Halloween Night (Mark Atkins, 2006)
I’ve seen a number of the “mockbusters” put out by The Asylum over the years, and they’ve all been crap. And then there is Halloween Night, which may have been the first of the mockbusters, after they decided that actually putting out good, original films wasn’t getting them anywhere (they were responsible for King of the Ants, Stuart Gordon’s best movie since the mid-eighties, before they went down this path, for example). It is certainly, of those I have seen, the least obvious a copy of the movie it apes. It is also the most watchable of the mockbusters I have seen; I do not believe these two things are unrelated.
Plot: David (Snakes on a Train‘s Derek Osedach in one of his last screen appearances before he headed behind the camera to become a full-time producer) is a guy who has been putting on haunted houses for Halloween every year, but really wants to amp things up, so he hatches a plan with his old college roommate Darryl (Bikini Spring Break‘s Jared Cohn) and friend Todd (YouCube‘s Nicholas Daly Clark) to spring on his guests. Meanwhile, however, crazed and horribly disfigured serial killer Chris Vale (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan‘s Scot Nery) has broken out of the mental hospital where he’s been held for the past ten years and is headed home… which happens to be the house where David is planning his hijinks. Put a serial killer together with a bunch of drunk kids and what do you get?
…pretty much every slasher film made in the past thirty years, really. The Asylum, screenwriter Michael Gingold (Leeches!), and director Mark Atkins (Sand Sharks) weren’t going for originality here, but they were at least keeping the Halloween references to a few in-jokes (Todd, stopped at a roadblock, mentions to the officer that he’s coming from Russellville, for example) rather than copying the movie as close to frame-for-frame as they could get away with, like they normally do.
I should rush to add that when I say Halloween Night is a better, more watchable movie than A Hunting in Salem or Transmorphers or Death Racers or… that I don’t mean to imply that this is a good movie in any way. It’s about as awful as one would expect from the Asylum’s stable. But it’s not the worst movie I saw this week, so that’s something. *