Thursday, October 28, 2021

#2,651. Jack-O (1995)


It’s easy to pick on a movie like Jack-O. It was made for around $13, which means the effects are bad, the performances (well, most of them) are worse, and there’s about 20 minutes’ worth of story stretched out to an hour and a half. Still, director Steve Latshaw and his crew clearly tried their damnedest to turn nothing into something, so to sit here and repeatedly poke this DOA film with a stick is going to make me feel like a heel.

But I have to do it anyway.

Eighty years ago, Arthur Kelly (Mike Conner) put an evil wizard (John Carradine) to death. Before he died, however, the wizard cursed the entire Kelly clan.

Jump forward to modern times: young Sean Kelly (Ryan Latshaw, the director’s son) is preparing for Halloween night, as are his parents (Gary Doles and Maddison K. Brown), who host an annual haunted attraction in their garage. Unfortunately for them, the Wizard’s curse, in the guise of the Pumpkin Man (Patrick Moran), is ready to exact some revenge!

While most of the actors are less than stellar, Jack-O does feature a few familiar names in the cast; aside from Carradine (in old footage; he died years earlier), there’s Linnea Quigley (as a babysitter), Brinke Stevens (as the star of a movie playing on TV), and Cameron Mitchell (as the horror host showcasing Brinke’s movie), all of whom do their best with what they’re given.

Alas, that’s all I can say in favor of Jack-O. I’ll give Latshaw and producer Fred Olen Ray a B+ for effort, but as a horror flick, Jack-O packs no punch, so it gets a failing grade.
Rating: 3.5 out of 10

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