In the fall a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of Horror. The air is crisp. Days become shorter. And nights get longer. And it all culminates in one night, Halloween. But there seems to be a real lack of Horror films that take place on the infamous night.
Halloween is Tommy’s favorite holiday. His Grandpa’s favorite too. Tommy loves dressing up and trick or treating. And Gramps loves seances and sacrificing people to Satan. One year Grandpa gives Tommy a pumpkin, a small skeleton and a necklace. His mom, upon learning the pumpkin is from her father, smashes it. Tommy hides the other gifts. Distraught over the gaining influence Tommy’s dad interrupts a ritual and ends up killed by Gramps’ coven! Twenty years later Grandpa is ready for Tommy to take over the cult. But not if Tommy’s mother and siblings have anything to say about it.
I seem to find endless amusement in Satanists and the depiction of them. And Hack-o-Lantern does not disappoint. Our main character Tommy wears all black, lifts weights while shirtless, and presides over his Satanic alter under the stairs. All while living in his mom’s basement. He dreams of being the rhythm guitar player in DC Lacroix. The movie even stops to play an entire music video. Reminds me a bit of W.A.S.P. showing up in The Dungeonmaster. Tommy’s fuck buddy has a pentagram tattoo on her butt that seems to be the talk of the town among the guys. And Grandpa is seen buying candles at the corner convenience store for the ritual. I guess as long as they’re not scented or votive Old Scratch is fine.
I forgot to mention the guy in a Devil mask and robe running around killing the townsfolk. And it may or may not be Tommy. Oh hell, it’s like three different people. Unfortunately Hack-o-Lantern doesn’t come close to earning it’s title. There’s splashes of blood here and there and probably why it goes by at least two other titles, Halloween Night and Death Mask. I was thinking/hoping this movie would be a low budget Trick or Treat, which in a way it is but with loads of queso. To my surprise, I had seen Jag Mundhra’s previous film, Open House, a middle of the road slasher about a man killing real estate agents. I want to say it had more gore, but Hack-o-Lantern has all the heart.
Warlock is a Pumpkin Stout from Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, New York. It is an Imperial Stout but doesn’t drink like one and only clocks in at 8.6 ABV. Warlock was first brewed as a counterpoint to their other Pumpkin Ale, Pumking. I got a lot of roasted chocolate malts with some nutmeg and a bit of pumpkin. Warlock is available in 22oz bombers, which brings me to a crucial equation in this line of work. The Beer to Movie Ratio. How long will the beer last against the movie’s running time? The problem arises most with bombers and 750ml bottles. Hack-o-Lantern was only 80something minutes, but I ran out of beer with at least 40 minutes to go. Not good.
Southern Tier seems to have a pretty wide distribution. Unless you’re in California. Hack-o-Lantern has yet to make a digital debut. Just watch the VHS rip on Youtube. It’s not like you’re going to hell.