Out of the Dark

1988

Comedy / Horror / Thriller

0
IMDb Rating 5.3 10 1033

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Cast

Paul Bartel as Hotel Clerk
Karen Lorre as Jo Ann
Divine as Langella
Tracey Walter as Lt. Frank Meyers

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 7 / 10

If you meet a creepy clown in a park at night, don't play mime baseball with it. Run!

Only the most delusional would expect phone sex workers to look as good as they sound, but this is a movie, and so the employees at phone 'fantasy' business Suite Nothings (owned by genre favourite Karen Black) are as hot in the flesh as they are over the phone. Unfortunately, one rather crazy individual -- a sicko in a Clown mask going by the name of Bobo -- isn't getting off by just talking to the girls... he's killing them as well! Unfortunately for the police, the killer clown isn't their only problem: another psycho is at work in the city, busy slicing up prostitutes.

Out of the Dark is a satisfyingly sleazy slasher, just so long as you don't focus too much on the storyline, which is chock full of contrivances, plot holes and clichés (perhaps intentionally so). Director Michael Schroeder certainly knows all too well the trashy nature of his film, and fills it accordingly with nudity, sex and gore. A steamy photoshoot featuring a sexy model with an aversion to clothes, and a gratuitous spot of bump and grind between photographer Kevin (Cameron Dye) and his gorgeous blonde girlfriend Kristi (Lynn Danielson-Rosenthal) are the sexy highlights, while the violence includes bludgeoning by baseball bat, strangulation with a hosepipe, a shovel in the skull, and dismemberment in a bath tub, with a suitably bloody demise for the psycho (as is de rigeur for this kind of movie, Bobo, presumed dead, comes back for one more attack before being blasted with a shotgun by cynical cop Lt. Meyers , played by Tracey Walter).

Stylishly shot by Schroeder, the film looks great throughout -- far more classy than the subject matter probably deserves. The dependable supporting cast includes Geoffrey Lewis, Bud Cort, Tab Hunter, Paul Bartel (also executive producer), and Divine (in his last screen role), making the film a must for fans of cult cinema.

6.5/10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.

Reviewed by Coventry 7 / 10

Laughter and Slaughter … with Bobo the Clown!

"Out of the Dark" is an unknown & obscure, but surprisingly good late 80's thriller/slasher that massively surpassed my expectations. Sure it's unoriginal, predictable and derivative of approximately a dozen of other movies, but at least the pacing is stable and the level of suspense is admirably high throughout. It's too easy to point out all the clichés and little defaults, but it's much more fun to enjoy the nicely grim atmosphere, the adequate performances by familiar B-movie actors and the vivid killer clown character Bobo! Horror queen Karen Black stars as Ruth; the Mother Goose of a phone-sex agency L.A., inventively named Suite Nothing, but lately her girls are being terrorized by a psychopath that calls himself Bobo the Clown. Even more disturbing is that Bobo actually stalks the girls when they return home at night and butchers them in various sickening ways. And I do mean sickening, like the poor girl who's bludgeoned to death or another one who's literally hacked up in a bathtub. The cynical cop Lt. Meyers sets up a trap for Bobo, but this only results in more violent killing. Myers is convinced that the hunky photographer (and boyfriend to one of the phone-sex girls) is the culprit, but there are other suspects like the perverted accountant Stringer and Ruth's drunken ex-husband. "Out of the Dark" is quite similar to the streak of misogynist-thrillers that came out during the late 70's and early 80's. They were movies in which a perverted and sleazy male individual, who never bothered much to keep his identity a secret, targets all women because one woman wronged him. These were generally vile and hugely exploitative films (like "Maniac" and "Don't Go in the House") plentiful of sleazy and sadism, but without much depth. The creators of this particular gem at least tried a little harder. There's a lot of effort to keep Bobo's real identity hidden and no less than two stereotypical male characters are killed in order to keep the ratio with murdered girls in balance. It's a particularly praiseworthy gesture towards feminism to kill of 1) a fat and lazy Hispanic bastard and 2) a voyeuristic copper. Bobo himself is a genuinely creepy character with an uncanny mask, eerie voice and a marvelous sense of sadistic humor. He's one of the best killer clowns out there in the horror industry, and for that reason alone I find it bizarre that "Out of the Dark" isn't wider known. Because it was the eighties, there naturally also is some gratuitous nudity (in the form of a steaming sex-sequence) and a lot of sexual innuendo. The numerous fragments from the phone-sex conversations unceasingly use terms like "throbbing", "tool", "muscle", etc… By the way, it's pretty hilarious that the phone sex girls dress sexy and put on tons of make-up just to talk to guys they can't even see. As briefly mentioned already, "Out of the Dark" is a delight for fans of B-movie actors. Karen Black is terrific, but there are also great roles for Bud Cort (as the suspicious accountant) and Tracey Walter as the sardonic cop. You especially should keep an eye open for cameo appearances by Divine ("Pink Flamingos") as a disgusting Police Detective and Paul Bartel ("Eating Raoul", "Death Race 2000") as the sleazy motel owner.

Reviewed by Scarecrow-88 7 / 10

Out of the Dark

"Another grisly crime strikes the City of Angels."

A psychopath in a clown mask targets the lovely ladies of Sweet Nothings Phone Fantasy. The main suspect is a fashion photographer, Kevin(Cameron Dye), because of his extensive wrap sheet. Kevin is dating one of the phone sex girls, Debbie(Teresa Crespo)and seeks her help in nabbing who they believe is the real murderer, a meek accountant named Stringer(Bud Cort)who works in the same building as the Sweet Nothings service. With Tracey Walter as a detective(!), Karen Black as the proprietor of the phone sex service(!), Geoffrey Lewis as an alcoholic porn photographer down on his luck, and Star Andreeff as a ditsy, gum-chewing phone sex operator who volunteers to lure the killer into the police through a set up stakeout which goes awry. Seeing Black in "erotic voice" over the phone with a customer has to be one of the main highlights as is Divine dressed as a male cop, Langella, and Paul Bartel(who also executive produced) with a silly wig on his head, portraying the manager of a sleazy hotel. The violence is toned down to mostly strangulations, with the use of a wooden baseball bat and shovel also weapons of destruction(although, the director also shoots these murder sequences to avoid gory bloodshed). Most of the potent violence comes at the end when a gun(and shot gun)is used to obliterate a victim in self defense. Andreeff steals her scenes as a bright-eyed, happy-go-lucky gal who works it like nobody's business on the phone sex hotlines to horny men needing their kicks. Cort is a hoot as a creepy geek, secretly into kink and perversion, discovered as Kevin and Debbie go through his office searching for evidence to implicate him as the killer. As expected, the clown cracks wise while in the act of executing his victims. The comedy, if my synopsis isn't clear in it's description, has an emphasis on sexual deviancy, including a steamy photo shoot and a scorching bump-and-grind session between Debbie and Kevin in Bartel's hotel(they were hoping to stay safe in an out-of-the-way area to no avail). This felt like a Paul Bartel flick to me, thematically and stylistically..that, my friends, is indeed an endorsement.

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