Screams of a Winter Night (1979)


Produced & Directed by: James L. Wilson

Produced & Written by: Richard H. Wadsack


.... John / Ron
.... Steve / Parker
.... Cal
.... Elaine
.... Sally / Annie's Roommate
.... Harper / Billy
Beverly Allen .... Jookie / Crazy Annie
.... Liz
.... Alan
.... Lauri

Special Appearance:

.... The Kid - Service Station Attendant

Release Dates: Theatrical: August 6, 2008 (France); Sitges International Festival of Fantastic and Horror Cinema: October 8, 2008; Glasgow Film Festival: February 20, 2009; Dublin Film Festival: February 20, 2009; Espoo Film Festival: August 23, 2009; Lund Fantastisk Film Festival: September 22, 2009



On a winters day 10 college students go out to a cabin but are warned about the legends that lie there as some of them tell three brief scary stories to one another about a creepy incident with a couple going to their prom and their car breaks down in the deep dark woods, three fraternity pledges have to spend the night in a creepy run down house and a college student murdering her boyfriend after he tries to rape her and plans to do away with her nagging roomate.
However can the legends be true with these students after they tell the tales scaring others as well as certain of these friends playing pranks on one another????


In the opening credits there's a black screen and we hear terrifying sounds from people and other stuff which seemed mildly impressive but the black screen goes on forever as I wondered if there was something wrong with the copy I got to watch it in which the editors should've gotten to the point already.
Then it shows the college kids driving and stopping at a gas station with a kid employee trying to warn them on where they're going which seemed nicely done and kinda made me wonder if the makers of Friday the 13th got their idea for the same situation. Also there's a burly guy there acting creepy looking at their vehicle and situations like t hat but it looked way too hokey for this to seem intimidating like it was supposed to have been.
Also when they arrive it looked impressive when everyone looked around and the areas looked gloomy due to the season they went to the area. Fits the horror story as well as both John and Cal going into the wooded area to where the indial burial was and the deadly legend about the place as it looked cheesy to watch but kinda seemed fun by what was shown there.
Then an interesting shot on the fireplace going on as well as the gang getting together and one of them getting into one of their stories talking about a prom couple in which there's a narration for the first little bit happening as this chapter looked a bit entertaining when their car stops in the middle of the woods and the boyfriend tries to go and look for help while the girlfriend locks herself in the car which some suggestive creepy moments take place. But when the boyfriend is on a chase by a brief shot on what looked like a creature it almost looked well done yet ends up looking way too campy.
A fair mysterious moment with this girlfriend in the car and hearing a scraping sound and she wonders as to what it is which was supposed to give you the chills but again the situations looked way too campy for that moment to happen. Yet I'm convinced the makers of Madman saw this and used some of the same chemistry for theirs in which looked creepy and so much better.
Then when the friends finish that tale John brings Cal to show some newspaper clippings of some murders that took place decades ago as this didn't impress me at all suggesting that they can s care their friends about these moments taking place in the cabin.
Then when the next tale occurs it confused me as it had a few of the same cast members used in the chapter but playing different characters as at first I wondered if they were talking about their past lives but it was a made up story in which they do a fraternity pledge at a creepy old house in which one of them goes to check out a situation and doesn't come back which of course was supposed to be chilling and it wasn't.
Also one of these pledges walks down a creepy hallway of the home trying to search for one of their friends which took way too long as it should've been edited down but it wasn't plus it looked too dark to see this fellow calling for his friend.
A strange ending of the chapter with someone whom seems to be turned into a zombie of some sort with a yellow light flashing on him as I wondered to what the outcome of that was.
Then we have some of the friends going out to get something and some of them are scared about stuff as well as later on one of the girls seeing something in the window and spots some sort of a monster which almost looked fun to watch only to realise that it was their other friends pulling a prank which spoils the horror that I thought would be fun while watching.
Then another story comes into the situation later on which was a real bland one involving a couple making out in a vehicle and the guy tries to rape her which doesn't look intense as it should have been and her murdering this fellow as this wasn't convincing to watch either.
In the chapter it shows this victim Crazy Annie acting psychotic towards her roomate at the dorm as well as a heated discussion between the two of them as this looked energetic to watch. Nicely focused moments later on with Annie slowly apporaching her roomate with a knife ready to do her in but this chapter really stunk as it went nowhere.
Yet near the end of the movie seemed to pack a punch when everyone was freaked out after hearing the stories that things will really happen when a windstorm starts to occur in which this I must admit seemed spooky and suddenly the house is being torn apart by the wind and crazy things start to happen which is one of the only scene's worth watching throughout all of this.
Bottom line is that this was made on a low budget and the writing seemed very uninpsired especially the chapters but it seemed like just a one big story with some small chapters to fill in the time. Plus you could see the boom mic alot as my guess is they were on a tight budget and couldn't do some retakes which is sad. This was an obscure horror flick and could see why. At first it would seem enjoyable but only ending up as a disappointment.

The acting is quite dated and only a handful to mention in which (John / Ron) seemed to steal the show with his hyperactive attitude coming across as somewhat a geeky type since he had the right looks and appeal to come across this way. He also performed in a chapter showing great energy and enthusiasm as well as coming across annoying or a real pain in the butt. At times he was stiff in his role but nothing too terrible either. I give him a pat on the back for trying.
(Steve / Parker) shows off a good natured personality and really gets into his storytelling showing alot of spunk and enthusiasm while doing this. He is in the second chapter as well showing off a convincingly cocky behavior and rolling with the punches within his aggressions whenever he had to behave this way.
(Cal) seemed to get into his role in an okay type of fashion as he shows off a good level headed and serious type of behavior whenever he discusses something as well offering a nice sarcastic behavior too. Shows off some okay enthusiasm within everything that he did here.
(Sally / Annie's Roommate) had the beautiful looks as well as showing off her outgoing attitude which shines off greatly. Plus knew on how to get into a cheerful conversation and coming across natural while doing all of this. She's in the last chapter as well in which she does well with her bitchy and nagging behavior but is a little over the top just slightly.
Beverly Allen (Jookie / Crazy Annie) certainly drove her adrenaline in pretty well with her timid and scared behavior when a story is told as well as showing off a good and senstive behavior to everything surrounding her. Reacts well to things or situations. In a chapter offers a nice versatality as someone whom is crazy and insane just getting wild within what she does. Yet when she reacts to being raped near the beginning of the chapter she needed a bit more inspiration.

Sharp objects are bloodily stabbed into someone

The composing done by Don Zimmers sounded quite rough and rusty in other words typical Zgrade music for the time. Yet there's some peaceful sounds for when the gang drives up to their cabin which flows in well along with a romantic scene too. There's music in the chapters that sounds way too campy and kookie for the creepy moments in the campfire tales which was disappointing as the music works in to make the scene scary and this just spoils it. Yet for the last tale seemed mildly effective with deep bass violin music which sounds traditional for a horror flick. There's xylophone and flute playing in other spots which wasn't my cup of tea along with cheesy deep synthesizer music sounding not too great either.