Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Hack O'Lantern"(1988)d/Jag Mundhra

Whatever you wanna call it,it still sucks balls.
Embarrassing.If a wino with ass cancer on a beans and franks diet took a shit into a month old vat full of dead skunks under a sunlamp on a Texas highway in the middle of June,it wouldn't smell half as bad as this whole production.Some bad horror movies are a delight to sit through,some require superhuman endurance skills to stay awake until the end credits roll.I haven't screened any of the softcore porn director Jag Mundhra has moved onto since farting out this cinematic skidmark back in 1988,but for his sake,I hope he's honed his craft a little.Andy Milligan and Ed Wood Jr. look like Godard and Scorsese compared to this guy.Before you sacrifice an hour and a half of your precious life(which you'll NEVER get back,mind you)viewing this piece of dogshit,get a load of what Mundhra tries to pass off as a storyline,then decide for yourself.
"I like the taste of blood.Grandpa says it's good for me." says young Tommy in eyeshadow.Tomorrow's forecast:Heavy metal.
It's nearing Halloween as Tommy,a sickly pre-pubescent David Bowie lookalike in eye makeup(?), gets a visit from his effeminate Satanist Grandpa(Hy Pike,slumming BIG time after "Lemora;A Child's Tale of the Supernatural" and "Dolemite"...and that's no exaggeration,believe you me.)who gives him a dimestore rubber skeleton,a pumpkin,and a dimestore Satanic pentagram amulet before offing his father,who bursts in on Gramps' sinister barn hoedown for the dark lord and master(Satan apparently likes his bitches with branded pentagram buttcheeks,to each his own),by knocking him out and setting his car on fire with him unconscious in it.As the ultimate insult,he insinuates that Tommy was the product of an incestuous union between he and mom."Burn in Hell,Bill!"he minces as his son-in-law burns to death.I think the guy sold his soul the second he signed on for this movie,but hey,that's my personal opinion.
Tommy and Grandpa both agree: Manowar rules.
We fastforward several years later and find that Mom still has all three of her brood in the nest;Roger is a cop,Vera is dating some Jewish-looking goon reminiscent of a young Jerry Lewis in a Kmart jogging suit,and Tommy...well,he looks to be about thirty years old,working out with a headband on and rocking out to crappy heavy metal like D.C. LaCroix in his mother's basement.Ol' Scratch would be proud.Tommy ignores his poor widowed mother's cries for family unity,puts on some dimestore headphones and imagines himself in an extremely low budget La Croix music video where some junior college ethnic dance major dressed like a voodoo whatchamacallit has an impossibly long tongue,multiple arms,and laserbeam eyes that make shrunken heads appear on the drum cymbals,and ultimately,disintegrates the entire band,before turning a metal trident on Tommy himself,holding up his bloody papier mache' head in triumph, before our up-and-coming Satanist snaps out of it.Brrrrrrrr.Oh those crazy Hindu filmmakers.
Hy Pike,feeling sexy in his flashback toupee,lurches in for a closeup smooch.
Somewhere in here,there are some lackluster murders.Tommy's girlfriend(who looks like 80's porn afterthought Lois Ayres with a fatter ass,obligatorily branded)mistakes a hooded killer dressed in a Party City demon mask for Tommy and pays for her mistake with her life at the end of the previously mentioned trident.Vera's dork/love interest storms off through the cemetary after being manhandled at the house by Tommy,who breaks in just as he's about to enjoy some carnal pleasure,when he falls into an open grave and gets his head split open with a shovel by the same madman in a nine dollar latex demon mask.Is it Tommy,about to enjoy his full black magical/heavy metal power,at Gramps' next ghoulish gathering?Or is it Grandpa doing what comes naturally for an evil old pot-bellied warlock with a bit of a lisp?What the filmmakers try and pass off as a plot has surely thickened,droogies.
Black voodoo chicks with laserbeam eyes and shoddy gore effects:This is what metal is made of.
The muddled mess comes to a head at the annual Halloween dance.The townsfolk boogie to the sounds of an even worse band than D.C. LaCroix(if that's possible),thrill to the charms of an overweight has-been burlesque dancer with a snake,and just when everyone thought the get-together couldn't possibly rock any harder,those partygoers who duck outside for a smoke are treated to five minutes of some anonymous stand-up comedian's routine.Unfortunately,he isn't on the masked killer's death list,so we're forced to watch him imitate a centerfold girl AND a turkey.Piped-in laughter ensues.Meanwhile back at the barn,Tommy's sister Vera is the main course at the Satanic smorgasbord,but Tommy has a change of heart(possibly the gayest mealymouthed scream in cinema history),then there's a climactic battle between TWO cloaked baddies in the same rubber demon mask.One is Grandpa,and the other is...mom trying to keep her family unified and safe from Grandpa's evil bidding?They both eat it,but not before Gramps can put a Satanic whammy on his law-enforcing grandson,Roger.During the devilish denouement at the barn we see another black arts jamboree going on,only Roger is the coven leader now.Moral of the Story:If you eliminate a weeks worth of take-out curry dinners from your budget,you too can finance a horribly forgettable and thoroughly unsatisfying genre movie that may get rented out by a soccer mom in a rush on a Wednesday night at the Mom and Pop video store in 1989.
The obligatory standup comedian at the Halloween dance.That's why I never go anymore.
Unintentional laughs abound in this mess,as you might have expected.I've read a handful of positive reviews on it around the web which have me scratching my head.Did they see the same movie?Were they DC LaCroix fans?Did such people ever exist?Then the other day while tooling around at Blockbuster,looking for some movies to occupy some time on my days off,I saw more than one copy of Uwe Boll's "House of the Dead" missing from the shelf.And I understood clearly.Life goes in cycles,and though we may never have to endure another Jag Mundhra horror film,Uwe Boll took his place,just like Roger did,when Tommy backed out of his diabolical responsibilities.Scary stuff.
Goofy Jew in Kmart warmup suit-0,Shovel-1


Gregory Conley said...

I've always wanted to see this movie because of the insane title. Too bad it probably sucks.

Good review.

beedubelhue said...

Definitely."Crap O'Lantern" would have been more fitting.Tanks for the good words,pal.


Anonymous said...

Hey,I've never seen such a well worded and honest review of my movie "Hack-o-lantern".My name is Jeff Brown.I played Roger in the film.Thank you for trashing everyone but me.I can't believe you sat through the whole movie!When I was cast,the movie was titled "Jack-o-lantern"..and by the second murder..I sugested to Jag that we call it "Hack-o-lantern"..he laughed at the thought and next thing I knew it became the title...I love it when people say they only rented it for the title.What a sad legacy I leave.

beedubelhue said...

Thanks for the kind words,and for the record,your character was probably the only one I didn't instantly despise in the whole flick!That's saying something,I think.Hope you're doing well,and have moved on(and up)in your endeavors since your work here,haha!I've admitted to sitting through the whole thing(more than once,mind you)and you've admitted to being in it,which puts us both in the same awful cine-purgatory somehow...Thanks for the insight,and keep in touch!


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