Wednesday, August 24, 2016

80s Slasher: He Knows You're Alone

Hello folks! I am back for Day 2 of 80s Slasher Week and this one took me by surprise. I was not prepared how I would feel after this film. So if I threw out the name Armand Mastroianni, would you have a clue to whom I am referring to? I would estimate that 8 out of 10 people haven't the foggiest notion of the fellow I am talking about but for those 2, hey thanks. Director/producer Armand Mastroianni (The Supernaturals, Tales from the Darkside, Cameron's Closet, Double Revenge, Friday's Curse, Dark Shadows, Virus and Fatal Error) has directed and produced both film and TV for more than 3 decades and while the name does not immediately spring to mind, chances are you have seen his work. Today we focus on a slasher film shot in 1979 and yes you could say it is hanging on the coat tails of the success of Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but that would be a dick move. This is He Knows You're Alone.

Yeah it's fuzzy but a warm coat.

A young woman, a bride is murdered on her very wedding day by the man she rejected for her cop fiance, a Detective Len Gamble (Lewis Arlt of Search for Tomorrow, He Knows You're Alone, Another World and Confessions of a Dangerous Mime)who stole McCloud's jacket has the sniffles but that won't keep him from his designated rounds. That night a girl is murdered in a movie theater in Long Island which ironically watching a slasher film. The biggest amusement on my behalf is Wes Craven stole this death scene and it is almost shot-for-shot via Scream 2 with a few alterations to it. Our beady-eyed killer makes his way to a bus from Long Island to Staten Island to shop for victims and boy he should be able to find more than a few if he is lucky so long as he doesn't crossover to Fulchi's The New York Ripper set because Andrea Occhipinti has it covered.

Surprise surprise as Len's partner is Detective Frank Daley (Paul Gleason of The Breakfast Club< She's Having a Baby, Johnny Be Good, Die Hard, Nightmare Beach, Miami Blues and Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence) and my first thought was, " Principal Vernon, what are you doing here? Don't you know John Bender is just going to misbehave?" but I digress as he brings Len into the loop that the victim is a bride-to-be and clearly it is the same killer that did in Len's fiance.

Ray's "O" face.  Ew.

Amy (Caitlin O' Heaney of Apple Pie, Savage Weekend, The Seeding of Sarah Burns, Tales of the Gold Monkey, Alien Nation, Civil Wars and The Emperor's Club)is a bride-to-be as she says good bye to her fella Phil (James Carroll of As the World Turns, Senior Trip, Girls Nite Out, Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story and The Gathering) is off with his buddies for a stag night leaving her alone with her girlfriends Joyce (Patsy Pease of Search for Tomorrow, Space Raiders, The Young and the Restless and Days of Our Lives) and Nancy (Elizabeth Kemp of Love of Life, The Clairvoyant, Eating and Welcome to New York) and dammit one of these pairings is leading towards erotic fiction. Probably closer to the guys rutting but meh I care not.

Len's hunch on his fiance's murderer is paying off as Ray Carlton (Tom Rolfing of Another World, He Knows You're Home and Disaster at Silo 7) is adhering to his M.O.of killing off the bride-to-be and all her friends and family around her. The clock is ticking and Len and Frank are chasing every lead possible.

Can they catch Ray??!!! Is Amy destined to die??!! Will I ever stop doing this serial gag??!!!

Still love the movie within the movie gag as I noticed Scott (Russell Todd of Friday the 13th Part 2, Where the Boys Are, Chopping Mall, High Mountain Rangers and Another World) is making out in the car when they hear a noise.   Dammit man, how many times must you be massacred before it sinks in??!! A misconception that Tom Savini provided the FX makeup, gag weapons and copious amounts of fake blood for the shoot when in fact it was fellow FX artist and stuntman Taso N. Stavrakis (Friday the 13th, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Creepshow 2, The Mask of Zorro, Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Miami Vice) handling the gore and gags.
With only a 15 day shoot, the overall production took 4 months to clean up, edit and ADR where needed. The pacing is good, none of that overused POV shots for the killer and yet seeing his face does not detract the creepy feeling that would come from not knowing the killer.  His eyes look so damn menacing you should feel at ill ease.  Not too shabby first movie out. 
Oh yes and I must not forget this is Tom Hanks first feature film ever. 

Jeepers Padre, this horror film is well-lit.