Happy Hell Night (1992)

directed by brian owens
pavlina ltd.

The main thing I noticed in this peculiar low-budget pic is that almost all of the actors portraying college students are way too old; along with that factor comes the clumsy nature of the dialogue, somewhat common to B-movies trying to portray “realistic” campus life. Also evident is the off-brand quality of this production. Though a reasonable facsimile of a film a major studio may have made, the differences are definitely noticeable in set design and wardrobe, to name but a few departments. (Several of the performers also appear to be cut-rate imitations of Name Actors.) The coherence of the story – which is otherwise off-the-shelf tomfoolery – is similarly lacking, perhaps because it seems to be missing details that might have shed some light on various characters’ motivations. It is entirely possible I am putting too much thought into my analysis of this tale about some kinda demonic ritual pact. Oh, and the SHOCKING ending isn’t, of course.

why did i watch this movie?

It certainly looked lurid enough, but I was expecting it to be gorier, or scarier, and a little more fully realized.

should you watch this movie?

The version I watched began with what came across as a retro-style trailer for itself, and if you can locate that promotional clip, your viewing need go no further.

highlight and low point

The producers either were unconcerned about the shoddiness permeating various parts of their creation, or unwilling to shell out for any upgrades, and the results are at times remarkable. A reasonably terrifying movie could have been assembled from the raw material here, but it … wasn’t. A few too many shortcomings.

rating from outer space: D+

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