We’ve all seen movies where the killer is someone close to the heroine that she never suspected. We’re also familiar with the red herrings thrown out to implicate the innocent. And the little kickers at the end of these horror movies that show the villain’s heinous activities aren’t over despite all evidence to the contrary? Well, we’d be shocked if there wasn’t a shock ending!
But Night Killer is going to use all these tired and horribly ineffective conventions as just the jumping off point! How do we know that? Because there is a moment in the movie where a woman says, “my grandma, what a big schlong you have!”
Things begin sturdily enough at the local community playhouse where a variety of ugly people in uglier workout clothes are practicing a dance routine. One dancer is late for rehearsal and has to change by herself. Night Killer though happens to be lurking around the dressing room and strikes!
Night Killer is pretty rad as homicidal maniacs go. He wears a mask that looks like some creature who’s seen the wrong end of blow torch as well as a glove that has really big monster claws on it.
It’s a super powered glove because in some scenes it’s clearly made out of rubber and you can see the nails bending, but in other much cooler scenes, Night Killer is using it punch his way through some gal’s stomach clear through to the other side!
He also has a really deep gravelly voice that just screams “I’m disguising my normal voice with this deep, gravelly voice!”
Night Killer is interrupted in the course of killing his first victim which leads to him quickly racking up a second victim. Some may whine that the swirling camera work that takes Night Killer’s point of view in the auditorium balcony will have you reaching for the Dramamine and that as soon as we hit the balcony we knew the second victim would be taking a dive off it to her death.
To me, that’s solid storytelling. It’s only ten minutes into the movie and Night Killer’s character is so fleshed out already that we know he’s going to be chucking chicks off balconies! And really, the rehearsal wasn’t going worth a crap anyway!
When Night Killer suddenly abandons his random raping and killing rampage to focus his efforts on a woman he knows, you might be inclined to blame the screenwriter for not knowing what the hell he’s doing, but that would be wrong for two very good reasons.
The first, and most obvious, is of course that Night Killer is freaking crazy! He’s wearing a mask and punching in stomachs with his claws! Why would we expect to comprehend the motives of such a clearly superior life form?
The other reason you can’t blame the dude writing all this is because the dude is Claudio Fragasso!
In an effort to streamline the usual mind-numbing recitation of his film credits, I will only list the movies he wrote in the same year as Night Killer: Troll II, Shocking Dark, and Beyond Darkness. Somewhere Dardano Sacchetti is fuming with jealously.
Once Night Killer attacked his friend Melanie, Claudio (he also directed) shifts from “standard horror movie” mode straight into “Italian horror movie” mode. This means lots of twists and turns, confusing scenes, dialogue involving schlongs, and a hilariously convoluted and not very convincing explanation for the middle 80% of the movie. To put it simply, this is when Claudio delivers the goods!
After the attack, Melanie is so traumatized that she doesn’t remember anything. She escapes police protection and tries to kill herself. A guy rescues her, kidnaps her, slaps her around, threatens to kill her, and we’re all led to believe that he is the killer getting his revenge for her escaping the initial attack.
But is he really Night Killer? Well, Night Killer is still out and about picking up whores at bars and raping women at the local aquarium, but is holding skanks hostage for weeks at a time really his M.O.?
The police decide to put the pressure on Night Killer by giving him 24 hours to give himself up and promising that if he does so, no harm will come to him!
In response to this alleged plan, the guy holding Melanie takes off with her and is just walking around the streets with her before she escapes while he’s making a taunting call to the police. She gets rescued by a friend and the shocking identity of Night Killer is revealed!
But what about that guy that was holding her prisoner? Oh that was just her ex-husband who also happens to be an ex-cop. And just why was he holding her prisoner?
This was the police’s other plan. They were having him re-enact the attack on Melanie and keeping it up until the continued trauma jarred her memory loose, presumably then allowing her to identify the real Night Killer. And to think, some movies try to get by with hypnosis!
No motive was offered for Night Killer’s spree or his fixation on Melanie and even more disturbing, no convincing explanation was given for how it was that Night Killer saw on the news that Melanie had been kidnapped and then decided to go driving around until he just happened to find her to kidnap her all over again!
And how in the devil did he have time to wrap up his Night Killer mask as a Christmas present for Melanie’s daughter so that she could find it, put it on, and start threatening her mom with the Night Killer’s patented death voice? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he did. I guess it was just another of his superpowers like the excessive amounts of seminal fluid he left in all his victims.
Spectacularly scuzzy, pointless, and so derelict on every level that the most convincing part of the movie is Night Killer’s mask and glove.
© 2013 MonsterHunter