• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Jack-O

TITLE: Jack-O

YEAR: 1995

GENRE: Horror

The 1990’s was a pretty dead time for the modern horror film. After an onslaught of scary productions in the early to late 1980’s, the cinema production world was pretty burned out on slasher films and monster productions, and the horror film fanatic had to settle with psychological thrillers or rely on Blockbuster Video for the occasional independent film production. Jack-O was one of those straight-to-video productions that even made an occasional appearance on late night television, and very well could be the worst example of Z-grade horror released during the Clinton Administration.

David (played by Gary Doles) and Linda Kelly (Rebecca Wickes) and their son Sean (Ryan Latshaw) are the typical suburban family living in the small town of Oakmoor Crossing. They live a standard suburban lifestyle until they are visited by Vivian Machen (Catherine Walsh) who informs the family of an evil instigated by one of the Kelly ancestors. It turns out that the relatives of the Kelly family hanged a warlock who later possessed a scarecrow to extract revenge on the community. The scarecrow was destroyed and buried in a shallow grave on the outskirts. When a bunch of dimwitted teenagers unleash the scarecrow from its grave the death and destruction starts again, and it is up to the Kelly family to stop the curse of the warlock once and for all.

It is amazing that this production was originally contracted for television, as Jack-O is one of the worst looking productions that 1990’s ever unleashed onto unsuspecting fans even for backyard-produced offerings. The overall production is downright painful to watch, from the weak sound to the uneven cinematography to the terrible special effects. It also appeared that whoever did the casting for the film had no clue what they were doing, as the thespians are a combination of talentless locals, aging actors whose best days have long past by, and B-grade scream queens. John Carradine had been dead for several years but still makes a cameo in the production as the warlock due to previously shot footage, and the stock footage does not match the rest of the film at all. Latshaw is probably the worst child actor of the decade as his screams lack any emotion and the rest of his performance is about as lively as the lumber section at your local Home Depot after the store is closed. The monster scarecrow is the best part of the film as he is fairly scary at times, but it is obviously a guy in a bad costume and a sickle.

This was the last performance of Cameron Mitchell, who was most known for his cowboy portrayals during the heyday of television westerns including “The High Chaparral” and “Zane Grey Theater”. I would love to be more positive about Jack-O to be more of an encouragement rather than just another internet source ragging on the film, but finding redeeming qualities in Jack-O is virtually impossible as it could be the worst horror films of the 1990’s. Jack-O is a worthless production that is not worth watching.

*

–Mark

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