Archive for January, 2013

Girls Nite Out!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 29, 2013 by Brain Hammer

You know what really turned her on? She loved to be scared, weird and kinky things really got her motor running!

GIRLS NITE OUT (1984)

This delightful little film opens inside an insane asylum. An especially dangerous and psychotic patient named Dickie Cavanaugh is found hanging in his cell. Two orderlies begin digging a grave for an impromptu burial and wind up getting snuffed and thrown into the grave by an unseen maniac for their efforts. Meanwhile at nearby Dewitt University, it’s time to celebrate as the basketball team finally wins a big game and manages to earn a coveted spot in the state championships.

A costume party is thrown in honor of the team later that evening. As the kids party down they swap stories about Dickie Cavanaugh’s murderous legacy on campus. The fun is short lived however, as the basketball team’s token fat slob Pryor picks a fight with Benson, the team’s mascot for flirting with his girlfriend. Pryor angrily rants about “whores taking all they can get” and then storms off. When Benson goes back to his dorm room after the party he is quickly dispatched by the killer, who then swipes his stupid looking bear costume.

The next night, there is a big scavenger hunt sponsored by the campus radio station. The unseen killer sneaks into the radio station and discovers the secret locations where the treasured items are hidden. Armed with this knowledge AND a homemade glove full of steak knives (Freddy Krueger eat your heart out!), the bloodthirsty bear then sets out to brutalize as many bubble headed co-eds as possible. The terror begins as one by one, each girl is mysteriously murdered by the sadistic maniac. The goofy looking ghoul possesses a burning hatred for women and loves to call them bitches and whores while ripping their throats out.

As the body count quickly rises, the head of campus security, Mac (Hal Holbrook!) tries to stop the insanity and find the killer. As police and reporters search the campus for clues Mac receives a phone call from the madman, who claims to be Dickie Cavanaugh. When Mac calls the asylum he discovers that Dickie is indeed dead and that his body was claimed by a relative. Mac is convinced that this mysterious relative holds the key to the secret of the killer’s identity. He then races to stop the scavenger hunt and warn the girls that the next time they go to a fancy dress up party they should check who’s going with them.

This is hands down my all time favorite 80′s slasher flick… where a killer in a bear suit runs around snuffing sorority sluts with a big paw full of steak knives and calls them all bitches, sluts, and whores while doing it! Yes indeed, GIRLS NITE OUT stands out in the 80’s slasher scene in a big way by being particularly off the wall. This flick might seem like run of the mill campus carnage by description, but it’s actually equal parts goofy, mean spirited, and vicious. There’s plenty of corny dialog and a few cheap laughs along the way, but there’s also something especially nasty about the kills, and the way that the killer degrades his female victims. The twist ending is also really well done and rivals other clas-sicks like “Sleepaway Camp” and “Unhinged” in the creepiness department.

Interestingly enough, this film was originally shot in 1982 under the title “The Scaremaker.” It wasn’t picked up for distribution until 1984, when the film was re-titled “Girl’s Nite Out” and marketed to sleazy, exploitive perfection. An incredibly lurid trailer was shot for the release, featuring a scantily clad actress (who does not actually appear in the film) in bed, talking about how fear “really gets her motor running,” and “all the weird things that have been happening lately” highlighted with clips from the film. The print ads were even more graphic, featuring loving closeups of a dead, tied up girl with a slashed throat under the clas-sick headline “You know what really turned her on…” 

Speaking of exploitation, look for a great “phoned in” performance from poor old Hal Holbrook in this baby. Hal shot all of his scenes in one day, never interacts with the other actors, only appears in the finished film in a few brief scenes (usually sitting down at a desk, talking on the telephone), and yet somehow still receives star billing! The producers must have had photos of him blowing a guy or something. Hal’s chubby son David Holbrook co-stars. You might remember him as the fat puking slob who gets an arrow in the throat from “Old Chief Wood’nhead” in “Creepshow 2.” Or not.

Die hard fans of “Revenge Of The Nerds” (myself proudly included) will enjoy seeing Julie Montgomery (Betty!) get the dutch oven treatment from her gassy love interest. Another putrid element of the film is the soundtrack, which features stinky moldy oldies like “Hot Town Summer In The City” and “Yummy Yummy Yummy, I Got Love In My Tummy.” Slasher fans should also keep a look out for brief appearances from Carrick Glen, who stole the show a few years earlier with her sizzling shower scene in “The Burning” and Rutanya Alda, who also starred in the Brain Hammer approved clas-sicks “Christmas Evil” and “Amityville II: The Possession.”‘

“Girls Nite Out” is a must see, very enjoyable flick for hardcore slasher enthusiasts. Fans of cheesy and sleazy slashers with perverse sexual twists like “Sleepaway Camp” should really eat this up. Shriek Show released GIRLS NITE OUT on dvd as part of their “Guilty Pleasures” line of campy cult clas-sicks. The bonus features include an alternate opening credits sequence, a brief interview with Julie Montgomery (who still looks fantastic and rocks a short skirt in her interview!) , and the original theatrical trailer, which I consider to be one of the all time greats. You can also find this one included in Shriek Show’s “Bloody School Girls” triple feature along with “One Dark Night” and the Roberta Findlay haunted whorehouse epic “Blood Sisters.”  Buy or die.

KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!

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The Prowler!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 8, 2013 by Brain Hammer

Gory greetings! It’s 2013. If you think you’re safe…you’re dead wrong!

 

THE PROWLER (1981)

1945. A young soldier returns home to the States from the brutality of WWII and is greeted by a “Dear John” letter from his best gal, Rosemary. The sudden loss and ensuing heartbreak causes the soldier to snap and go insane. His response to having his heart ripped out is donning his combat fatigues and crashing Rosemary’s college graduation dance. Armed with a pitchfork, the silent prowler crashes a gazebo grope fest that Rosemary was enjoying with her new boyfriend and swiftly impales the horny young lovers. As a final gesture of his contempt, the killer leaves a rose on their bloody corpses. This violent death left the small town of Avalon Bay shocked and horrified, and Rosemary’s killer was never identified or captured.

After 35 long years of silence, the town attempts to bury the memories of the brutal murders once and for all and decide to finally have another graduation dance. As the preparations for the dance are underway the Sheriff (Farley Granger) catches wind of a report about a killer that robbed a store in a nearby town and cut up a young victim before stealing their car. Despite the fact this maniac could be heading for Avalon Bay, the Sheriff seems more interested in leaving town for his weekend fishing trip. The Sheriff leaves his dipshit deputy Mark (Christopher Goutman) in charge of keeping the town safe. Mark has a pretty young love interest named Pam (Vicky Dawson), and the two make plans to keep an eye on each other during the dance.

As the sexy sorority sluts put on their war paint and prepare for the evening’s festivities, Rosemary’s killer also prepares himself for a night of action. After donning his old combat uniform the madman breaks his trusty pitchfork out of storage and also grabs his bayonet and shotgun. Obviously still holding a lethal grudge against happy young lovers, the prowler sneaks into the girls dormitory and begins an all out assault. The first victim has a bayonet violently rammed through his skull. This unfortunate lad’s girlfriend is showering at the time, and the killer proceeds to give her a breast exam with his pitchfork. Pam almost becomes the next victim when she discovers the prowler in the stairwell, but she barely manages to run away and tell Mark that someone was chasing her.

Blissfully unaware that a psycho killer is lurking in their midst, Mark and Pam then wonder around the campus looking for someone pulling a bizarre prank. As they slowly begin to uncover the deadly secrets of Avalon Bay, the prowler strikes again and slits the throat of a young girl taking a swim. A teacher goes looking for the missing girl and gets a bayonet in the neck for her efforts. Mark and Pam eventually wind up inside a large house owned by the creepy old man that runs the school (the late great Lawrence Tierney!) and have a mind blowing final battle with Rosemary’s killer. It will freeze your blood.

THE PROWLER has to be considered one of the most bloodthirsty slasher flicks ever made. The eye popping special effects from Tom Savini steal the show and make this one essential viewing for gorehounds. There’s a spectacular exploding head shot that rivals Savini’s other efforts in “Dawn Of The Dead” and “Maniac.” The bayonet head stabbing is especially brutal, and the gruesome way the actor’s eyes pop out as the blade slowly works it’s way through his skull never ceases to give me chills. All of the death scenes in this movie are gory as hell and help “The Prowler” stand out in the pack of similar slasher flicks that were flooding the market at the same time.

The always reliable Joesph Zito directed “The Prowler” and did a fantastic job. Zito later went on to direct “Friday The 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter” based on the strength of his work on “The Prowler.” The film has a distinctly polished feel and is much classier looking than some of the other slasher flicks of the time period. The extended opening set in 1945 was done quite quite effectively on a very small budget. The slick photography by Raul Lomas, smooth editing by Joel Goodman, and the haunting score by Richard Einhorn also go a long way in helping the film capture a superior, suspense filled atmosphere of terror.

The film’s low budget (about $1,000,000) only really hurt the film when it came time for distribution. Sadly, there wasn’t enough money available to properly market the film to horror fans or get it in enough theaters to make a major profit. The shaky distribution was also hampered when the film’s title was changed midway through it’s theatrical run from “The Prowler” to “Rosemary’s Killer.” As a result, the film quickly slipped into semi-slasher obscurity. It’s too bad really, because “The Prowler” is clearly one of the very best 80’s slasher flicks. It somehow manages to be both superior in terms of glossy production value and grisly flesh ripping carnage, truly the best of both worlds.

For many years, a good looking uncut copy of  THE PROWLER was a hard thing for horror fanatics to come by. Most of the original VHS releases were heavily edited. In 2002 the fine folks at Blue Underground did hardcore horror fans a big favor by releasing a dvd of “The Prowler” that is completely uncut and uncensored. It also includes nifty bonus features such as an entertaining audio commentary track with Joseph Zito and Tom Savini, an extensive poster and still gallery, and best of all –  Tom Savini’s rarely seen behind the scenes gore footage! Own this now or suck forever.

 

KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!