Wednesday, November 2, 2016

In short: The Night Brings Charlie (1990)

A mysterious gardener cuts off the heads of various people in your typical US small town. Charlie (Chuck Whiting), as he is rather un-mysteriously called, prefers to murder young women, but in a pinch, he takes the heads of guys too. The new Sheriff/Chief of Police – the film doesn’t seem to be able to decide which it is, but then the police in town seems to consist of the head honcho, an odious comic relief telephonist, and one other guy in uniform, so calling the guy chief of anything is rather absurd – talks big but is pretty much as incompetent as low budget slasher cops always are, so things get messy.

At its core, The Night Brings Charlie is yet another direct-to-video low budget slasher coming rather late in the cycle, and therefore exists mainly to provide your daily dosage of okay violence, random tits, and dubious acting, perhaps with a bit of puzzlement on the side. Director Tom Logan is a man of ambition, though, it seems, for he adds a hefty dose of perfectly misguided mystery elements to the whole affair. Those parts of the movie don’t work in the slightest, of course, but are at least unexpected and pretty funny in their awkward execution and the often pleasantly loopy dialogue surrounding them. Plus, they are pretty damn stupid, too.

Apart from that (and a killer title, obviously), Charlie also has a nice killer costume to offer, complete with goggles and a rag that covers the rest of the killer’s face, is generally avoiding filler (even our time with the sheriff generally has a point, if not always the point the film tries to make, or one that’ll be of interest to anyone), and features an okay finale. For this stage of the slasher cycle, that’s more than you can expect, so I did have my fun with the the thing. Don’t let anybody tell you lowered expectations are bad!

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