The day Claudio Fragasso (or Clyde Anderson, as he prefers to call himself) dies and arrives at the gates to confront Saint Peter for the trial whether he belongs in heaven or hell, I strongly advise him to plead "temporary insanity" for the year 1990! I don't know what Fragasso smoked back then, but it must have been great stuff! How else would you explain the fact that he spawned both "Troll 2" and this "Night Killer" in in and the same magical year? These two films are extremely different in terms of content and atmosphere, but both are incredibly awful yet wondrously absurd and insanely entertaining. "Troll 2" is legendary trash-heritage and world-famous, whereas "Night Killer" is obscure and unknown. Undeservedly so, I must emphasize, as this utterly bonkers horror oddity should urgently be discovered by all fans of slasher movies, rape & revenge thrillers, gialli and bizarre cult films in general!
You know that indescribably joyous feeling you experience when watching something truly bad and amateurish, but simultaneously so much fun? Well, "Night Killer" guarantees this feeling from start to finish! According to notes in the trivia-section and some random interviews I read on the internet, Fragasso initially intended for this film to be a psychological thriller without gore, but behind his back the producers instructed Bruno Mattei to shoot an additional load of nasty and sleaze-laden sequences. Personally, I think this is a bunch of nonsense. Fragasso is simply incapable to pen down a serious psychological thriller and, besides, he and Mattei have been best friends and business partners since the late 70s already, so I find it difficult to believe Mattei would "betray" his buddy Fragasso like this. "Night Killer" is indeed unstructured, clumsily edited and totally senseless, but that's just the regular way these two geniuses work together. Pure entertainment is what matters, and "Night Killer" delivers.
The film opens marvelously, with 2 random beauties in standard 80s aerobic outfits savagely getting slaughtered during their dance rehearsal by a maniac in a monstrous mask and a glove with sharp claws. You'll read in other reviews that the killer's mask resembles Freddy Krueger's face, but the people who wrote that should urgently re-watch the entire "Nightmare on Elm Street" series. The mask looks like an ugly demon's face, mutilated by a flamethrower and then resurrected again. The claws on the glove are clearly made of rubber, and yet the maniac manages to bore holes through women's stomachs with them! The script then suddenly seems to realize the 1980s are over, so the action moves away from the dance academy. Our sick killer subsequently targets beautiful single mother Melanie Beck, and stalks her with obscene phone calls before perpetrating into her house. Maybe, just maybe, Melanie is a logical choice because she fondles her naked breasts while talking to herself in the mirror. He attacks and viciously rapes Melanie, but she survives the attack and enters in a state of shock and complete amnesia. Melanie escapes from the hospital and attempts to commit suicide, but the poor thing runs into a crazed madman again and he holds her captive in a sleazy motel room. The film then insists that we believe Melanie's new kidnapper, Axel, is the same person as the ugly mask murderer, and meanwhile he also cheerfully continues to slay other women, like a prostitute with whom he enacts a perverted Little Red Riding Hood role-play! If you think "Night Killer" can't possibly get any more jaw-droppingly absurd or delirious, just wait until you witness the completely deranged denouement!
But now for the hardest part of this review. How to possibly rate this fantastic piece of rubbish? In terms of sheer entertainment, I'm honestly tempted to reward "Night Killer" with a perfect 10/10, simply because I was rejoiced from start to finish and even watched some key sequences several times because I couldn't believe my eyes the first time. Other arguments for a high rating are the fast pacing, the copious amounts of reasonably decent make-up effects and the truckload of bloodshed and perversion. A massive score is also quite misleading, of course, because "Night Killer" inarguably remains pure trash with terrible acting and lousy scripting. Still, I had a tremendous great time and I give it 8/10. Finally, one last example of unscrupulous and typically Italian horror marketing. The "official" title of the film is "Non aprite quella porta 3", which literally translates as "Don't Open That Door 3". It's the local title under which the horror classic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" got released in 1974, and thus they wanted everybody to think this was a sequel. Never mind the fact there isn't a chainsaw in sight, and the producers also didn't take into consideration that the actual "Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part III" also came out later that same year, in 1990.
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