There are very few gems left from the video store era slasher boom. The House On The Edge of The Park , The Mutilator , and Madman, to name a few. One would be forgiven if they forgot about a little known slasher series called THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER. This series centered around small town boogeyman Jakkariah “Jack” Harding, who drives a hearse and is out for blood during the football holiday before Halloween.
In the fifth installment (it was the only one I could get since the most copies have been destroyed or stolen over the years) sets you up with all you need to get started. Mainly boobs and blood. The film opens up with a montage of the previous films that makes me even more determined to track them down. Such a tease.
Maggie (Kansas Bowling of Christmas Bloody Christmas) is babysitting young PJ (Poppy Cunningham). This was not the way she wanted to spend her evening since she wants to watch the game with her friends at super jock Peter’s house. Unsurprisingly, she takes the kid along for she thought would be a low key night. She was wrong.
That is pretty much the plot of Part V. Nothing heavy, just horney kids doing dumb things and getting hacked up in creative ways. Besides Bowling’s character, the other standout would be Bart Hyatt as wheelchair bound Lester. Though is is an insufferable whinner, his final act is so out of the blue and fun that you can’t help but root for him. Say it with me “I AM ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE!” Too good!
The kills are creative and fun and the characters you really hate (Peter I’m looking at you) get it in the best ways. Jack is an interesting slasher with his drug store style, Dia De Los Muertos mask and hearse. Though this film suffers from being number 5 in the early 90’s, it has it’s charm. Certainly better than Maniac Cop III or Camp Fear. I will definitely try to find the rest of this series.
UPDATE #1 THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER (1979) Review
So upon returning The Third Saturday in October: Part V, the retro video store manger greeted me with a laugh and waved a tape in the air. The old clouding cracked plastic held quite the surprise. he had found a copy of the original 1979 THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER. I was SO EXCITED!
So this film is absolutely a Halloween rip-off but in the best way! The prologue kicks it off right!
Halloween 1979, Jack Harding (Antonio Woodruff) is a child killer who is about to get the chair. Family members of the murdered children look on including Ricky Dean Logan (Darius Willis) and Vicki Newton (K.J. Baker).
But things are not as they seem as Jack Harding returns from the dead and sets out to kill anyone and everyone.
Interesting side note: There are more than a few elements here that would become staples of both Friday The 13th AND A Nightmare On Elm Street so I wonder if this film is more influential than anyone realizes. Maybe it’s been buried on purpose by the bigger studios to hide their more successful carbon copies. Only two films of the five have surfaced so it makes my conspiracy prone mind wonder…
Our final girl, Heather (Allison Shrum) is a waitress who we follow to the football party that will be the focus of Jack’s murder spree. The party host, Uncle Deeter (Richard Garner) and his MUCH younger gal Bobbi Jo (Libby Blake) who provide much of the nudity. Then there is the cast of walking dead kids. A coked out dance freak named Denver (Kate Edmonds) and Heather’s would be boyfriend John Paul (Casey Aud).
The carnage is better in this one simply because less is more. But there is definitely a progression by V. There are some effective kills though including a throat slash that really lands.
In any case, the original is definably my favorite of the two. If you have any leads on where I can track down parts 2 through 4, leave me a comment or DM me.
Good News and Bad News! Dark Sky Films has found the the series and is releasing it on digital and VOD May 5th!!! Remastered and available for all to discover! Unfortunately they only found parts One and Five so it isn’t gonna complete the series but I’m down to own better copies.
Be sure to pick them on this Friday!!!