Being a fan of low-budget indie slashers, I was looking forward to Devil’s Night. Its obscurity is so appealing, with our beloved Danielle Harris back in Halloween-themed slasher land (the same year she appeared in Rob Zombie’s Halloween!). While Devil’s Night is only available on DVD from Black Fawn Distribution, the original title Left for Dead (which isn’t an adaptation of the video game) is a slightly different cut of the film and is available on Amazon Germany.
It also stars horror hunk Shawn Roberts from the Resident Evil movies and A Little Bit Zombie. He gets gloriously shirtless here, as do several other cuties with rocking bodies. It’s a fraternity movie after all. And for boob lovers, there are plenty of those—not to mention a shower scene involving SERIOUS slit. WTF? Such perversity on my living room TV! I’ve never seen such close-ups of va-jay-jay in a horror movie before!
So anyway, these frat boys kill a dude and swear to tell no one. A year later, people start getting offed by a killer in a really creepy mask at their Halloween party. Meanwhile, Danielle Harris tells an urban legend about this guy Michael (interesting choice for a name) and his special sausage, which he would make by feeding his pigs slaughtered humans (the gory details play out on film as she’s telling it).
This is paint-by-numbers slasher stuff with no jump scares and no particularly outstanding kills. But there’s a cool catch—a final guy instead of a final girl! Also, excellent use is made of the freaky mask, with the killer often looming eerily in the background. The big distraction for me was Danielle Harris! Her role is virtually irrelevant and she comes across as just another generic b-actress. Although straight male fans will be happy to know she shows her butt cheeks.
Also, every character pretty much knows he’s in a horror movie. Before there’s any proof of anything being amiss, the leading man is convinced the dead guy has come back for them. Hottie Shawn Roberts concludes that Michael the sausage guy is after them. One chick automatically assumes the worst when she doesn’t hear from a dude after the Halloween party, then goes into wary horror girl mode when Danielle Harris leaves her side for a moment in a costume store. Of course, this is how I live every moment of my life because I watch so many horror movies, so maybe their reactions are very realistic.
The Halloween angle struggles to stay relevant, but I was confused as to when exactly Halloween fell. It seems it’s the night of the party, but then the next day, the girls are costume shopping. Even in different instances of dialogue, we get mixed messages as to which day is officially Halloween. And the most Halloween spirit we feel other than the costumes at the party is an unnecessary visual tour of all the masks at the costume store and an excessive focus on clips from Night of the Living Dead when two characters are watching it on TV.
The movie comes to a close with a chase scene—in a leg cast! Don’t see that every day. Then our leading man looks like Jamie Lee Curtis at the end of Halloween 2 as he’s put in an ambulance (no “Mr. Sandman” though). But then—we watch one of the longest scenes EVER of a doctor traveling through hospital halls as he goes to check on a patient, followed by the final “shocker” moment.
Devil’s Night is a slasher you watch when you’ve temporarily run out of options. You get a cool looking killer, some Danielle Harris, and a cast of hot horror hunks.