3.3/10
1,118
58 user 17 critic

Jack-O (1995)

R | | Horror | 10 October 1995 (USA)
A long long time ago a wizard was put to death, but he swore vengeance on the townsfolk that did him in, particularly Arthur Kelly's family. Arthur had done the final graces on him when he ... See full summary »

Director:

Steve Latshaw

Writers:

Patrick Moran (screenplay by), Fred Olen Ray (based on a story by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Linnea Quigley ... Carolyn Miller
Maddisen K. Krown ... Linda Kelly (as Rebecca Wicks)
Gary Doles Gary Doles ... David Kelly
Ryan Latshaw Ryan Latshaw ... Sean Kelly / Andrew Kelly
Catherine Walsh Catherine Walsh ... Vivian Machen
Rachel Carter Rachel Carter ... Julie Miller
Tom Ferda Tom Ferda ... Jim
Bill Cross Bill Cross ... Richard Watson
Helen Keeling Helen Keeling ... Amanda Watson
Thor Schweigerath Thor Schweigerath ... Robbie
Christina Connell Christina Connell ... Sarah
Kelly Lacy Kelly Lacy ... Shannon
George Castells George Castells ... Brent
Bernie Fidello Bernie Fidello ... Simms
Michael Walsh Michael Walsh ... Paul
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Storyline

A long long time ago a wizard was put to death, but he swore vengeance on the townsfolk that did him in, particularly Arthur Kelly's family. Arthur had done the final graces on him when he came back to life as Mr. Jack the Pumpkin Man. The Kellys proliferated through the years, and when some devil-may-care teens accidentally unleash Jack-O, young Sean Kelly must stop him somehow as his suburban world is accosted and the attrition rate climbs. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's Baaack! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the DVD Commentary Steve Latshaw and Producer Fred Olen Ray have a lot of tension and hostility. It's pretty obvious that there is some bad blood between them. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, about 1 hour 14 or so in, a copious amount of blood is splashed across the window to the side of the door - but when the family finally gets the door open and run outside, there's not a speck of blood anywhere. See more »

Quotes

Rush Gingbaw: [on television] Love your neighbors. Oh, sure, love your neighbors. If they're real Americans.
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Connections

Spoofs Rush Limbaugh (1992) See more »

User Reviews

Mr. Jack will make you giggle, full of cheese and full of niggles...

Any film that has horror veterans Linnea Quigley, Cameron Mitchell and John Carradine all in the same feature must surely be worth its weight in gold. Jack-O is notorious for being the second to last movie to include a role for Mr. Carradine senior. He died in 1988 and this was released in 1995, which means that his performance was obviously lifted from stock-footage. It's ingenious how Steve Lathshaw made it work, really. I wish I knew more about where the scenes came from, but I have been unable to track down any information at all. If anyone knows anything further please let me know. The screenplay was adapted from a story by Fred Olen Ray, whom himself has helmed a host of B-movies. He was behind slashers, Scalps and Final Examination and to the best of my knowledge; he's still working today. After this, Lathshaw went on to direct a couple more flicks, including Death Mask, before settling for a more lucrative career in writing. Unlike most American direct to video/cable horror films from the mid-nineties, this actually got unleashed in the United Kingdom. The Midnight Movies label that distributed it released so few, that original copies have now become somewhat of a rarity, selling for fairly good money at film fairs. Although it's by no means brilliant, the qualities lie in its utter trashy cheesiness, with comical characters and tongue in cheek horror.

Many years ago, the families of Oakmoor Crossing tracked down a vicious murderer named Walter Machen (Carradine) and lynched him. He was a powerful warlock and just before he died, he summoned a demon from the depths of hell to seek revenge on the townsfolk. The assassin attacked and butchered lots of people, until a man called Arthur Kelly found a way to stop him for good. Now, present day, three rowdy teens accidentally revive the pumpkin headed fiend, much to their disadvantage. Armed with a decidedly nasty scythe, he heads back to the same town to continue where he left off his killing spree. He couldn't have picked a better night for murder, because it happens to be October the 31st, or in other words, Halloween. Arthur's great, great Grandson, Sean Kelly (Ryan Lathshaw) is only a young boy, but little does he know, that he is the only person alive with the power to stop the bloodthirsty killer. Will he realise his potential before the demon reaches his parents, or will he be too late?

They don't come much cheesier than this ‘lowest of the low' budget Halloween flick. Everything from the killer's laughable Jack-o-Lantern head (like they had them in the 1890s!) to the way they touted his rhyming urban legends (Mr Jack will break your back and chop off your head with a whack whack whack!) was certainly top-drawer entertainment. The most amusing thing, was the woefully out of date ‘cool dude' character, that looked more like Fonzie than anyone from the present day. Complete with quiff, leather jacket and motor cycle, his dialogue alone wouldn't have sounded out of place in a Grease re-make! Over the years, since her debut in Psycho from Texas and inclusion in tonnes of cheapo flicks including Graduation Day and Fatal Games, Linnea Quigley has gained herself a devoted cult following. She doesn't disappoint here, taking a long gratuitous shower displaying at least two minutes of customary T&A, in her first scene alone! Her only real rival for the crown of ‘queen of the schlock-horrors' is that other B-movie favourite, Debbie Rochon. Quigley is probably the better actress of the two, but really it's only down to weather you favour Blondes or Brunettes as to decide which you prefer. They've both done their fare share of trash!

Unfortunately, the lesser-known faces were all mostly pitiful. Gary Doles was the only one that attempted to add a little life to his character and even though he wasn't exceptional, he scores ten out of ten for effort. If you blink, you'll miss Cameron Mitchell's brief cameo. He plays Dr.Cadaver, a creepy TV presenter that hosts a show filled with all things horror. His inclusion in flicks ranging from The Toolbox Murders to Memorial Valley Massacre made it a part that he was undoubtedly born to play. There were two anti-liberal toffs that were there to supply the comic relief, which really wasn't necessary, because the whole thing was little more than an inadvertent giggle in the first place. Their joint talks of people being blind to the Government and the like made them an instant cert for a gruesome demise. A grisly fate for the snub twosome was as predictable as death and taxes.

The special effects were perhaps the lamest that I've ever seen. The lightening looked like it was drawn onto the negatives with a felt tip pen and the killer's lantern head was so blatantly a shoddy mask that it was ridiculous. It isn't really fair to criticise the lack of production though, because I'm sure that this was made with the best intentions from a shoestring budget. They at least manage to chuck in some gooey red-stuff and a fairly well modelled decapitation, which pushes the boundaries of the 15 certificate. Together with the fairly strong nudity, it acts as further proof that the censors must have been either from another planet or smoking an eighth of crack when they rated Christina's House as an 18! Lathshaw tries a few interesting camera angles and the woodland scenes are all surprisingly well lighted. You won't get bored whilst watching and it doesn't hang around to introduce cheesy horror as the central characteristic. Keep a look out for the director's son, Ryan in a starring role. You can't deny that he's an authentic ‘actor', if nothing else!

What did you actually expect from a movie called ‘Jack-O' with a pumpkin-headed killer on the cover and Linnea Quigley in the cast? Of course it's going to be cumbersome, clumsy and misbegotten! But thankfully, it's bad in a good way and fans of mature cheddar circumstances, will find more than enough to fill their hunger. It's better than that other Halloween-based throwaway, Hack-o-Lantern, but I wouldn't expect any brilliance, because you'll be fairly disappointed. Come October the 31st, don't you dare forget that Mr. Jack will snap your spine and cut you in half with a scaly vine…? Oooooooh!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zero-O See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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