killed in a terrorist attack, I would have started this review saying that Moustapha Akkad was the luckiest guy in the world. After all, this Syrian film financier had fortune on his side when producer Irwin Yablans told him they should hire this kid named John Carpenter for their film THE BABYSITTER MURDERS. The rest, as they say, is history. Although he had directed desert dramas before and after producing the resulting HALLOWEEN (1978), Akkad’s name would be forever linked to the slasher that started it all. I’m sure he couldn’t have been happier with that as each HALLOWEEN sequel made him richer and richer with nothing more than an “Executive Producer” credit. That success, however, did not stop him from trying to capture lightning in a bottle again when he produced the ‘80s slasher APPOINTMENT WITH FEAR (1985).
“From the man who brought you HALLOWEEN…” scream the posters and video boxes for APPOINTMENT WITH FEAR. As if that weren’t strong enough to sway customers, the biggest image accompanying that text is a huge knife. It all smacks potential viewers across the face with its less than subtle “this is a slasher” iconography. Hell, that is the reason I bought the VHS last month – I just wanted to dig into a vintage ‘80s slasher film. So imagine my surprise when I actually watched the film. Is it a slasher? Yes. Scantily clad young, high school girls do get stalked in a remote location by a killer with a knife. But it is also one of the most positively surreal horror films I’ve ever seen. This film is so damn weird, I thought I might be related to it. Don’t believe me? Well, just keep reading.
Old man: “It’s too early for a party. I never heard of a birthday party so early before in my whole life.”
Old woman: “Stop complaining, you old goat. You’re up and around at 4am every morning.”
Old man: “Well, whose birthday is it anyway?”
Old woman: “Yours! Now shut up and watch Heather.”
Old man: “What is she doing?”
Old woman: “She’s trying to get out of the jar.”
Old man: “Why the hell is she in the jar anyway?”