release year: 1995
genre: horror
viewing setting: home laserdisc, 10/9/97
what I expected: the pumpkin of death
what I got: a good bad horror movie

synopsis: 81 years ago, a man was lynched, but before he died he summoned a demon to avenge him. Now, the demon has been set free, and roams a quiet little town looking for people to kill with his scythe.

impressions: This was almost bad enough to be good. Almost. The director knew what we wanted to see - at one point, we get a long and totally gratuitous shower scene for no apparent reason. Ditto with the gore and special effects (the latter leave something to be desired, though.) Problems abounded, however. Jack-O teleported frequently, just like Jason in Friday the 13th part 8 - one moment, he's in the deep woods, the next moment, he's in the town. Huh? Another problem: Jack-O had too many close encounters with people. Sometimes he'd spot someone and they'd spot him - and then he'd just walk away. There were far too many potential victims who lived through this movie. A third problem: Jack-O usually just shuffled along, at a low rate of speed; however, when chasing his quarry, he sprinted with the best of 'em. Inconsistent. Total fatalities: 9, not counting Jack-O. One electrocution, one decapitation (the head, as is par for the course, rolled right into someone's lap.)

acting: Pretty bad. The best cast members in this movie did adequate jobs; the worst ones did terrible jobs. Notably bad was the lady who played Vivian; she sounded like a bad tape in a bad tape player.


Jack-Oto amble around and kill some people, but just stare at others
Seanto be the 6th descendant of the guy who killed Jack-O in 1915 and thus the only one who can kill Jack-O now (convenient, huh?)
David (aka Count Dorkula)to be Sean's dorky father and embarrass him around the other kids
Lindato be Sean's shrill-voiced mother, who hasn't a clue about anything
Vivianto be the weird woman who comes out of nowhere and attaches herself to Sean's family in hopes of finding and defeating Jack-O
3 teenage punks in cemeteryto be the fools who set Jack-O free and become the first victims
Carolynto be naked in the gratuitous and totally irrelevant shower scene (secondary purpose: to babysit Sean while his parents go and dork out)
Julieto be Carolyn's biker-slut sister and provide secondary nudity
Jimto be Julie's biker scumbag boyfriend who is such an asshole you know he's gonna get killed
the Watsonsto be the right-wing, annoying, nosy neighbors who provide comic relief both in life and in death
the Judge of Hell (aka Walter Mackie)to be the driving force behind Jack-O's rampage
the Tri-County Cable guyto be a bonus victim for Jack-O
Roscoto be the fat guy's dog
the fat guyto be Rosco's owner and tell Sean the tale of Jack-O so we, the audience, will know what's going on
Dr. Cadaverto host scary movies on TV so that Brinke Stevens can make a cameo appearance

reviewers' quotes:
"Not every haunted garage has a Jack-O."
"Just because we see Jack-O's feet here doesn't mean he's not actually somewhere else."
"Jason would never take a prisoner!"

other reviews:
IMDB review
Joe Bob Briggs' review

final word: Amusing, entertaining, but by no means definitive or superior.

rating: D+

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