Hello, B-movie fans! This week I have a classic 80's horror flick for you. "Hell Night!" The story is one you've probably have heard before. Years ago a man murders most of his family in their home (Amityville?), fast forward to 1981 and some say that he and his "mongoloided" (one of the actors actually says that. Not my terminology, thanks.) may or may not still live somewhere in the house. Then some college kids come by and lock four of there friends inside telling them they'll come back for them at dawn. This film reminded me very much of such other haunted house flicks like "House On Haunted Hill(1959)" and "The Haunting(1963)."
"Hell Night" was directed by Todd DeSimone (you might recognize his name from the film "Reform School Girls." Another classic!) and stars Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten and Peter Barton. Now before you guys write this one off as another 1980's cheep-ass horror flick, I should inform you that this is a 1980's cheep-ass horror flick with heart! Almost all the actors and actresses turn in pretty good and believable performances, the bad guys were effectively creepy and there were plenty of genuinely tense scenes, more than a few jump-out-scares and some really horrific moments. Another interesting thing to note about this film is that despite what most of the other horror films were doing in the 80's in terms of gore and nudity, there is almost no gore and no nudity in the entire film! This movie actually works very well as a psychological horror film because they don't show you much.
The only thing that brings this movie down is it's pacing. There are a lot of really exciting scenes in this movie, but at the same time, there are at least 5 scenes where I found myself just getting bored. The film runs for about 101 mins. and afterward I felt like they could have cut this down to 85 or 90 mins.. But don't let that stop you, "Hell Night' is still pretty good if you're are willing to invest the time.