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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pledge Night (1990)



Here we have an ‘80s slasher that is really a ghost/demon story with a body count and was made in the ‘90s. I’m very confused. It has music by Anthrax and was produced by Shapiro-Glickenhaus Entertainment who were involved in some great movies. I figured my run of good horror movies made in what I thought was a terrible decade for the genre was going to continue. Not so much…

This is almost two different movies. The first forty-five minutes consist of us watching one stupid hazing ritual after another. Many asses are paddled and one is even branded with a hot iron! Pushups are done and cherries are carried betwixt butt cheeks only to be later eaten by unfortunate pledges. There is another frat boy pretending to be crazy so that they can set up a fake stabbing to further intimidate and scare the pledges. One of the pledges is named Bonner. His mother tries to get him to not pledge and avoid the hazing. Twenty years earlier her boyfriend, Sid, died while pledging a fraternity in the same building as the one Bonner is pledging. See where this is going?

The last half of the movie is Sid returning from the grave to kill everyone that he finds in the frat house. But before he kills them he asks for their name. All of Bonner’s friends, the frat brothers, and some sorority girls are murdered by Sid in gruesome ways. When he finally gets to Bonner and finds out his name Sid stops. Seems that is his kid, saw that coming a mile away, and only came back to protect him. He disappears and everything is okay. You know except for the dozen or so corpses littering the campus!

I really didn’t like this movie especially the first half filled with hazing rituals. It was one boring bit after the other that I think was supposed to be funny, but wasn’t. Not sure if it was the cast or just that I’m not a fan of stuff like that but I found it boring. Now had the killings been mixed in maybe it would have been more tolerable, but all that happens towards the end of the movie. Considering how there is little to no character development there was no reason to spend this much time with them before the killer shows up. Plus Sid is doing a terrible job protecting his son. I mean all sorts of shit, including an actual branding, had already happened before he even makes an appearance. A little late my man…

Acid Sid looks cool
Initially the fake crazy guy from upstairs appears to be the killer when he knocks off the first couple victims. Well the first victim gets his junk ripped off by a random hand coming out of a toilet, but after that it appears to be the fake crazy frat boy. But when he is killed Sid crawls out of his body in what is admittedly a neat looking bit of practical effects work. There are also kills using a cherry bomb stuffed into one frat boys butt (this movie has a lot of butt stuff in it…), a girl gets electrocuted with a radio while in a tub, another frat boy strangled with an intestine, and a snapped neck just to mention a few. This part of the movie is decent, but not great.

What could have been an okay slasher/demon/revenge movie gets bogged down with an uneven script that backloads all the kills in the second half and gives us a miserable first half of Fraternity hijinks. I don’t recommend wasting your time on Pledge Night.



© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer

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