I’d rather jack


2 Stars  1995/15/89m

“It’s harvest time.”

A.k.a. Jack-O-Lantern

Director: Steve Latshaw / Writers: Patrick Moran, Fred Olen Ray & Brad Linaweaver / Cast: Linnea Quigley, Rebecca Wicks, Gary Doles, Catherine Walsh, Ryan Latshaw, Rachel Carter, Tom Ferda, Bill Cross, Helen Keeling, George Castells, Kelly Lacy, Michael Walsh, Brinke Stevens, Dawn Wildsmith, John Carradine, Cameron Mitchell.

Body Count: 11

If you can get past another killer with an oversized pumpkin for a head, then there’s a little bit of mileage in this Fred Olen Ray production – which should tell us all we need to know.

We learn from the flashback dreams of a young boy (director’s son Latshaw, with all the charisma of a belly-up fish) of his ancestors’ curse from a nasty warlock, who summoned the title creature 81 years earlier to scythe up his rival’s bloodline.

Beer-fuelled teenagers unearth the demon on Halloween, who picks up where he left off, but notably fails to kill any of the target family members, instead doing away with some annoying ancillary characters, such a right-wing neighbours and stock horror movie workmen.

After a gratuitous shower scene, Linnea emerges as babysitter to the Jack-O’s prime kill and her sister (Wicks) spends most of the film running around, teasing her biker boyfriend.

Frustratingly uneven pacing and a killer who flits all over the place at will gets under your skin more than the sickle appears to – but death by toaster is a high point.

The most interesting factor is the appearances of Carradine and Mitchell, both of whom died before the film was released.

Blurbs-of-interest: Fred Olen Ray directed Scalps and Final Examination; Linnea can also be seen in Graduation Day, Silent Night, Deadly Night, Kolobos, Spring Break Massacre, The Barn, and a background cameo in Fatal Games; Brinke Stevens was also a backgrounder in Fatal Games, and was also in The Slumber Party Massacre, American Nightmare (2000), Bleed, Blood Reaper, The Cheerleader Massacre and Sigma Die!; Cameron Mitchell was in The Toolbox Murders, The Demon, Silent Scream (1980), Trapped Alive, and Valley of Death.

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