• Day After Halloween (Katarina's Nightmare Theater)



    Released by: Scorpion Releasing
    Released on: 7/24/2012
    Director: Simon Wincer
    Cast: Chantal Contouri, Sigrid Thornton, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Robert Bruning
    Year: 1979
    Purchase from Amazon

    The Movie:

    With what has to be one of the biggest offenders of misleading titles in horror history, Day After Halloween (aka Snapshot aka One More Minute) tells the tale of a young introverted hair salon worker named Angela (Sigrid Thornton). On the skids with her domineering and sheltering mother, she’s swept from the dull working life and her douchebag boss by fashion model Madeline (Chantal Contouri), and into the world of modeling. Her first stop is to meet the insane photographer/artist Linsey (Hugh Keays-Byrne, Stone, Mad Max) who hires her without even looking at her. The photo session is at the ocean (in the winter) and ends up being a topless shoot for some fancy fragrance. The snapshot (which is obviously the more appropriate movie title) launches her into instant stardom and everyone wants a piece of her. That includes Madeline, who makes serious advances, and her film director husband, who makes serious advances.

    Angela has more to worry about than the would-be suitors: her ex-boyfriend is stalking her in his Mr. Whippy ice cream truck (not obvious at all, numbfuck). He can’t let go of her and wants to make her come back to him. She wants nothing to do with the pathetic weenie, and as a result is fearful for her life when he’s around. Being so hot isn’t easy and the pressure is bearing down on her, mostly in the form of people trying to bone her. The promise of a career in film brings her even further into the realm of being taken advantage of, and a turn of events brings the movie full circle to the opening scene. That scene involves a fire, a charred corpse and Madeline screaming for Angela. But there’s something to the end that isn’t expected and we’re treated to a pretty amusing “what the--?!” conclusion.

    So yeah, nothing about Halloween, or even a masked killer anywhere in this movie. Aside from that giant smear against it, it’s a pretty good little potboiler. Performance-wise, lots of solid work is to be seen, with kudos to Kaays-Byrne for being over-the-top and maniacal, but likeable all the same. Chantal Contouri plays a great rich-bitch snot and Robert Bruning as her hubby, the pervo film director, also deserve some mention.

    Having been filmed in Australia in the late 70s, the picture offers up some interesting visuals by way of trends and fashions of the time, including some swank nightclub action. And watch for the Worst Comedian in Australia to make an appearance in all his makeup-caked glory. The story drags a bit at times, and not a whole lot happens by way of suspense until the final dozen minutes of the movie, but it does offer up some interesting twists, one of which no one should see coming, and the opening sequence is pretty sweet.

    Simon Wincer, who until this film was a television director, went on to direct some bigger movies (Quigley Down Under, Free Willy) and additional tv (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles), and is still working today. His first feature is a respectable little movie, and although not really much of a horror tale it manages to provide some decent tension and some noteworthy moments.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The film is presented here with an aspect of what looks to be 2.35:1. The colors look excellent, the detail is strong, and the black levels are pretty deep. It’s a very pleasing display. Minor print damage is to be expected and what’s there is nothing to even mention. All in all it’s a very nice looking disc. The audio is handled by a 2.0 track that sounds like mono, and there is nothing to complain about here. The dialogue is easy to understand and the music seems balanced, volume-wise.

    As this is under the “Katarina’s Nightmare Theater” banner, host Katarina Leigh Waters does an intro and an outro with some decent information about the movie to be shared. This is an optional feature, as with other titles under the label, and you can watch the film with or without it. Waters also moderates a commentary with the film’s producer Anthony Ginnane, and finally the opening credits can be viewed with the alternate “Day After Halloween” title (the feature uses the “Snapshot” title). That lasts 5 and-a-half minutes and is shown in a 4:3 aspect ratio.

    The Final Word:

    Another fine installment in the Nightmare Theater line, Day After Halloween may not wow you, but it shouldn’t disappoint you, if you know what to expect going in. A great visual presentation from Scorpion and a nice helping of supplemental material make this one an easy recommendation in the Ozploitation genre.