Trailer Terrors: Halloween Night (1988)

Its the one night of the year when its okay to suck in public.

All innuendos aside, horror films that cash in on the dark magic of Halloween are just about as overdone as wearing something green on St. Patrick's Day and, while most of these contrived efforts fall into the gluttonous deadzone of movie rentals shelves, there are a select few that live up to the name (most notably John Carpenter's classic Halloween).

Halloween Night (1988) is not one of those films. Though there's enough offerings of naked, nubile flesh and gratuitous use of gardening utensils as birth control to satisfy any self respecting horror film fan, the movie tends to bleed tangents of utter weirdness. Case in point, there's a scene near the beginning of the film where it cuts to a music video full of shrunken heads, green death lasers and a trident decapitation... you'll see what I mean.

There's also something about a satanic cult and pumpkin carving, but let's get down to brass tacks. If you're willing to watch a film like this with nothing but a six pack of PBR and a half eaten bag of last year's Halloween candy, then you're in it for the cheesy effects, corny dialogue and creative death scenes which thankfully there's a generous amount of each. If you're feeling frisky, or just need something new for the fright night lineup, this may be just what the mortician ordered... at least for the 5 minutes you're away taking a crap between Halloween (1978) and Halloween 2 (1981).


  1. AllHallowSteve said...:

    Nice post! But I have to disagree with this quote "... horror films that cash in on the dark magic of Halloween are just about as overdone as wearing something green on St. Patrick's Day..."

    See I don't think there are ENOUGH horror films based around the Halloween holiday... um... said the Halloween Addict.

    Of the few that are out there, most are crap. Like this film wonderful film you've profiled which sounds awful but I STILL need to find and watch. Just to say I did.

    Really the only GOOD Halloween based films are Carpenter's Halloween and Trick 'r Treat (last year's... not the one with Skippy from Family Ties).

    Prove me wrong. Please! I beg of you!

  1. I must agree with Mr. Steve on this one. I can't get enough of that overdone, over-the-top celebration of black magic within the macabre holiday. Even in Trick 'R Treat, Sam's character is driven by some dark, spiritual drive to sustain a childlike wonder (not to mention keeping the traditions alive) and amazement with Halloween. I do, however, understand that Halloween is about other things too and not just witches, broomstone, sacrifices or ghosts. When we were younger all we REALLY cared about was the candy and the occasional scary movie (which, depending on the parents, may have been limited to Scooby Doo), but that CANDY was really the 'real deal' so to speak and you KNOW that to be the truth my friends. It's when we grow older and look back on the 'good 'ol days' of our youth that we start to return to the Horror film and relive all of those incredible emotions we have such a hard time acquiring these days. So, whether I sound like a positive Pete, I'm with Steve on this one. I honestly want MORE black magic and mysticism with my Halloween themed Horror films. I mean, can anyone say Halloween Tree?!?!

  1. P.S. But, I do see what you mean by those particular films that use the "dark magic of Halloween" formula to make a few bucks and a pretty forgettable viewing to boot. I think one of the best films of the Halloween franchise is Halloween III (I know, I know, someone out there might kill me now) but it's just a delectable little film! Tom Atkins wins me over every time, God bless him! And the score of that movie is killer! *clears throat* Anyways, back to the topic. Whether it's been done or overdone or not done very successfully I think it's a very necessary thing because it keeps us thirsting for more, ya know? Kool-Aid made some amazing flavored drinks but not all of them tasted top-notch - yet we still picked up that Mystery Flavor hoping it was going to be as good as the orange or red flavor. WE NEED MORE MYSTERY FLAVOR!!!

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    You both make very good points and I agree completely with you when you say that they aren't enough (good) Halloween films out there. It just seems as though the bulk of the ones out there (granted we're talking 70s and 80s here) were either poorly executed and/or misinterpreted the mythology of its pagan roots.

    Case in point the film above, originally named Hack O' Ween, uses Halloween merely as a "spooky backdrop" whereas Dougherty's Trick r' Treat, Carpenter's Halloween and even Wallace's Halloween 3 rely on the genuine tradition/mythology of the holiday in order to propel the story forward.

    Going back to my original quote, it admittingly may have been exaggerated, but there really aren't many films that share to true spirit of the Autumn season. That's won't stop me from looking though and I definitely encourage you both to do the same.

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