NOVEMBER 19, 2007
How’s this for weird: As I go to put in the He Knows You’re Alone DVD, I see that the Al Pacino movie Scent of a Woman is on. I watch it for a few minutes, and I see an actor who is one of those guys that’s in every movie ever, but you don’t know his name and probably would have trouble actually NAMING one of the movies if you saw him on the street. His most memorable turn is probably in ID4, as the Secretary of Defense who constantly wants to nuke everything and confesses to the President that Area 51 is real. Anyway, not thinking much of it, I begin Alone, and not 20 minutes into the damn thing, the very same guy shows up as a professor who is fucking one of the main girl’s friends! Now his name shall never be forgotten: James Rebhorn.
Anyway, that is just one of the many, many things I would like to mention in this review (it’s gonna be a long one folks. Might want to grab a magazine. Oh wait, no, never mind.). I’d also like to point out that this makes two films in a row that ripped off the Halloween score.
For starters (not counting what I already said at least), I find it kind of odd that the film is relatively unknown. It gets mentioned a lot due to the appearance of a future star, but otherwise it’s been totally overshadowed by the other films of the era, and I am really not sure why. It’s definitely pretty unique. While I have trouble telling some of the eras lesser known slasher movies apart, this one sticks out right from the start, with a slasher movie within a slasher movie sequence that was later copied in Scream 2. Then Paul Gleason shows up as, yes, a cop, who abruptly disappears from the film (in mid-sentence no less!) a few scenes later.
Plus, the movie has a record number of “Worsts” for a horror movie.
Worst greenscreen ever:
Our targets are brides to be, which is pretty sweet (in one of the film’s many odd moments, all the horny guys are sent off to a bachelor party in the first 10 minutes, and apart from a quick cutaway to one of them making a phone call, are never heard from again), putting the film in the same jilted lover slasher subgenre that is comprised of pretty much just Valentine and My Bloody Valentine. And speaking of MBV, this film has a song that’s almost as amazing: a ditty called “It’s The Night Again” that plays over one of the kill scenes. It sounds like a lost Air Supply number, but sadly I can find no copies or even basic info about the song online (the first Google match for the artist’s name is just another HKYA review that bemoans the lack of info about the artist). Someone needs to put out a compilation CD of slasher movie ballads. It’d be the greatest CD ever compiled by someone who wasn’t me (I make killer mix CDs, at least as far as I am concerned).
Off-kilter seems to be the order of the day for this movie. Granted, any movie that casts Don Scardino (“God I love antiques!!!”) as a romantic hero/lead is pretty odd, but they go to extremes, especially with the editing. I already mentioned Gleason’s non-final final scene, but there’s also a jump cut in the middle of an establishing shot, and another abrupt edit when Scardino is presumably about to use some slang for a homosexual man, leaving us with only “He’s a closet!” OK, movie.
But there’s also a lot of originality, considering the time period. For example, the killer’s motive is literally revealed as the end credits roll. Granted it’s not exactly mind-bending, and you can probably figure it out long before, but there’s something sort of charming about literally waiting till the last second to give the audience a bit of explanation for why the guy was killing everyone.
And yes, of course, as I mentioned, the film is famous nowadays primarily for being the first appearance of a future star. I speak of course of Dana Barron, who went on to be the first Audrey Griswold (and the only one to play her twice, as she appeared in the otherwise worthless TV movie Christmas Vacation 2). She plays Final Girl’s little sister, and it’s good casting, as they DO look alike. Her biggest scene takes place at a carnival with her sister, her sister’s friend, and an average looking guy who is given, in keeping with the rest of the movie, the oddest pick up line in history (he trips the girl as she jogs so he could guarantee she would stop). For some reason he doesn’t get killed, but maybe he will pop up in something else someday.
There’s a commentary track on the DVD, but that aforementioned review said it was boring and filled with gaps. And I’m not in the mood for that. I’m sure it will never get a better release, but if you can find it cheap (perhaps via a small ad a few lines below? :) ), it’s definitely worth a purchase. Putting it in its proper context, writer Scott Parker and director Armand Mastroianni should be commended for being as different as they could while strictly adhering to the standard slasher formula of the time.
What say you?