansion in her sexy lingerie. She grabs a candle and heads for the hall verrrrrrry slooooooowly, and pauses to look around. Oops, she wasn't going out of the room, she's in a bathroom.
As she looks through the drawers and cabinets in the bathroom, someone is seen behind the mirror, watching her. It's Peter, using that secret passage. He goes back outside, When he calls out to his cohorts, there's no answer. He climbs to the roof to look for Scott, and flashes his light around. He then trips over Scott's body, thinking that it's the dummy.
The killer watches from the shadows, as Peter turns a crank attached to a booby trap or prank of some kind. Then he sees a body, and scrambles to get off of the roof. Back on the ground, he heads straight to the front gate. He fumbles with the key, then finally manages to get the gate open.
Unfortunately, his fumble with the keys cost precious time. The killer attacks, starting with another face-palm maneuver. Then he and Peter scuffle, until Peter manages to get away. He runs into the night, only to get lost in some kind of hedge maze. After going around a few corners, Peter sees someone lurking in the shadows, and runs the opposite way. Of course, he runs right into the killer, who uses a scythe to kill the young man.
Marti puts a light on, which wakes up Jeff. She admits that the ghost image really messed her up, which leads to a quick discussion about how he believes in elves, and she believes in ghosts. Then they decide to make out for a little bit.
Seth and Diane are much further along, even though she has to keep reminding Seth what her name is. The killer seems to be watching them, from a room where the door is ajar. As they start delving into cheap porn territory, the camera keeps showing us the half-open door.
After a minute or so of this, Seth gets up to go grab a beer, or pee, or whatever. The killer tiptoes to the bed, and there's an eerie shot of him standing right next to Diane, who has drifted to sleep. The killer fiddles around for a bit, then covers her mouth when she wakes up and sees him there.
In the bathroom, Seth admires his reflection, before heading back to Diane. He gets in bed, only to discover that her throat has been slashed, and her skin is ghostly-white. Seth is horrified, and his shouting gets the attention of Marti and Jeff. They ask him what happened, then run into the room to see for themselves.
Well, I was wrong. In a wider shot, it shows that Diane's head is in the bed, sans body. Seth runs out of the house, and the others follow him. He tries to shoot the padlock on the gate(wait...who locked it back up???), then decides to climb over it. The points on top of the gate are razor sharp, and Seth tries to slowly climb over them, to avoid being impaled.
Despite being jabbed a few times, Seth makes it. After he leaves, the remaining couple clutch each other, and try not to panic. They agree to head back inside, because they're both blithering idiots. Oh, and the background music as they walk back to the mansion is a gigantic ripoff of the Halloween theme, and it takes them a century to open the front door.
Finally back inside, they start to shout out names. Rather thoughtful of them, to give the killer time to hone in on their location. They do more of that slow creeping. Oh, and they find the body of one of the frat boys. Scott, maybe.
They both see something outside, and Jeff is determined to track the person down. Marti begs him not to leave her alone again, but he does anyway. Bastard! He finds Peter dead and runs away, never noticing the keys on the body. D'oh!
Seth gets to the police station, which is really impressive for a dork. He tries to tell the desk Sergeant what happened, but the cops have had their hands full all night, mostly handling pranksters. Seth insists that he's very serious, but the cops threaten to arrest him if be doesn't leave.
Seth prepares to stomp off, but sees a room that is fikked with guns, and is unlocked. He grabs an assault rifle, grabs some ammo, then climbs out of a window. Wow, it's like Superbad mixed with Rambo!
Still hiding in their bedroom, Marti and Jeff talk about whether or not they'll survive long enough for Seth to return. Then a figure arrives, wearing a black shroud. Marti screams, and Jeff uses a pitchfork to stab the gut, They slowly approach the body and lift the shroud, but there's no one there! There is, however, a trapdoor hanging open.
Taking very little time for discussion, the couple decide to follow the killer, even after Jeff tries to leave her behind again. I'm seriously starting to wonder if Jeff is actively trying to bait the killer, by using Marti as a sacrifice. He never seems to think about what might happen to her if she were alone with the killer. Or maybe it's all he thinks about...
Anyway, the underground tunnel is extremely narrow. They finally find a room, but it's darker than The Dark Knight, Darkness Falls, and The Darkest Hour, all rolled into one. They enter the room. There's another section to explore, so on they go. Turning another corner, they discover all of the people the killer has dispatched, some who seem quite old and dusty. There are also framed pictures, possibly representing other victims.
Then they hear someone coming in behind them, so they go into panic mode. They run away quickly, but the killer can always be heard close behind. They finally get back to the secret door, and run outside, where they try to find something to bar the door lever with.
Then we see a liquor store. Huh? Shouldn't they finish the previous scene before they start a new one? Anyway, that's where Seth is. He carjacks a poor guy with the fake rifle, then tells the man the address to send the cops to, if they want to arrest him.
Seth stops at the gate, and worries over how quiet it suddenly seems. He squeezes through some bars, and heads in the direction of the mansion. Uhhhh, if he could squeeze through the bars, then what was the climbing scene about?
So, as he sneaks up to the mansion, the killer reveals that he was hiding above Seth. He tries to choke the young man, but Seth gets in one shot with his rifle. The wrestle for a minute, and twice Seth tries to grab the rifle, but is dragged away from it by our mysterious maniac.
Well, the 3rd time's the charm. Seth gets the rifle and shoots the killer in the chest, and the body gets blown back into a pool of water. As Seth wanders around the pool to look for the killer, the body rises back to the surface. but still appears to be dead.
Seth is so happy, that he limp-runs the entire way to the mansion. He screams "I did it! I did it!", and his friends come out of the bedroom to see him. As they watch him celebrate in the front hall, they ask him about the encounter and a hand snatches Seth away, like something a villain might do in a film from the '30's, after some cackling and moustache-twirling.
Another shot is fired, then the gun is flung back into the front hall. When Seth fails to answer their calls, Marti announces that's going to grab the gun. It was just a lure, of course, because the killer was waiting to grab anyone who went for the weapon. He lunges at Marti, and she runs back to the 2nd floor.
Jeff and Marti race into the bedroom, then brace themselves against the door to keep the killer out. He punches his fist through the door, and grabs at Marti, but she and Jeff escape yet again. Oh, and this is where we finally get a real look at the killer. Imagine Peter Weller in Robocop, after the shooting, and he bought a dark business suit at Goodwill. Or maybe John Lithgow, wearing the Young Frankenstein costume.
Marti and Jeff exit through a window, where Marti is clinging to a weather vane. Jeff is dragged back inside by the weird killer, where he is lifted off the ground, and hurled out another window. Jeff's a-flyin' and a-dyin'!...well, it certainly looks like he died. We'll have to see if he pops up at the end...
Marti doesn't want to die on the roof, so she uses the rope ladder to get off of the house. About halfway down, Marti is attacked by the killer, whose hands burst through a window to strangle her. She leaps to the ground, and runs toward the gate. She then fills in the role of "Scared Girl Who Finds Her Friends Dead" (Yup, even Jeff....so I guess my idea for a twist was wrong.) As that part ends, she fixes one of the cars, and tries to bash the gate apart.
The killer has another plan. His ghostly face pops up in her windshield, and Marti tries swerving to loosen his position on the hood. Those kooky gate spikes fall, sticking the killer to the car like a butterfly in some science class display.
The next morning, Marti finds herself still among the living. She squeezes out of the car and starts to leave it behind, and that's about it. It seemed like they were setting up a final scare as the credits started, but nothing happened. THE END
Man, this one had many, many flaws. But it also had a lot of kills, and a good location I read tonight that there is a remake coming....let's hope they do what I suggested...especially the part about toning down, or eliminating, the pranks, in favor of more victims, and actual slasher scenes that involve practical effects.
Oh, and what I learn from Hell Night?
-In Hollywood,love is definitely blind.
-folks at keg pareties dress up in the cheapest costumes they can find.
-Rock music can kill.
Next week, is hopefully Dark Ride. If not, then another