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31 Days – Day 7 – Umasked Part 25

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096343/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

*** NO TRAILER AVAILABLE ****

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I have a strong affection for the obscure horror titles and actively seek them out, but this is one that I have never encountered. I was flipping the youtube full length titles and stumbled upon this. Having little idea what this is, I bravely embarked on this. The things I do for you people….I jest, I love you all.

This has an alternate title as these often do, Hand of Death. Walking into this I had little inclination of what I was in for.

It starts off fairly gory, some of which isn’t done the greatest, but was still pretty good, but to my horror it was a British horror….another archtype I have horrid luck with. Sorry, but to me the Brits are piss poor in their horror offerings after the demise of Hammer. There are rare good titles, but they are few and very far between. Jackson, a Jason Voorhees inspired, and similarly garbed killer, is on the loose and wreaking havoc on a new wave party, until he is inadvertently mistaken by a blind woman, as her ..umm well..blind date. After showing him some kindness, and realizing their come bond of being misunderstood and lonely, they embark on an odd ball romance. Since she cannot see his deformity, and has no idea of his particular occupation, she rapidly falls for him, since no one else has ever paid her any attention. What started as a slasher movie, with a lot of nods to Friday the 13th Part two especially, turns into an odd comedy, and mocks the genre tropes. It also delves into the psyche of the killer, his motivations and his back story, again Friday the 13th Part two. Jackson reveals himself to have somewhat of a moral compass, refusing to steal from his victims and desires to reform, so he can be with his lady love. Things go awry a bit, when killer instinct hits a little close to home and Jackson is forced to embark on his ritual with some questionable victims…..

This is an odd sort of film, reminded me a bit of a comedic take on Leslie Vernon or The Last Horror Movie. It has a lot of character study to it, and gives an odd depth to the faceless psycho archetype . It’s oddly enlightening and engaging, strange qualities for a film of it’s ilk. It has some meta elements even, when it is revealed Jackson is actually also inspiration for a series of slasher films in America – called Hand of Death – and there is a sequence in a pub that highlights this point.

This is a shockingly decent, original kind of horror comedy, and a rare British horror I actually enjoyed. It’s an odd like mix, but damn it it works. Definitely an under appreciated gem, too bad this apparently has no DVD release.

RATING: B+(78%)

PROS: An odd mix of things, some good comedic moments, pretty good gore, and a fair bit of violence. Strangely engaging. This film has a very strange charm to it, and I never would have believed it would work.

CONS: A little bit of lagging issues here and there, some of the jokes fall flat.

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