Despite their flaws—no, actually because of their flaws—unpolished, uneven horror flicks are a reminder that there are filmmakers who do it for the love of the genre, at any cost. Well…at no cost, actually. So let’s get into low-budget Halloween horror!
EXIT 101: HALLOWEEN PARTY MASSACRE (2011)
Halloween zombies! Or are those infected? Either way, Exit 101: Halloween Party Massacre starts with old skool organ horror music and a prank involving a dude drinking a weird bottle of green stuff. That can’t be good.
With a retro direct-to-video look and feel, don’t expect heavy zombie makeup. These infected ghouls are all about the oodles of thick bile pouring out of their mouths. Ew!
Incredibly eerie is how they just stand in the distance in the dark, staring at you—often in a pack! There’s also plenty of gut-munching and two unforgettable splattering head scenes, one right after the other!
In fact, the horror elements are the highlight. The plot and dialogue slow-down things down and the film runs nearly two-hours! There’s also major focus on heavy metal music, including a full-length song performance by a band at a party. Look for the hot, shirtless band member in his Halloween makeup!
More hard rock carries us through a montage of the kids getting into their Halloween costumes. Sure, these scenes could be considered filler, but they add to the indie horror spirit of the film, where as the numerous scenes of people talking as they drive in their cars do not.
Although not really a comedy, there are a few funny moments, including an infected attack on a trio of hicks and an EMT’s pee emergency. Characters are the usual suspects (geek, black dude, goth lesbian, jock, etc.).
The husky hot jock is tall and wide with cute chin whiskers, and he dresses like a sexy vampire for Halloween. Every time he fights an infected, his shirt rides up and we get a glimpse of some of his yummy padding.
There’s also a record store scene! So retro.
As for Halloween atmosphere, there’s no glorious fall foliage, not much in the way of holiday decorations, no trick or treaters, and no Jack o’ lanterns. Exit 101: Halloween Party Massacre is all about the creepy infected walking through the woods and an outdoor costume party that turns into a bloody Halloween party massacre!
TRICK OR TREATS (1982)
A babysitter watches over a bratty little boy on Halloween night. A lunatic breaks out of a mental institution and heads home. Obviously, I’m talking about…Trick or Treats!
We don’t know why this dude’s wife had him committed, but we do know two hunks in white come to take him away, hoho, hehe, haha. And we see him plot to escape. And we watch his comic mishaps dressed in nurse drag.
Meanwhile, our babysitter ditches her man’s Shakespeare performance to babysit the most obnoxious, pervy prankster ever—a boy I totally identified with and found rather funny. He says and does some seriously naughty stuff to the babysitter. For the entire first hour of the movie, this is all that happens. We watch a babysitting job. But I must say, the darkness, the grainy film, the Halloween décor, and the trick or treaters—it really has Halloween spirit.
However, the best part has to be a seemingly random scene of two female film editors trashing the horror film genre and claiming that editors are the ones who make horror movies gold while the director gets all the credit…and then rolling the horror film they are editing so we can watch a scene from it. No joke. However, we soon find out one of these two girls knows the babysitter and needs to drop dead…I mean, drop by. Yeah. That’s it. This one chick is our body count.
Anyway, our killer arrives home, kills that one chick, seems to think the babysitter is his wife (even though they look nothing alike), and chases her around the house in one of the most confusing chase scenes since the one in Mortuary. And in the end, we learn…like father like son.
Amazingly, this wickedly low-budget film has some veteran actors you will definitely recognize, and for no good reason, David Carradine is even in it.
While Trick Or Treats seems to be a serious slasher, I think it was meant to be an intentionally funny film (mostly). And despite a near zero body count and nothing happening, it’s highly watchable, making it clear that 80s slashers rule.