Director: Steve Latshaw
Stars: Linnea Quigley, Maddisen K. Krown and Gary Doles
A group of drunk and rowdy teenagers disturb the grave of a blood thirsty wizard, who is resurrected and targets the ancestors of the family who put him in the grave generations ago. This wizard is resurrected as the scythe wielding Jack-O!
A lot has been said about this movie, in particular the use of footage of two deceased actors that died before this film was even written. The actors are of course John Carradine (who died in 1988) and Cameron Mitchell (who died in 1994.) Neither actor had any knowledge they would appear in this film, nor do they never appear in the same scene. In fact both scenes seemed to be shot during different times with different film stock.
So how and why did two veteran genre actors who happen to be deceased appear in this Halloween B-Movie?
Legend has it that:
"Low-budget film-maker Fred Olen Ray had a few minutes of footage of John Carradine sitting in a forest at night, and a bit more footage of Cameron Mitchell staring into a camera and telling a spooky story. Ray challenged Linaweaver to write a feature-length script using these snippets of footage. Carradine and Mitchell appear VERY briefly in "Jack-O", and not together.”
So does it work? Surprisingly it does.
This isn’t a Godfrey Ho patch up job after all, both pieces of footage fit well into the context of the story. Yes is a little on the exploitive side to use two big genre names to sale a movie they had no knowledge of being in but that’s low budget film making.
Aside from Carradine and Mitchell, there are some big B-Movie stars in this. Like Linnea Quigley and Maddisen K. Krown (as Rebecca Wicks) who both do a great job in their roles paying their respective parts and shedding their clothing for the audience.
There are some interesting kill scenes and good gore bits throughout. All kill scenes are done with the old fashion practical in camera visual effects style, which in itself makes the film a keeper. One particular unintentionally funny scene that involves a woman electrocuting herself with a toaster is pure cinematic gold cheese.
The costuming for the murderous “Jack-O” character isn’t much more than a big plastic jack-o-lantern mask for the head, and a rusty scythe used for chopping and impelling. Again I find this cheap quality more loveable and enduring than your average B-Movie quicky made these days with horrible CG.
A great B-Movie, and a wonderful kick of Schlocktober Fest. Highly recommended.