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Alone in the Dark (1982)
Movie Review by The Spastic Cannibal

Alone in the Dark (1982) Hugely overlooked movie, here, that popped up around the early days of the 80s slasher 'movement', but I personally have never thought of "Alone in the Dark" as a slasher film. It does have a good body-count, but the typical "Friday the 13th" inspired, stalk-n-slash formula just isn't there. That said, this is definitely one of my favorite hidden treasures from the 80s - jam-packed with wacky performances and suspense.

A new shrink joins the staff of a quaint, small town mental facility and his psychiatric qualifications place him on "third floor" duty... with the dangerous patients. One is referred to as "The Bleeder" - a guy who is known for acquiring nosebleeds when he strangles people, a 'tweaky' pyro-preacher (Martin Landau), a fat child molester (Erland van Lidth), and Jack Palance as the leader! During a citywide black-out, the electric security locks in the institution fail and the four nuts walk out of the place, killing their way to their next destination. Where? Well, their goal is get to the home of the new doctor and his family and kill him due to a delusional notion that he, in fact, murdered their former doctor...

"Alone in the Dark" is just a COOL flick! It feels like a slasher, only without a hot, young cast of nobodies and it's got a group of raving lunatics whose personalities are well developed and very creepy, plus the film doesn't just rely on violent death scenes, but actually a dreadful 'home invasion' type of thing with suspense, combined with in-your-face jolts. It's sort of: "Halloween" meets "Cape Fear". And the fact that Donald Pleasence plays a shrink certainly helps! His character is basically a flakier version of Dr. Loomis. He's pretty hilarious, actually, with his little Indian "herb" pipe! Landau, however, definitely steals the show with his absolutely bugged-out performance. If you have never seen "Alone in the Dark", you are missing out! Give it a look...

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