Friday, October 7, 2011

JACK-O (1995)


Linnea “Nude-O” Quigley, Rebecca “Ditzy Mom-O” Wicks, Gary “Bore-O” Doles, Ryan “The Director’s Kid-O” Latshaw, Catherine “Spooky Chick-O” Walsh, Michael “Guido-O” Walsh, Cameron “Drunk-O” Mitchell, John “Dead Drunk-O” Carradine, Brinke “Cameo-O” Stevens, and not a sequined glove in sight.

More details here.


Back in the olden days, according to some crazy fat guy talking into fire, an evil old man with mystical powers (Carradine) put a curse upon his death on the town that sentenced him to eternal damnation.

“Oh Satan, where’s my tapioca?”

We learn that longtime residents of the town, the Kelly family, were instrumental in bringing the evil man to justice using a crucifix made from a special tree.  (Note: I wasn't paying attention as to why the tree is special. Please forgive me. PLEASE!) We flash forward to today (well, 1993-ish) and young Sean Kelly (Latshaw) is having bad dreams about the old man while a creepy figure stalks him with a rusty scythe.  

Humanity’s last hope, or just another atomic wedgie victim?

Meanwhile, the mysterious Vivian (Walsh) arrives in town and seeks out the Kelly family to warn them of impending doom on Halloween night while constantly groping Sean.  We learn that Vivian is a descendant of the old man and she tells Dad Kelly (Coles) and Mom Kelly (Wicks) the legend of Jack-O, the suspenders-wearing demon from Hell with a pumpkin for a head who is under the control of her long-dead ancestor.

Jack-O is Wack-O

So Jack-O is stupidly resurrected from the grave by some Hamms Light-drinking 30-year old teens which triggers his blood-spattered, autumn-potpourri scented vengeance on the Kelly family, that is if he can get past their spooky-looking Mom.

“Mommy needs her medicine now, dear.”

Jack-O slices and dices his way through the town’s nerdy and annoying inhabitants while the Kellys proceed with their tradition of a homemade spook house for Halloween where the holiday-obsessed folks hand out candy and pull dimestore pranks on trick-or-treaters.  They hire babysitter Carolyn (Quigley) to watch the creeped-out Sean for no other reason than to have a boobilicious showering scene. 

Linnea makes me Quigley!

Our fruit/vegetable villain Jack-O then proceeds to weed out the town including Carolyn’s scuzzy sister, her Discount Vinnie Barbarino boyfriend, and a rude TV-dinner-loving, child-hating grocer.  In the final showdown Jack-O plows his way to the Kelly’s to play Halloween games like Apple Dunking, Candy Swaps, and Gravity-Defying Intestinal Impalement.

“Hey, I wanted a Rolo!” 


How can you resist a Halloween slasher flick with a pumpkin-headed killer offing annoying teens, pert scream queens, and the director’s relatives?  Well, it’s easy if you try.  But I didn’t so I watched Jack-O, a decrepitly cheap holiday scare fest from renowned, infamous, and partially devoured bad movie producer Fred Olen Ray.  About the only things I can suggest were even remotely good were Jack-O’s kinda cool-in-a-Kmart kinda way design, the main kid who was a pretty decent little actor, and of course Leanna’s nudie butt scrub.  In fact, the entire film seems to orbit that one scene while loading up the star cannon with Carradine, Stevens, and Mitchell (who plays horror host Dr. Cadaver for ten seconds) and throwing in a squirt gun of strawberry jam for blood effects.  The masterful touch of the immortal Fred Olen Effing Ray.  Unreleased until two years after Mitchell’s death (this was his last appearance) and made in the early 90s but feeling very mid-80s, Jack-O is a slight sweet in your trick-or-treat bag, somewhere between Grandma’s Circus Peanuts and that could-be-taffy from the weirdo bachelor down the block who watches too many horror movies. Ahem.

Happy Jack-O-Ween!

1 comment:

Michelle Fatale said...

Oh man, Jack-O! I really need to revisit this movie.