Page 2: HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE

     Now, as luck might have it, the killer rolls into town (Westfield- get it? Westfield- Haddonfield. Hmmm…) and hears a group of toothy boy scouts singing, "Here comes the bride, all dressed in white. Stepped on a turtle, down came her girdle" (I know, I was in stitches too). They're singing to a young woman (and bride-to-be!) Amy (Caitlin O'Heaney) who is waving off her fiancée and his friends as they head off to the hills for a Bachelor's weekend of drinking and (unknown to Amy) floozy chasing. The perfect introduction service for psycho and planned victim- talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Just like Jamie Lee, in HALLOWEEN, Amy has two female sidekicks: Nancy (Elizabeth Kemp), and the flirtatious Joyce (Patsy Pease (a star name if ever I heard one)), who coos, "You wouldn't give me an F tonight?" to the married University Professor, Carl (James Rebhorn), who she's having an affair with (yes, this flick's very own Lynda and Bob). Mastrioanni uses ballet as a clever device to disguise the two girl's simmilarities to those of the friends in Carpenter's film, but there's no fooling me!

    Amy finds herself glimpsing the man in black, who keeps on popping up into shot everywhere and naturally does a stint playing peekaboo amongst the flapping sheets on her washing line. She confides her fears of being watched to ex-boyfriend, Marvin the mortician (Don Scardino), who, at first, just thinks she's being silly. Of course, it isn't long before night falls and the little town of Westfield finds out the true meaning of the night he came home (or, actually, the night he caught the bus into town).

    Scardino, who at the time this film got released was a rising star is dwarfed somewhat by the starpower of another celeb making their film debut, Forrest Gump himself- Tom Hanks. Hanks only has a small role in the flick, as a good natured jogger and psychology Major called Elliott, who takes a shine to Nancy and accompanies her and Amy to the fair, where he bores everyone silly by launching into a contrived diatribe on the psychology of fear. Unfortunately, Hanks escapes the slasher's blade by just not appearing in the rest of the picture. An opportunity wasted if ever there was one, in my opinion.

    OK, I think I've driven home the point that HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE has more than a passing resemblance to a certain other, better known slasher flick. That's not to say that Mastrioanni's film isn't occasionally quite a bit of fun, perhaps because of, rather than despite its similarities with Carpenter's movie. The scene where Amy is menaced on the ghost train at the fair is good cheesy fun, and any film with the old severed head in the fish tank gag can't be all bad now can it? Well, there was EYES OF A STRANGER, I was forgetting that turkey- or at least trying to.

    Without giving the film's ending away it's safe to say that it boils down to an extended chase and a battle between Amy and the killer, and the showdown takes place in the suitably creepy and cavernous morgue, where Marvin works. However, what Mastrioanni gives us in the way of a good solid creepy environment for this battle of the wits, he takes away as he continually fumbles the ball as far as the suspense goes- the film is jam-packed with shocks that just don't quite work. Still, he plays all the slasher clichés for what they're worth and, certainly, the sight of Amy almost running on the spot, or stopping to catch her breath, so the killer, who's huffing and puffing after her, can catch up and hit his spot for the camera, is priceless! Not to mention the fact that she's the one final girl is slasher movie history who seemed to think she could find sanctuary by hiding her face in her polo neck jumper!

      Topped off with a neat little circular ending, HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE ain't no great shakes but it's an entertaining enough little time-waster, and is probably an evil hoot to slip on at hen parties.

 

BODYCOUNT 9   bodycount!   female:5 / male:4

       1) Male seen hung upside down (film within film)
       2) Female stabbed in back with knife
       3) Female stabbed in stomach with knife
       4) Male stabbed repeatedly with scissors
       5) Female found stabbed to death
       6) Male stabbed to death
       7) Female decapitated with knife (off-screen)
       8) Male stabbed in gut
       9) Female killed (hinted)

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