2 Stars  1991/85m

“When fantasy becomes a deadly reality.”

Director/Writer: W. Douglas Robertson / Writer: Kurt Andrew Swauger / Cast: Brien Blakely, Blake Pickett, Ethan Adler, Brad Hanks, Leslee Lacey, Bently Tittle, Tim Hubbard.

Body Count: 6

Laughter Lyrics: “In a haunted house on a Hauntedween, is the biggest party there’s ever been, it’s time for rocking heads to roll, we’re just dying to start the show.”

There are some things you should know before approaching HauntedWeen in any way, shape, or form. Firstly, it was shot as something of a student project in a Kentucky college town. Secondly, many of the actors and extras were students and/or locals. Thirdly, the budget was clearly not high.

These things being so, I still had an awesome time watching HauntedWeen and, sadly, to convey said awesomeness, SPOILERS are necessary.

What’s the story then? A Halloween walk-through house of horror thing attracts folks. Ticket-collector Eddie is told he’s “too young to work the house” by the MC, who then goes home even though he’s just that second let some people in. Eddie sneaks into the house and finds a lost young girl he then torments until she impales herself. He caps it off by decapitating her and flees the scene. His Mom soon finds him and tells him they’ve got to go.

Behind you!

Behind you!

Beside you!

Beside you!

Twenty years later – never nineteen, never twenty-one – Old Mom keels over from a heart attack and Big Eddie decides to return to town.

Meanwhile, local Frat house Sigma Phi has learned that it’s about to be kicked out of the Greek system thingy for paying too little into the membership. Or something. They need money fast. Hmm…

Bizarrely, instead of HauntedWeen unfolding how we expect, given that Frat President Kurt and his suspect-robot girlfriend Mel stumbled upon The Old Burber House. Instead, Eddie goes to the Frat house and gives them the fucking keys, telling them it’d be a great idea! A goal-oriented psycho.

With a poster this awesome, why would anyone miss it?

With a poster this awesome, why would anyone miss it?

Kids of various dreadful fashion woes fix up the place and camp out. After dark, one of them tells the story of the Eddie-vs-Little-Girl incident, while two others go skinny dipping. Randomly, HauntedWeen tosses out a pretty good camera move, with the dude’s body pinned to a tree, it pans across nicely and adjusts focus to his girlfriend entering the lake. Very Friday the 13th.

tree-guyThe next night – assumed to be Halloween, though nobody ever mentions it – the kids put on their show. Locals come, scream unconvincingly, and Eddie grabs a few laggers for a special live edition. While teens scream “Don’t you people understand!? It’s not fake! He’s really killing us! Help us!” the audience bays for blood and their wishes are granted accordingly.

Eventually, Kurt and Mel, who’ve been having relationship problems (“you don’t pay enough attention to me!”) are in jeopardy, it takes one random patron to shriek “oh my God – it’s real!” for a stampede of people to flee the house, all to the poppy beats of an 80s aerobic workout bop.

HauntedWeen fails on almost every level in terms of horror: It’s neither scary, nor suspenseful; The gore is sloppy and tame; The title alludes to a supernatural element that does not exist; Most of the main cast survive, including the super annoying comic relief guy:

hanksSo it’s bad in almost every conceivable way, why haven’t I rated it one star? The short answer is hair.

Most people credit the 1980s for being the decade of bad clothes and hair, but it was still around in 1991, especially in Bowling Green, Kentucky, it would seem. I loved the early 90s, a shitfest for slasher films though they may have been, it was a great era.

Here’s a few of the delights I found in HauntedWeen:

bangles-wannabePost-Bangles super coif and pastel to match. I hope she played bass in a high school garage band. The guy behind her had a mullet but moved too fast to capture.

mullet-1…but here’s another mullet a couple of minutes later. Eeeeshk.

earrings-ladyThe lesser remembered coral reef look of the early 90s.

mullet-specsThis guy yells “Hang ’em! Yaaaah!” during the fake-not-fake killings. Then about ninety-seconds later the same piece of footage is shown again, so we get double the mullet n’ mustache treatment. Yay us.

badhatandbracefaceMy favourites, Bad Hat and Braceface: These two kids spur on the killer in maniacal glee. She with her Wilson Phillips bowler, he with a penchant for massively overacting. I’d guess they’re approximately my age now, gotta get on Facebook and befriend.

In conclusion – see this film.

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