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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hell Night

     Aahhh... the 80's. As many fantastic horror movies came out of that decade, there's something about the year 1981.  It was a magical, mythical year in horror, and "Hell Night" is one of my favorites.  I love it just as much as "Halloween", "Friday the 13th", or "Prom Night"- and that's a lot of love.  It's a total guilty pleasure of mine, a perfect little b-movie.  This is exactly the kind of movie we would rent on Friday nights.  This, or "Happy Birthday To Me", or "Silent Scream".  Plus, Linda Blair is the final girl- I mean- Linda BLAIR in a slasher flick from 1981?  YES PLEASE.  That was all the information I needed to know instantly that I had to see this movie.  I've had a sweet spot for this slasher since I stumbled across it on HBO late one night around 1984. I loved it then, and I just recently watched it, and I'm quite pleased to say I love it just as much today as I did when I first saw it.  Most awesome.

     Starring Linda Blair, Peter Barton, and a half-naked Vincent Van Patton (son of Dick),  "Hell Night" tells the story of  four young pledges who of course must pass an initiation.  To gain entrance into the Alpha Sigma Rho fraternity, they must spend a full night in Garth Manor.  Garth Manor was the sight where 12 years prior to the night, patriarch Raymond Garth murdered his entire family of deaf mute and mentally retarded children.  But legend has it that one of the children survived the madness, and now resides in the crumbling mansion. As if all this wasn't disturbing enough, the upperclassmen have rigged the entire mansion up with enough scary sounds and pranks to send Linda and gang screaming into the night... only they're locked into the estate- with no escape until the next morning.

       Strictly adhering to the now fully-established slasher formula, this one's a hoot from start to finish.  The entire film has a festive and fun tone, which meshes well with the spooky scenes.  Cheesy in parts?  You betcha.  Not only is this an 80's horror classic, but it's a camp classic as well. It's got a great story, great direction, and great atmosphere.

     "Hell Night" is just so darn fun to watch, I absolutely love every minute of it.  This is one of those fun scary movies to watch with that certain group of people, even though I was pretty scared watching this on HBO back in 1984.  It's definitely one of the more interesting stalk-and-slash films to come out of the 80's.   "Hell Night" is certainly no masterpiece, but I can think of hundreds of horror films that are far worse.  It's schlocky and silly and doesn't take itself seriously at all, and that's a big part of why I am so fond of it

     .  Like "Prom Night"- it doesn't have the greatest reputation among horror fans, but I love both of them tremendously.  Of course "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" were going to inspire a gazillion knockoffs, some great, some terrible, and "Hell Night" was one of many released in the early 80's.  A rollicking good time to be had, and Vincent Van Patton is some serious eye-candy.  A half-naked blond surfer running around a dark, deserted mansion?  Sign me up, please.

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