Monday, October 19, 2015
31 Days of Halloween - Day 19 - Movie 1
People are being murdered in Los Angeles by a killer dubbed "The Mangler" who rips their faces off and only kills at night. On the Mangler's trail are a detective (Richard Jaeckel) a best selling author and father of the first victim (William Devane) and a reporter trying to be taken seriously (Cathy Lee Crosby).
Throw in Casey Kasem as a pathologist and Dick Clark as one of the film's producers and you have The Dark (1979). Formulaic in it's pattern of murder, "we need answers" murder, like many low budget monster on the loose movies, the movie remains watchable mostly through Richard Jaeckel's performance. The Mangler turns out to be some sort of super strong, bullet proof, alien who can shoot energy beams out of his eyes. Apparently this was originally meant to be a zombie movie which tested poorly, so it was changed into a space monster movie by adding the laser beam eyes and so forth. Either way, it plays out like a glorified tv movie, or an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, without Kolchak.