Wacko (1982)

It takes a lot for me to say that a movie is horrible. I am here today to tell you that Wacko is a horrible, horrible movie. Imagine — with all I have seen — what that entails.

13 years ago, Mary Graves’ (Stephanie from TV’s Newhart) older sister was killed on Halloween by a lawn mowing killer. Now she sees mowers everywhere, but tonight, she just wants to go to her prom. Can she avoid the pumpkin masked killer? Can Dick Harbinger (Joe Don Baker, Mitchell, The Pack) save her?

This is a film packed with actors you may or may not love filmed, lit and treated poorly. The film is so dark that daylight scenes appear shot night for day. It redefines the term shoddy. Where Airplane! works because it allows actors like Robert Stack and Peter Graves to be themselves while chaos explodes around them, everyone in this film acts as if Lloyd Kaufmann were dosing them with laughing gas.

George Kennedy deserves better, despite his appearances in Airplane 1979: The Concorde and The Uninvited. Stella Stevens deserves better. Fuck, even  Andrew Clay, before he became Dice (a character he first played in the film Making the Grade), deserves better. So do E.G. Daily (Pee Wee’s Big Adventure), Anthony James (The Chauffer from Burnt Offerings!), Jeff Altman (who also appeared in the utter piece of shit TV series The Pink Lady and Jeff) and anybody who somehow ended up connected in this mess.

I place the blame at the feet of Jensen Farley Pictures, who also rewarded us with pieces of dreck like MadmanJoysticks (yes, I see you in that movie too, Joe Don Baker) and Homework (yet I still love you, Joan Collins). PS – my thrift store has had a DVD of that and Private Lessons for a few weeks that I know I’ll end up buying). They did bring us Curtains, but at what cost?

Greydon Clark also bears the brunt of the blame. I mean, did he hate George Kennedy or something? He directed him here and also in the aforementioned The Uninvited, a movie about a mutant military weapon housecat. And oh yeah, Joysticks also comes from him. As does Final Justice, proving he hates Joe Don Baker as much — if not so much more — than George Kennedy. He also was behind Without Warning, the 1980 movie that features an alien hunter played by Kevin Peter Hall who is looking for human trophies. You may say, “Hey, that’s Predator.” You’d be right. And this movie came out seven years before that one.

Notice how I’ve done anything but talk about Wacko? That’s because this movie is a piece of absolute fecund drivel that makes movies like King Frat and Movie 43 look like Citizen Kane. I stopped it at 28:00 in, thinking the film had to be over 19 hours long and was shocked at how much pain it had put me through. Please don’t watch it on Amazon Video. No matter how much you want to.

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