Paul Fahrenkopf, Aaron Henkin, Nicolette le Faye, Leanna Chamish, Richard Cutting, Brian St. August, Helenmary Ball, Robert Long II, a long look back at a long gone era that refuses to go away, and a trick-or-treat bag full of 80s yucks.
More details here.
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
WNUF Channel 28 is hosting a live investigation of a rumored haunted house in which a young Donald Webber murdered his parents in cold blood years ago. The special is announced on the Halloween evening news which is presented with all the professional decorum and journalistic integrity that is local TV news.
|"Vell, at least I'm not on Fox!"|
Cornball news reporter and jaded skeptic Frank Stewart is on the scene hosting the ghostly goings-on along with a host of looky-loos in costumes who all may very well be high.
|"After tonight, I'm going back to doing traffic in Tucson."|
Joining Frank are famous paranormal researchers Louis and Claire Berger who will attempt to reach out to the evil spirits that infest the Webber home. They are joined by their psychic cat which prompts Frank to make high brow jokes.
|"Tonight, we'll be busting ghosts and stroking pussy, folks."|
Earlier in the evening, we learn that a local group of religious kooks want to ban Halloween and are especially angry that WNUF is promoting what they believe is Satanic works. Naturally, they interview the most sane, rational, and calm member of the group.
|"GOD HATES CANDY CORN!"|
The investigators are joined by a nervous nelly priest, Father Joseph, who claims he can conduct an exorcism to rid the home of the malicious entities. That is, if he can keep his bladder together.
|"And now, a reading from the Book of Cystitus."|
The terror unfolds in the Webber home as the Bergers' equipment is mysteriously destroyed, their cat is mutilated, and horrific noises are heard from an upstairs room.
|"Walk towards the poofy orange mic cover, Carol Ann!"|
While things go haywire during the live broadcast, the show's producer frantically tries to maintain order before the true nature of what is tormenting our hosts is revealed. And it's probably more vile and villainous than any spook or specter. But first, here's what's next on WNUF, a mummy stalks New York in search of souls to reap:
|I will totally watch this.|
Say whatever you will about the 1980s, from over-saturation of the period’s nostalgia in almost every aspect of current pop culture and the infernal member berries it has sprouted that drive every Hollywood franchise today (Predator, Aliens, TNMT, Ghostbusters, etc.), the decade was at least for me a glorious time, especially at Halloween. The WNUF Halloween Special, a found footage/mockumentary local TV satire embodies everything the eerie night meant to someone whose best friend was the boob tube. After a cool night of trick-or-treating, getting spooked by pranksters, chugging Grandma’s hot chocolate, and watching Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, or Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell, I found myself wanting more. And usually all the local TV stations had to offer after the late news was either Benny Hill reruns or some cheeseball B-movie that would knock me out after 15 minutes. How times have changed.
But this crazy movie offers that something more I’d wished for then: a live investigation of a haunted house with a murderous history. And the makers pull it offer wonderfully from the dorky news reporter, to the Warrens-esque psychic couple, to the pee-pee prone priest with frayed nerves, to the countless commercial breaks, to the anti-Halloween Westboro Church-eque religious freaks who dominated the political platform at the time. How times have changed. Among very convincing commercials and news stories from the era, there’s plenty of good natured silliness and laughs but the scares emerge gradually with a particularly gruesome payoff. In fact, the commercials almost steal the show featuring everything from adverts for video stores, arcades, locally manufactured snacks, corny ethnic festivals, strip clubs, rip-off 976 numbers, suicide hotlines, and public service announcements from cops warning trick-or-treaters to watch out for “needles infected with the AIDS virus”. Yeah, those existed. The 80s VHS/UHF look, feel, and composition are so authentic, it's obviously made by someone with aptitude in production of the era and much affection. I can totally recommend WNUF Halloween Special to satisfy your post-10 PM desire for extra Halloween amusement. Really well done, really funny, and really recommended.
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