Hell Night

Linda Blair stars in this ensemble haunted-house-plus-slasher pic about a fraternity initiation prank gone horribly wrong. Silliness abounds, but we do have some interesting ideas and some gorgeous sets and costumes to look at in this second in our month-long series of 1981 slashers.

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Hell Night (1981)

Episode 305, 2 Guys & A Chainsaw

Todd: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: And I’m Craig.

Todd: Here, we continue our series of slasher movies made in 1981. It’s a very specific topic we’ve chosen for this month. This one, uh, on the heels of just before Dawn that we did last week is called Hell Night, starring Linda Blair. I think when I was a kid, I was interested in seeing this movie mostly because I had a crush on Linda Blair mm-hmm and, uh, it had been on the video store shelves a lot, has a great image of her on the cover, climbing a gate, boobs, half busting out of her costume with some hands trying to pull her back down in front of a scary house. And it’s all about like a fraternity initiation night, which I’ve always felt is just ripe territory for drama and horror. Then this is what this movie’s about. It’s about a fraternity slash sorority initiation night gone awry.

I saw it. I think when I was a teenager, I remember renting. And watching it. And I think I also remember falling asleep during it and, uh, never getting to figure out if you actually got to see Linda Blair’s boobs in this one. So this time, this time around having watched it, I realized you don’t get to see Linda Blair’s boobs in this one.

She does that a little earlier in, uh, in one or two other movies. So, um, anyway, The small things that we remember, and that seem to matter so much to us. when we’re, when we’re teenagers. Anyway. Uh, yeah, so I don’t remember enjoying it terribly much, but I did wanna revisit it because I thought, uh, it has started Linda Blair.

It does have a bit of a cult following. It certainly was on the video store shelves of every horror section that I ever walked through and I’d forgotten a lot about it. And it takes place in 1981 as a slasher movie. This is Hell Night. Craig, what was your history with the movie?

Craig: So going into this, I couldn’t remember if I had seen it or not, and watching it.

I kept thinking. I think I’ve seen this. There were, I don’t know, not even necessarily parts, but like I think that I vaguely remember Linda Blair in this dress that she wears. Mm-hmm, kind of like this period dress. I kind of vaguely remember her in that. And I think the fact that I think that I have seen it, but I don’t remember it doesn’t really bode well for the film mm-hmm because we were supposed to do this a couple of days ago.

And it’s been a couple of days since I’ve seen it. And I almost don’t remember seeing it again.

Todd: right. Is 

Craig: that not memorable? It 

Todd: really is. It’s quite sad. Uh, And it could be, you know, it’s got this great Gothic look to it. The director is Tom Des Simone, who I believe, uh, got his start in the business, editing together. Children’s films then got into the adult film world and did mostly gay porn, I think.

And then this, I believe is. First mainstream directing role. And, uh, he did this at the behest of Chuck Russell. Now Chuck Russell was a producer on this movie, like we said before with 1981, this was the kind of a golden era for slasher movies. When everybody was especially several producers were realizing what gold mines they could be.

So they were pumping these out like crazy. And so they’re even for some of these lackluster movies, you find a lot of crossover with important. Chuck Russell produced this, but he later, um, just a, about six years later was a writer and director actually, uh, on nightmare Elm street, three dream warriors. Mm.

Yeah, he, he ended up directing the remake of the blob. He did the mask. Huh, eraser, scorpion king. He’s still actually erecting movies. So he went on to produce and direct a lot of horror films and then went very much into mainstream, big time films. Uh, after this it’s interesting. I saw that Frank Dand was a production assistant on this movie, and we all know him from the Shaw redemption and he got his start with some Stephen King pictures.

And then of course he produced the walking dead and oh, you know, he’s, he’s well respected and, and a very good writer and director in the industry. And, uh, supposedly an uncredited. Um, Kevin Costner was a grip on this mm-hmm so it, it does have an interesting cast of characters behind the scenes. Of course, Linda Blair, uh, the star of the Exorcist, the Exorcist part two around this time, she was really trying to break out of her image of a, of a.

Basically, she wanted people to know she was an adult actress capable of doing adult roles. One of the first things she did was pose nude in a, an adult magazine. Yeah. And then he, she just kind of ended up back into be pictures and exploitation roles. She did what Savage streets and some women in prison movie, this movie, um, never quite broke out of that, which is too bad.

She was fun to watch. 

Craig: Yeah, she is. She’s very cute. She’s, she’s very, uh, you know, and we say cute. I mean, even by the time Exorcist two came around, she wasn’t a little girl anymore. She was a young woman. She’s, you know, a, a, a, a beautiful. Woman, you know, I, I, I just don’t feel like at least as far as I know, unless there’s something that I don’t know about, she just never really got a chance to prove herself as much more than what she had already done.

Mm-hmm I, you know, the, the Exorcist was such a huge movie. You know, whether people liked it or, or hated it, you know, it was controversial and, and widely seen. And I think that she just, she couldn’t break away from her connection to that. And so she, you know, she was cast in this type of movie and I I’ve seen a couple of other movies, very similar to this one that she was in.

I really wanna believe that given the chance she could have done a lot more. Yeah. And, and if you see her, if you see her today, she’s still, I mean, you know, she’s a woman of a particular age, but she’s still very beautiful and it would be nice if she had, I don’t know. I just would’ve because I do like her, I like her a lot and she, she does have a very distinctive voice.

Mm-hmm, kind of a girlish voice, but whatever. I mean, that could easily be overlooked if she were given the right part. But. 

Todd: She has a bit of a baby face too. Really? Which she does isn’t bad. I mean, no, no. Especially for this era, you know, it kind of actually fits in quite well with what we were looking for in, in the early to mid eighties, for as far as like, um, you know, female leads and things like that.

What was the style at the time? I would say. And I, and she’s not even a bad actress, honestly. No, I, I think she that’s the thing I don’t 

Craig: think she is. I think, yeah. I think that given the right opportunity, she could have done very well. She, I think has, has not tried to separate herself from the, the legacy of the Exorcist mm-hmm , but I don’t think that she has any interest in any further connection with that.

You know, I, I know that they are prepping for a new trilogy. Um, that’s going to be a continuation of the original film and, uh, Ellen Burston, uh, who played her mother. The original film is attached and in fact has already filmed her part of the movie. But I don’t think that Linda Blair is attached in any way.

And, and on the one hand, I understand, like I understand the, been there done that, been trying to break away from this for so long. I’m not gonna tie myself down to that again. On the other hand, I hope that it’s not a big missed opportunity for her. You know, who? I don’t know. I, all I know about it. That I think the it’s the same people behind the most recent Halloween entries, which, which were successful have been successful.

Who knows if they even approached her? I don’t know. Um, I would be kind of surprised if they didn’t, but as far as I know at this point, she’s not connected and, and you’re right. I was excited to go back and have a look or another look, whatever. Maybe at this again, really solely because of her, because I do like her.

Yeah. Yeah. Uh, and, uh, I, I was gladly anticipating seeing her again. Unfortunately the movie just, there’s just not much to it and there’s just not much to her character. She really is reduced to that, you know, cowering woman, role 

Todd: girl. Yeah. Role. 

Craig: Um, she doesn’t have a lot. Gravitas or, I mean, she’s, she’s constantly just running away.

I mean, that’s all she does running away and cowering and crying and yeah, that’s, that’s kind of all she has to do, which is too bad. I, you know, I think that there was opportunity to give her character some Konas and they just didn’t. 

Todd: Yeah, that’s very disappointing. Uh, you know, she’s not a strong final girl, right?

she’s not. Take things matters into her. I mean, she does, in a sense she’s a damsel and distress. Yeah. And then she ends up being the final girl, but she’s not, it’s not like she’s not the only 

Craig: thing that they give her is that she can work on 

Todd: cars. Yes. She’s a mechanic. I bet you didn’t think I was a mechanic.

Did you? She says to one of the characters and I’m looking at the screen going. Nope, I didn’t. And I kind of don’t believe it either, but whatever. I mean the there’s one other nice thing I would think I would say about, there are two nice things I will say about the movie though. Just overall. Number one, I thought that the, the cinematography could be pretty inventive at times, even though a lot of the movie’s pretty dark and sometimes it’s a little hard to see what’s going on.

It’s not as bad as other films like that. I think there was an inventive use of shadow. There’s some really interesting camera angles in here. If it wasn’t just so darn boring with so much of just. Plotting around. And so even those cool camera angles get kind of, not so cool anymore when they’re just showing you people walking slowly through the garden.

Yeah. People walking slowly up the stairs, people walking slowly through corridors, people sitting around and just having long conversations in the bedroom. Uh, Uhhuh, the other nice thing I liked about the movie. I, I thought the music was nice. It reminded me just a little bit of another movie that where the music was kind of really nice the house on sorority row, somewhat orchestral score at times, which is a little unusual for this time when things get a little more Cy.

Yeah. You know, in our horror movies and I, I looked up the composer. He hasn’t composed, like he’s not credited as a composer on too many movies. He, um, he did the dead pit, a lawnmower man, this movie, a couple others, but he is credited in the music department on Halloween, the fog. uh, deadly games, midnight express.

So, um, I think again, he was in the wheelhouse, which I believe, uh, Chuck Russell also produced Halloween, actually it, and the, the producers of this movie. This is the last film for the production company. I think it’s called compass international pictures. They are still, I believe, uh, even though that that company has dissolved the previous owners of that company, they’re still the owners of the rights to the Halloween franchise.

so they’re still making Halloween movies and they made a handful of horror movies during this time. and this was, uh, one of them. So a lot of the folks kind of in that crew or cast or whatever, uh, kind of bounce between all these movies. So, uh, like I said earlier, it’s just like you, you get the intersection of some, some famous people, some interesting people, some people would go on to do great to things.

A lot of people who wouldn’t as you would kind of expect from this time in 1981, where a lot of people are doing a lot. Horror movies. What I 

Craig: was gonna say was what was interesting to me was that it seemed like the filmmakers, presumably the director wanted to make a Gothe Gothic period piece. Yes. Um, like castle freak or, or cellar dweller or, or something like that.

That’s what they wanted to do. Um, and you know, this is all. In my head, you know, imagining what was happening behind the scenes, but it seemed like the people with the money said, no, Make a fraternity sorority movie mm-hmm and they were like, okay, well fine. But I’m gonna put them all in period costumes and put them in an old Catholic mansion.

Yeah. And have a seller freak. Like you, it just seems like the whole fraternity sorority thing is. To contrivance. Yeah. For them to be able to make this kind of Gothic movie. Oh yeah. Which is fine. You know, I I’ve seen these kinds of movies before and, and they can be fine, but that’s, that’s what it is. You get this really cool location, like a big house or a castle or something.

And it’s got this creepy backstory and there’s some sort of freak dwelling in the sellers or the tunnels under the house that picks people off. And. And that’s it like, yeah, there you go. There’s the movie, the, the whole concept of this being like a sorority fraternity, dual initiation kind of thing. It works.

It just seems a little. Contrived because, you know, like, I guess these, I, I was about to say that I didn’t participate in Greek life at all. That’s not entirely true. I was in, uh, fraternity a theater fraternity. So it wasn’t, you know, 

Todd: one of these like social kind of party, like party kind of. Right. 

Craig: The way that they’re portrayed in movies, it wasn’t like that.

Mm-hmm, not to say that we didn’t have fun parties. We certainly did but it was a different kind of thing. But you know, this is the stereotypical for fraternity sorority kind of thing. And I know that for their initiations, I know they have to be much more careful now because there’s a lot of crackdown on hazing.

As there should be because yeah. You know, young people get hurt and, and worse. So, um, but you know, there, there is still that the whole initiation kind of thing. Um, I know that’s a thing and, and these hell nights I know were once, you know, a big thing mm-hmm , but I never knew them to be like big costume parties.

Todd: Right. You know? Yeah. I sometimes I feel like these movies, I was also participating in Greek life and like you, I was in a mu I was in a music fraternity and we did have some of these elements. We actually did have a Hal night, that kind of thing. And so I, I feel like I got a little taste of it, but sometimes, uh, based on my own experience and kind of what I went through and kind of what I saw my friends go through and hearing them talk about their stuff, the movies, like they don’t quite get it completely.

Right. You know, they make it just a little more bombastic and, and crazy than it. I don’t know, maybe on like very, very fancy and rich campuses where lots of money and history is involved, then they can be this elaborate, you know, sure, sure. I mean, there’s this huge blowout party at the, I mean, where it’s just like, pretty much like.

Everybody you could imagine is CRA packed into every available space in the lawn and inside this giant fraternity house that looks like the Hanon, you know, and, 

Craig: uh, and it looks like fun. Like it like a blast for a costume party. Sure. This huge, you know, like, like you said, I mean, it looks like everybody on campus is there 

Todd: and they’re in the beautiful costumes.

It’s not like they just went down to Walmart the night before and slap a costume together. You know, these are like, I. Linda Blair’s outfit is sort of a, I don’t know, like a little red riding hood type thing, but she also has a really pretty Buch on and, and, and a choker and it it’s, 

Craig: and it’s corseted, you know, like, yeah.

It’s, it’s a costume piece. It’s yeah, she didn’t get this at party city. 

Todd: No, exactly. Even the, even red riding, uh, even I’m sorry, Robin hood, uh, whatever type character, Seth Seth’s charact. He’s pretty decked out with his Robin hood thing and a bow and arrow and everything like that. Those are two of the characters, I guess we, we just get a brief glimpse of each of the characters at the party.

There’s, uh, Seth who’s like the Robin hood. I believe Linda’s character’s name is Marty Uhhuh. Um, and then there’s Peter, who’s the president of the fraternity. Who’s in this big Cape and just, I don’t know, it just looks like a dashing period. Guy, right? Like, yeah. Scott, who’s a pirate who has a parrot on his shoulder?

Well, well, even though later on, he just loses pieces of his costume. He still has that parrot stuck on his shoulder, which I thought was kind of a cute touch. And then later on and a Jeff, Jeff, who is a very nice looking man. And I was curious about Jeff, because I swore I had seen him before. He’s played by an actor named Peter Barton and he was Doug in Friday, the 13th, uh, the final chapter, I think that was part four.

And I apparently had a very long run on the young and the restless up all the way from the, the late eighties to the 2005. I think 

Craig: he’s married to Eileen Davidson, uh, oh, on, uh, days of our lives. And, and she was also in one of those, I don’t remember if it was sorority row or the one where they killed their house mother

Oh 

Todd: yeah, yeah. that was it. I think it was sorority row. And then he, I, when I was looking on IMDB, it looks like he was in this whacka Dood. Um, TV show that lasted maybe one season called the powers of Matthew star. He was Matthew star who was like this alien from another world who gets stuck on earth and exiled to earth or something like that ends up as a high school student.

But the government knows about it. And other people know about, do you know that? I vaguely, 

Craig: no. I vaguely remember hearing about it. I don’t remember. The show at, 

Todd: I feel like I might have seen it once. Cuz I saw pictures of this and I was like, God, this looks familiar. 

Craig: Yeah. There’s him. Okay. So he’s like the nice rich guy.

Mm-hmm Marty. Uh, Linda Blair is like the, the really nice pretty girl from the wrong side of the tracks and Seth. Who I, I thought was really nice looking. He’s this tall blonde guy? Uh, surfer dude, pat. Yeah. He’s like, kinda like the, I don’t even remember if he smokes weed, but he’s kinda like the stoner type then there’s Denise who plays the EA Quiggly role, like right.

The, the. The fun slutty girl. 

Todd: the fun slutty girl who doesn’t, who doesn’t get naked. 

Craig: and she’s played by a, a girl named Suki Goodwin. And I don’t know if the actress was British or if she was trying to do a British accent. For unexplained reasons. I didn’t get that. Um, but I did like her. She was 

Todd: fun. yeah, she was, she was 

Craig: fun.

She seemed like the life of the party. Like if she hadn’t been there, it would’ve been the most boring night ever. 

Todd: I actually think you’re a hundred percent. Right. 

Craig: Cause she brought the booze and the drugs and the sex and everybody else was just kind of like. Hanging out. 

Todd: she goes, I got Quaaludes and Jack Daniels and the guy’s like, well, it sounds like you’ve settled into American life really well.

Craig: yeah. Here’s a funny story at, at 43 years old, I had to Google what Quaaludes were. Oh, wow. Because I’ve heard them, I’ve heard them talked about in movie. Like bazillions of times, but I really didn’t know what they were. So I had to 

Todd: Google it. I think they were, they sounded nice. They were a little before our time.

I think it was like my par our parents’ era. Right. Was the Koy Lu 

Craig: Uhhuh well, like early eighties. I think they were, they were big. Um, mm-hmm but yeah, it’s too bad. They’re illegal. Cuz they sounded nice. relaxing, 

Todd: you know? Well the poor. Like wakes up from a, from like a bed, like just wakes up and has a hard time getting to sleep.

So she pops one and downs it with a sip of Jack Daniels. And I. Holy crap. Okay. This is what you do when you just want to go to just before you go to sleep. Yeah, no, that’s, that’s see. That’s 

Craig: the thing that like, they’re, that’s what they are. They’re like anti-anxiety relaxants. And they used to be, um, prescribed to people, I think for, or I don’t know, maybe not prescribed, I don’t think they were a prescription, but people took, they were like Valium or something.

People took them to relax. And the, uh, other side effect is that they released people’s inhibitions. Arguably. Could be fun in the right context and, and terribly dangerous in the wrong context. Mm. But anyway, so what happens is, so there’s the big, huge party. And then I guess that every year the tradition is they take the new pledges and they force them to spend the night in this big, scary mansion.

It’s this place called Garth Manor and it looks great. Like the exterior. This place. Awesome. It looks amazing. Like it it’s so cool and they shot it and you know, the exterior and the interior were two totally different locations. And, um, I think there were a total of three locations altogether because outside of the house, there’s also like a huge garden with like a hedge maze and all kinds of stuff that you don’t really see a lot of because it’s dark.

But I mean, it looks very elaborate and it it’s. It’s cool. It looks like either. A very impressive Gothic mansion or like a castle. It, it looks fantastic. Um, and the interior looks the same. Like, I, I guess this place just sits uninhabited all the time and it’s full of, you know, like antique furniture and.

Candles, uh, a bazillion candles, loads and stuff, load 

Todd: and loads of lit candles, which I, I think is wild and free wheeling as this fraternity is made out to be in the beginning and maybe even sloppy boy, they are organized when it comes to putting this hell night together. I can’t even imagine the amount of time it took for them to put all those candles and light them all around that, uh, that place as well as wire it up for all the shenanigans that they exactly, 

Craig: you know, they’ve set up all these.

Pranks and gags and scares throughout, which is, is fun, but like seriously, like they just have free reign of this place. Yeah. Like, and they do, and they do this every year and the police know about it and they’re, it’s just fine, like, okay. 

Todd: And I mean, you already said it, this is a castle freak movie. So they, they, they say early later, um, they make mention.

The guys who have wired it up, who later come by to, uh, and, and this would be, um, Peter, the president and Scott, the, the pirate dude, and then some girl named, uh, may just three of them. So I guess it all falls on their shoulders, but they, they happen to mention that they’re O tunnels and stuff all under here.

And he’s like, be careful down there because you can get lost. And also, you know, I’ve got tons of wires and things running through it. You know, Scott is the. Tech wizard or whatever. And I’m thinking, so you, you do this on a regular basis. You have completely wired this up. You’ve been through all those tunnels, wiring it to the point where you have to tell somebody don’t go down there cuz you might.

Trip on ’em or something. And you never ran across the two castle freaks on the premises, right? That’s a little bizarre. Yeah. Hard 

Craig: to believe. Well, and that’s, that’s the big twist. It’s not just one, but two castle freaks, which you don’t really find out until the end, but it doesn’t really matter. Um, but, but I thought the same thing, like why these castle freaks come at them like right away.

Mm-hmm, where they’ve been doing this. Presumably for years it’s a tradition. Why now? Mm doesn’t make any sense, but whatever Peter is, the president of the fraternity may, who is only on screen for maybe three or four minutes, um, is, is the sorority president. I think when they’re taking the pledges up to, and it’s a, like a whole like Trek, like everybody dozens, if not hundreds of people like parade them to this house um, but Peter gives Peter gives the whole backstory and it’s like, Detailed.

Yeah, 

Todd: it’s a long story. First child, she bore Raymond was a boy, a Mongo boy. They called Morris. Now Morris brought great sorrow to the GARS and they immediately said about to have another child. And they were soon cursed with the baby girl, Suzanne, as she was so hideously, deformed, that it was impossible to tell from looking at her, if she was.

Or female after her, father’s immense disgusted. She used to drag herself around the house with the help 

Craig: of her one good leg. now the guards were very fanatical about their privacy. They didn’t want 

Todd: to have to be dependent on anyone else. So they isolated themselves up here. That is why they never put in any modern utilities.

There’s no gas, no electricity and no 

Craig: phone. So again, they tried 

Todd: to have a child. And within the year, the GARS added Margaret, but unfortunately it soon became apparent that poor little Margaret could either hear nor speak nor see, but good old Ray was determined and he decided to have one last go. So Lillian got pregnant again.

And she 

Craig: carried the child for 10 and a half months until finally she 

Todd: delivered a little gork named Andrew. Andrew never spoke a word in his first 14 years. He just made these grunts and groans like the sounds of wild animals. Now, Raymond Garth lived isolated in this house for 14 years with this freak show.

Until he couldn’t stand it anymore. 12 years ago, he 

Craig: assembled the entire family in the parlor. And then he took his 

Todd: dear wife, Lillian, and he strangled her to death. Then he took the Mongo son Morris, and he 

Craig: bashed out what little brains he had with the 

Todd: fireplace poker. Then he took the deformed little Suzanne and he Imped her with the same poker.

Then he took the deaf dumb and blind little Mar. And he slit her throat. And then Raymond, Garth got a rope and hung himself to death. 

Craig: The story is he killed all, but one, but he also throws in detail the detail that. Two of them weren’t found. So it’s planted very early that there could be two of them. And in fact, there are ultimately, it doesn’t matter because you know, they, they get in there, they lock them in, they give them a gun, they, uh, chain and padlock the front gate and say, don’t even try to climb the fence cuz the spikes on the top are super sharp and you’ll cut your nuts off or something.

Well, and um, 

Todd: Peter makes a big show too, of shooting off the lock on the front. Yeah. Which then he’s able to lock back up with a key. Did he just switch locks or something? I’m 

Craig: not, he did, he did. It was like an old, it was an old, tiny lock before. Gotcha. And he, he put a new one on it. It takes a while. Like they go inside, they hang out the, the two Wilder, the two Wilder ones run off together immediately and take off all their clothes to like lounge around in their underwear.

I don’t think, I don’t think they ever actually get around to having sex. Oh my 

Todd: gosh. I. They’re like, it comes to them a couple times. We’re in the bed and the best way I can just describe it is that they’re just like, Rolling around chuckling. yeah, he’s in his underwear. She’s in her underwear. Her underwear are cute.

They’re just kind of slapping each other. It’s endless chuckling. She looks 

Craig: like she’s, um, going to a Rocky horror party. She’s like in like a, a corset and black panties and black stockings with the garter belts, 

Todd: red bra. It’s it’s adorable. Yeah. 

Craig: It’s adorable. She looks super, super cute. And he’s wearing.

Tight little boxer shorts, not boxer briefs, boxer shorts that they clearly stitched the crotch up on because otherwise his Wiener would’ve flopped right out, because they were tight boxer 

Todd: shorts. And you were looking well, obviously, 

Craig: plus I was also think, cuz they like roll around. A lot. And I’m like, those are tight boxer shorts.

He must be wearing like jockeys underneath cuz otherwise yeah. 

Todd: Stuff would be happening. Exactly. But it’s 

Craig: cute. I, I actually think they’re very cute and they’re fun because the other two just like talk like super boring, like someone does their family do. Uh, well what’re super rich. What does your family do?

Well, my dad’s a mechanic. Like it’s boring. 

Todd: Yeah. Not only is it boring. Maybe it’s supposed to be written as a cat and mouse kind of thing between them where he’s expecting or hoping that there will be some sparks or something that happens that night. But she’s just very much like, no, no, you sleep in your own bed and do this and whatever.

And then just sort of out of the blue, they have an more of this boring conversation. No really newer, exciting information is exchanged between them, but she just kind of hops over to his bed and starts kissing him. It’s just so it feels so paint by numbers. It feels so contrived. These are all nice looking people.

They’re all competent enough actors in this beautiful setting and all that, you know? Yeah, they’re fine. It just feels like they, this is stuff they gotta get through. When it comes to, we need to make sure these two have some their own romantic moment as well. 

Craig: And that’s fine. I mean, it’s not like this is atypical.

It’s just that no, you know, the, the Linda Blair and the, her guy, they are the wholesome ones. And then the other two are the wild party one, the goofy ones. That’s fine. It’s just, you know, you separate them into. Couples and the wholesome ones are boring. Um, the other two are cute and fun, but you know, there’s really not a lot to what’s going on.

My favorite part, I think with the, the fun ones is when she asks him like what he likes to do for fun. And he says that he likes to surf. Yes. And then like, he’s, he’s telling her about surfing and he like use. Her body is the surfboard and kind of acts it out. And I thought that was really cute. And I thought so too, they were both like sexy and fun.

Like I, like, I. I was rooting for them, like have a good time, like, do 

Todd: it already. yeah. Don’t just, you don’t need to just walk around and booted each other, ply lighting candles around the room and , and 

Craig: they like, they hear noises because like there are gags and things set up. I don’t even remember, like they hear screaming and, and they find that.

There are speakers set up there and 

Todd: yeah. Be because Peter, 

Craig: there are other silly little gags, like, you know, opening drawers and a snake pops out or stupid stuff like that. There was one part that I had no idea what was happening because there’s one time I think the boys go off. For some reason, Linda Blair gets left alone.

Mm-hmm she see? A ghost. 

Todd: Yeah. Was that 

Craig: supposed to be 

Todd: a real ghost? Oh God, I have no idea because it’s what, it’s the kind of thing that would be really hard to fake. Yeah. By these guys in the fraternity, it it’s like a Pepper’s ghost illusion, you know, or it’s like, you could see through this ghost and I.

I’m I’m still not sure if she was supposed to have seen a real ghost or not there. I think it was supposed 

Craig: to be a real ghost. Oh, it’s so it’s so hokey it, it looks if it is, it was hokey, but it looked like, you know, it looked like Disney’s haunted mansion. That’s what it looked like. Yes. You know, like this, this transparent.

Ghost that, yeah, I know. Can, I know, can be done because I’ve been to Disney’s haunted mansion. I know that those kinds of illusions are possible. I just can’t imagine that these frat guys were able to set up, 

Todd: set that up. Yeah. I mean, it’s these three people, right. That come back. So after they’ve locked them in and then they’re in the house talking and rolling around and chuckling and.

The Peter, the president and Scott, the pirate dude, and may in the leopard outfit all come back and they’re pulling out, you know, they’re wandering the grounds and they’re picking up by the side of a tree, like the little control unit that Scotty has put in there. And, uh, he’s walking around and telling him, be careful, don’t fall down into the tunnels.

Cuz I got all that wired up and he’s flipping switches and it’s locking doors on the inside or making. Come out of a speaker, which actually one of the interesting things I thought about the movie was of course, right away, the people in the house, they know that they’re it’s as part of a prank, right?

They’re not running around actually scared that they really think there’s a ghost. No, I mean, for, for a little bit Linda Blair’s character, when she sees that ghost, you were talking about gets really frightened because, well, how could they fake that? She can’t open the door, but then, uh, once she’s rescued more or less by, uh, Jeff.

He comes in and they go outside and they find the control unit and he, he and her kind of coordinate a little bit and he shows her that when he flips the switch, it can lock the doors. And when he flips the switch again, it unlocks ’em. And so they all just kind of walk around with a bit, with quite a bit of skepticism towards all the sounds and things, and that are happening in the very beginning.

And, and that’s kind of nice, you know, that’s a nice. But then not a lot happens, you know, it’s just like, it just, God, the movie was an hour in and I was like, it sh shouldn’t it be done by now? And it wasn’t and then it’s an hour and a half and I’m like, oh, okay. This movie should almost be done. It’s like, oh no, they’re like 20 more minutes to go.

And it’s just a lot. It ends up, I think being a lot of watching these guys outside flip switches and things, and these people inside having boring talk with each other and then. When there is something spooky or is something bad that’s happening. They spent about five minutes walking quietly down, you know, a 12 foot hallway with a candle in front of them.

Like a haunted mansion movie tends to be mm-hmm . And so it it’s, it’s very much in keeping, like you said, with what they were going for, which is a sort of. House on haunted hill Gothic, haunted house movie crossed with a modern slasher movie, I think. But God does. Does it get boring for a while? 

Craig: Yeah, I was gonna say people do start getting picked off, but it, it, when they do it, it happens pretty quickly and it’s wow.

The extra characters first. Yeah. Like may walks around the corner. Outside and gets grabbed and, uh, dragged down into the tunnels. And then she gets her head chopped off, 

Todd: right? Yeah. Pretty, pretty quickly. There’s there’s not a lot of blood in this movie, but I thought that effect, uh, where it’s gotta pinned against the wall and you see the ax come to her head and just for a split second, you see the rest of her body drop.

it’s just enough to be pretty jolting. 

Craig: Yeah. It’s it’s very quick. You see her head get cut off. There’s a little bit of blood, but it cuts away right away. Mm-hmm and then, uh, Scott, the pirate guy climbs up onto the roof to set up some kind of trap and he gets killed up there. I don’t even remember what 

Todd: happens to him.

Well, the monster picks him up. And a lot of the kills are kind of like this, that, you know, there’s, they seem to be setting up quite a bit of tension. It’s all kind of through POV camera work and stuff like that. But then suddenly the monster just like, ah, and grabs him and immediately twists his neck around and he’s dead.

Yeah. 

Craig: Turns his head like 180 degrees all the way around. So he’s. And then the president Peter gets like, where is everybody in the hedge maze? 

Todd: Yeah. Yeah. He goes looking for may, can’t find her, he goes looking for Scott. Can’t find him runs up to the roof. 

Craig: Well, he, I think he does find Scott. I think he find, well, he does cranks 

Todd: my body.

He cranks the crank, which is supposed to be, I guess, a dummy that Scott was gonna hang outside the window. But when he pulls it up, it’s actually Scott himself. So yeah. Then he goes downstairs into the hedge MAs, which I didn’t realize the grounds had a hedge ma it would’ve been nice for them to establish that early on, or at least make a comment about it when he is giving this long spiel, because you don’t ever see a hedge maze, but it became pretty clear.

Suddenly when he’s, you know, kind of lost in these hedges that, oh, there’s a hedge maze. The site, so right. Um, yeah, he gets, he gets, uh, stabbed through, uh, the stomach, I guess, through the, one of the hedges by a guy. And I think it was at this point that I realized there are definitely two people here because you know, they don’t show the guy’s faces very clearly or very quickly.

It’s a lot of silhouette or it’s a lot of really fast movement or maybe just their arms, but one of them is clearly hairier than the other 

Craig: yeah. Yeah. That’s. One 

Todd: of, them’s almost a little bald and one of them’s a little hairy. And so at this point I was like, oh, there are definitely two people, especially here in the hedge MAs where now of course they do this in horror movies all the time where a monster is immediately somewhere, he could not possibly have had enough time to be.

Right. But, you know, Scott kind of turns and looks and he sees a guy dart by. And then when he flips back around toward the camera, you know, a hand comes out and grabs him. I said, okay, there are definitely two guys here. So later on that twist, um, I think it was foretold. Pretty early on. One of these guys was pretty hairy, almost like a Wolfman.

And the other one was clearly a little more bald. And almost when you did see a flash of his face, almost looked a little bit more like a vampire. 

Craig: Um, yeah, almost like, um, The guy from Salem’s lot, a little bit. Yeah. Like kinda, uh, kind of without context mm-hmm . Yeah. Right. And, and so then we’re left with the people inside before Peter gets killed.

He does a funny mirror scare with, um, the fun girl, Denise, which she like doesn’t even realize it’s a scare, I guess, cuz of the Quaalude. It’s pretty. She like, uh, he, he appears behind the mirror in like this gross mask and she sees it and she’s like, whoa, those Quaaludes are terrible for my skin. I thought that was hilarious.

Todd: yeah, but 

Craig: then she, she is in bed with, uh, Seth and he gets up to go to the. and when he comes back, he lays down and she’s completely under the covers or so he thinks, but he pulls the covers back and it’s just. Maze severed head. Uh, so he freaks out and goes running and alerts the other two, Marty and Jeff, and they’re all running around and freaking out.

They don’t know where Denise is because 

Todd: she’s just missing. Yeah. The, the Seth grabs the gun, he 

Craig: grabs the gun and he just, he wants to get out of there. Like the other two are kind of concerned about. Finding Denise. And he’s like, uh, whatever, we’ll send somebody back for 

Todd: her. We need to get out of here.

Yeah. He tries to shoot the lock off the gate. They’re all three at the gate. And, and they realize that the gun they were given just has blanks in it. Yeah. And so there’s this kind of tense scene where he’s going over the top. I mean, when, you know, when you hear the foreshadowing of the, be careful of the top of the gate, it could cut your nuts off or whatever.

I thought. Seth was gonna end up impaling himself on the top there. I didn’t see. And, uh, it doesn’t happen. He leaps over the other side and is like, all right, I’m gonna run and go get help. And he just takes off and every now and then we’re gonna cut back to Seth unsuccessfully, trying to find help, including from the police who just write him off as a.

Oh, yeah. Well, another kid from the fraternity’s been causing trouble all 

Craig: night. One thing that bothered me was like, it was so treacherous to climb over that gate. Wasn’t there anywhere else that they could have climbed over, like, right. surely there was a wall or SU like there had to be some other way.

Todd: Yeah. Well, they didn’t look very hard, right. The other thing, like, come on 

Craig: they just kept running back and it’s locked. And we have seen that the key for the, the padlock is dangling from Peter’s dead finger in the mm-hmm in the hedge maze. So it’s just a matter of time before somebody finds that. But yeah.

Um, so yeah, so then it’s, uh, Marty and, um, Jeff just kinda. Hanging out and 

Todd: being creeping around long ass, walk back to the house, long ass, walk back up the stairs of the house. They end up in the same room that they’re going to return to three or four times, um, which is the room they spent most of their time in talking.

I think they find, uh, Scott, they do find Scott hanging. right, because as they creep through the house, they hear like a tick, tick, tick, tick kind of noise, which they follow to a storage room and they see the tick noise is, uh, Scott’s kind of swaying outside the window to the storage room and his parrot is tapping the, the window.

So. They know that Scott’s dead, but anyway, they just go back to their room and they 

Craig: sit around. I, I thought one of the only cool scenes in the movie is they’re barricaded in this room. Um, they’ve got like, you know, a chair up under the doorknob to the door. Uh, and so they think, and, and. He’s got some kind of weapon.

I don’t remember what he had pitched for. Well, he had, 

Todd: oh, that’s right. He had gone, he had gone back out once they were up in that room, he looks down, he says, oh, I see a light in the garden. And then he says, I’m, let’s split. I’m gonna go. No, no, no, don’t leave me here. No, you stay here. Everything’s fine. You stay here.

He loves to do this right. It’s classic horror movie anyway. And so he goes down and he investigates in the hedge mix. That’s when he finds the body. Uh, and he finds the flashlight, uh, as well as, uh, a pitch fork. Down there he finds, uh, I think that’s when he finds, um, uh, uh, Peter’s body. Right. And he takes the key from his hand and everything like that.

So, 

Craig: no, he doesn’t have the key cuz she finds it later. The part that I liked was when they were barricaded in the room and the camera is obviously facing them. Um, and they’re just talking, I don’t even know what they’re talking about, but behind them, you see. The rug, the carpet start to rise up. Like there’s clearly somebody under it.

And. Just rising up like a ghost and it took me, it it’s dark. Uh, I mean, they’re holding like candles or torches or something, so they’re lit, but behind them it’s dark. So it took me a second to even notice that it was happening. And then when I did, um, I was like, oh, that’s cool. It was very quiet and slow and creepy.

And they think that they’re. They think that they’re alone and barricaded in there and perfectly fine. And then this thing rises up and I, I, I think it ends up grabbing her or, or something. Um, There’s there’s a tussle. And, um, they hit this figure, which is still under the carpet. They hit it with something and it falls to the ground.

He 

Todd: stabs it with his pitch fork. 

Craig: That’s right. And, but then when they go to they, they, they throw the carpet aside and there’s no body there, but there’s a trap door. And he says, well, we’ve gotta follow. We, I don’t know what his justification is. We’ve gotta follow him or, or something. And of course she doesn’t want to, again, that’s, I I’m bothered by her character because she’s such a woo.

Like she’s really just kind of, yeah. He has to drag her around. She’s constantly crying and. Whining and the, in this 

Todd: particular circumstance, he’s still trying to tell her to stay there. He’s like you stay here, I’ll go by myself and I’m thinking, what, why would you do, why do you think that’s a good idea?

You just established the fact this room, isn’t safe there, crazy trapped doors into it that you didn’t know about. Why were, are you gonna continue insist she’s safe back there by herself. And like you said, she’s crying and she’s whining. Like, no, I wanna go after you too. So she ends up following him down there anyway, and it is a long slog through this passageway.

And I just felt like a lot of this stuff was just filler to pat out the time 

Craig: unnecessarily, cuz it was too long anyway. Um, right. Well, and I think that they just wanted this underground tunnel sequence. I, I read, I don’t know the director, I think, um, was inspired by the chase and terror train. You know, that, that.

Confined kind of, uh, chase mm-hmm and so they, they filmed this. I, I really, I think, you know, it seems like they’re running through this elaborate tunnel system. It was really just like two corridors that they just had them running through repeatedly shooting them from different angles. The guy is following them and, and we do finally see him and he.

You know, like kind of a typical castle freak he’s kind of bat. Like he spends a lot of time underground or whatever. Uh, he’s got like a Texas chainsaw style dinner scene set 

Todd: up. Yes. what 

Craig: a rip off Denise’s corpse and then several other clearly very old decomposed corpses. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be other victims or members of his family or what.

But he chases them around. They eventually get out and then Seth, uh, comes back, like you said, he goes to the cops, but the cops don’t believe him. And since the cops don’t believe him, he steals like an assault rifle out of the evidence room.

Todd: those cops, this is the most ineffective cops in the world. These cops, 

Craig: oh, I know. And, and then he, he uses the gun to force some guy out of his car. He steals the car, he comes back, drives 

Todd: up to the gate. How does 

Craig: he get in? I don’t remember how he gets in. 

Todd: It’s ridiculous. He drives up to the gate. And the first thing I was, I was thinking was, okay, well, please do not subject me to another long drawn out sequence of him slowly making his way up to the house.

Yeah. But the second thing I was thinking was, oh, okay. Well, the first thing he’s gonna do is use that rifle to shoot the lock. Or just drive the car through the gate. It’s not his car anywhere. Yeah, he, he doesn’t do either. He, he just looks at the house slowly, starts to walk around the premises and he finds a spot where the bar is bent back.

And that’s how he gets in. I’m like, what, what, why are you doing these things? None of it makes sense. And 

Craig: so then he has a confrontation. With what turns out to be the other one? Um, mm-hmm, the hairy one and they kind of. Fight, I guess, 

Todd: but that’s a decent fight scene. It might be the best fight scene of the whole movie is, is on the stairwell when they’re kind of tumbling down, he’s trying to crawl back up, but he keeps pulling him back.

He can’t, he could barely reach the gun. He can’t get the gun. Finally grabs the gun, swings around and as the monster leaps at him, it’s. It’s classic. Right. He swings the gun around, shoots it at him. And it’s enough to propel this guy over the edge and down into a pond in the garden Uhhuh. And then when he goes down and checks on him, you know, first he looks down the body there and then he goes down to check on.

And once again, as I expected the body, wasn’t there. But just as soon as you notice that suddenly there’s another scare where the guy leaps out from under the water towards him. But, but he manages to blast him in the face and to his. He pokes at the body. He pulls it out of the, he drags it out of the water.

sits it down there, like looks at it a little bit longer, pokes at it some more before he starts to head back to the house. I thought, oh, you know, this cliche is the rest of this was the, the end of it is about what you ought to do. right, right. To in all these movies that we see, and 

Craig: then he runs inside and he is all excited.

He’s like, I got him, I got him. And he’s standing downstairs like in, uh, the foyer or whatever. And they are up on the landing, the other two. And as he’s celebrating, he’s grabbed. Yeah. And dragged. Yeah. And, and, and dragged to where neither we, nor they can see him. And you can kind of hear a little bit of a struggle and then you hear a gunshot and then there’s silence.

They call for him and he doesn’t respond. And then the gun like slides across the floor. Where they can see it. Yes. 

Todd: This is, this is genius. I actually thought this was the best seat of the movie. the gun just slides across the floor and they’re up at the top. They’re like, what the hell do we do? The gun is just sitting there like BA Uhhuh

Yeah. Right. And it’s. It’s cast in this light, a across the floor from the open doorway. It’s really well lit this little bit. And Linda Blair is like, I’m gonna go get the gun. And he’s like, what are you doing? She’s like, no, I’m gonna go get the gun. So slowly walks down the stairs toward the gun. And as the camera follows her from above and kind of comes down, you see her on one side in the dark, you see the gun.

Like there’s salvation, you know, lit almost from like a beam of light from heaven, God like light on the side where it’s right sitting right there and you just know right. That this is a bad idea, but, uh, she of course goes to grab the gun and he reaches out for her instead and grabs her. And so there’s, there’s a bit of a fight there.

I don’t remember how all that. Turns out. I don’t 

Craig: either. I don’t know. He, he chases them back upstairs. I feel like to that same room that they always go to. Yes. And yes. Uh, they , they try to go out the window. Uh, he gets her out, but he doesn’t quite get out and he gets grabbed, um, and dragged back in and thrown out the window.

And frankly, I was surprised. I thought they would both make it. Um, even when he. Thrown out the window. I thought, well, he’s gonna be injured, but she’s gonna find him later and he’s gonna be alive. Um, but no, she does find him later and he’s dead, but she’s up on the roof. Like, you know, I don’t know, like a cat, like.

Curring along the rooftop. Yeah. And, uh, she ends up, she goes down a ladder. She gets, uh, grabbed and dragged through a window and runs away again. And then it’s the classic final girl finds all the bodies scene. Yeah. So, so she, so she runs around and sees all the bodies, but the last one she sees is Peter’s and she notice.

That the gate key is hanging from his finger. So she takes it and she runs to the gate. And I just thought that this part was so funny, like as, as, uh, I don’t know, dangerous as everything has been till now, it seems like in this moment, she’s kind of got all the time in the world. Um, yeah. she runs to the gate and like she’s hurrying with the key, but the guy never shows up.

Um, no, In fact, she, she gets it open and she even has the time and the presence of mind to relock it, which I thought was yes, smart mm-hmm and she gets in the car that Seth had left right there by the gate. Um, initially it won’t start, but don’t forget she’s a mechanic. So she hot wires it, um, and accidentally, I guess, backs into the gate, which.

Breaks it and, and, and flips it so that it’s now horizontal and parallel to the, uh, ground, ground. Um, and she starts to drive away, but it turns out that the remaining killer is on the roof and he like breaks the windshield and is trying to like grab her and choke her through the windshield. But she. I don’t remember if she backs or drives the car towards the gate.

And because it’s now parallel to the ground, those spikes, um, are perfectly poised, um, to stab him. And he is Imped. On the gate. Uh, and then I feel like it cuts to black and it fades back in and it’s the next morning. And she’s either asleep or passed out at the wheel mm-hmm but she wakes up, she gets out of the car.

The giant killer is still there, dead and paled on the gate. And she just walks away. yep. 

Todd: Freeze frame the end there go the credits. Yep. Yep. I thought we might be in, in, in for like one final scare or some kind of twist at the end, but, uh, no, it just seems, I don’t know why they had that final scene. I guess they had to show the Dawn and of a new day and I guess her okay.

Yeah. I mean, it’s just, it’s a rather, I think kind of unremarkable little movie. Where a lot of it is just really slow, you know? I mean, it’s, we’ve, we’ve seen much worse. Oh, definitely. It had its moments, but it was all so paint by numbers and so predictable, uh, that I just, uh, I kind of, I was on autopilot watching it, you know, , to be honest and a little disappointed to see that, you know, this wasn’t like a great vehicle for Linda Blair either.

Um, and any of these other people really, and none of them. Really went on to do. I mean, uh, Vincent van Patton was the blonde hunky guy who was the surfer type dude. And he’s, he’s like Dick van Patton’s son. And, uh, what a couple, couple weeks ago we watched monkey shines. Right. And Joyce van Patton was in that.

She was the mother and I think he’s her aunt. So, I mean, he comes from Hollywood royalty anyway or whatever. So he’s been in a few things since then. I already mentioned, uh, Jeff’s character. Uh, you know, he’s been in some TV and things, but not. Anybody else. So it, it wasn’t like a huge launching pad for anybody’s career.

it? It didn’t get great reviews when it came out, it made money, just like all these slasher movies made money when they came out. Um, I hear it has a bit of a cult status, but I’m maybe just to make fun of it and call it silly aside from that. Like, I, I don’t know. I, I mean, I definitely would never sit through it again.

No, could I recommend it? I mean, just maybe if you’re. looking for a Halloween movie to have on the background. Other than that, no, it’s, it’s really lacking a lot of tension and it’s lacking a lot of payoff lacking twist. , you know, 

Craig: Yeah. There’s nothing notable about it. Aside from the fact that Linda Blair is in it, that, that that’s pretty much, it it’s the only reason 

Todd: we’re talking about it today.

Really Uhhuh you would be 

Craig: honestly, I think that I probably have seen it before. Um, but I didn’t really remember anything about it. And 10 years from now, I’ll be able to say the same thing. Yeah. like, yeah. I think I’ve seen it. I don’t remember anything about it cuz there’s just really nothing notable about 

Todd: it.

This will be one of these, like, I don’t know, like 50 podcast episodes from now. We’ll be saying something like in the midst of our conversation, did we ever do hell night? I can’t remember.

well, thank you for joining us on the second of our series of, uh, 1981 slasher films. We’ve got two more coming up for you this month. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with the friend. You can find us online. If you just Google two guys in a chainsaw podcast where you’ll find our website, you’ll find our Twitter.

You’ll find our Facebook page, leave us a note in any one of those places. If, uh, you are interested in supporting our show, look for our Patreon page at patreon.com/chainsaw podcast. We do post minisodes there several a month. And including this month, we have a mini. So for you, that’s, uh, where we just talk a little bit more in general, about poor in that year of 1981 in the slasher movies, and just a little bit more background, why we decided to do this film for a theme month this month. So until next time I am Todd, and I’m Craig, with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.


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