FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE...beware yon spoilers!

Oct 23, 2005

Day 23- Bad Mascot! Bad!

I blame Hal Holbrook.

You see, Hal's picture is on the box for Girls Nite Out (1984), and because of this, I thought, "Hmm. This movie might be OK. Would Hal Holbrook star in an inferior movie? Surely not after The Fog and Creepshow. Boy, I sure like Hal Holbrook- I'll check this out!". I'd like to say that this was better than Graduation Day, which as you may remember is the lowest scoring movie thus far in Shocktober. However, Graduation Day had the novelty of Vanna White and the amazingness of the football with a sword attached, and thus it is far, far superior to tonight's piece of schlock. Not good schlock, but bad, bad schlock. Damn you, Hal Holbrook! Damn you to HELL!

My guess is that Holbrook got blackmailed into doing this movie. His son David also appears in it, so maybe that's got something to do with it. Maybe some sleazy producer told him:"You want your son in this picture, Holbrook? Then you gotta do it, too!". Yeah, yeah- maybe Hal didn't want to, but then his son whined alot, like Francis in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, and so Hal gave in. He does seem really, really miserable throughout the proceedings. It's rare when he actually appears with someone else in a scene: he's usually filmed alone, as if he shot all his scenes in one day to get them over with. You can see the embarrassment in his eyes when he's forced to deliver lines such as "My daughter was about your age, then she met a guy like you. Now she's dead.". Poor thing. He suffered as much as I did.

The night after the DeWitt University basketball team wins an important game, there's an all-night scavenger hunt on campus. Someone murders the school mascot and steals his costume. The killer wears the bear costume, fashions "claws" out of steak knives, and slashes the victims at the locations where the scavenger items are hidden. Now this sound like it could be fun, right? Yeah, that's what I thought, too. Well, tough luck! It's just a dull little movie- nothing like having the killer call the girls "slut" and "whore" before doing away with them for good viewin'. With the exception of the school mascot, the victims are exclusively female. Is the fact that the killer is female too supposed to make up for the whiff of misogyny? Bleh.

The most notable thing about this movie is the soundtrack, which has actual real songs you may know! While it's not uncommon on soundtracks today, I can't offhand think of another slasher from back in the day that used licensed songs exclusively. Of course, their budget wasn't that big, so you get to hear all the songs (including Do You Believe in Magic? and Yummy Yummy Yummy) at least twice each. Woo hoo! One can never get enough of the Lovin' Spoonful in a horror flick.

You know, I think I'm letting Hal Holbrook get off too easily. This movie stunk! I want my 90 minutes back! If you see that guy, punch him in the back of the head for me, would ya? I give this 1-and-a-half out of 10 fists shaken in rage!!.

10 comments:

Des said...

P U I can smell that movie from here. I'll steer clear thanks.

Marty McKee said...

Those oldies are all from the same label, Buddah Records, so someone must have worked out an exclusive deal. Yeah, I'm sure Hal shot all his stuff in about a day and a half as a favor to get his kid into the film. His son is so unattractive and untalented that it's no surprise he didn't continue his film career.

Michael Murphy said...

Stacy,

You should track down an obscure (but beautifully filmed) flick called Just Before Dawn. It seemed to be a big influence on Wrong Turn. It featured Jamie Rose (from "Falcon Crest" and "Lady Blue") and George ("I told those kids not to go in those woods! Dammit!") Kennedy. I watched it years ago and tracked a high quality DVd bootleg of it and it still chills... although the vullains are a bit.. unique.

Mike Murphy

Michael Murphy said...

Ugh. Ignore the above typos. Retail work kills the brain. Dar.

Stacie Ponder said...

Marty, you're right- Lil' Holbrook was about the worst part of a very, very bad movie!

Thanks for the tip, Mike! I love Wrong Turn, I love George Kennedy- sounds great. I'm gettin' my Columbo on and finding it ASAP!

Anonymous said...

If you want to see Hal in a good horror movie, get Rituals. Brutal. And Just Before Dawn probably the best slasher film ever made. Definitely see that if you haven't already.

I dig this movie. It's totally obnoxious, it's poorly made, the characters are pretty irritating, but you get lines like:

"You're all a bunch of whores. I won't forget this."

"I'm walking funny."
"He's you're cousin."
"My SECOND cousin"

And who could hate cutie pie Teddy Ratcliffe. He was in He Knows You're Alone, which featured a cameo from Russell Todd, who was in Friday the 13th Part 2 and the girl who sex with the guy in the wheelchair is in Girls Nite Out! See? It all winds back to a good movie.

Knives don't kill people. Bears with Knives kill people.

Amanda By Night

Anonymous said...

Stacie! 1.5/10.0? For shame!

I give it 6/10. It wasn't great, but it's still a fun flick. I love it! :( Dicky Cavenaugh must be rolling over in his freezer!

Anonymous said...

On the surface, this movie has all the makings of a stinker. But there's a certain charm in this little gem that makes me keep coming back for more. A true classic... No, seriously!

BloodPepsi said...

"I can't offhand think of another slasher from back in the day that used licensed songs exclusively"

Somehow I only just recently realized that in Halloween, Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper" is playing in the car when Laurie and Annie are driving to their perspective babysitting jobs.

A known song in any of the sequels wouldn't have surprised me as much, but in a little, low budget, yet to be world famous cultural-milestone/genre defining classic, it stands out a little more.

Kaijinu said...

definitely worth one out of five stars. Waste of a movie.