Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jack O - Review - @BrandonCSites

Jack O (1995) **1/2
D: Steve Latshaw
C: Linnea Quigley, Ryan Latshaw, Gary Doles, Maddisen K. Krown (aka Rebecca Wicks) Cameron Mitchell, John Carradine, Brinke Stevens 

Plot Synopsis: A sorcerer's demonic pumpkin faced minion is reawakened from its slumber and seeks out a young boy who is the only one that can destroy it. 

Review: In terms of production values, Jack O simply doesn't measure up. The acting is awful. The effects are cheap looking, though to its credit, the Jack-O creature is stylishly brought to life. There is a noticeable amount of continuity errors. The overall look of the film was dated by the time it came out. And there's footage of John Carradine and Cameron Mitchell (who were both dead before even a single shot of footage was filmed for this production) inserted into the proceedings a la Plan 9 From Outer Space style.  

However, Jack O has an enduring quality to it. Most horror fans discovered horror back when they were kids. Halloween and horror go hand and hand with one another. Jack O gives us a protagonist who is a young kid who's discovering horror. There's tall tales, urban legends, ghost stories from the neighbors, watching tales of terror on TV, experiencing the fun of Halloween, going trick or treating with legendary scream queen Linnea Quigley, pranks being played, going to haunted houses, that dark mysterious spooky quality that the night can have come Halloween night, and (of course) being chased for your life by a killer jack-o-lantern. 

Jack O taps into that childhood sense of having adventures, exploring things and that sense of wonder & awe. Jack O doesn't entertain in spite of itself. It entertains, because it taps into something horror fans can relate to. It brings back nostalgic memories of another time, another place. It recalls the essence of Halloween and horror back during our younger years. Jack O entertains, but it also gets viewers thinking about the past and all those wonderful memories. Who doesn't like a bit of nostalgia, especially when it involves Halloween? [R] 91 mins. 

AKA: Jack-O-Lantern

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