What are you all doing out front of my house on a cold night like tonight? You want to hear about another movie from back in the day? Don’t you have school or something? OK, I guess I can spare a few minutes to share another forgotten gem with you, but then it’s straight to bed…for me, anyway.
I think it’s safe to say that Linda Blair and I have pretty much grown up together, albeit on different sides of the camera. While I was toiling in the multi-media club in high school making movies for the classes she was in Hollywood making movies for the masses, but we were on the same ship. From the Exorcist movies, Born Innocent, Sarah T.–Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, Roller Boogie, Ruckus, Savage Streets, Night Patrol, all the way up to All is Normal…I’ve pretty much seen it all. Linda to me is one of those people that you don’t know exactly why but for some reason you just like her. She always seemed like a person that has both feet on the ground despite her success and would be fun to hang out with. As you’ll see later in the last picture on this article, she also has a heart of gold. But for now, let’s look at a my favorite Linda Blair movie, released August of 1981…Hell Night.
As a rite of initiation into the Alpha Sigma Ro Fraternity, you must spend the night in abandoned Garth Manor. Twelve years prior Raymond Garth assembled his deformed children and his wife and proceeded to kill all of them and himself, leaving youngest son Andrew alive to watch the atrocities. He was never found. Four pledges, Marti (Blair), Jeff (Peter Barton), Seth (Vincent Van Patten), and Denise (Suki Goodwin) are locked behind the front gate and told to have fun. Seth and Denise to go upstairs and do just that while Marti and Jeff start lighting candles to warm up the place. While this goes on, fraternity president Peter (Kevin Brophy) and his friends Scott (Jimmy Sturtevant) and May (Jenny Neumann) sneak back and begin the task of scaring them with some previously rigged gags,
Once the source of the ghostly moans and horrible screams are discovered in the Manor, May gets bored with it all, goes off and loses her head. Scott and Peter head for seperate areas of the building and Scott shows us his “Linda Blair in The Exorcist” imitation. Guess he forgot real people can’t twist their heads like that. Marti and Jeff try to get some sleep while Peter’s prank on Denise does nothing to frighten her. He heads up to the roof to talk to Scott and finds him hanging from the side of the Manor. He tries to make a run for it but is chased down by Andrew, last of the Garth children and still very much alive.
Seth and Denise are STILL going at it upstairs when Seth gets up for a bathroom break. When he returns Denise is nowhere to be found but May has returned. At least her head has, anyway, and the three survivors make a run for the front gate. Seth manages to get over the spiked gate and runs into town to get some help while Marti and Jeff head back in to try and find Denise. Marti stays locked in the bedroom while Jeff goes to check out a light in the guardhouse and instead finds Peter’s body. Grabbing a pitchfork, he runs back to the room for Marti unaware that Andrew is now hiding in there, waiting for his return.
Seth, meanwhile, can’t get the police to believe it isn’t a fraternity prank and is told to scram, which he does but not before lifting a rifle and some shells. Once Jeff returns, Andrew makes himself known and is fought off and speared with the pitchfork. He retreats down into the underground tunnels beneath the manor with Jeff and Marti in pursuit.
What will they discover in the tunnels? Will Seth arrive in time to save them? Will Jeff and Marti make it out alive? Watch and enjoy Tom DeSimone’s Hell Night and find out for yourself. Now get off my steps and let me go get some sleep. Some of us HAVE jobs, you know. Come back next month for another goodie. Here’s a hint… I am the slime (Frank Zappa song…go listen to it, even though that won’t help you with this clue). Go to lindablairworldheart.org for info on helping her with her animal rescue projects. She was just as pleasant as I imagined she’d be and when her next project gets released (Cousin Sarah) with Tom Sizemore and Jason Mewes, due out Halloween of 2011, count me in.