The Slasher craze of the late 70’s was like any phase in Hollywood; so saturated it was ripe for mockery.
At its peak in 1981, the great Slasher parody Student Bodies was released. As you can imagine, more followed.
1982 saw the release of 3 different parodies: National Lampoon’s Class Reunion, Pandemonium and our selection for the evening, Wacko.
While none of them were as good as Student Bodies, I think Wacko comes the closest. There’s a lot of gags here that don’t work, or comedy that feels horribly dated, but there’s a good amount of funny moments in Wacko, which is more than I can say for the absolutely dreadful Pandemonium, a film in which Paul Reuben’s was the only one who actually had me cracking a smile.
There are 3 distinct things that set Wacko immediately above the pack:
1.) It has E.G. Daily
2.) The killer is a becaped, pumpkin-headed mumbler and
3.) It takes place on Halloween.
Also, you’ll get George Kennedy playing a leering perv named Doctor, Joe Don Baker slobbing it up as the detective hot on the murderer’s trail, and a very young Andrew Dice Clay perfecting his comic timing with some great moments.
I have a soft spot in my heart for parodies, and one with Halloween imagery and themes will definitely get a pass from me for its various faults. It also has a fun Airplane-styled 80’s vibe that makes it easier viewing.
I can’t help but compare it to the far inferior Pandemonium, which I also watched recently. If it helps, watch that one first, if only to appreciate Wacko more for not being that fucking movie.
It’s not all treats with Wacko, but there’s enough here to satisfy fans hungry for goofy 80’s parody nonsense with a little Halloween spirit.
1 lawnmower up.