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observation notes: Halloween Night

This film is based on the same true story that inspired John Carpenter's slasher-classic Halloween: the story of a kid who witnesses the brutal murder of his mother, gets committed to an insane asylum, then escapes years later on Halloween night, no longer a kid, but instead a big, angry, murderous psycho, a hundred times worse than the creep who did in his mom. Evil is exponential, people; just sayin'.

So a tie-in of sorts, The Asylum's take involves a gang of nubile and beefy post-teens who find themselves one All Hallow's Eve as the intended targets of a homicidal psycho's reign of terror when they decide to throw a costumed bash in the psycho's old house. The requisite bloodshed and nudity ensues. And how!

A handful of Asylum old-school regulars appear in this one, including Erica Roby, Rebekah Kochan, Amanda Ward, Derek Osedach and Born Bad writer/director Jared Cohn; let's break these performances down one at a time:

Rebekah Kochan (Pirates of Treasure Island, When a Killer Calls) as female lead "Shannon" is equally sweet and sultry, straddling the line between victim and heroine like she was walking a tightrope in the circus. I like to think of her as Ashley Tisdale meets Brittany Snow, but with, you know, soul.

Erica Roby (Invasion of the Pod People, Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers) plays a libidinous, confidant lesbian seductress of some experience consumed with coaxing a comely newbie, played by Amanda Ward. It's a brave and bold performance for Ms. Roby, and all nudity and girl-on-girl smooches aside, it really is the best I've seen her perform: she's powerful here, brash and curt, unapologetically empowered, and it suits her. 

Ms. Ward (Legion of the Dead, King of the Lost World) as the above-mentioned comely newbie to lesbianism tackles her role with believable hesitancy, and even more believable eagerness.

Male lead Derek Osedach - an Asylum regular in front of the camera (Snakes on a Train, Pirates of Treasure Island, When a Killer Calls) and behind it (line producer on Pirates... and Dracula's Curse, second assistant director When a Killer Calls and Exorcism...) comes off a little scatterbrained and erratic, jumping in a little early on cues, but that may be his interpretation of the character and not a question of chops. To his credit, he does make the perfect too-cool-for-school dude you're dying to see...well...die.

And Jared Cohn (here billed as Jared Michaels)(Alien Abduction, Way of the Vampire) as rocker Daryll is appropriately cocksure, delightfully dopey, and gently aggressive, all while sporting a thoughtfully-nonchalant swagger and great hair. One would guess from his spirited performance that Mr. Cohn had a lot of fun with this role; I certainly had fun watching him.

Other cast standouts include Amelia Jackson-Gray, Nicholas Daly Clark, Sean Dury and Alicia Klein.

When all was said and killed, I found this film to be pretty faithful to both the root true story and the better-known cinematic version, right down to the white mask, though the killer's get-up here truthfully  reminded me more of Frankenstein from Deathrace 2000 than Michael Meyers. The script (penned by Michael Gingold - Leeches - from a story by David Michael Latt) was pretty elaborate for a straight-up slasher flick, with more twists than I was expecting. The kills were inventive, the pacing adequate, and the story had a classic feel to it; I was expecting a tangential tie-in, just an excuse to get a bunch of pretty young folk naked and killed, but this film retained it's timeless feel, though with modern murder sequences to satisfy the gorehounds. Halloween Night was directed - as usual with frightening deftness - by the great Mark Atkins.

I had a lot of fun watching this one, and the ensemble cast is one of the best I've seen from The Asylum. And if all the above isn't enough to convince you to see it, perhaps my final sentence, below, will:

By the way, the topless-lesbian-vs-serial-killer-punch-out scene is one of the most awesome things I've ever seen in a direct-to-DVD film. I'm serious - it's Hall of Fame shit.


1 comment:

  1. I am sorry but I don't think we watched the same movie. It begs the question, are you retarded? This was by far the single worst anything I have ever seen, ever. This crap had no plot, the acting sucked and I have seen porn with better scripts. I feel like cancelling my Netflix subscription simply because of this movie. It's about 85 minutes of my life that I will never get back and someone should have to compensate me for it...