Wacko (1982)

WACKO (1982)
Article 5153 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 5-11-2016
Directed by Greydon Clark
Featuring Joe Don Baker, Stella Stevens, George Kennedy
Country: USA
What it is: Slasher parody

Thirteen years ago, a killer wearing a pumpkin head did away with teenagers going to the Halloween Pumpkin Prom. Today, a cop believes the killer will return, but who will it be? Is it Zeke, the janitor? The Weirdo? The Looney?

I have to admit that my heart goes out to this one, if for no other reason that in attempting a parody of the slasher genre (and any number of other horror movies such as THE OMEN, THE EXORCIST, PSYCHO, THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, etc.), it chooses to approach it in the throw-everything-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks style of AIRPLANE!. If more of it stuck, it might have been good, but I’d say a good eighty percent of it falls flat. The only thing that sticks consistently (and easily the best thing in the movie) is Joe Don Baker as the cop who is determined to catch the killer. He does a hilarious parody of the slob cop type of role that he did in MITCHELL, and he proves remarkably adept at comedy. The movie’s biggest problems were that it often played things way too broadly (AIRPLANE! was often very deadpan), and it had a tendency to beat its running jokes into the ground. Still, I’ll give it a few points for trying, and Baker makes it worth catching.


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