Oct 14, 2008


If you have noticed the multiple attempts at restoring that 80s vibe to horror films recently, raise your hand. I for one, am getting tired of this chain reaction trend. The only film that captured the vibe in both retro and contemporary portions was Ryan Nicholson's Gutterballs. In the early 90s, DIY film makers in a college town of Kentucky decided to create a horror movie which double served as a nice throwback to rental titles and a satire of the classic slasher film. The result is the much abhorred Hauntedween, which is strictly a film you will love or loathe.

A group of fraternity brothers find out their debt is due and their brotherhood is about to be foreclosed. Years ago, a very creepy child named Eddie beheaded a little girl and escaped with his mother into the woods. After they target Eddie's old house for a Halloween haunted house fundraiser, Eddie comes back with murder and mayhem planned for this very special night of ghouls & beasties. Things mix fluently into a hybrid of PCU , The Last House on Dead End Street, and Carpenter's Halloween. The result is horrifying micro budget with a cast of real southerners. If you can handle this type of film, the payoff is wealthy and generous.

Older Eddie is mainly seen from the back until minutes before the credits roll. His bulky figure and Brock Samson mullet are setting fire to every no-no in the world of fashion and he couldn't care less. As a villain, stating that his character was under-developed would be a horrible play on words. You know nothing of his character, nor what sparked his murderous rage. The opening scene of the younger Eddie reminds me heavily of Bad Ronald, a film that no doubt lent some inspiration. But as far as satire's go, this film strikes the slasher genre where it hurts; inadvertently or not.

Many locals of the college actually participated in the film. As bad as the acting is, what's grand is the fact that these are real students wearing real attire. The real treat is the hilarious character who is a mix of Crispin Glover and Tim Blake Nelson on Ritalin. It's a sad view of the educational system, fiction or not. I like to believe that Hauntedween is a big "fuck you" to the rural backdrop of Kentucky. That gives the film a lot more to go off of other than the obvious sensationalism of violence shown as Eddie murders kids in front of a cheering crowd as they believe what they're witnessing a performance. How many other film can you witness a 6'4 man hitting someones head clean off with a Louisville Slugger?

Hauntedween will no doubt go down in history as "that one atrocious film by those rednecks", but I can pull more out of the film than just what people choose to see. That, and the fact that this film had a very effective "scare" scene that made my heart skip a beat (Cleverly waited for my defense's to go down to ambush). What you're getting is a horror gem in every sense of the word. A true horror film with every ounce of independent spirit. Welcome to the House of Horrors!

Hauntedween on DVD exclusively at wtfdvds.com


1 comment:

Keith said...

It wasn't like there were always a bunch of classics in the 80's. My bro and I would hit the horror shelf at the video store every weekend. We rented quite a few lame movies. Even those usually had something in them that we enjoyed, whether it was a few scares, some naked girls, or whatever else. I hadn't heard of this movie here before. It does seem like you've got movies of today trying to recapture something from the past.