A Guest Review by Jamie D. Jenkins ©2014
(Ed note: I would like to thank celebrity podcaster Jamie D. Jenkins for stepping in and doing this wonderful review of a movie I was blessed with being able to appear in. You can catch her awesome podcasts such as DEVOUR THE PODCAST, SKELETON CREW PODCAST, EVIL EPISODES and LYCAN IT!)
Starring: Paul Fahrenkopf, Robert Long II, Helenmary Ball, Brian St. August, Richard Cutting, Leanna Chamish, Nicolette le Faye
Helmed, written and created by the genius that is Jimmy George and Chris LaMartina
Genre: Found Footage
The WNUF Halloween Special was first brought to my attention as a recommendation by a listener to one of my podcasts. It had somehow slipped under my radar, a fact which saddens me because I could have spent more time with it than I have.
In this little film, we are treated to a worn VHS copy of a Halloween special that was originally televised in 1987. The tape consists of a portion of a news program, complete with advertisements, followed by a news team investigating a purported haunted house which was the location of a horrific crime some years earlier. During this special, complete with a priest and a paranormal investigative couple (think the Warrens), our daring newsman treks through this creepy home attempting to contact the spirits that dwell within.
That alone sounds simple, but this film is anything but. Rather it is, simply put, a time capsule. Viewers are whisked away to a time when Halloween was celebrated far and wide with enthusiasm. The news anchors dress in costume, when is the last time you’ve seen that? And each commercial is reminiscent of the time in which it is set, so much to the point that it would be easy to believe it’s real. In fact, though, the WNUF Halloween Special is not from 1987. It was made in 2013 by director Chris LeMartina, and a handful of others who took painstaking care to bring this time period screaming to life right in front of your eyes.
While I thoroughly enjoy the entirety of the film, my personal favorite parts are the local commercials which bear an uncanny resemblance to ads you’d have seen nearly thirty years ago. There’s the crazy carpet guy ad, the pizza place/arcade, and even an ad for a 976 number. If you recall the eighties, then you’ll feel right at home with this endearing film. In fact, I cannot recommend it enough.
When you are as steeped in horror and tradition as I am, as well as most of you I’d imagine, then you likely already have your own rituals set aside to celebrate Halloween. However, I quickly decided that this film will make it into my Halloween viewing rotation. That’s quite a high honor. I haven’t added anything new since the release of Trick r Treat. But when something which so perfectly and carefully captures the holiday of my childhood comes along, I can’t resist. I will go so far as to say you will feel the same.
I can see perhaps that there could be a generational gap which may influence how much you enjoy and appreciate this film all the way from the grainy, skippy VHS quality to the charming floppy hat of our news anchor witch. But I can almost guarantee that if you were around during this time, you will love it. I would also recommend it to those who weren’t. You may simply enjoy the snippet of nostalgia for an era that you missed. No matter your age, land yourself a copy, set out the Honor Bowl and turn off the lights. You won’t want to be disturbed in your viewing this Halloween, or anytime.
JAMIE’S FINAL RATING: 8/10 LOCAL COMMERCIALS
To buy this wonderful movie, click on the picture below: