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The Independent Critic

Mark Murtha, Alexis Nichole Neuenschwander, Louis B. Hauff, Zolie Horvath, Timmion Lichtenberg
Mark Murtha
Mark Murtha, Owen Simcox

 Movie Review: The 78 Slasher: A Halloween Fan Film 
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From the opening moments of Mark Murtha's the '78 Slasher: A Halloween Fan Film, it's readily apparent that this is not, in fact, that iconic 70's slasher film. 

It is, however, one seriously killer love song to it. 

Halloween fans, myself included, will delight in Murtha's slashingly rendered 32-minute homage to all things Halloween, John Carpenter, 70's slasher, and much more. Horror fans will most certainly recognize - the rest will simply have a blast with this creepy, entertaining horror short. 

It starts with the original music by Murtha and Aaron Poland, a score far enough away from the original film so as not to attract unwanted legal concerns yet close enough to be unmistakeable in rhythm and tone. It continues with lensing by Thomas Angeletti and Tyler Ronk that brings back everything we loved about being hunkered down in our local multiplex on some Saturday afternoon ready to surrender ourselves to all the chills and thrills we could handle. 

Our "Michael" here is instead known as "The Shape," chillingly played by Murtha himself, absolutely familiar yet also all his own. Co-written by Murtha with Owen Simcox, '78 Slasher never lets us forget this is a fan film but also never lets us forget that this is a damn fine fan film. Murtha's a blast to watch here from his opening moments on the screen, though kudos must also be given to the likes of Louis B. Hauff as Ben Tramer and Alexis Nichole Neuenschwander as Nancy. Truthfully, this is a solid ensemble across the board leaning into the kills with a certain gleam in their eyes. Zolie Horvath as Lisa? Sublime. 

At nearly 33 minutes, '78 Slasher is both a short film and yet also a film that gives us enough time to really enjoy these characters and this story. While fan films can occasionally feel like nothing much more than a cute novelty, '78 Slasher tells a story and tells it well. 

There's an awful lot to love here with '78 Slasher. If you get a chance to check it out, I definitely recommend you do so. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic