The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

HE KNOWS YOU’RE ALONE (1980) ** ½

Years ago, a murderer wearing panty hose on his face killed a bride-to-be on her wedding day.  Now he’s back, eliminating bridesmaids left and right working his way up to another young bride-to-be (Caitlyn O’Heaney) who he intends to turn into mincemeat.

 

This moderately effective low budget chiller is a little different from the rest because you know pretty much from the get-go who the killer is, which thankfully spares us a lot of the gratuitous whodunit nonsense found in most of these pictures.  Having said that though, since we already know the identity of the murderer, it’s kinda pointless to have all that superfluous police procedural stuff where a mustachioed cop doggedly tracks down the killer.  The Halloween inspired score also helps hammer home the fact that this is little more than just another knock-off to that classic.

 

Despite, or perhaps because of the overly familiar surroundings, He Knows You’re Alone works better than it probably should.  Director Armand (Cameron’s Closet) Mastroianni does a lot of things right in this, his first cinematic endeavor and handles the stalking scenes particularly well.  The opening film-within-a-film pre-title sequence is a real grabber and the subsequent murder in a movie theater has a Hitchcockian ring to it.  While Mastroianni favors suspense over gore, that doesn’t stop him from springing an occasional juicy surprise on us like a severed head that turns up in an aquarium. 

 

But this movie will never be remembered for the kills.  It will always go down in history as being the movie where Tom Hanks made his film debut.  He’s got an undeniable charisma and is a standout among the youthful cast, even though his dialogue is nothing but a bunch of horse hockey about the “psychology of fear”.  Hanks isn’t the only familiar face in the film as we also have Don (Squirm) Scardino, James (Independence Day) Rebhorn, Paul (Die Hard) Gleason and Dana (Death Wish IV) Barron turning up in supporting roles.

 

Although it could’ve used some more bloody goodness, He Knows You’re Alone is still a better-than-average slasher flick featuring a before-he-was-famous megastar, so what more do you really want from a movie?

 

AKA:  Blood Wedding. 

Tags: h, horror
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