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Freeway Maniac

USA 1989
produced by
Loren Winters, Paul Winters for Cannon
directed by Paul Winters
starring Loren Winters, James Courtney, Shepherd Sanders, Donald Hotton, Jeff Morris, Robert Bruce, Dale Howard, Kathryn Hauber, George Nicholas, Kevyn Chihaden, Ronny Kenney, Sherri McKenzie, Buddy Daniels, Michael Rivkin, Jack Poff, Tom Patrick Shortall jr, Miguel Norwood, Karl Warkentien, Daniel Flurry, Cris Thomas-Palomino, Joseph V.Perry, Tom Cannon, Frank Jasper, Laurel Allen, Wayne Armstrong, Sandy Rahimi, Iris Jordan, Cynthia Steele, Khorshed Nusrutty, Howard Penn, Helen Costa, Hardy Salwitz, Mel Berenson, Frank Noon, Mark Comperry, Douglas Main, Gary J. Wayton, Linda Fetters, Shanna Lynn, Nancy Redman, Nancy Boxleitner, John D.LeMay, Kimber Eastwood, Gary Matanky, Richard London, Janice Motoike, Antje De Pont, Taylea Shea, Trisha Hutton, Paul Winters, Ron Broyles, Eileen Dietz, Thad Geer, Allen Frazier, Xavier Hunter, Jason Christmas, Jim Maniaci, Brad Axelrod, Brian Dunne, Robert Harvey, Richard Axelrod
written by Gahan Wilson, music by Greg Stewart

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Maniac Arthur (James Courtney), who has killed his mother (Kathryn Hauber) and her boyfriend (George Nicholas) as a kid, has just escaped from asylum (by jumping off the tower onto the belly of a guard just like a wrestler), and now he is slaughtering his way through the countryside. Eventually, he crosses paths with model Linda (Loren Winters), who has just broken up with her boyfriend Manny (Frank Jasper) because she found him cheating on her ... and she escapes Arthur despite his best efforts. This gets him back to the asylum, but makes her into a minor celebrity, and soon enough, she is cast in a stupid science fiction film by sleazy producer Bert (Shepherd Sanders), to be shot out somewhere in the desert. Thing is, Arthur soon breaks out of the asylum again, and while making his run through the desert, he rather accidently bumps into the film production. He soon starts killing various people on the staff, but nobody seems to care at all about this, and everybody goes out of his way to keep news about Arthur's escape from Linda ... until Manny, Linda's ex arrives on the set to tell her because he still cares for her. Not that he needed have bothered, because next on Arthur's list is Bert the producer, and with him gone, it's pretty obvious there's a killer on the prowl. Still, production is going ahead anyways, and Linda is not scared half as shitless as she should have been ... until in the finale of the film-within-the-film, Arthur slips into the costume of the monster and tries to kill her on camera, ruining most of the set in the process. Nobody shows much reaction though until Manny enters the scene, frees her from the killer's grip and sees to it that Arthur goes up in an explosion. However, his body cannot be found ...

 

A slasher movie that deliberately mixes motives of Halloween and The Hitcher with a few original ideas in best low-budget tradition and in such a stupid fashion that it is almost endearing: Arthur's first escape in which he jumps onto a guard from a tower as if he was a wrestler is the first big laugh, the total indifference of the whole cast towards anything that's happening around them (not only towards the murders, also when Linda finds her boyfriend in bed with another woman, she actually looks slightly bored but not necessarily upset) is almost other-worldly, the murders that are not as bloody (or well-executed) as they should have been for budgetary reasons look decidedly weird in context of the gory-for-gore's-sake slasher genre, the many sleazy characters are almost loveable, and the stupid film-within-a-film is even intentionally funny.

In all, a bad film, but one you still might like for all the wrong reasons.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD