Sure there are already loads of Halloween horror flicks to choose from on my holiday horror page, but it wouldn’t be October without a bunch of new ones to add to the list. So here are three that have recently hit streaming and Blu-ray.
THE LEGEND OF HALLOWEEN JACK (2018)
Andrew Jones, the director of the Robert killer doll movies, The Last House on Cemetery Lane, and The Amityville Asylum, takes on the Halloween and scarecrow slasher subgenre in one film. As usual, I admire an indie director who shows some variety in his filmography.
The intro credits get you in the mood with a montage of clips from classic black and white horror flix.
Then things get kind of Halloween as a psycho killer is on trial…and gets off free on a technicality, à la A Nightmare on Elm a Street. Next, the cops who arrested him take vengeance into their own hands in true Dark Night of the Scarecrow style.
A year later, the scarecrow comes back for revenge…
This is a pretty generic slasher affair, as victims are killed off with a pitchfork, a rolling pin, knife, etc., while the main detective from the case tries to hunt him down.
One of my favorite moments is when two guys are talking about jerking off, and one goes into a whole story about the lengths he went through to convince a drunk buddy he got banged by a guy.
Plus, the Halloween season vibe and spirit is perfect throughout.
Giving it that low budget 80s vibe, there’s a Halloween costume party and a montage of a surf rock band on stage while everyone dances in their costumes.
The scarecrow at last shows up, says “trick or treat” in virtually the same voice as the little demon from the “Halloween Candy” episode of Tales from the Darkside, and then starts massacring the guests at the party. And of course there’s a cheesy battle to the death. You need to hear the overblown dramatic music…and underblown gunshot sound effects.
And shame on you if you don’t see the nod to Carrie coming.
INTO THE DARK: THE BODY (2018)
The first “episode” of the Hulu series in which every episode will revolve around a holiday takes place on Halloween and runs 82 minutes long. So…it’s a movie.
It’s also a movie that immediately felt like something I’d seen recently, and a little research revealed why. It’s based on the director’s short film from the anthology film Patient Seven, which I blog about here.
There’s no forgetting the opener. A psycho killer drags a wrapped up body down the street on Halloween and everyone thinks it’s a prop for his costume.
This full length veers drastically from the original. I think. That’s the only part I remember from the original.
Here the hot hot killer (who was also in gay horror flick B&B) takes the body to a party, and pretty soon he has a group of young people working as his bitches, dragging the body all over the city.
One of the kids happens to be Ray Santiago, so you get these weird Ash vs. Evil Dead flashbacks along the way.
Also, the gay bashing football player from Glee appears as a cop.
It’s a wild and often illogical ride, with plenty of gore and suspense along the way, even if it kind of doesn’t always make sense. But the final battle between psycho and kids is INSANE!
BLOOD FEST (2018)
This was a blind buy on Blu-ray because I could tell from the trailer it was going to be one I’d want to keep.
The opening kill on Halloween told me immediately I was right, and fricking Tate Donovan appears as the husband of the victim!
The main kid is obsessed with horror and works at a video store with the largest inventory I’ve ever seen. However, the film takes place in the modem day, not the 80s.
Despite his father forbidding it, the main boy heads to the Blood Fest festival with his female buddy and his virgin guy friend.
Yes it’s a totally meta movie, to the point (as with most meta movies these days) that the dialogue they have about horror feels forced just so they can drop as many references as possible.
Soon, the vibe at Blood Fest becomes clear. It’s basically a park of horror setups so you can relieve scenes from the classics.
Turns out the kids have no choice but to experience every subgenre, because the purpose of this park is to film the best horror movie ever…by actually killing everyone at the park!
The massive massacre that kicks it off is worth the price of admission.
Basically, this is Cabin in the Woods meets Waxwork.
The main kids are manipulated into fighting zombies, a masked killer, vampires, demons, chainsaw maniacs, a Saw torture lair, dolls, clowns, a sexy bearded backwoods killer…
Humor, gore, scares, a brief cameo by Zachary Levi of Chuck, and a likable cast make this one a great Halloween party movie.