There are so many horror films to choose from for this 31 Day film fest of mine, that I found myself wondering where to begin? Should I have a theme to them, say Week 1 is comedies, Week 2 is Slasher? Should I only watch films I had never seen before, or films that I had seen when I was much younger and not since? Should I simply choose films only available on Blu-ray, so that I could get the best possible viewing experience possible, or should I mix it up with those dusty copies of VHS in my cellar that have never been released to DVD, let alone Blu-ray?
After many restless nights of putting together my list, I finally decided to have no formula. I simply decided to go with what I felt I wanted to watch, be it old, new, tame, or hard-core. I’m happy I reached that conclusion, and I’m sure you will be too! So enjoy these reviews of all colors and stripes, and let me know what you think.
Now if only I could track down some copies of Count Scary clips to bookend these videos…
31 Days of Howl-oween
A Review of Films Filled with Frights
~ Saturday the 14th ~
Director: Howard R .Cohen
Cast: Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, Jeffrey Tambor, Severn Darden
Country: United States
Specs: 75 mins. / Color / OAR 1.85:1 / MPAA Rating: PG
John (Benjamin) and Mary (Prentiss) inherit John’s uncles house, along with their two children. When their son discovers an evil book titled “The Book of Evil”, he unwittingly unleashes a series of monstrous characters and events that plague the house. Meanwhile, a vampire named Waldemar (Tambor) and his wife are after the book themselves, and an exterminator named Van Helsing (Darden) is after Waldemar, and will stop at nothing to see Waldemar, and the book, destroyed. When the book becomes missing, it’s a race to find the book, before Saturday the 14th arrives, the date that the book prophesied all hell will be let loose upon the world.
This original spoof on the horror genre is so absurd, it is very funny. Surprising, as I had low hopes for this film. After-all, the writer brought us such classics I’ve reviewed elsewhere such as “Deathstalker” and “Barbarian Queen I and II”. Fans of “The Evil Dead” type of humor, or “The Naked Gun” style of humor, should feel right at home watching this horror-comedy. The jokes are random, the timing is perfect, and the performance from the always jocular Jeffrey Tambor is a scream (couldn’t resist!). The writing of dialogue here is very fast and dry, with many very memorable lines coming from Waldemar’s deadpan delivery.
Contrary to what I’d read elsewhere, the film is not a spoof on the “Friday the 13th” franchise at all. Rather, it is a humorous homage to monster films that preceded it, as well as the spate of haunted house films that populated the landscape during the 70’s/early 80’s. There are certainly creepy creatures, as well as some spooks that are likely to be a little intense for younger viewers, but the film never delves into the truly scary realm, instead playing most of the frights for laughs.
I can safely say that those familiar with some of the classic Universal Monsters will certainly pick up on some of the more obscure “in-jokes”. For those not as familiar, fret not, for there certainly are many more goofball guffaw’s to be had.
My Rating: **** / B
Available on Amazon: Saturday the 14th