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Friday, February 8, 2013

Saturday the 14th (1981)

Saturday the 14th is a horror comedy that contains very little of either.  The monsters who are supposed to destroy the world are about as menacing as a basket of kittens.  Furthermore, I was always aware they were guys in costumes which is not a good thing.  The head vampire was especially bad with white faced make up, no fangs and a Wal-Mart cape.  Argh!

As far as comedy goes, I managed a chuckle a time or two but that was about it.  The problem is that Saturday the 14th takes itself way too seriously when it should have been trying to camp it up a bit.  Horror and humor can work very well together.  We've seen it in films such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Young Frankenstein, Gremlins and Shaun of the Dead.  It takes a smart script to balance these elements.  Saturday the 14th just doesn't have one.

What this leads to is decent actors who have little or no material to work with.  Richard Benjamin [Love at First Bite, Witches' Brew] and Paula Prentiss [The Stepford Wives, The Parallax View ] play the parents at the center of this drama who move into an cousin's house they inherited.  Prentis gets the most laughs as a newly sired vampire.  Benjamin is along for the ride which is not his fault but the fault of the script.  Same goes for the vampire couple who are their neighbors.  Jeffrey Tambor [Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army] is totally wasted and so is his vamp bride.

Because of the title of this film, it leads one to believe it is a spoof of the Friday the 13th franchise.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There is absolutely nothing about Saturday the 14th that resembles the machete wielding Jason.  Skip this one altogether.  You're not missing a blessed thing!

RATING: Bad.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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