Happy Hell Night

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Happy Hell Night
Happy Hell Night.png
Original poster
Directed byBrian Owens
Produced byPavlina Proevska
Screenplay byChrys Hudson

Michael Fitzpatrick
Brian Owens

Ron Petersen
StarringNick Gregory
Darren McGavin
Frank John Hughes
Sam Rockwell
Music byNenad Bach
CinematographySol Negrin
Edited byDavid Mitchell
Production
company
Pavlina Ltd.
Distributed byQuest Entertainment
Release date
  • 1992 (1992)
Running time
87 minutes
LanguageEnglish

Happy Hell Night (also known as Frat Night)[1] is a 1992 slasher film directed by Brian Owens and starring Darren McGavin and Nick Gregory. The film also features brief appearances by Sam Rockwell and Jorja Fox in their early careers.[2]

Plot[edit]

On Halloween night 1963, a fallen Catholic priest named Zachary Malius murders seven fraternity pledges from Winfield College who apparently broke into his family's crypt and enacted an occult initiation ritual. After being confronted by his peer, Father Cane, who believed Malius was possessed, Malius was incarcerated in an insane asylum for his crimes; Henry Collins, a pledge that year, was the only survivor.

In 1989, during pledge week, the university students are preparing for hell night. Fraternity member Eric Collins, the son of Henry, is suggested by his fraternity brother Ned to have the new pledges break into the local insane asylum and photograph Malius as their initiation ritual. Eric later mentions the prospect to his father over the phone, which causes Henry to cut their call short. Later that afternoon, Eric finds his girlfriend Liz having sex with his younger brother, Sonny, in a hotel room. To punish him, Eric appoints Sonny and fellow pledge Ralph to photograph Malius as their initiation. Sonny and Ralph break into the asylum and find Malius's cell sequestered in the basement, but when Ralph attempts to take a photo, Malius attacks and kills him. Ralph flees on his motorcycle while Malius murders a nurse orderly before escaping.

Meanwhile, Liz attempts arrives at the party with her friend, Susan, and attempts to apologize to Eric at the party, but is rebuffed. She finds Ned Bara, a nerdy fraternity member, downstairs, and he inadvertently reveals Sonny's initiation ritual to her. Concerned when Sonny fails to return by midnight, Liz stops by the local church and seeks advice from the priest, Father Cane. When she explains Sonny's initiation assignment, Cane panics and urges her to go into hiding. Back at the fraternity house, the party begins to phase out, and Eric initiates sex with a Kappa Sigma sorority sister, but she stops him when he cannot find a condom. She attempts to leave the fraternity house, but is subsequently murdered in her car by Malius, who drives an ice axe through her head. Malius subsequently kills several partygoers in the house. Meanwhile, Henry, arrives in town and visits the church, where he finds Cane's body hanging posed as the Cross of Saint Peter above the altar.

Liz returns to the fraternity shortly after, finding it apparently empty. Throughout the house, she discovers multiple corpses before being confronted by Malius, but she evades him. Eric and Sonny subsequently arrive, and the three band together with Ned, who has closed-circuit monitors of the house in his room. Communicating to Ned via a walkie-talkie, Eric, Sonny, and Liz locate Susan, who is decapitated in the attic. Malius stalks them through the house, before Eric shoots him with a speargun, and he falls out a window. Henry arrives moments later, and confesses that he and Malius conspired together in 1963 to recreate a Satanic ritual, in which Henry made a pact with the devil that yielded him power and wealth. Malius, unfazed, murders Ned downstairs before impaling Henry with the ice axe through the door, killing him.

Eric, Sonny, and Liz find a book in Latin inside Henry's satchel detailing the ritual he performed with Malius twenty-five years earlier. Eric and Liz run to the cemetery and attempt to recreate the ritual in the Malius crypt. Malius arrives and stabs Eric through the chin, but is stopped from killing him when Sonny arrives moments later. Sonny and Liz complete the ritual, but Malius takes Sonny with him to hell. The police arrive at the cemetery shortly after, and Liz leaves with Eric in an ambulance. As she assures Eric everything is going to be alright, the ambulance driver turns around and reveals himself to be Malius.

Cast[edit]

  • Nick Gregory as Eric Collins
  • Darren McGavin as Henry Collins
  • Charles Cragin as Father Zachary Malius
  • Frank John Hughes as Sonny Collins
  • Laura Carney as Liz
  • Kate Delay as Susan
  • Elvis Restaino as Jake
  • Janez Vrhovec as Father Cane
  • Jeffrey Miller as Ralph
  • Scott Bell as Pete
  • Ted Clark as Ned Bara
  • Tatjana Pujin as Kimberly
  • Gala Videnovic as Marjorie
  • Jorja Fox as Kappa Sig Girl
  • Lisa Rankin as Nurse

Production[edit]

The film was shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and was financed through Pavlina Ltd., a Yugoslavian film production company.[1]

Release[edit]

Happy Hell Night was released on video in the United States in April 1992, and was released in the United Kingdom on video under the title Hell Night (not to be confused with the 1981 film of the same name).[3] It was also released under the title Frat Night in Europe.[1] It subsequently screened on the Cinemax network throughout October 1992.[4][5]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment on August 3, 2004.[6] It was released for the first time on Blu-ray in a limited run by Code Red DVD on December 5, 2016, featuring a new 2k scan from the original vault materials.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Harper 2004, p. 107.
  2. ^ "Happy Hell Night (1992) Review". Retro Slashers. Archived from the original on October 14, 2014. Retrieved November 13, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ ""No tee-veee...." - Happy Hell Night". Vegan Voorhees. March 29, 2009. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  4. ^ "Cable Movies". Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. October 4, 1992 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  5. ^ "TV Friday". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. October 30, 1992. p. D-20 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  6. ^ Pattee, Steve (May 21, 2009). "Happy Hell Night". Horror Talk. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  7. ^ "Happy Hell Night Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved December 26, 2016.

Sources[edit]

  • Harper, Jim (2004). Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide to Slasher Movies. Critical Vision. ISBN 978-1-900-48639-2.

External links[edit]