A cherished inclusion in my 80s slasher collection is 1989’s Offerings, a ridiculous attempt to rip off the first Halloween a year after Halloween 4 was released. In fact, this film is really just a mashup of Halloween, Prom Night, Valley Girl and, well, The Italian Stallion.
In true Prom Night fashion, this movie opens with one kid (painted as a Dahmer-esque child who tortures his pets) who is tormented by local kids to the point that he takes a great fall…down a well. Wait, isn’t that kind of how Pumpkinhead got his infamous start? Anyway, ten years later, and the kids are now teenagers–and being picked off one by one. All that’s missing is the shots of the killer crossing the victims out of the yearbook.
Our little loony pulls a Michael Myers and busts out of the mental institution. Now a grown man, he stands behind bushes breathing heavily while watching pretty young girls walk home from school. Sound familiar? His old house is all boarded up. Ring a bell? Oh, and he also comes with his own theme song that is an exact copy of John Carpenter’s theme to Halloween…minus one note. Hm…maybe this is where Vanilla Ice got the idea that all you had to do to write your own song was change one note of an already existing song. Yeah, you know that VH1 clip I’m talking about.
The “homages” to the classic terror tale of Laurie, Annie, and Linda keep coming. Our lead girl sits distractedly in class and is put on the spot to answer a question about her required reading. She gets a weird phone call at home and thinks it is her friend pranking her. The local sheriff and a professor from the hospital find devoured animals and believe the killer has returned to town. The grave of the killer’s relative is vandalized. One of the girls is murdered in her car when the killer pops up from the backseat. One of the girls is named Linda. And naturally, when our killer is shot—he gets back up.
The thick of the film is filled with both funny intentional humor and tons of unintentional laughs. First, all the actresses clearly watched too much Square Pegs, because you’ll be gagging with a spoon at their dialogue. Early 80s Val speak does not blend with the hilarious late 80s acid wash jeans worn in this movie. They’re like, two different heads. Like, totally.
So anyway, our lead girl and her friends are at home watching horror movies and waiting for a pizza delivery. When they discover the pizza just sitting on the front steps, it kind of looks like it has sausage on it, but they didn’t order sausage. So they eat it anyway.
This begins the arching plot of this movie—the constant appearance of bloody body parts on our lead girl’s front steps! When they find an ear, the sheriff arrives to check it out, takes the ear and the last remaining slice of pizza to have them examined, and tells the girls not to worry and to get some sleep. They express little concern over the fact that they may have eaten a body part that looks remarkably like sausage (this perv’s palate sure as hell would be able to determine exactly what kind of spicy meat I was downing!). Need I even bother discussing this movie any further?
Yeah, I must. Because just when you think Offerings can’t get any worse, the last ten minutes seem to be where all the horror movie making energy was focused. Suddenly, we are immersed in a classic slasher, with dark settings, eerie lighting, tense moments, and a suspenseful chase scene! Honestly, if I had never seen the first hour and twenty minutes, I would have been convinced I had just witnessed the ending of a classic 80s slasher. But really, who would want to miss highlights like a group of kids devouring a sausage-like pizza?