Oh boy! When you see this low key Linda Blair horror film, you know that you shouldn't expect much, but when you start to watch "Hell Night" you begin to wish that it was written and directed with a little more bite. It's only slightly repulsive.1981's Hell Night directed by Tom DeSimone, (apparently a former porno Director) stars Linda Blair as Marti a college girl who along with one other girl and two other guys, has to spend the night in an old mansion called 'Garth Manor'. Marti has to do this before being able to join the 'Alpha Sigma Rho' fraternity and it's sister sorority. This just happens to be ocurring twelve years to the day after the previous residents The Garth Family, which consisted of 1 wife and 5 children, were brutally murdered by the father of the house. Nice guy.
However, legend has it that one member of the Garth family survived, and still resides somewhere in the now-deserted mansion. So Marti and her mansion companion Jeff (Peter Barton) and the other two, Seth (Vincent Van Patten) and Denise (Suki Goodwin) must make the most of the old place and put up with all the dust till dawn.
Just to make sure they scare the crap outta poor Marti, the frat head Peter (Kevin Brophy) gathers two other jokesters, May and Scott, (Jenny Newmann and Jimmy Stuartevant) who have such skill in the art of cheap gags any haunted house owner would kill for their expertise. So they begin to set up lame props like fake bodies to decorate the place up with and creepy sounds to get Marti all nervous and sweaty. (Time for a Linda Blair rack shot!)
But that's not all! Soon a big crazed wierdo starts to kick into gear, killing off the jokesters outside 'Garth Manor' and moving his way inside where the Pledges await. Pretty soon a decapitated head shows up and Seth takes off, managing to get over the huge 'Garth Manor' gate to get help. Will he get help for Marti and Jeff in time?
The rest of Hell Nightconsists of Marti and Jeff descovering that they are not alone and that there is actually a killer after them. This results in some effective chase scenes through dark and spooky tunnels that utimately lead to the killer's hideaway. Director Tom DeSimone does a good job with the lighting and set design in these sequences. However, the scenes are not very scarey and the dialogue is stiff at times. Hell Night is an interesting take on the typical slasher film, with solid performances. It just doesn't have that extra "umph" needed to make it stand out. However this is prime meat for Linda Blair fans."Hell Night" is defintely an 80's slasher flick, only this one has better directing and acting then your average run of the mill horror film. Now if only the plot were stronger to hold this all together. ** 1/2 Stars