Director – Daniel Erickson (Mr. Pumpkin, Eve’s Necklace)
Starring – John Hawkes (Eastbound and Down, The X-Files), Suzanne Aldrich, and Ev Lunning (Texas Justice, Redboy 13)
Release Date – 1991
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 4/5
Tagline – “Fear is a state of mind”
Over the years I’ve found several movie labels that I can’t live without. Troma is the obvious one but I also collect films released from Wild Eye, Vinegar Syndrome, and recently AGFA. I like them all for different reasons. Troma and Wild Eye get me my indie horror fix while Vinegar Syndrome delivers on the video store horror from my childhood and sexploitation.
AGFA is the oddball of the bunch who releases films from the strange side of cinema. A few weeks ago AGFA releases the 1991 shot on video horror comedy Scary Movie starring John Hawkes. I pissed myself wanting this one to watch and review before Halloween but the death of my brother-in-law pushed it back until now. I’m glad I was able to finally check it out because it was definitely a fun one.
**Spoiler alert**The film follows the timid Warren (Hawkes) who visits a haunted house attraction during the Halloween season. When news of an escaped mental patient reaches him he becomes worried that this setting is perfect for the mad man to go on a bloody rampage. His obsession with the maniac going into the haunted house sends him into a panic and soon he is struggling with reality. Is the killer really after him or is he losing his mind?**Spoiler alert**
This is one of the many films I had never heard of prior to receiving the press release but once I saw the trailer I knew I was going to love it. The movie looked extremely fun with some serious humor tossed throughout. For the most part that is extremely accurate but there was some room to grow.
The acting in this one is not very consistent but it still delivers. John Hawkes does an amazing job and he honestly carries the film. The supporting cast is hit or miss. Some of the side characters have some solid personalities and the cast does a great job bringing them to life but some are painfully flat and bland.
The story for this one makes you think you are going to see a Halloween slasher with a body count but the story actually flips it around on you. There is a body count but not in a slasher sense. For fear of giving too much away I’ll stop with this portion now.
Finally, the film does have some bloody but the effects are minimal and not that appealing. The few deaths we do get are not the focus of the film. The effects are minimal but barely work for the gag. Overall, Scary Movie is extremely rough around the edges but it is one I highly recommend checking out. Be sure to grab the blu from AGFA and add it to your Halloween watch list.
2K preservation from the original 16mm camera negative!
Commentary with director Daniel Erickson and Joseph A. Ziemba of AGFA!
MR. PUMPKIN and LITTLE HERO short films by Daniel Erickson!
Original theatrical teaser trailer!
Behind-the-scenes photo gallery!
Reversible cover art with illustration by Charles Forsman!