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Welcome to the Crypt!

Enter the Crypt as John "The Unimonster" Stevenson and his merry band of ghouls rants and raves about the current state of Horror, as well as reviews Movies, Books, DVD's and more, both old and new.

From the Desk of the Unimonster...

From the Desk of the Unimonster...

What's this? TWO updates to the Crypt in one month? That's right, fright-fans, the Unimonster is sending even more Halloween goodness your way! If only someone would perfect downloadable candy.....

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10 October, 2009

An October Tradition


Anyone who knows me knows that October is my favorite month, and Halloween my favorite holiday. Always has been, always will be. And of course, I have my share of October, and Halloween, traditions.

Decorations must start going up in September… the earlier the better. No matter what else I do on Halloween night, I must watch John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN. If I don’t buy the first bag of Trick-or-Treat candy I see out in a store, then it’s not going to be a good season.

But for the past few years, I’ve found a new October tradition, one that I, and many friends of mine, have embraced whole-heartedly: The October Couch Potato Film Festival.

The invention of Joe Shingler, a friend and fellow traveler through Yahoo’s Horror Movie groups, the OCPFF is something done entirely for fun, though it’s fair to say it does bring out the competitive spirit in the participants. The rules are few and simple: Beginning on October 1st, and continuing straight through until Halloween night draws to a close, you count every Horror, Science-Fiction, and Fantasy film you watch. The one with the most titles in their list is declared King Spud, and the movie that appears on the most lists is the Winning Title for the year, and cannot repeat.

Now, if this sounds like an invitation to sit on your ass until you take root, well… it is. But make no mistake; this challenge is not for the wimpy or weak-willed among us. If your gluteal muscles lack sufficient tone, you’ll be sobbing before the first week is out. If you haven’t carefully developed a thick rind of calluses on your posterior, you’ll be on your knees begging for mercy by the halfway point. If you intend to be the King or Queen, you gotta be tough, baby!

Of course, the spirit of the OCPFF is fun, and not everyone tries to go all out. Most participants are content to log one or two movies a day, maybe three on a cold, rainy Sunday. And that’s great. The membership of the four Yahoo groups that currently celebrate the festival recognizes and cheers every participant, whether they’ve listed one movie or one hundred.

But to be a serious contender for the crown requires something more. It requires stamina, determination, endurance, strength of will, and a massive library of genre movies always at the ready. It requires the Eye of the Tiger… or, more correctly, the ‘Tater. It requires… virtually no life.

Ok, so it’s not like I had to choose between a date with Tara Reid and having a Karloff marathon. Still, for those of us who’ve had the honor to contend for the broken-in, sagging throne of King Spud, no sacrifice is too great to squeeze one more film onto your list. Wake up an hour early in order to get in a quick “Poverty Row” B-pic before work? No problem. Choose what to watch by checking the runtimes? Works for me. Have multiple players loaded and ready so you can switch to a new movie as soon as the current one ends? Child’s play for a serious contender. Whatever it takes to shave seconds here or there might add the length of a movie over a month’s time.

So just what did it take to win last October’s challenge? Well let’s examine my effort. I achieved a personal best of 212 movies, with an average of more than six movies per day… every day. For thirty-one days, I watched nothing that wouldn’t qualify for the OCPFF. No news, no sit-coms… not even my cherished football games, nothing that would hinder me in my drive to my goal. I watched until I left for work, and took up where I left off as soon as I got home. I watched movies I didn’t particularly like because they had shorter runtimes than similar movies I would’ve enjoyed more. I gave it everything I had.

And when all was said and done… it wasn’t even close. I lost by a good 12-15 movie margin. I lost to a true Spudmaster, the creator of the challenge, Joe Shingler himself.

But I’m already in training for this year’s competition. I’ve asked my doctor about ass-deadening injections; I’m pricing some… modifications, to my recliner to make it more marathon-friendly; and I’m teaching the dog to carry the handle of her leash in her teeth and walk herself. I intend to be crowned come November 1st.

Maybe if I take my vacation in October?



































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A MonsterKid’s Halloween Memories

When you grow up with the Universal Monsters as your best friends, and with a kindly old role model named Forry, it isn’t a surprise to anyone that Halloween is your favorite holiday. It always has been mine.

Halloween was always a major production for my brother, my cousin, and I. As the eldest of the trio, I was the de facto leader, though there may be, to this day, some argument on that point. Planning would usually begin with the return to school in early September, and would carry on with all the dedication and seriousness that attended the Normandy invasion. Routes would be discussed, which houses were generous with the loot and which were not would be determined, and, most importantly, costuming decisions would be made.

Every year I would pour over the Captain Company ads in the back of FM, drooling over the masks of Frankenstein, the Creature, and especially the Mummy. I wanted one of those masks so badly, but even a ten-year old has enough grasp of family finances to realize when certain things are simply out of the realm of possibility. The twenty to thirty bucks that those masks sold for—in 1974 dollars!!—represented a solid six months worth of my dollar a week allowance. No comic books for six months? No Famous Monsters, or Creepy, or Eerie? No penny candy, or bottles of Coke, or 10¢ bags of Wise Onion & Garlic Potato Chips for 6 entire months? Could I do it? Could I save up 6 months worth of allowances?

Alas, no I couldn’t. My willpower then was no stronger than it is now, and money in my pocket, even then, seemed to have a will of it’s own. This always left me with the dilemma of what to be for Halloween. Though Mom would usually give us a few dollars for a costume, the thought that a Monster-loving, FM-reading, Halloween professional such as I would resort to wearing something that had to have the name of the monster emblazoned across the front to be recognizable was simply anathema. I had to make my own.

Now, though my monster dreams were big, my talents as a make-up artist, sadly, were not. I had read of kids who were able, with nothing more than the aid of a well-stocked kitchen, to transform themselves into creatures worthy of, if not Jack Pierce’s talent, then at least Ed Wood’s. I was not one of them. Oh, our kitchen was stocked as well as the next, but I lacked the vision to see rotted flesh and decaying skin in strawberry jam and wilted lettuce. So my first, indeed my only option, was something easy and cheap. Very cheap.

And nothing was easier, cheaper, and yet still scary, as a Vampire.

So the first purchase would be fangs… the cheap plastic kind molded in one piece. Uncomfortable, and they made talking difficult, but an absolute necessity. Then, tubes of fake blood—at least two. (My vampires were sloppy eaters…) Little more than a simple syrup with red food dye, I can still call to mind the faint medicinal taste it had… not unpleasant, really, just enough so that the truly stupid kids wouldn’t eat it.

The clothing was a little more problematic. I certainly didn’t have white tie and tails in my closet, not even a suit… at least, not one that my mother would’ve let me use. But I did have a dark long-sleeved shirt or two, and that was sufficient for the purpose. For a cape, I was lucky… my mother had a heavy, dark, hooded wool cape, one that didn’t look like I had gotten it from my mother. Sure, it was green instead of black, but I wasn’t going to quibble about my mother’s lack of foresight when it came to choosing the color. She had with that single purchase unknowingly, years before, helped guarantee the success of her son’s Halloween endeavors. And so, equally unknowingly, did my dad make his own contribution to that success.

Dad was a very handsome man, the spitting image of Clark Gable. And while no one would’ve described him as fashionable, he was always well groomed, and for men his age, that meant he wore his jet-black hair slicked back with hair crème. Top Brass was Dad’s brand of choice, and that provided the final piece in my vampire’s appearance, as I slicked back my hair, doing my best to emulate Bela’s sharp widow’s peak. Donning my cape, and grabbing the largest pillowcase I could find, we set out as soon as it was dark, determined not to return until we had conquered the neighborhood and pillaged it of its candy treasure.

The three of us were dedicated connoisseurs of candy, and Halloween was our Super Bowl. We knew which houses had the good stuff… the Reese’s Cups, the Hershey’s miniatures, the Mary Janes. We knew which houses dealt out the crap… bubble gum, pixie stix, and the worst treat you could get, raisins. Now, raisins are fine, healthy snacks, and, in the proper context, I can enjoy them as much as the next man. Halloween is not that context, unless said raisins are covered in chocolate. But surely enough, there were always a couple of tree-hugging, grape-nut chomping, ex-hippie Euell Gibbons wannabes on the block who insisted on passing out raisins for Halloween. I wonder if they ever figured out why they got toilet-papered every year.

When we were as loaded down as we were going to get, we’d head on home. Usually, one of the independent stations would be running monster movies, so we’d sit in front of the television, sorting out our candy, trading off for particular favorites. One of my personal loves was a certain brand of candy cigarettes that came in boxes stamped with a crude drawing of one of the Universal Monsters.

Too crude even to attract the attention of Universal’s cadre of lawyers, few things said “Halloween” as clearly to me as those slim little cardboard boxes. The candy was crap, with a chalky, minty taste… something like Tums. But I didn’t care. I wanted those boxes. Chick-o-Stix and Mr. Goodbar’s were for eating; those were for the art.

There were many reasons Halloween was so special to me, but I think that the main one is that, in 1974, it was still our holiday, still the province of the kids. The adult involvement usually ended with the purchase of the candy… we were on our own for the rest, and I loved it that way. We did our costumes, we made our plans, and in those innocent days, we went Trick-or-Treating—on our own. No adults telling us what to do—absolute freedom—or as close to it as we were going to get.

I loved Christmas then, and still do. I always looked forward to my birthday, and enjoyed Thanksgiving and Easter. But Halloween was special… Halloween was mine.












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DVD Review: DRAG ME TO HELL—Unrated Director’s Cut

Title: DRAG ME TO HELL—Unrated Director’s Cut

Year of Release—Film: 2009

Year of Release—DVD: 2009

DVD Label: Universal Studios Home Entertainment


The first big Horror Film of the summer season, Sam Raimi’s DRAG ME TO HELL takes Horror back to basics—gypsy curses, old dark houses, vomiting corpses and all. The film, which earned more than $42 million in ten weeks of release, is now coming home, just in time for Halloween!

Raimi, who became a Horror prodigy with his first feature, EVIL DEAD, is now a bona fide Hollywood A-List director following his success with Marvel’s SPIDER-MAN franchise. Several years ago, he teamed with filmmaker Rob Tapert and others to form Ghost House Pictures, an independent production company specializing in Horror Films. Their first release was the 2004 remake of JU-ON, THE GRUDGE, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Since then they’ve had a string of financial, if not critical, hits, including the sequel to THE GRUDGE, Stephen Kay’s BOOGEYMAN, and 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, David Slade’s 2007 hit Vampire tale. DRAG ME TO HELL is the latest offering from Ghost House, the first directed by Raimi, and by far the best the company has so far produced.

Alison Lohman is Christine Brown, a mid-level bank manager anxious to become an upper-level bank manager. Two obstacles lie in her path: Stu, her competition for the job, and her boss’ perception that she’s too weak to make the, “tough decisions.” Into her life comes Sylvia Ganush, an elderly woman (played with convincing ferocity by Lorna Raver) hoping to stave off foreclosure. The decision is Christine’s—show compassion, and give the woman yet another extension… or demonstrate her toughness and proceed with the eviction and foreclosure. As her boss looks on approvingly, she denies the old woman’s request. The woman flies into a rage, trying to attack Christine, and is carried out of the building by security.

As Christine leaves for the night, Mrs. Ganush appears in her back seat and carries out the attack she had attempted earlier in the day. After an epic battle, it appears that Christine lies at her mercy, as Ganush’s gnarled, claw-like fingers reach for her—only to pull a button off Christine’s coat. She mutters something in a dark, guttural tongue, and places the button back in Christine’s hand. Then she’s gone.

Christine’s boyfriend Clay (a good performance from the consistently good Justin Long) helps her cope with the stress and anxiety that is normal after such an assault, but Christine has more than that on her mind—she’s soon convinced that the old woman had placed a curse upon her, one that may soon drag her literally into Hell.

Raimi, whose EVIL DEAD trilogy is one of the most loved franchises in Horror (why this is so frankly escapes me, but to each their own…), demonstrates a refinement brought on by nearly thirty years experience since he first cracked open the Necronomicon in that backwoods cabin. The Raimi trademarks are there—the frenetic fight scenes, the long, zooming, POV camera shots, the twist at the end—but toned down, smoother, more subtly executed. What made the EVIL DEAD films high camp when applied in giant, economy-sized doses makes DRAG ME TO HELL an effective Horror Film when Raimi uses just the right amount.

The cast is good… not spectacular, with the possible exception of Raver, but they do well enough, supported by a very good script from Raimi and older brother Ivan. Justin Long is a better comedic actor than he is in dramatic roles, but he does well here. He’s been a favorite of mine since his role as the nerdy high school kid in DODGEBALL (yes, the Unimonster does watch something other than Horror—occasionally), and this performance does nothing to change that opinion of him. This is my first exposure to Alison Lohman, though, and I must admit I was less than impressed. She does a competent job with the role of Christine, and she is attractive enough, true. But one never gets the impression that there’s a genuine star within the actress, or that she’ll ever be more than the current flavor of the month.

DRAG ME TO HELL is a very good, very original Horror Film in a year marked by remakes, sequels, and remakes of sequels. It is also the most effective production yet mounted by Ghost House, doubtless due in large part to Raimi’s hand on the tiller. It might not be the year’s best Horror Film—but it certainly makes my short list. It should be on yours, as well.

















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DVD Review: FRANKENSTEIN—75th Anniversary Edition

Title: FRANKENSTEIN—75th Anniversary Edition

Year of Release—Film: 1931

Year of Release—DVD: 2006

DVD Label: Universal Studios Home Entertainment


It is by no means hyperbole to describe James Whale’s 1931 classic FRANKENSTEIN as the most important Horror Film in the genre’s history. While the release of Tod Browning’s DRACULA nine months previously had created the American Horror Film, as well as established Universal Studios as the Horror studio, it was FRANKENSTEIN’s release in November 1931 that gave the genre what it needed for lasting permanence… a cinematic masterpiece.

Though I love the Browning DRACULA, and recognize its importance, it doesn’t compare to FRANKENSTEIN in terms of script and direction. Whale’s direction has a style, a fluidity, and a power that is missing from Browning’s wooden, stagey direction on DRACULA.
A comparison of the scenes that serve to introduce us to the respective monster in each film illustrates the difference in directorial style. In DRACULA, we first see Lugosi as the Count as he greets Renfield at the top of the stairway. The scene is static and uninvolving; it is left to the power of Lugosi’s performance and presence, and one line—“Listen to them… children of the night. What music they make!” to impress upon the viewer a sense of the impending evil about to descend upon poor Renfield.

Whale, conversely, was able to project the power and significance of the moment well before his creature even entered the scene. As Henry Frankenstein and Dr. Waldeman converse quietly about Frankenstein’s “failure” with the monster, you hear, softly at first, in the background, but growing louder, the shuffling footsteps of the monster. Where Browning treated sound almost as an afterthought on DRACULA, Whale wove sound into the fabric of the film, making it part of the experience. Then the door opens, and a huge, misshapen figure lumbers into the chamber, and his face is revealed in a series of increasingly close jump cuts. When originally shown, this was considered so frightening that theaters warned those with weak constitutions to avoid the film. While that was largely marketing hype, 1930’s style, there’s no denying the power and impact of the scene, even 75 years later. Nor can you deny the effectiveness and quality of the film as a whole.

There’s nothing to say about this two-disc set that I haven’t already said about its fraternal twin, the DRACULA 75th Anniversary Edition. The artwork on the case is gorgeous; the print is beautiful; it’s truly a great set.

While not as loaded as the DRACULA 75th Anniversary Edition, fans have plenty to choose from in this two-disc set. The best of those choices is the documentary KARLOFF: THE GENTLE MONSTER. This biographical look at Boris Karloff is far too short to do justice to its subject, but you do get a good sense of Karloff, the actor. I wish they had spent some time exploring William Pratt, the cultured son of British aristocrats, and how he became Horror’s most recognizable and revered icon.

Also included is the Monster Tracks feature that I discussed in the DRACULA review, as well as UNIVERSAL HORRORS, the Kenneth Branagh-narrated documentary that explores every facet of the Universal Monster Movies of the 1930’s and ‘40’s. Other features from the FRANKENSTEIN Legacy set are included, guaranteeing you get your money’s worth on this set.
This is without question the ultimate DVD treatment of Whale’s FRANKENSTEIN thus far released, and is a superb example of just what can be done with a 75-year old film. This is almost universally recognized as the greatest Horror film ever produced, and you cannot consider yourself even a casual fan of the genre if you don’t have this film in your collection. While the $26.95 list price is expensive, at least by my standards, its well worth the price to own this movie, and you can find it cheaper. Deep Discount has it for less than $20, a significant savings.

Whatever the price where you find it, buy it. No one should miss seeing, or owning, this movie.













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DVD Review: TO THE DEVIL... A DAUGHTER

Title: TO THE DEVIL… A DAUGHTER

Year of Release—Film: 1976

Year of Release—DVD: 2002

DVD Label: Anchor Bay




THE MOVIE

This movie has the distinction of being Hammer Studios last Horror Film, and perhaps it’s most controversial. Directed by Peter Sykes, it’s a fairly average post-ROSEMARY’S BABY plot, dressed up by Hammer’s usually good production values; and made enjoyable by a superb cast, featuring Richard Widmark, Christopher Lee, Denholm Elliott, and Nastassja Kinski in her first major role. It was Miss Kinski who was the source of the controversy, as there was some question as to her true age at the time of production. Ordinarily this would be a minor matter; however, the fact that she appears fully nude in a rather significant scene precipitated the scandal. The question was settled to the satisfaction of those concerned, thus we are free to enjoy this unusual entry into Hammer’s filmography.

The plot is simple and familiar to fans of the mid to late ‘70’s, and was based (ostensibly…) on the novel of the same name by Dennis Wheatley, though totally disavowed by him as bearing no resemblance to his work. It features Widmark as an American author and, in today’s terms, parapsychologist, who’s in London for a book signing. He’s approached by Elliott, the father of a young novitiate who’s returning from a convent in Germany. He’s asked to intercept her at the airport and bring her safely to her father’s home. What seems to be a fairly routine task soon plunges Widmark into direct confrontation with a satanic cult, led by Lee.

The cast, as befits the great Hammer’s swan song, is excellent. Lee had a personal stake in the production, having been given the rights to the novel by Wheatley himself, and he turned in his usually deft performance. Widmark, by all accounts a terror on the set, nevertheless proved worth all the trouble… it would be hard to imagine the picture without him. Denholm Elliott chews his way through the scenery with appropriate energy and histronics; and Honor Blackman, as Widmark’s agent, gives a credible and workmanlike performance. But the young Miss Kinski definitely makes the biggest impact as Catherine, the nun fated to be the Devil’s Bride.

As I previously mentioned, this film was Hammer’s last, though that had little to do with the film’s controversy, Box-Office take, or anything at all involving the movie itself. In fact, it was hugely successful in Britain. However, the British film industry was completely moribund by this time, staggering towards the grave. Hammer, never able to mount much in the way of financial clout, depended on financing from other studios, especially American studios, to produce their pictures. In exchange, these American studios received the right to distribute the films in the U.S.

The problem lay in the fact that, while Horror had changed since Cushing and Lee first brought Hammer to the forefront of the Genre, Hammer itself had not. The studio was still making essentially the same type of films that it was in 1957, when THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN premiered. But American audiences were watching films the likes of ROSEMARY’S BABY; NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD; THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE; LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT; and THE EXORCIST. Hammer’s product was seen as old-fashioned, and the addition of a little more blood and some female nudity wasn’t enough to change that impression. This film, despite having more gore and sex than any other Hammer film (with the possible exception of 1970’s THE VAMPIRE LOVERS…) was still tame in comparison to the average American drive-in fare of 1976. American audiences simply didn’t want Hammer movies anymore, and American financing soon evaporated. When it did, the legendary Hammer Films died on the vine.



THE DISC

The Anchor Bay DVD release is nice, as is the norm for the company’s offerings. Anchor Bay knows Horror fans, particularly classic horror fans, want the movies they love treated with the respect they deserve, and for the most part, they do an excellent job at that. This disc is no different.

The print used for the transfer is beautiful, as fans have come to expect from this company, and overall the design is good. The lack of subtitles is a real hindrance for me personally, but otherwise the disc is excellent.



THE SPECIAL FEATURES

Once again, the special features are where Anchor Bay really shines. Chief among these is the documentary TO THE DEVIL… THE DEATH OF HAMMER. Featuring interviews with Lee, Sykes, and Blackman, screenwriters Christopher Wicking and Gerald Vaughan-Hughes, and Producer Roy Skeggs, this is one of the best “making-of…” documentaries I’ve had the pleasure to watch. Not only do they discuss, in great detail, the making of this picture, they provide a fascinating look at the end of the Hammer era, and the virtual death of the British film industry. Also included, as is standard on most Anchor Bay offerings, is a comprehensive set of stills and publicity photos, a talent bio section, and the theatrical trailer.

The only complaint I really have about the DVD is the lack of a commentary track or two. With as many of the principals still alive; indeed, interviewed for the above documentary, this seems like a truly significant oversight.



IN CONCLUSION

Anchor Bay, well known for resurrecting classic horror, delivers the goods again in this disc, and I was certainly happy to add it to my collection when it came out. It’s not Hammer’s best; but it is their last, and as such, just as significant. With a list price under ten dollars, (as low as $5.99 at DeepDiscount DVD…) there’s no good reason for this not to be in your collection.
































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Junkyardfilms.com’s Moldy Oldie Movie of the Month!: DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW

Title: DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW

Year of Release—Film: 1987



Bubba and Marylee are best friends. They love to pick flowers together and sing songs. The only problem is that Bubba (Larry Drake) is a middle-aged mentally challenged man and Marylee (Tonya Crowe) is just a little girl. One day while Bubba and Marylee are playing in a field, she decides to visit a neighbor. Bubba pleads with her to stay away because the neighbor has a vicious dog but Marylee won't listen. Sure enough, Marylee is attacked by the dog. Bubba, terrified, carries Marylee home to her mother, all the while insisting on his innocence in the attack. When four townsmen hear of the attack, they decide Bubba was to blame and go hunting for him. Bubba runs home where his mother tells him to play 'the hiding game'. With the vigilantes hard on his heels, Bubba goes into the farm fields and pretends he's a scarecrow. The men aren't fooled long and pump him full of lead, killing him instantly. At the trial, the judge, citing lack of evidence, frees the four men. They are all feeling pretty good about this until....
Bubba comes back!

Local postal worker, Otis P. Hazelrigg (Charles Durning), is the unofficial ringleader of the murderous gang that includes farmer Harless Hocker (Lane Smith), silo-owner Philby (Clause Earl Jones) and Skeeter (Robert F. Lyons), a car mechanic. One day, while fixing farm equipment, Harless's wife asks him why he put a scarecrow out in the fields. Confusion soon turns to terror when Harless discovers it's Bubba dressed as a scarecrow! Rushing into town, he informs the others about his discovery but when they return to the farm, the scarecrow's gone. Otis convinces the other men that this is a prank by local DA Sam Willock (Tom Taylor) to get the men to confess to the murder. Later that night, Harless, hearing a noise from his barn, goes to investigate and falls from the hayloft into a mysteriously running wood-chipper.

Meanwhile, Marylee, wondering why Bubba hasn't come out to play, goes seeking him at his mother's house. The grieving mother tells Marylee that Bubba's playing 'the hiding game'. Asked when Bubba's returning, the mother tearfully replies "Never.” Undaunted, Marylee goes to find him.

Early the next day, the remaining two men visit Otis at the boarding house where he lives. Irritated, he orders them out. Then, while eating breakfast, he learns of Hocker's grisly death. Angry over the death of his friend, Otis goes to Bubba's mother's house and turns the gas stove on. The mother, sleeping peacefully by her fireplace, is blown to bits. DA Sam Willock is convinced of foul play but, without hard evidence, cannot press charges against the men.
The local recreation hall is throwing a costumed Halloween party for the town. While Marylee is playing hide-n-seek with some other children, Otis traps her in an empty hallway and the audience soon learns the ugly truth about his fascination with her. He's a pedophile! Marylee, telling Otis that she knows what happened to Bubba because Bubba told her, escapes his evil clutches and runs away.

The next night, Philby, the silo-owner, hears his pig's squealing and goes out to see why. He sees someone or something go into his house and tries to flee in his car but it won't start so he hides in an empty silo. The door locks behind him. Suddenly, the grain elevator starts dumping tons of silage on him and he's quickly buried alive in the seed. Hearing of Philby's death, Otis convinces the last remaining cohort in crime that fat Philby died of a heart attack and tells the panicked Skeeter that the only way to make sure Bubba is really dead and buried is to dig up his grave. That night, after digging up Bubba's coffin and finding the interred body, Skeeter loses it and wants to go to the authorities. Otis, afraid of being found out, kills him with a shovel.

Otis decides the only way to protect himself against a murder charge and hide his shameful impulses is to kill Marylee. Seeing Marylee walking by the side of the road, he gives chase....
Now, faithful readers...you didn't really think I'd give away the ending of this especially delightful Halloween movie, did you? But, I will tell you that this is a taut, suspenseful film with a great chilling score and fine acting by all. Terrific location shots belie it's small budget. Charles Durning turns in one of his best performances ever as the evil postal worker. Larry Drake, who went on to win an Emmy for playing a mentally challenged office worker on LA Law, gives his all to his brief but vital role in this movie. Without being able to show gallons of blood, great gobs of gore and with no T&A, this Made-for-TV movie had to rely on acting and directing to make it good. And, director Frank DeFelitta, who also penned Audrey Rose (1977), made it great! Child actress Tonya Crowe, who later starred as Olivia Cunningham Dyer in Knot's Landing, gave a convincing performance as the little girl both frightened by but still the loving friend of Bubba. And, don't miss the chilling twist ending! A guaranteed unforgettable Halloween experience!

Enjoy! Or not!
MSTJunkie

















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