October 12, 2014

HACK-O-LANTERN


The End of Summer (TEOS): Halloween is in the air again. It will be here before we know it. During this time of year, like-minded folks will be kicking back with a pumpkin beer and watching one of their perennial favorites. John Carpenter’s Halloween. New minor classic Trick-R-Treat, perhaps. But around the Two Guys offices, we don’t take it easy. We suffer. We OPT to suffer. And we do it for you bungholes.

Helping us suffer is 1988’s oddball offering Hack-O-Lantern (aka Halloween Night) (aka Direct A Remake Of The Omen? Why, All Right: The Sad Story of John Moore).

Exploitation Movie Review (EMR): Wait a fucking second: does that say ‘From the director of Night Eyes?’ I can’t believe I’m watching a movie from the same guy who directed Night Eyes! That’s…

Fuck, man I’m already too depressed to know how to finish this sarcastic joke. I will say this, though: I’ve got a perfectly serviceable pair of earphones plugged into this computer of mine and the sound is only coming through one ear piece, so...that’s just terrific.

TEOS: Night Eyes sounds like it should star Shannon Tweed and Marc Singer. My own imagination has left me intrigued by a movie I just made up. And a little bonered.

EMR: I got excited during the opening credits because I misread who’d written the story as ‘Buford Pusser’ and then the reality of the situation dawned on me that I wasn’t watching Walking Tall and that even six-year-old Halloween candies can’t put me into a deep enough diabetic coma to make everything better.

TEOS: After the opening credits, in which the greatest name ever given is revealed (director Jag Mundhra), we meet a young precocious boy named Tommy and his non-grandfather looking grandfather, who embodies the end result of Robert Blake and Stacy Keach fucking so hard they gave birth to their version of A.C. Slater and then tossed him under a leaky train carrying estrogen. Tommy picks off a pumpkin from Creepy Grandpa’s creepy truck and heads back inside, where he promptly cuts his fucking finger open while carving a jack-o-lantern, sucks the blood from the wound, and declares, “I like the taste of blood! Grandpa says it’s good for me!”

The last time I had a finger that bloody, I didn’t finish the joke out of decency.

EMR: I don’t like all the mail order ‘gothic’ jewelry Grandpa’s wearing, I don’t like that he sounds like Gary Busey making an obscene phone call, and I don’t like his dyed-black hair, either. This movie isn’t going to great lengths to convince me he isn’t up to something. At this stage it’s 50/50 as to whether he’s into some freaky satanic cult shit or he’s starting the first Conway Twitty/The Cure crossover band.

TEOS: Have you seen that Amazon Fire TV commercial with Gary Busey? If so, have you seen his weird face? If so, have you wondered at what point the left side of his voice began Quasimodoing to such an extent that it’s often found stuffed into the fifth pocket of his Dickie overalls?

EMR: Wait just a second, I’ll look this up on YouTube. To be honest, any distraction at this point is welcome…

Ok, it’s playing...

Oh, what the fu–

TEOS: Grandpa’s daughter, Mom, really doesn’t seem too fond of her father. Maybe it’s because he really is as fucking deranged as he CLEARLY is, yet which goes entirely unnoticed by pretty much everyone else. 

Tommy’s dad goes to see Grandpa and warns him about never coming ‘round again. Dad ends up hammered and fired for his trouble, and I DON’T mean he got drunk and lost his job. 

Also, it’s clear Grandpa is wearing a really bad wig, betraying the “secret” that this is all taking place in the past. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Bill slept soundly, knowing his sex doll would be up
all night to protect him from monsters.

EMR: Now, I’m not one to stereotype, but I’m thinking that Dad might have a secret of his own. The cruel, unforgiving way of life in the south may have stifled everything about his homosexuality, but the one thing Dad was never prepared to do was compromise on the fact that he sounds like Richard Simmons having a domestic dispute with a slice of cheesecake.  

TEOS: Okay, so: scale of 1-10, with 10 being you’d put this on your iPod immediately, and 1 being you’d put it on your iPod immediately during the next commercial break: what do you think of the soundtrack so far? Pretty sweet, right?

EMR: The majority of it sounds like abandoned incidental music from “Are You Afraid Of The Dark,” so...6?

I feel that I should probably comment on the high camp factor of all of the male leads in this movie. We’ve already discussed Dad, who sounded like he couldn't effectively scold his boyfriend's chihuahua for shitting on their collection of muscle magazines, and now Grandpa, who seemed like a surly, beer-swillin’, tobacco-chewin’, blue-collar kinda guy, but who's just gone through this entire cult meeting scene like a scoutmaster who wears his shorts two sizes too small and insists that all the kids snuggle up to him to keep warm on camping trips.

TEOS: I’d make some snooty remark about the filmmaker’s intent to heighten the intelligence, cunning, and strength of its female populace by presenting the men as weak, useless, and altogether unreliable, but then I would remember two things: this movie is called Hack-O-Lantern, and the only relevant thing it has to say about women is, “Okay, so in this scene, your vagina is prominently on display for about ten Mississippi seconds.”

EMR: Haha. Empowerment.

TEOS: It’s, what, thirteen years later? Tommy still lives on the farm, Grandpa is still fucking nuts and delivering pumpkins on Halloween, and Tommy’s mother is still terrified of her father. Has no one in this family hoped for something more over the last decade+? And does the amount of pumpkins in Grandpa’s truck ever diminish?

EMR: Even worse than that: Grandpa is STILL giving off that predatory paedophile vibe, like he discovered something about himself that he could never return from after that night of occult celebration and Dad-hammering goodness.

He’s given Tommy another gift and this time it’s a Satanic worship cowl. Tommy’s probably just happy that it’s not another dildo wrapped in a cut-off shirt with a note attached to it that says, ‘Wear this...and then put on the shirt.’

Tommy's mother doesn't appreciate this impromptu visit, so she immediately teleports in front of Grandpa's pick-up after it's traveled half a mile down the road at high speed.

‘I ain’t payin’ no 50 cents for no coke.’

TEOS: “Hello, my lovely offspring,” Grandpa just said to his daughter. Haha, that’s so gross.

Yuck, speaking of gross: we’re barely ten minutes in and already...incest. And not even hot incest, like Angelina Jolie and her brother. I mean Hack-O-Lantern incest, starring this weird grandfather and his daughter-wife.

EMR: Yeah, it’s pretty bad, but I’m on a shared computer here, so it’s the only thing I’ll be jacking off to tonight if I don’t want to run the risk of arousing suspicion.

TEOS: Weird, is that what people do with bathrobes? They get right out of their soapy tub and put a bathrobe on without toweling off? That makes me itchy just watching someone do it. 

What an idiot.

EMR: I don’t get it, either. It inspires the same level of anger in me as someone taking two tokes on a cigarette and then stubbing it out, or sex scenes where the passion isn’t cut short by the guy having to work out which way round the condom goes.

TEOS: The acting in this movie, man. It’s...well, god, do we even have to say it anymore? Isn’t it just implied at this point? The acting in this thing has been so fucking absurdly rancid that people who don’t even exist are embarrassed for everyone involved with this thing.

EMR: Yeah, I’m finding Grandpa's histrionics a little difficult to swallow. He laughs badly and for too long. I wanted him to still be laughing as he sped away from the farm in his new pick-up truck, but that would have been intentional comedy, and this film has about as much self-awareness as Helen Keller playing Buckaroo. I also think he may be a drag artist.

TEOS: ROCK-ON! I miss the ‘80s for this reason: random musical interludes filled with leather, too much hair, and quick zoom-ins. As a bonus, this scene features Missandei from “Game of Thrones,” and as we all know, I’m a big, big fan of hers. Big, and growing bigger at this very second. She even...gives head? 

“Now you are unsullied.”

EMR: I’m all for getting boners over hot chicks and, as you know, I’m all for talking about jerking off, but when you put it so...aggressively...

TEOS: The terrorists win.

EMR: So, that entire ‘metal band’ scene played out in his head? It seems to me like the band are giving us major plot spoilers with this song ‘The Devil’s Son,’ like 50 Cent did in Get Rich, Or Die Tryin’ with his hit record ‘Haha, you fucking chumps have actually paid to see this movie.’ And another thing: for a kid who I can only assume has had the bare minimum of exposure to the outside world, and who lives very sparsely, I’m amazed he has the capacity for imagination to create a metal band in his head who wear enough leather to make even Judas Priest say, ‘Shit, that’s a lot of fuckin’ leather.’

I’m also going to assume that an actual band was hired to write this fucking garbage. How pissed would you be at being paid in stale Cheeto’s for your contribution? This film is so bad that they couldn’t even get Nikki Sixx to agree to let them use ‘Shout at the Devil’ on the soundtrack? In 1988, Nikki Sixx would have let you use his unconscious body as a coffee table if it meant you’d come over and hold his eyelids open while he mainlined heroin into the most prominent vein he could find on his dick.

TEOS: C’mon, seriously - what do you think of my pick so far? Pretty sweet, right?

EMR: I feel like you're trying to make me hate Halloween. I also feel like you're trying to tell me that it's my fault that my mother's gynaecologist didn't lose his job when he talked himself out of sealing her vagina with a binding spell.

TEOS: Speaking of mothers, we meet Mom’s third kid, who also appears normal, so it looks like Tommy happens to be the only dud. One out of three = not bad for God’s America. He’s some kind of deputy with that typically irritating “aww-shucks” personality that you want to excise as skillfully as one could with a soldering iron and a couple of mouse traps. I haven’t been this instantly angry since the last time I saw a photo of Lars Von Trier.

EMR: Lars Von Trier? What a pompous cunt.

TEOS: One time I saw a Lars Von Trier film and it wasn’t a total waste of everything.

Just kidding.

EMR: So, here we got Billy Idol...and she’s buying some booze for a home brew or something. All the town’s male population are thinking they’d love to give her a ‘White Wedding,’ but they’ll probably have to just stick to ‘Dancing With Themselves.’

Masturbation.

TEOS: LOL.

C’mon, seriously - what do you think of the acting so far? Pretty sweet, right?

EMR: *sigh* I think I've made my feelings quite clear already. If not, I'll mail your mom a picture of my dick and tell her to make a start without me.

TEOS: (Photo thumbnail joke.)

I find it amusing that, at this point, we know Grandpa is into some Satanic shit, he wants Tommy for some kind of Satanic ritual, and it’s all pretty bad news-ish, but he’s also pretty concerned that Tommy might be spending time with a girl of whom he doesn’t approve. That’s like swabbing the wrist of the guy on death row you’re about to execute with rubbing alcohol before you give him the potassium barbiturate. What do you care, Grandpa? Didn’t you rape your own daughter on her wedding day?

EMR: No, no, no come on, now. He didn't rape her on her wedding day, he tried to rape her on her wedding day. Two entirely different things in the eyes of the law. Y'know how like on "To Catch a Predator" they basically a corner a guy into admitting he's trying to bang under-age girls when he's not actually trying to bang under-age girls; he's just sending them messages telling them that he wants to treat them nice? MASSIVELY different to, say, being Cameron Thor offering acting classes.

A rare public sighting of Albert Einstein.

EMR: Anyway, Grandpa’s pissed because he wants Tommy to be ‘pure’ for the ceremony? I assume that means there’s a strict ‘no banging’ policy in effect? Wouldn’t Satan love that? Some banging? Wouldn’t Satan love to be summoned from the depths to be greeted with punch and a floor show? You’re a fucking idiot, Grandpa.

TEOS: Yeah, he really is laying on the whole “no debauchery” thing pretty thick. He really should have just gone full-Burgess Meredith and said “no fuckin’, Tommy, ya fuckin’ mook!” in that awful Mickey voice. Then Tommy could have starred in his own burgeoning Satanist franchise that would take five films until it was good again. Assuming that Hack-O-Lantern would be, of course, considered good. Which it ain’t. Was never. Won’t ever. The end.

EMR: "You're a big, greezy, bumpkin tank! Go to 'im! Run over 'im!"

Ha! Sa-tank-ic...

TEOS: Ah. Don’t you just love teenagers? Don’t you just love teenagers in horror films? Well, I don’t. Of course I don’t. What the fuck’s the matter with you, anyway? Next thing I know you’ll be telling me to watch Melancholia with you and hold your hand, and when it’s done, you can tell me what it was really about.

EMR: I heard it was about Kirsten Dunst's tits. Is that right? Is that what it's about? Kirsten Dunst's tits? I don't think her face is as weird as everyone says it is, man. If I woke up next to Kirsten Dunst tomorrow morning, I'd be pretty happy. Actually, if I woke up next to Kirsten Dunst tomorrow, I'd probably think I was Tobey Maguire and I'd finally snapped and killed her in her sleep.

TEOS: Tits? I don’t recall. I do remember her pissing on the ninth hole at her wedding reception and then fucking someone not her husband. Maybe I’m thinking of Mona Lisa Smile

EMR: No, no, you’ve got it all fucked up. You’re thinking of Overboard.

Shit. Tommy’s sister has posters of cats in her room. One misspent night of passion with this crazy bitch and you’re waking up to her practising how to sign her name with YOUR surname. Haha, I’m not even listening to your asinine dialogue in this scene, you dumb broad. Shut up.

TEOS: This movie is...bizarre. So...Tommy is just publicly insane? He’s not trying to hide it? He doesn’t care who knows? And isn’t it dangerous to keep lighted candles inside a closet under the steps?

EMR: Oh, he’s a fucking asshole. What kind of self respecting teenager only shouts that he wants to be left alone so he can worship Satan and lift? Why can’t he be jerking off like any normal male adolescent? 

I’ve been thinking; ever since we did that review for the Goldblum-a-thon, we’ve been cracking A LOT more jacking-off jokes, and by ‘we’ve’ I mean ‘I’ve.’ Should I be worried? Should I just hope that if I ignore it, it goes away? The boner, I mean.

Haha, Dad’s gravestone is pretty funny. It’s all written in ‘Txt Spk’

Here lies Willm Drindl
Tkn frm us 1968
Lolz <3

TEOS: I have noticed an uptick in all the masturbatory stuff. But I try to keep really quiet when I’m outside in the bushes and looking in through your window.

Uh oh. I’ve really gotten off track here. I better get back to the movie!

Huh. I would’ve guessed Billy Idol had bigger tits than that.

Oh. Right.

EMR: Let’s be fair, that pool looks cold. And dirty. Man, the parasites that must be swimming up her birth canal right now...how the hell they’re going to find the room to gestate when she has all that pizza dough in her ass, I don’t know.

TEOS: Plot twist. That pervert from Manos: The Hands of Fate is the killer. I know it’s him because the boredom feels quite familiar. RIP, Billy Idol.

EMR: Yeah, take your pick whether you'd prefer a 'Flesh For Fantasy' or 'Eyes Without a Face' joke here. In fact, email us your suggestions. Hey, if Damon Lindelof can get paid for writing half a story, I should at least be allowed to write half an article for free.
"I'm goin' in the butt, Julie. Deal with it."

TEOS: Man, Grandpa sounds more like George “Buck” Flower than George “Buck” Flower does. If John Carpenter ever makes Character Actors I’ve Hired Thirty-Seven Times, he can hire this guy to do the audio-looping.

EMR: Has Grandpa been dubbed by three different people in this movie? It’s interesting to me that he puts on this masculine tone around all the female members of his family but can’t wait to get back to sounding like Maury Povich trying to negotiate a hotdog out of John Travolta’s asshole when he’s around all the guys.

This fucking Brian guy who’s going out with Mom’s daughter is an oily little prick. He’s already managed to offend one member of his girlfriend’s family when he squared up to Grandpa, now he’s telling Mom’s other son, the Sheriff’s deputy no less, that Grandpa was a freaky bastard who creeped him out. That’s like me telling my girlfriend that her sister stayed over just long enough for me to be able to choke myself with one of her make-up sponges.

TEOS: C’mon, seriously - what do you think about the level of fury this film is causing you? Pretty sweet, right?

EMR: Fine! You've made your fucking point, I'll send you the 68 cents I owe you.

TEOS: God, the music in this sounds like the outtakes from a “Doogie Howser” scoring session. Not only is it just terrible in general, but it’s completely out of tone. What’s the point of showing us whimsy and crepe paper and Opie-like smiles when we know Tommy’s out of his fucking mind, his grandfather’s a rapist scumbag psycho, a lot of people are likely to die, and whatever Halloween ceremony soon to come is really going to ruin the party for everyone on Planet Earth?

EMR: Pretty fucking retarded, right?
Daughter: “So, what d’ya think of Beth?”
Sheriff Son: “Awh, shucks, I dunno. I’ve only just met her”
Daughter: “You should talk to her, tonight. Just say ‘hello’ and see where it goes!”
Sheriff Son: “Gee, I guess you’re right, sis. Hey, I’ve been meaning to tell you, Tommy’s a candle-burning devil-worshipper who’s a roll of shrink-wrap away from looking like he lives in Ted Bundy’s garage.”
Also, no crash helmet for Beth? You’re just flouting the law aren’t you, meathead? I say to make things fair, neither of them should wear the helmet and we’ll see whether the contents of a can of hairspray or 10 pounds of fresh chum holds up better in a traffic accident.

TEOS: Is this a Godfrey Ho film? Because it’s starting to feel like two pieces of shit face-smashed into one: a somewhat intriguing film about a whiskey-voiced, daughter-fucking, satanic Grandpa, and some generic bullshit about someone wearing a costume and taking out horny horn balls one by one. Maybe Richard Harrison will show up in a ninja costume, cut a pumpkin into five perfectly equal shapes, and look really, really proud of himself.

EMR: What would his Urban Ninja get-up look like? I don’t know what diminished responsibility and incest would look like on a colour chart.

Tommy’s going out of his way to make sure everyone stays pure for tonight’s festivities because his sister is busy getting her bang on with her boyfriend when Tommy bursts in and throws him out.

TEOS: Ha! Hands down my favorite part: the guy falling into an open grave, discovering a (clearly prop) skull, holding it up to his own face, and SCARING HIMSELF WITH IT. It’s a pretty short-lived moment because a shovel swoops in and separates the guy’s entire head like an asscrack, but, I’m glad it happened.

EMR: That’s got to be the worst day imaginable. Hobbling home with blue balls after being thrown out of your girlfriend’s house by a guy who looks like someone got drunk and decided to paint what they thought the concept of repressed homosexuality would look like, and then getting your head separated like a Pinata. Tough break, kid.


TEOS: Well, the cult has finally met. “Fucking” finally, I should’ve said. And these guys know how to celebrate Halloween. They’ve got the red and black robes, goblets of blood, candles, and “The Monster Mash” on repeat. Now they only need to play The Witch’s Dead Body, touch some spaghetti, giggle like a bunch of jerk-offs, and then go home and cry as their older brothers eat all the Butterfingers.

EMR: I’m no expert on Satanic rites and rituals, but branding an ‘80s-attractive girl’s ass with a hot iron while she grips onto part of a sex-swing hardly seems legit. I’d put money on there not being a single unattractive female member of this cult.

“Yeah, you’ve got to wear the elbow-length gloves or else Satan won’t think you mean it. Oh, and work on your tan lines. For Satan.”

TEOS: This scene is making me feel nostalgic about that one time I, too, was making out with a girl in a cemetery, doing a bunch of unromantic close-mouthed kissing, squeezing piles of dirt with both hands in ecstasy, and it was fucking freezing.

EMR: Equally as bad as that story: kids in a graveyard who at first appear to be up to no good, are just picking up the candy that they’ve dropped. That they’ve DROPPED. In a GRAVEYARD.

“Awh, Scotty you got a TOOTH mixed in with your Milk Duds! AWESOME!”

Now we’re at the town Halloween party and man does it look shit. I’m almost hoping this movie suddenly introduces a B-Plot where one of the guests develops telekinetic powers and sets fire to everyone. There’s one unimaginative asshole who’s come to a Halloween party in the deep south, dressed as a cowboy. Boy, I sure hope his old man doesn’t mind his outfit being used for something other than for fucking his sister.

TEOS: Did that guy just say his favorite part of strippers was “the naked part”? 

On second thought...that’s about right. 

Hack-O-Lantern as remastered by Shout Factory.

So, all right. This guy is just going to randomly bust into some kind of improv stand-up comedy routine. It’s not only completely inappropriate, it’s entirely awkward and spawned from exactly nowhere. Is...that someone we should recognize or something? Some kind of Andrew Dice Clay-like obscurity in the ‘80s whose biggest claim to fame was probably having a “bad stomach pains” scene on a toilet?

EMR: This guy’s impromptu stand up set is so painfully fucking bad that it’s making me wish the pick-up truck that killed Sam Kinison had made an extra stop.

TEOS: I haven’t seen so much nothing happening in a film since earlier this evening when I was trying to watch this nonsense and the video kept failing to load.

EMR: Daughter and Beth have made a quick stop at the graveyard to check out where Sheriff son gave Beth his long cock of the law, and if that arrangement isn’t fucked up enough for you (“Look! That’s where your brother asked me if I knew what a ‘Nestle Knockout’ is!”), Daughter finds her boyfriend’s body buried inconspicuously under a 3ft high mound of earth.

That’ll teach you to wear fur, you bitch.

Daughter has burst in on the satanic ritual, and without batting an eyelid at the black magic Okey Cokey that’s going on around her, confronts Tommy about murdering her boyfriend.

TEOS: Oh, what bullshit. Tommy has spent this entire movie making bug-eyed angry faces and screaming at everyone, but now he’s going to defy his Grandpa and try to save his sister’s life? I call bullshit on you, Hack-O-Lantern.

Pictured: Larry The Cable Guy's wedding night, minus goats.

EMR: Haha, why’s Grandpa talking like fucking Skeletor or whatever? Must be something about rituals and acts of supreme evil. GOD, I hope I get that same chance some day...

TEOS: Huh. So...even though Tommy’s booked it from the evil barn of Satanism, turns out Grandpa can still go on with the ritual, anyway.

Talk about a real blow to Tommy’s self-esteem. After all the exclamations of this night being “his night,” this idea of “Oh, we can actually do this without you” is potentially pretty hurtful, and right now I’m concerned solely about Tommy’s confidence. No one likes feeling insignificant to a satanist cult.

EMR: We’re back at the Halloween party and they’ve got...Courtney Love to do some snake charming? I’m curious: was ‘Fuck the Air’ a dance back in the eighties? This guy’s going for it all slow and sensual. Same guy who had the stripper’s panties in his face earlier on. He’s super-charged and ready for maximum sensuosity.

TEOS: Okay, I’ll give this one to ya, Hack-O-Lantern: really digging the kill method of overtightening a girl’s girdle costume until her tits pop out, and then stabbing her in the back to finish her off. Bravo. (Slow Homer clap.)

EMR: The film-maker’s committed to that death with less sensitivity than a Lucio Fulci murder in New York Ripper. I also wasn’t sure what the fuck that woman was doing there, seeing as though she was clearly 20 years older than everyone else.

TEOS: Considering the body count in this thing is pretty decent, I’m amazed that it can all still be so fucking boring. Why hasn’t this title been announced for a remake? This movie, Hack-O-Lantern? Perhaps it could be redone with an all-black cast. And it could be retitled Bla

Got you. I was actually going to suggest The Persnickety Perversion of Mercedes Davenport

EMR: We’re back at the Halloween party. Grandpa’s been stabbed and for the briefest moment, Hack-O-Lantern has become Scaramouche.

TEOS: Jesus Christ, hurry up, Hack-O-Lantern. I still need to Google sexy GIFs and beat off into a sock just so this night isn’t a total waste.

EMR: You should have just joined me in jerking off to the wedding day rape. Not literally. Best case scenario: the Synchro-Fap will result in at least one of us being gay.

TEOS: Turns out Tommy’s mom is the killer. And her motive is being really, really sad. And no, fuck you, Tommy. Again, it’s too late to be human. You sucked ass this whole movie; you can’t be all sad now that your mom killed all your friends and then died of a gunshot wound. That’s the kind of stuff that happens in Detroit.

EMR: Old or New Detroit? Have they built that fucking place yet? I looked over a scale model of that once before some asshole called Kenny bled all over it.

TEOS: Oh, shit! Twist ending cut to black and ROCK ‘N ROLL! 

Thank you to everyone who had a hand in giving us Hack-O-Lantern. That more than includes the Second Assistant Photographer…

Wait for it…

Gay Norris.

Gay! 

I will laugh at this!

EMR: ...I may not be back in November.

Corpse Doll Tit: The Final Conflict

1 comment:

  1. Where have you guys been all my life? [Perhaps my basement. I haven't sorted through the crap down there for a while.] I'm doing capsule reviews covering much of the same material at http://zerostarcinema.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete