The first part of the 90s was pretty light in terms of new horror. By this time, I had exhausted a lot of the titles in the horror sections that I deemed must-see. There were still gems out there, but they weren’t as apparent. I would rent just about any new horror movie that popped up on the new release wall. Full Moon continued to churn out titles that had started to grow tepid even before they split from Paramount, but most of the major franchises had seriously slowed down over the ensuing years.
There was a write up about a set visit in Fangoria that had piqued my interest for a few reasons. One, Jeff Burr knows sequels. There was no imdb at the time, but I had seen his name enough to know that it always seemed to be attached to sequels. Chainsaw 3 was a ton of fun, so I was game.
Also, Ami Dolenz was the female lead and I was kind of hoping for a nude scene. She had done a few genre movies at this point and she was strikingly pretty. I don’t mean to sound like a complete creep here, but I was a teenager and I want to keep things honest here.
To round it off, the guy from Hellraiser III was here with the girl that played Punky Brewster and a kid from Charles In Charge.
That kind of familiarity along with the shallow depth of horror new releases made this one a day one rental. I specifically remember going to the video store and grabbing it off the shelf. On the back it noted a few cameos from “horror’s hottest cult favorites” then lists Kane Hodder, R.A. Mihailoff, Linnea Quigley, and Roger Clinton. I guess I can understand the first three, but Roger Clinton? I have a hard time buying Bill Clinton’s brother as one of horror’s hottest anything.
Looking more closely at the rest though, the credits seem dubious. The first two actors have their character names in quotation marks, but Quigley gets “The Scream Queen” instead and it lists Graduation Day. None of this is untrue, but why the quotation marks around The Scream Queen? More importantly, why not Return of the Living Dead as the film title? Surely more people would recognize that than Graduation Day.
I know this seems nitpicky and that I’m probably giving the poor guy who designed the VHS box a hard time, but look at the top credit:
I’m sure you recognize Kane Hodder. After all, he was Hockeymask in Friday the 13th Part VIII. I know I’m not being nitpicky this time. Why the hell did they write Hockeymask? Did they really not know what the character’s name was? Could they not search it up? Even without the internet, this would have been an easy enough one to find. Just look at the rest of the title you listed – Friday the 13th Part VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN! What was the movie that came out a year after Pumpkinhead 2? Hockeymask Goes to Hell: The Final Friday? How about 1986’s Friday the 13th Part VI: Hockeymask Lives?
Maybe there’s some other reason they couldn’t mention Jason’s name there. I can’t think of any good ones though. Other video covers have referenced him:
And if the problem was promoting the character in relation to Kane Hodder, couldn’t they have just printed the movie title? Did someone really think writing Hockeymask was the best choice? As someone who was always trying to defend the legitimacy of horror movies at the time, this was embarrassing. It’s hard to chalk this up to anything but pure laziness.
21 years later, the whole thing seems funny now. I wonder if anyone else took this stuff seriously enough to remember this for over two decades. Still, I’m happy to bottle up this oddity and add it to my curious collection.