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Monday, October 7, 2019

The Hazing (aka. Dead Scared) (2004)




The October Review Marathon keeps coming here at Crappy Movie Reviews. This time around I thought we would check in on an early Tiffany Shepis flick directed by Rolfe Kanefsky. These are two of my favorites from the independent scene of the late nineties and early two thousands. Plus, Brad Dourif gets to chew some scenery as the bad guy!

Dourif’s Professor Kapps is frolicking with a beautiful young lady when the topic turns to his interest in the occult. Before long he is killing and sacrificing her to unlock some great evil power. Sadly, he is interrupted by some kids pledging their frat/sorority (I guess this is co-ed now?) and ends up dead. Panicking they take his magic book and I guess his scepter because of fingerprints, intending to destroy them later. After their scavenger hunt is over, which is why they were in Kapps’ looking for items on the list, they have to spend the night in a haunted house. Can you see what is about to happen?

Kapps didn’t actually die but is in a coma and is able to use his new power to possess one of the college kids who killed him. The rest are to be used as a sacrifice to open the gateway to hell in the basement of the house. The remainder of the movie is them getting picked off in gruesome ways while trying to figure out a way to save themselves.

This isn’t an original idea and feels very much like another take on Night of the Demons, but it is well made and a lot of fun. The story kicks off with Dourif being evil, which is always a good time. Then we are introduced to our main characters, including a couple of very beautiful ladies in Tiffany Shepis and Nectar Rose. Their introduction is awesome in that sort of Sorority Babes in the Slime Bowl-o-Rama way. Well maybe not that much skin, but it isn’t far from it. Then shenanigans are had with something bloody, silly, or sexy happening every second of the way until the end credits.

The gore and makeup are decent and spread evenly throughout the movie. Some of the highlights are a head hitting the floor, someone getting skewered, and a death by lawn dart. Seriously people those things were dangerous! There is also a gag with a mannequin that worked way better than it should have. We also get a couple members of the cast “Demoned” out after they have been possessed. It is a simple makeup effect but works perfectly on camera. The fact that all of the above is done with old school practical makeup effects makes me love the movie that much more.

This might be why I enjoy The Hazing so much. It follows the formula that so many great movies did in the “good old days”. I’ve already mentioned a couple of those movies while describing this one and there are more comparisons that can be made. I don’t consider this a bad thing since not every movie needs to break new ground or be art. Sometimes you can just have an entertaining romp with all the “boxes” being checked. That is what the Hazing is for me. You could toss this in the middle of an eighties marathon and probably wouldn’t notice the difference. I consider that high praise. I highly recommend The Hazing.


© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer




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