aka Dead Scared
Director/Screenplay – Rolfe Kanefsky, Producer – Tom Seidman, Photography – Tom Callaway, Music – Christopher Farrell, Visual Effects – 11:11 Mediaworks, Makeup Effects – Sota Effects Inc., Production Design – Travis Zariwny. Production Company – Honey Creek Pictures.
Tiffany Shepis (Marsha), Nectar Rose (Delia), Parry Shen (Tim), Philip Andrew (Doug), Jeremy Maxwell (Roy), Brad Dourif (Professor Kapps), David Tom (Jacob), Charmaine DeGrate (Justine), Brooke Burke (Jill), Jeff LeBeau (Doctor), Robert Donavan (Police Detective)
It is Halloween Night in Los Angeles. A group of pledges on a joint fraternity and sorority hazing are split into groups and asked to go on a scavenger hunt to obtain assorted items and bring them to the reputedly haunted Hack House. Doug and Marsha go to steal the legendary occult book Savior of Souls in the possession of their professor Kapps. However, this goes wrong and they flee, leaving Professor Kapps for dead. As they head to the Hack House, Kapps is rushed to hospital still alive. From his hospital bed, Krupps calls out to Doug, tricking him into reading out a rite from the book – only for this to open a portal that lets Kapps possess Doug. In possession of Doug’s body, Kapps moves through the house, devising fiendish deaths for the rest of the group.
Rolfe Kanefsfy is usually a director of softcore erotica. His output in this field includes several genre-related works with the likes of You Only Live Until You Die (1997), Alien Files (1998), The Erotic Misadventures of the Invisible Man (2003), Jacqueline Hyde (2005), Pretty Cool (2006), Emmanuelle in Wonderland (2012) and Adventures Into the Woods: A Sexy Musical (2015). Outside of this, Kanefsky has also made several horror films with There’s Nothing Out There (1998), Corpses (2004), Nightmare Man (2006), The Black Room (2016), Party Bus to Hell (2017), Sunset Society (2018) and Art of the Dead (2019).
The Hazing is another of Rolfe Kanefsky’s horror films. It looks cheaply made. The photography is shoddy, there are cheap animated light effects to represent the supernatural in action. The film doesn’t look like it is going to be much at all, recycling what has since become an old hat plot about a group of students who unwittingly stir up occult forces by conducting a ceremony on Halloween night. This is mixed with the familiar horror trope of the fraternity/sorority stunt gone wrong – this is a combined sorority/fraternity ritual so that we can have a mixed gender cast. It all takes place at a reportedly haunted house. And what with an occult book, a portal to Hell and various of the cast possessed by a half-dead Brad Dourif from his hospital bed, it almost like a film trying to cram in as many genre tropes as possible. Everything is overrun by a cliché mock-Gothic occult score.
On the other hand, there comes a sudden point where The Hazing gets entertaining in its ridiculousness. Jeremy Maxwell and Nectar Rose end up in bed together. He is going down on her and suddenly develops a giant tongue about four feet long. He responds by cutting it off. At the same time, Charmaine DeGrate bursts into the room with a chainsaw whereupon Jeremy grabs it and starts attacking the writhing tongue amid great gouts of blood.
In other entertainingly ridiculous scenes, Kanefsky borrows from The Omen (1976) and has Jeremy Maxwell decapitated by a falling Detour sign and his head go bouncing off. One effect that doesn’t quite come off is where Charmaine DeGrate gets turned into a mannequin. All of these despatches are lorded over by either Brad Dourif or Jeremy Maxwell spouting campy one-liners as people are despatched like some throwback to a 1980s Freddy Krueger-styled villain.