Quickie 46 – WNUF Halloween Special (2013)

or “Is it Dead or Memorex?”

Tonight’s cha-cha of the damned is an interesting little pelvic thrust that flew well below my radar until my exposure to the radioactive depraved of The Joe Bob Briggs Drive-In Mutant Collective Facebook group. One quick YouTube search later and the magic of modern video streaming (huh huh, “streaming”) technology deposited the WNUF News Team face down into my lap faster than I could say, “Watch the teeth!”.

An exceedingly interesting concept flick, WNUF is the product of too many people to list, led by the main feature’s writer-director Chris LaMartina. Made on a reported budget of just $1500, this homage to the local news and public access television subcultures of the ’80s was fittingly shot entirely on tape and copied over several times via VCR to artificially gift it with that authentic “store brand blank VHS cassette recorded on SLP mode” shitting-in-your-eyes visual quality. As someone with several moving boxes packed with tapes of all different brands full of as many second-hand recordings of the Video Circus, Video King, and Victor Video horror sections as I could pack into 6-8 hours, it’s an artful recreation of my high school years.

I’d be wiping a tear from my eye if I still had the ducts for it.

“Don’t check your dial, folks. You didn’t tune in to Transylvania public access!” – Gavin Gordon

Our summary goes a little something like this – it’s Halloween night in the year of our dog nineteen -hundred and eighty-seven, and small town affiliate WNUF is airing a special holiday appropriate investigation into a local source of urban myth and townie terror. Dubbed “the Webber House” (which may or may not be the birthplace of the Webber Grill), the modest two story abode was once the site of a grisly double-murder! Mr. and Mrs. Webber were slaughtered by their son, Donald, who later claimed that he was merely the pawn of a demonic entity he had summoned via an off-brand Ouija board.

Ah-ha! I always knew that the store brand spook telegraphs were just as good as those overpriced name brand boards! The only unholy forces at work here are the Parker Brothers’ marketing department.

To spice things up for ratings, WNUF man-on-the-street reporter Frank Stewart enlisted a Catholic exorcist and experts of the occult (and one-time runners up on “The Newlywed Game”) Louis and Carol Berger, who are joined by their cat/child/familiar Shadow. Despite the frequent ad breaks for hauntingly realistic fake commercials created for the movie, I found myself genuinely curious where this chicanery was going to lead Stewart and his crew! Fearing a red herring harder than someone with serious seafood allergies, I was hoping in the space where my heart should be that something effectively disturbing in the finale would really offset the otherwise lighthearted tone of the production.

While things didn’t turn out EXACTLY as I had hoped (and Frank-ly, the repetition of some commercials gets just as annoying as in real life), I’d give fair marks on the after-movie service survey. Yes, I know we shouldn’t be responsible for doing the company’s employee evaluations for them, but it really helps out the underlings when you tell their masters that your lunch time experience with waiter #478-013 was satisfactory enough to recommend Applebee’s to your friends and family. And that’s exactly what I’m doing with WNUF Halloween Special here – it’s a nice change-of-pace from your typical horror fare that will really speak to the thirty-somethings and older in the room if nothing else. Enjoy!

Moral of the Story: Iron Maiden rules, but White Lion sucks. Think about it.

Final Judgment:

Three-and-a-Half Technical Difficulties out-of-Five



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