Saturday the 14th

Saturday the 14th

Saturday the 14th (1981)

When a couple inherits a supposedly cursed house, they ignore the warnings and move their family in.  Unwittingly releasing an ancient evil, they must exorcise the demons before it’s too late.

As John, Mary, and their kids are getting settled into their creepy new home, a husband and wife vampire couple are also trying to get in to recover a book of evil.  When young Billy discovers the book, he unknowingly releases the monsters contained within.  Strange things begin to happen in the house, neighbors are missing, yet the couple remain oblivious.  When an exterminator is called in to deal with the “owls” in the attic (actually a pair of vampire bats), he turns out to also be after the book inside the home.  The family begins to plan a housewarming party for Saturday the 14th, despite the book’s warnings that it is the unluckiest day of the year.  Now, their guests are starting to disappear and nobody can leave the house until a final showdown between good and evil.

This a movie that you need to approach with the right mindset.  It’s corny as Hell, Richard Benjamin’s deadpan responses to the insanity around him are over the top, and the film is definitely dated.  What it lacks in sophistication, though, it makes up for in charm. The story is silly, the acting is equally so and what limited effects there are in the film are cheap and slipshod.  But it all works to give an already cheesy film an added layer of corniness.

Long before horror spoofs became a thing, there was “Saturday the 14th” and it has an almost innocent naivete that holds up well, despite the years.  It’s not constantly laugh out loud funny, but it’s simple and something you can actually sit down and watch without having to explain it to the kids, even if it isn’t exactly a Saturday date night movie.

 

Stars: 3/5

 

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