31 Days Of Horror - Out Of The Dark (1988)

If you look up Out Of The Dark, you'll probably figure out that it is best known for being hard-to-find movie.  It didn't make much of an impact when it came out, and had a very limited DVD release, which has shot up the price of both the VHS and DVD for the movie.  Luckily you can rent the movie digitally on some services.  Although the movie isn't particularly mind-blowing, it has some notable cast members such as scream queen Karen Black and Divine in his final film appearance, and it is also a quite enjoyable horror comedy.

The movie centers around a group of women that work at a phone sex hotline.  The company has been receiving unwelcome calls from a particularly aggressive customer who refers to himself as Bobo.  While he's first viewed as a nuisance, Bobo becomes a threat when he starts finding the women after work and killing them while he's wearing a clown mask.

Out Of The Dark is very similar in tone to The Slumber Party Massacre, which I reviewed earlier this month.  Both contain a strange juxtaposition of scenes that blatantly objectify their female cast next to scenes that humanize them, and of elements of parody with a seeming lack of self-awareness at other points.  The humor in the movie comes from both the mundane way sex fantasy work is portrayed and the over-the-top things Bobo says when he's murdering people.  He's a wackier version of Freddy Krueger, but not quite into Killjoy territory (if you've ever seen the 2000 bad movie masterpiece Killjoy).  That fact that Out Of The Dark is ridiculous but still functions adequately as a horror movie makes me think that it is a great party film and should be better known than it is.  I feel like having one of the most generic titles possible has kept this movie from finding a second life as a cult classic.  If it had only been named something like Homicidal Clown or Bobo Kills The Phone Sex Workers or Pie In Your Face (see what I did there?), I feel like this movie might have found a larger audience that's curious enough to see what it is.

Rating:

Movie: 4/5

Scary: 3/5

Creepy: 3/5