HAUNTEDWEEN opens in 1970 on Halloween night with teen Eddie Burber collecting entrance fees at a haunted house in his home. Not wanting to miss out on all the fun, little Eddie sneaks into the house and scares a young girl, who accidentally gets impaled on a stick. Eddie does the sensible thing and runs for help. Ha, just kidding. He grabs a nearby machete and chops her head off (???) before running out into the field. His mom finds him and her plan is to split from the scene with Eddie before the authorities arrive. Well, at least I know where he got his problem solving skills.
Seriously, HAUNTEDWEEN is one of the plethora of low rent slashers that flooded the market after HALLOWEEN (1978). This one just came a decade or so late. One-and-done director Doug Robertson appropriately follows the Carpenter model, but tends to bog things down with his own additions like a lame love triangle and a keg party completely lacking in fun. The murders are plentiful in the film’s last 20 minutes and you have to love that Eddie had the good sense to adorn his “kill room” with posters and standees from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4, GRAVEYARD SHIFT II, PUMPKINHEAD and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2. What sets this one apart is the location filming in Kentucky (John Carpenter’s home state). One need not look any further than the college cut up Hanks (Brad Hanks) to get a taste of that lovely Ken-tuhhh-keee accent. Just hearing him talk made my throat dry (“I got him. I cooked him like one of mama’s home cooked biscuits. Son of a bitch!”). I also love the end where Eddie’s van gets blown up in a HUGE fireball (by a shotgun blast to the backdoor) and then the final shot is of it revving up again and driving off in flames. The end credits promised HAUNTEDWEEN II, but we never got it. I imagine a sequel 20 years later with Hanks, older yet wiser and raspier, warning off a group of new college punks about the evil Eddie. Of course, no one will listen and he once again has to save the day. I will not rest until I see more Hanks!