Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant camp-girl penis.
WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up.
“We only check on this one twice a week…to see if he’s STILL ALIVE,” grumbles a cynical-to-the-point-of-devious orderly, staring through the window into the dark cell, just one of many nestled in the Winfield Mental Hospital. His colleague, a nervous nurse, also peers through the window. Upon seeing the huddled figure in the dark room, she lets out an alarmed shriek, to which the orderly barely responds.
“Twenty-five years he’s been here. He doesn’t move or speak. I don’t even know how he’s still alive. Probably eats the bugs in there, I suppose,” he says, smiling like a dick, as if this is awesome. “It’s like he’s waiting for something.”
We then flashback to October 31st, 1963.
(Only two minutes in, and the core essence of Halloween is successfully ripped off.)
Henry Collins (Sam Rockwell, beginning his four-of-roughly fifteen-second appearance in this film), approaches a sleeping Father Cane with a bloody cross and beckons to him to help.
I say beckon because he literally doesn’t have any lines in this movie.
Father Cane obliges, venturing down into the creepy depths of an underground tomb located below his church (I think). His flashlight shines across disturbed coffins, bloody pentagrams dripping off the wall, and cut-off hands. It then shines across the figure of a man—sort of—albino, with dead black eyes, dressed in a priest's garb. The site of him, lit only by the beam of the flashlight, and set back in the corner of the room as if he were a frightened nocturnal creature that wasn’t supposed to be noticed, is genuinely unnerving.
For about two seconds.
Then he speaks.
“No peace!” it mutters, its voice sounding an awful lot like the fattest chipmunk brother of Alvin.
Father Cane runs out of the tomb, locking him in. I assume then that he is taken away by authorities and committed to a mental hospital where he will sit, not move, and eat bugs.
We flash forward to the present again and steadily go through our roster of teen characters for whom we will grow to deeply care, as they shove their tits into our faces and listen to bad early 90s garage rock.
Hey, guy with the bandanna: Bon Jovi called.
He said you’re a fairy.
Teening it up at a local college bar, a group of lovely young men see how many sex references they can cram into a single scene. Liz, the girlfriend of one of those men, Eric, whispers about a conflict with her girlfriend, and they both leave the smokey, punk music-ridden bar.
As Eric watches Liz leave, annoyed, he allays the concerns of the other guys that his brother, Sonny, will indeed be attending the frat’s Hell Night party that is to take place that night. As they all obnoxiously joke about the ridiculous stunt they will make him perform, in walks Ned Bara, host of STV (read: One Fuckhead in Front of a Sheet), the college’s very local-access one-man show. Bara looks alarmingly like Steve Buscemi, but uglier, if you can believe it. He’s definitely a future little-kid-lover.
He brags about having found the perfect tool in their soon-to-be-hazing of their frat candidate…and it involves the spooky hospital where the spooky albino eats spooky bugs and gives us the all-around creepers. He regales the dudes with the murderous events of 25 years past—and how all the victims were members of their very same frat!
The frat laughs it off and Bara leaves to prepare the next edition of his shitty show that still manages to be more useful to the world than Glenn Beck's.
Liz, though going steady with Eric, has a rendezvous with a mysterious biker with flowing black hair and dangerously crisp eyebrows. Boy, he’s dreamy…
That’ll make for some tension at their next Easter brunch.
The local sheriff drops by the fraternity’s house for a visit, and to inquire about the whereabouts of Bara, and why he would have stolen documents from City Hall in regards to the local hospital. The boys play dumb, and the sheriff wanders over to the mantle and admires an old mountain pick affixed to a plaque; a plaque that had been awarded to Henry Collins, Eric’s father.
Let that be a reminder to you all, kids…even if you barely escape being mutilated by a demon albino priest, you can move on with your life and still accomplish life’s goals, like fucking until you have kids, and mountain climbing.
In what I have decided is my absolute favorite continuity error of all time, the sheriff leaves the two boys alone in their large common room to commiserate.
Eric sits on the couch in the common room with his hands at his side while his greasy looking friend sits in an armchair opposite of him.
“Hey Eric,” calls a voice from upstairs, and we cut to see a housemate standing at the stairwell. “Your father’s on the phone!”
We cut back to the common room and we see that Eric is now suddenly holding a red bowling ball on his lap…and that an entirely new character—a young man dressed in a fancy suit—is suddenly standing between the two chairs.
See for yourself:
Eric fields the call from his father…Henry Collins, formerly young Sam Rockwell, but now played by A Christmas Story’s Darren McGavin!
Henry says that he is calling to see if Sonny had made it to town, and what the big plans were for Hell Night.
Eric asks him what he knows about some frat members being murdered 25 years ago. Well, sudden discordant guitars, slow motion, and a worried Darren McGavin says it all…
In the scary way!
Following Henry’s unwanted flashback, we get a montage of a dark figure, fire, and other creepsters, finishing with a mood-killing shot of Sam Rockwell smiling a very goofy smile and laughing, looking the absolute happiest he’s ever been in his life. Its inappropriateness brings a laugh to my belly.
|Sure, Sam Rockwell seemed affable enough, but only because|
he was mere seconds from spitting a moon pie in your face.
Henry mumbles a lie and quickly hangs up on his son, only to immediately order a car to his office. Looks like Henry’s crashing Hell Night, too!
Gentleman, lock up your mothers!
Eric, on a drive through town, spots Sonny’s bike parked in the lot of a motel. He peers inside a window and sees his girlfriend atop Sonny’s bod, engaging in what appears to be—hinted at by his girlfriend’s expression—stimulating, but perplexing, sex. Instead of reacting in any perceivable way, Eric leaves.
And then Hell Night, the most rockingest party of ’91, begins! And you know it’s rocking, because a shitty punk song, whose lyrics are:
radiates throughout the room.
Sonny shows up to the party and sees his brother, Eric.
“What’s up?” Sonny asks.
Eric stares, hard.
“What’s up?” Sonny asks again, not befuddled.
“Where’s Liz?” Eric asks.
Sonny shrugs his shoulders. Eric then delivers a soundless punch to Sonny’s face.
Note to filmmakers: while it can be difficult to find that perfect sound effect for punching (like, say, Indiana Jones), always remember to at least use ANYTHING AT ALL.
Instead of explaining to the shocked bystanders the reason for the punch, Eric instead smarmily tells Sonny to get ready for his initiation, which Sonny obligingly does, instead of attempting to explain or apologize for fucking his brother’s girlfriend.
Sonny sneaks into the hospital along with Ralph, another frat boy who looks like the love child between Tate Donovan and Judge Reinhold, with a dash of Matthew Lillard thrown in to explain the not-so-bright-looking face.
Sonny and Ralph wander around a dark, basement hallway, trying to locate the cell of the albino jerk-off who ate a few boys back in the day. The boys unwisely remove a cross affixed to the door and look at it questioningly. Reasoning that no human being could ever survive in the cell they are examining, they assume that they were misled and ordered to break into what’s essentially an empty cell.
Ralph goes into the cell to take pictures and ends up taking pictures of the albino murderer himself!
He gets his hand ripped off and falls down.
Sonny, against his better judgment, goes into the cell and sees his friend bleeding like a vagina at the feet of the albino, real name Zachary Malius. Despite this movie’s decision to be awful, it, again, manages to be a little unnerving, as the albino villain with the eyes of dark oblivion stares emptily forward. Then they blow it. Again.
“I’m bleeding to death!” Ralph cries.
“No kidding!” replies Malius, as I sigh.
The scene fades to black so as to make us assume Sonny also will get bled to death. Well, not. And if I ruined it for you, you’re taking this too seriously, and get away from me.
On his way out the door, the albino drops by the nurses’ station to say goodbye to the night nurse. He stabs a scalpel through her hand and through the remote under it, and though he is keeping her pinned down with his right hand, he manages to raise the same right hand with the same scalpel and make a single stabbing motion, leaving a deep gash in her throat.
Continuity, in case you hadn’t noticed, is not a high priority to Happy Hell Night.
“No TV,” he gurgles.
Meanwhile, at the party, Liz tries to explain to Eric why she is fucking his brother, but he only grasps his booze bottle, whines, and walks away.
Eric later meets up with Girl, played by Jorja Fox, who he swoons.
“Wanna fuck?” he suavely asks.
“Sure, why not? Later in life, I’ll be on 'CSI,'” says Jorja Fox, agreeing to the fuck.
Liz goes to see Bara, who is watching the monitor of a camera he has hidden in a room full of fucking. Bara creepily watches until he sees Liz standing behind him, and the two have a conversation unrelated to the fucking, all the while the fucking plays awkwardly behind them, in glorious George Lucas-surround.
In fact, for the rest of this movie, Bara will stay in his little room and record VHS tapes of his various frat brothers fucking various girls in their room, which, frankly, is one of the saddest lives ever lived by someone who looks so closely like Steve Buscemi.
And despite the fact that he appears just a few paragraphs above this one, albino killer priest hasn’t been in his own movie for roughly 30 minutes, nor has anything else really happened worth reenacting.
Eric and Jorja Fox enjoy some heavy petting, but when Eric leaves to find a rubber, she abandons him for no real reason other than she’s a girl, and she can.
Well, the quintessential albino defender of all blue balls everywhere finally shows up again, grasping that mountain climbing trophy pick. Plunging it down over the top of the car and directly into a Jorja Fox’s skull, he removes the blade, and rattles:
As Jorja Fox is dying, she solves the mystery surrounding her own death using Crime Scene Investigation techniques.
It was the pick in her brain.
The albino, who I guess is making up for lost time, suddenly appears in the bathroom of a showering girl, whom he quickly dispatches.
“No sex,” he says, before the ensuing murder is brutally edited out of the sequence.
And he appears in yet ANOTHER room, this time hacking up a girl who had handcuffed herself to the bed, awaiting a cock.
After her offscreen death, he holds up the bloody handcuffs.
Sick of that, yet?
Meanwhile, Henry Collins meets Father Cane over at the church to discuss what needs to be done. Not much discussion is had, however, as Father Cane has been crucified on an upside down cross and hung from the church rafters.
Boy, for an albino, this guy sure has been busy. A pity we didn’t see ANY OF IT.
Liz wanders around the massacred house and finds everyone’s body one-by-one. Eventually she catches up with Eric, Sonny, and her friend, Susan, who was hidden in a closet.
And in one of those continuity-destroying moments with which this movie is riddled, we see the following:
Liz stands, clearly holding Susan’s hand offscreen, but with their two hands right in front of the camera.
“Susan, please, you’re going to break my hand!” she complains, insinuating that Susan is squeezing too hard.
Well, the camera cuts to a shot of Susan suddenly sitting in a chair with her back to everyone across the fucking room. And no, they weren't trying to set up a "Oh my God, I thought I was holding Susan's hand, but I was actually holding the killer's hand" scare. Instead, they opt to just ignore their own gaff completely.
The boys walk over and see that Susan is dead, her head tumbling to the floor.
Being that Susan was somehow killed and decapitated in the SAME ROOM where everyone is with no one noticing, the kids take up various weapons to help defend themselves.
Suddenly a figure lunges at them.
It’s Dad from A Christmas Story!
He tells his children of how the evil began, and Bara, watching this on one of his hidden camera monitors, attempts to broadcast it to the campus, because man, he really doesn’t know when to quit.
Well, Bara’s broadcast is cut short by the spike in his eye, administered by an albino.
At this point, the only living characters are Liz, Sonny, Eric, and Henry. And because they are all striking, in-depth characters, we will genuinely fear for their lives.
As Henry boldly vows to right this wrong, he is hacked through the door and passes out. The kids barricade the door, and then lay the injured Henry in bed. In doing so, they find his journal that conveniently and painstakingly describes how to stop the evil.
As Eric and Liz shimmy out a window, Sonny turns to see that his father is no longer in bed. Sonny creeps down the hallway, not locating his father. He doubles back to the room and sees a figure lying on the bed, covered in a sheet. Sonny silently creeps forward, weapon in hand, and attacks, attempting to stop the killer before the killer can attack him!
Sonny delivers a very satisfying stab to the figure’s stomach, and oh crap, it’s Dad.
Henry sits up and stammers out a very unenthusiastic “YAAAAAAAH” before dying for good.
What the fuck was that, Henry?
Why did you momentarily get off the bed just to come back and lay down again?
Thanks, Darren McGavin. Thank God you made better movies which we can use to remember how great you were.
Liz and Eric attempt to begin the ritual down in the tomb where this bullshit began, but Eric leaves, citing worry over his brother. Well, Eric comes right back, but with a hook inserted just under his chin, and being drug by the albino.
He drops Eric, and Liz closes her eyes, awaiting her own whack.
Suddenly, Sonny’s whiny motorbike comes rushing in at the albino, aided by some super-cheesy obvious fast motion, and knocks the albino right down into a bear trap, which is there for some reason.
As they continue the ritual, the albino grabs a conveniently placed scalpel and cuts his own hand off, freeing himself from the trap. He handcuffs himself to Sonny for reasons unknown, and Sonny stabs the albino in the heart, accepting the fact that he, too, would have to go to hell along with this displaced demon.
Get it? Sonny wanted in on Hell Night? And now he’s in hell? For real?
Not all is lost, however. Liz climbs into an ambulance, since Eric’s still alive.
And together, they’ll forget all about the albino.
Oh wait, no they won’t. The albino is driving. And he’s got a hat on!
“No problem,” he says directly to us.