Year of Release: 1995
IMDB Rating: 2.3 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT ITS ABOUT:
A word to the wise before attempting this movie: you are going to need good, heavy-duty boots. You will need these boots because you don’t watch this movie so much as you wade through it and end up being up to your knees in crap. While it isn’t quite Terror Toons awful, virtually everything that could go wrong did go wrong when this movie was made. And it has no respect for basic human dignity either: the man who plays the character of Walter Machen died 5 years before the movie began filming and was (badly) spliced into it. But enough of all this, let us now move onto the plot of Jack-O.
Supposedly an incredibly long time ago (1915, to be exact), Arthur Kelly lynched Walter Machen, a man accused of sorcery and of murdering some innocent town folk. Now no evil wizard goes down without exacting some kind of revenge, so he summons up from the pits of hell a demon to stalk the town of Oaksmoor Crossing and kill all those that were involved in murdering him. Sadly it appears that Walter Machen didn’t have great contacts with hell since the demon he managed to summon up, affectionately known as the Pumpkin Man, is essentially a scarecrow with a jack-o-lantern for a head. For fun the jack-o-lantern is so plastic that if you look closely enough you’re bound to find the ‘made in China’ sign on it. Nevertheless, Arthur Kelly managed to send the demon back to the depths of hell (ironically by burying it in a shallow grave), where it has lain dormant until Halloween of 1995. Please note, however, that this time line is only a rough guide since the movie starts off in an unrelated present, travels into the past, comes back to the proper present, and then frequently flashes back into the past again.
On Halloween night in 1995 three college students that are home on break decide to go off into the woods to look for the cemetery that formed part of the old Kelly Farm. After discovering some old graves they stumble upon the cross that has kept the Pumpkin Man in his grave for 80 years. They remove the cross from the ground and unleash the plastic pumpkin horror on Oaksmoor Crossing once again. Armed with his sickle and the seeming ability to teleport, the Pumpkin Man goes off in search of the descendants of Arthur Kelly.
As luck would have it, the Kellys haven’t strayed very far since the demonic days at the beginning of the century. David Kelly, his wife Linda (who constantly looks like she’s surprised) and their son Sean all live in a beautiful suburb in Oaksmoor Crossing. But come Halloween night the Pumpkin man begins to hunt down Sean as some archaic by-law in Hell’s Demon Contract (paragraph 9, section 12, note 17b) states that, if the demon fails in his original killing spree, he is legally permitted to go after the first son born five generations after the death of his original target. It is now up to David and Linda, along with babysitters Carolyn and Julie and final descendant of the Machen family tree Vivienne to finally put an end to this horror before the demon manages to capture Sean and bury him alive.
Thankfully they will have a lot of time to find Sean since the demon spends more time walking in front of the camera and then disappearing than actually doing anyone any major harm.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- A sickle has two killing settings: slight abrasion and decapitation.
- Pumpkin demons have two walking settings: teleportation and slow walk in front of camera.
- The sluttier the babysitter, the better chance your child has of surviving a demonic killing spree.
- In order to properly wash your back you need to stand in the shower and gyrate your hips a lot.
- When a strange woman starts talking to your son your natural impulse should be to invite her in for dinner.
- In is quite common, when faced with demonic evil from the pits of hell, for an aurora borealis to appear in the American midwest.
- Electricity first electrifies you and then speeds up the decomposition of your flesh.
- When a woman says she has moved to town to hunt down an 80 year-old pumpkin demon and is using your son as bait you should trust her implicitly.
- Hiding in plain sight is truly the best option. If you are the only thing with glowing orange eyes and mouth in the middle of a deserted field, nobody will notice you at all until they are right on top of you.