Julie Wells (a pre-PSYCHO IIMEG TILLY) is sick of being known as a “pansy,” so much so that she’s willing to do anything to join a gang called “The Sisters.” This group consists of a mere three girls, but since one of them is so cool that she perpetually sucks on a toothbrush and another is none other than sexy Muppet songstress/video vixen E.G. DAILY (BAD DREAMS) one can’t blame her for wanting to join their illustrious ranks. Throw in a free satin jacket with “The Sisters” embroidered on the back in punky lightening bolt letters and you have an offer that’s nearly impossible to refuse (at least back in 1983). Too bad the leader of the group secretly hates Julie’s goody-two-shoe guts for dating her ex-beau and plans to make her initiation a living hell. Besides forcing the determined Julie to spend the night in a nearby mausoleum, The Sisters also decide that a few crazy-making pranks are in order involving rubber hands, green slime and goofy Halloween masks. What none of the girls realize is that an evil “psychic vampire” was recently shelved in the marble building and that the wattage in his psychic bulb is not yet entirely depleted. The murderous psychic psycho “Raymar” decides to start pulling his own pranks in order to scare the lot of them, subsequently draining their life force and allowing him to live once more. This involves shaking up TOM BURMAN flavored corpses and puppeteering them around the enclosed space in order to achieve the highest level of fright. This PG-rated affair may be low on body count (unless you count the five chicks shoved in Raymar’s apartment closet), but it is high on sweetly ghoulish chills and major eighties nostalgia. TILLY hops the stepping stones required with ease and it’s lamentable she didn’t spend more time in the final girl zone. Too much time is spent involving a subplot with ADAM WEST and Raymar’s also psychic daughter, and the shots of Raymar with lightening coming out of his eyes goes from gratuitous to mind numbing fast, but I can’t think of any other film from this era that is so unabashedly non-mean spirited. Like an after-school special speckled with maggot infested corpses, ONE DARK NIGHT spices its high corn dose with a final course of gratifying necro-action that, to this day, stands as highly original. It’s not too surprising that director TOM McLOUGHLIN went on to direct one of the more entertaining and jovial of the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise, PART 6: JASON LIVES.
No, these are not pictures from the coolest art installation ever; they are shots from ONE DARK NIGHT illustrating the incredible psychic power of Raymar!