Monday, June 3, 2013

HAPPY HELL NIGHT (1992) movie review

Happy Hell Night (1992) d. Owens, Brian (Canada)

Obviously, no one sent the memo to screenwriters Michael Fitzpatrick, Brian Owens (who also directed) and Ron Petersen that the 80s were, in fact, over. A college hazing stunt unleashes a murderous supernatural killer from the local insane asylum (every university town should have one) and the body count is on.

There’s just enough innovation here that one might be inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt, but the overwhelming cheese factor is pretty darn high and the acting pretty darn bad, even from the Night Stalker himself, Darren McGavin (played in flashbacks by a young Sam Rockwell).

There are a few good gory offings, but the best thing about HHN is Charles Cragin’s eerie physical presence as the killer Malius – with his Nosferatu bald head and wicked ice axe slaying methods, one wishes he’d had a better movie in which to strut his stuff.

The movie also enjoyed an unexpected bump thanks to the rising popularity of E/R and future CSI star Jorga Fox as an unfortunate Kappa Sig member.

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