"Every girl is frightened the night before her wedding.
But this time... there's good reason!"
directed by: Armand Mastroianni
starring: Don Scardino, Caitlin O'Heaney, Elizabeth Kemp, Tom Rolfing, Lewis Arlt, Patsy Pease, James Rebhorn, Tom Hanks, Dana Barron, Joseph Leon, Paul Gleason, James Carroll, Brian Byers, Curt Hostetter, Robin Lamont
(back of video blurb):
"The wedding night killer is about to strike ... again!
The settings seem friendly enough - a small town amusement park; an art deco movie theatre; a jogger's path through a sublit glen; a snug home on a surburban side street. But all is not what it seems.
Amy, a young bride-to-be played by Caitlin O'Heaney in her film debut, is convinced that someone is watching and following her. She has never actually seen him but can describe him in every detail - he is a tall, gaunt figure ... sometimes clutching a butcher's knife.
But no-one will listen. Her nightmare vision is dismissed as pre-nupitial nerves. And of course the tail of mutilated bodies the killer has left behind him are in no fit state to confirm her fears. As her wedding day gets closer Amy is certain that she is to be the psycho's next victim. On a trip to the amusement park she finally sees him ... standing alone, a gleaming knife dripping blood at his side.
At last she knows her mind has not been playing tricks on her and, in terror, she runs to her ex-boyfriend, a medical pathologist played by rising young star Don Scardino, though his place of work - the morgue - does little to soothe her shattered nerves. 'He Knows You're Alone' is a chilling tale acted out on a knife-edge. Be sure you watch it with a friend."
"She, uh, came back from the bathroom - she said something about someone following her. I thought she was imagining it- the movie had got to her. I dunno, maybe, if we'd left she'd still be alive!"
The effects of movie violence on society debate still rages
Slash with panache?:
If plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery, then John Carpenter must have been chuffed to bits with HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE. Even in a time when every psycho-on-the-loose schlock opera owed something to that classic autumnal opus this Armand Mastroianni tale of a loon with a grudge against brides-to-be really takes the biscuit- not least of all with the identikit soundtrack which is like a 'Stars on 45' remix of Carpenter's score for HALLOWEEN.
Ironically, for such a slavish imitation, HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE's beginning provided the inspiration for another film, being remade and paid tribute to, and providing quite possibly the very best bit in Wes Craven's SCREAM 2.
It opens as it means to go on, with cliché city. A guy and a girl necking in a car in the woods, she hears a noise, he says its nothing- you know, the usual. He hears something himself and goes out to investigate; naturally she follows meekly pleading to the dark, "Don, is that you? … Please answer me Don!" … Well, Don makes an appearance, swinging in, hung upside down from a tree- throat slit. Also making an appearance from off the screen looms a psycho with a ladies stocking pulled tight over his face, a hand scythe firmly gripped and raised above his head. … Now, it's at this point the camera reveals that we're watching a slasher flick unfold in a darkened cinema auditorium. Two young women sit huddled in their seats, one turns to the other and pleads, "I can't take this anymore", before stropping off to the bathroom leaving the other girl transfixed on the cheesy action unfolding on the screen in front of her. Down in the bathroom the spooked girl adjusts her hair in the mirror and glances down and smiles a little at the ring on her index finger. She shuts herself in a cubicle and sits down, but before too long she starts to get spooked again, thinking she can hear some noise, asking through the door, "Is there anybody there?". Eventually she creeps out of the bathroom and, after bumping into another patron, lets herself back into the auditorium. Taking her seat her friend, eyes still transfixed on the screen says to her, "Where have you been?! This is great!"; in return she just meekly says, "Somebody's following me." … Unbeknownst to both of them, just as the final girl in the film within the film finds herself besieged by the killer, a man sidles down the row behind them and takes a seat directly behind the petrified girl. As the action on the screen reaches a crescendo the man pulls out a knife and pushes it through the back of the girl's chair, she slumps over onto her friend- dead, and the man sneaks off into the dark. Her friend tries to reassure her its all over and she can stop hiding now, but realises things aren't quite what they seem when she pulls her hand away- cover in blood. Cue piercing scream…
That's a pretty cool intro all things considered, but before we start to think that perhaps HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE might turn into a cool little ironic, early self referential take on the slasher genre it does completely the opposite.
If the killer (Tom Rolfing) is no Michael Myers - he's sans mask (like most of the psycho's in 1980 slasher movies he likes to keep it au-natural) - but he bases all his moves on the man from Haddonfield- everything from looming up into shot and possessing unnatural stamina. He doesn't speak a word throughout the movie, but his face is grotesquely contorted enough during the murder scenes to at least look pretty creepy. His motives are briefly explained via a flashback where he kills a woman who has spurned him as she gets ready to marry another (who it turns out is the obsessed detective who searches tirelessly for him- the Dr. Loomis character in case you hadn't guessed. Bleating to his colleagues after the murder in the cinema, "He's back! He's giving me a second chance."). Now he wants to kill all brides-to-be...