Blu-ray Review: NIGHT KILLER

NIGHT KILLER was directed by Claudio Fragasso (under the name of Clyde Anderson) who co-wrote the screenplay with Rossella Drudi and stars Peter Hooten, Tara Buckman, Richard Foster, Lee Lively, Tova Sardot and Mel Davis.

Night Killer (aka Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 in Italy) centers around a suicidal beauty, an unstable sleazebag and a masked killer with a razor-fingered glove.

This 1989 slice of ItalioSleaze follows Melanie Beck (Tara Buckman) who gets attacked by this masked killer who viciously assaults and rapes her. There’s other women that get attacked by this mysterious murdering madman but Melanie is able to escape even though the traumatic experience leaves her mentally scarred. She’s blocked everything out and can’t remember things, even her own daughter Clarissa (Tova Sardot), so Melanie decides to commit suicide because she just can’t take it anymore.

Axel (Peter Hooten) enters the picture and saves Melanie from herself. Unfortunately, Axel is a little bit unstable himself so he ends up tormenting the poor woman even more until she snaps. Melanie is able to get away from the lunatic and as soon as she finds her way back hom she encounters the masked killer again who finally reveals himself to her which also helps to jog her memory that has been slowly coming back. Without spoiling it for you, let’s just say all three of these characters end up together and the guilty party final gets what they deserve. In the end, even after all the dust settles, there’s still one more twist to this messed up story.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. This Severin release comes in a black keepcase which helps it stand out from the others. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. Night Killer was scanned in 4K from the original negative. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were really good. There’s a little grain in a few of the darker scenes but that’s it. I didn’t really have any major issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Night Killer is one of those elcheapo horror obscurities that I’d only heard about over the years with its infamous, cheap-ass looking Freddy Krueger mask and glove ripoffs that the killer wore. Claudio Fragasso set out to make a suspense thriller that would distance him from the horror genre but unfortunately things didn’t work out like he planned. What happened is, the producers hired his former partner Bruno Mattei to edit the movie and then he shot some additional scenes that gave the movie its slasher element. The final product starts out as a slasher but then it makes a turn and shifts into a suspense thriller. Fragasso was furious at first but as time passed he saw that these extra scenes kind of worked. Night Killer was a troubled production but it’s still a cheesy fun watch that features blood, boobs and insanity, so it’s got a little bit of everything horror fanatics would want in one of these ItalioSleaze-o-ramas. The movie features brutal punches to the gut by a rubber glove with claws and if that’s not enough it even has jazzersize in it! As far as the acting goes, well, it’s a mixture of good and bad, but strangely enough that also works for the movie. The story has a few twists in it and keeps the viewer fully invested until the final scene delivers one final curveball to the mix. Night Killer is finally available for the first time ever on Blu-ray.

Distributor: Severin Films

Run Time: 93 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English and Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English and Italian

Special Features: The extras include two new interviews with the director and co-writer and the original trailer.

  • The Virginia Claw Massacre: Interview With Director Claudio Fragasso (24:46)
  • Mindfuck: Interview With Screenwriter Rossella Drudi (14:33)
  • Trailer (00:50)
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