Dunwich has seen a lot of horror over the years starting with H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror in 1928. A fictional town, it has been the setting or referenced in all kinds of media over the years. It is also the setting for The Legend of Halloween Jack!
Jack Cain escapes conviction for a murder on a technicality. His victim’s family are incensed and along with a few other members of the town, they track Jack down and murder him. They bury his body in a cornfield and all swear to secrecy.
A year later on Halloween night, Cain returns from the dead to extract his revenge on those who murdered him.
A low-budget horror, revenge from beyond the grave is a tried and tested horror story. While totally unoriginal, it’s a safe tale to tell that if done well, can at least result in an entertainingly violent watch. The Legend of Halloween Jack gets the violent part right but not a lot else. Its story is basic and bland thanks to an unimaginative villain and below-par acting.
Let’s talk about Halloween Jack first. Before he is murdered, Jack Cain is a greasy and cold individual but it’s never explicitly stated that he was guilty of the crime he is said to commit. This obscurity is supposed add some sympathy to his revenge but it just makes his character confused. Why he just couldn’t be an ‘out and out’ villain is puzzling. He looks like one with the sack face, hat and array of weapons. He’s also unforgiving in his revenge, happy to brutalise anyone and everything culminating in a mass slaughter at a party for the finale. The best sequence of the movie.
The problem is a villain needs good characters to play off against and here, Jack hasn’t any. The group responsible for his death are uninteresting and poorly acted, in some cases. Each one is also pretty unlikable helping confuse the idea of the villain even more.
It’s not a bad horror movie. It’s the sum of many other parts and while it lacks any originality at all, it’s short enough and has enough blood-letting to entertain for a while.
The Legend of Halloween Jack