Mar 7, 2018
Night of Horror (1981) (part 6 of 6)
Anyway, the ghosts know where their captain’s head is, and they need to rejoin it with his body so that “his spirit may rise!” Then the ghost decides to give a shout out to the captain’s wife, who “would not be afraid. She has come back!” Apparently, Colleen is that wife, reincarnated. [!]
We see Steve looking more uninterested than we are, if such a thing is even possible. His VO says he couldn’t accept that Colleen is the captain’s reincarnated wife “from over a hundred years ago!” because of his “feelings” for her. “I wanted to take her and run,” he says. “Run far away from this scene.” And, hopefully, all of the other scenes in this movie. But he stays put because it’s in the script, and he “had to listen further.”
The ghosts then decide to get all bossy, telling them that “we will now show you how to help!” and that “we will allow the wife to lead you!” Wow, to whom do I owe the privilege?
The Three Lost Chords start up again as Jeff, Susan, and Colleen go wandering off through the woods. If you guessed that it’s suddenly broad daylight yet again, give yourself a Scooby Snack. Steve won’t be seen with them again, but for unknown reasons he’s still able to narrate everything that happens.
Steve’s VO says he watched Colleen walk off into woods and realized that this was his “last chance to save her from all this madness! But all I could think about was getting the camper fixed!” Ah, men and their cars, am I right, ladies? “Maybe if I could do that, everything would be sane again!”
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We get a long, long shot of the other three marching through the woods. Steve’s VO helpfully informs us that “They followed Colleen into the darkness.” Thanks, we got that. “The darkness,” he clarifies, “Broken only occasionally by the now harsh moonlight.” Nope, that would be sunlight, Steve.
The (unseen) spirits lead them to a particular spot, so Colleen gets down on her knees and starts digging in the dirt. Jeff queens out when he sees this, probably because the thought of getting his clothes dirty is just freaking him out to no end. Eventually, however, he and Susan join in with the digging.
“They found the severed skull of the valiant captain,” Steve’s VO says. Then Malanowski makes the mistake of sticking in a close-up shot of the skull, hilariously revealing that it’s made out of really cheap plastic, and that there are Halloween decorations with a higher level of realism. “The husband of Colleen?” Steve asks, almost as if he were there. Which he isn’t. “Thoughts of hatred for him entered my head. He had her once. Why, why couldn’t he— leave her alone now? He was dead! And she was alive!” If you consider whining and moaning about “wrong feelings” all the time to really be living.
The three walk off into the woods with the skull. Oddly, the very top of the skull is sliced off, as if they actually had weapons that sharp back in Civil War days. Meanwhile, Steve’s VO says he was making a concerted effort to control his anger towards the ghosts “for fear of what they might cause to happen to me!” Yeah, Steve, maybe they’ll make you go dig up a plastic jack o’lantern if you don’t watch it.
Colleen takes the skull from Jeff as Steve’s VO explains that they brought it to a church. After several minutes of them just walking, they come to a ruined brick building that I’m guessing is supposed to be the church. There’s still a lot of time to kill, so they stroll around the outside for a while before finally heading into a clearing somewhere.
As the Mythical Three Chords continue into their fourteenth hour, everyone kneels down in the clearing, and suddenly my job becomes a whole lot easier, because it’s too dark to see a damn thing. There’s a shot of a white puffy thing that goes on forever. I think it’s Susan’s head. Finally, we see them put the skull in a hole and cover it over with dirt. The hole, of course, is only about three inches deep and doesn’t go past the topsoil. But hey, that’s good enough.
Steve’s VO is then kind enough to come in with a little recap, reminding us that they’re in a graveyard of a nineteenth century church. In case the demolished exterior walls weren’t enough of a clue, Steve informs us that it’s been “unused for decades!”
Then he tells us that “the hauntings [?] were laid to rest” because “the spirits watched and they were pleased!” What movie were they watching? Colleen, Jeff, and Susan pray over the grave, then finally stand up and walk off.
To a thrilling shot of the empty patch of dirt, Raspy Ghost Dude thanks them and says that “We can all move on now.” God, let’s hope so. Still, the spirits are a little bummed because “our new friend cannot as yet join us!” Hey, it’s only a matter of time, fellas. However, “the wife will always dwell in the world of the spirits.” We again see the three of them walk past the church, with Jeff pretending to give his wife affection for the first time since the movie started. Finally, there’s a fade to black.
When we fade back in, we’re in the “bar” from the opening scene, and naturally, Chris and Steve are still sitting with their backs to us. “And that’s about it,” Steve says. Yep, that’s right. After all that crap about a cabin in the woods, they never even got to the damn thing! And say what you want about Chris, but he must have the patience of a saint to actually have sat there the whole time and listened to this story.
Steve says “the whole thing just… blew my mind away so bad!” Join the club. It seems his biggest problem, for some reason, is that other people were there and can verify that everything happened just as he described. “I know these things happen,” Steve says. “But I just can’t accept that they happen to me!”
Chris asks for a little wrap-up, so Steve says that Colleen is “back into her spiritualism” and that she’s “into it heavier than ever now!” The run-in with the ghosts convinced her that she has a “gift” and, much to my horror, she’s going to use it.
It appears that Colleen “outgrew” Jeff that night and eventually left him. Chris asks if Steve’s going to go for her, but Steve says he can’t deal with a crazy chick who “hears things and sees things that, you know, nobody else can.” Unfortunately, there’s no word on whether Susan is still getting groped at the Xerox.
Chris leaves, but we continue to hear the remainder of their conversation in voiceover. Artistry! Chris stands outside the “bar”, trying what I’m sure is his googly-eyed best to act “scared”. Meanwhile, Steve’s VO repeats that he wants to be left alone to “work things out”, but he promises to be okay before rehearsals.
Chris walks forward, revealing a fence and a pool [!]. Are they even pretending like this is a bar anymore? Chris wanders around, looking really shell-shocked for no apparent reason. We hear Chris’ VO ask Steve’s VO if he wants to “talk to my uncle, man”, but Steve’s VO insists that he “don’t need no help”, and that’s that.
Chris’ VO says he has to go check out “the studio we’ll be using on the Lucas lot [!].” And that sound you hear is George Lucas’ lawyers filing reams of paper for a libel suit. Chris stares at the pool while his VO says he’ll see Steve at rehearsal. Steve’s VO says, “Try not to expect too much, too soon.” Or ever.
Then the Fabled Three Chords make one last reappearance. Chris stares up at the sky, and I’m guessing that look on his face means he’s deep in thought. Then, he looks at the pool, and we pan down to see his reflection in the water. Auteur! Auteur! There’s only one problem: the klieg lights are clearly visible in his reflection [!]. Either Tony Malanowski is utterly incompetent, or this film is a post-modern classic.
Then, it’s off to the credits, which, oddly, are labeled “Credits”. We learn that “This Film Was Processed and Printed At PETE’S QUALITY FILM LABS” and they actually provide an address and a phone number [!]. Yes, I called this number, and it’s no longer in service, which should come as a surprise to no one. Still, if you want someone to process your film like Quality Pete, my car has a trunk and I’ll only charge you five bucks to let it sit in there for six months.
Here we also find out that, for no apparent reason, Chris is the only character in this movie to be given a last name, and it’s “Marker” [?]. Then we get the standard disclaimer that “any similarities to persons living or dead are purely coincidental.” So much for this being “A DEPICTION OF AN ACTUAL EVENT”, I guess.
Then Malanowski decides to give “SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE WITHOUT WHOM THIS FILM COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE” and Don Dohler [!] is among them. Actually, Don Dohler should be thanking him for producing a movie that makes Galaxy Invader and Nightbeast look like works of high art.
We’re then informed that “This Film Was Photographed In Maryland USA: AMERICA IN MINIATURE” [??]. Finally, we learn that “This Film Is A Little Warsaw Production” and they provide yet another [!!] address and phone number. (Take a wild guess as to whether this number is still functional.) After a big burst of white, it’s the end.