Jack-O Lantern (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Jack-O Lantern (1995)





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Movie Info

This Florida-lensed slasher silliness (not surprisingly produced by exploitation overlord Fred Olen Ray) is enlivened only slightly by posthumous cameos from John Carradine and Cameron Mitchell, as well as appearances from B-movie "Scream Queens" Linnea Quigley and Brinke Stevens. The plot is basically a riff on the standard Freddy Krueger-esque supernatural-maniac formula, only here the unstoppable psycho is merely a lumbering ghoul with a big pumpkin for a head, awakened from a cursed sleep on Halloween night by the usual handful of obnoxious teenage morons. Amid confusing flashback sequences and some phony occult blathering (courtesy of the town witch), we're told that Jack-O is the incarnation of a murdered farmer who has returned to avenge himself by taking a scythe to his killers' ancestors, but this particular pumpkinhead's people-reaping spree seems to cover a much broader swath, including a crop of nubile young things -- preferably just out of the shower, or fresh from a randy romp in the local cemetery. Even allowing for a certain camp appeal, there's not an original concept to be found amid the abundant nudity and severed limbs.
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Linnea Quigley
as Carolyn Miller
Rebecca Wicks
as Linda Kelly
Gary Doles
as David Kelly
Ryan Latshaw
as David Kelly, Sean
Catherine Walsh
as Vivian Machen
Rachel Carter
as Julie Miller
John Carradine
as Walter Machen
Cameron Mitchell
as Dr. Cadaver
Bill Cross
as Richard Watson
Helen Keeling
as Amanda Watson
Lacy Kelly
as Shannon
Mike Conner
as Arthur Kelly
Katy Maznicki
as Eunice Kelly
Vic Savage
as Cable Installer
Ron Bernard
as Rush Gingbaw
Rick Riggs
as Daniel Kelly
Rhonda Riggs
as Jewell Kelly
Dr. Tom Ferguson
as Tom Mason
Dawn Wildsmith
as Sorceress
Heidi Kneisl
as The Hell Pigs
Kerrylynn Dekanski
as The Hell Pigs
Joe Solari
as The Hell Pigs
Patrick Moran
as Jack-O-Lantern
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Critic Reviews for Jack-O Lantern

All Critics (2)

A cheap horror effort, it has pathetic acting, a jumbled up story and limpid pacing, yet there are several nice murders and somehow, for all its shortcomings, the film seems to capture the spirit of the day it honors. It is basically about a guy with a bi

October 14, 2004

Audience Reviews for Jack-O Lantern

Director Steve Latshaw's Jack-O is one of those movies you stumble upon and are intrigued by it because of the great artwork on the box. And as you watch the film you begin to realize the greatest thing about it is the artwork that pulled you in. Jack-O has very little going for it, and with each step it takes it only added more setbacks for the film. But this is one of those films that while completely ridiculous, it is rather fun to watch just to see how more absurd the film can get. The movie takes place in the fictional town of Oakmoor Crossing, where a local legend is about to return to extract vengeance on this small community. About a hundred years ago an alleged warlock was hanged for practicing black magic, and he put a curse on the people condemning him that would send a murderous jack-o-lantern headed demon after them. Jack-O, as it is called, is trapped and buried somehow but is released a hundred years later by a group of teens causing destruction in the town's cemetery. Oh stupid teens, you never fail to mess things up so easily in horror films! There were many things that confused me about Jack-O. For instance there is a female character named Vivian (Catherine Walsh), who says she is a historian interested in the town's legend of Jack-O. She knows that the Kelly family, primarily their son Sean (Ryan Latshaw), are in danger and sets out to help them. What confuses me is that she poses herself as someone writing a book about the town's legend and is in town asking people questions about the local history. And the Kelly family is more than willing to let her into their home, with knowing very little about her, and leaving this strange woman alone with their son. I know she means no harm, but these parents are very trusting with their kid around some creepy stranger. The acting in the film is just terrible, TERRIBLE! But it is kind of fun watching how bad things can get with the acting. No one in the film seems to be able to pull off being terrified when Jack-O (Patrick Moran) is after them, so there is no tension or suspense built up. Watch as Sean is nearly buried alive in a very shallow grave and listen to his almost careless pleas for Jack-O to stop. I wish the kill scenes in Jack-O could have been interesting, but they were weak. And while he looked great on the cover, the actual Jack-O in the film looks like he was assembled with cheap department store Halloween decorations. If you like bad movies then you will find a lot to like with Jack-O. In the subsequent 15 years since its debut the film has gone on to become a bit of a cult classic among horror fans. It is a terrible movie, but very much deserving of the infamous status that it has achieved. This one is worth a curious viewing if you're in the mood for a fun little cheesy flick.

Bryan Gomez
Bryan Gomez

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