Cult Movie Essentials

Cult Movie Essentials: Happy Hell Night (1992)

Directed by Brian Owens, Happy Hell Night (aka Frat Night) begins on Halloween night 1963, where a fallen Catholic priest, Father Zachary Malius (Charles Cragin), murders seven fraternity pledges from Winfield College after they broke into his family’s crypt and enacted an occult initiation ritual. Only one student survived, Henry Collins (Sam Rockwell). Malius is then confronted by Father Cane (Irfan Mensur), who believes Malius was possessed. As a result of this Malius is incarcerated in an insane asylum for his crimes.

We then take a time jump from 1963 to 1989 where it is pledge week and all university students are getting excited about the upcoming Hell Night! One student in particular, Eric Collins (Nick Gregory) – the son of Henry (now played by Darren McGavin) – and his friend Ned (Ted Clark) suggest the new pledges break into the local insane asylum and photograph Malius as their initiation ritual.

Later that afternoon, Eric finds his girlfriend Liz (Laura Carney) having sex with his younger brother, Sonny (Frank John Hughes), in a hotel room. To punish him, Eric appoints Sonny and fellow pledge Ralph (Jeffrey Miller) to photograph Malius as their initiation. Sonny and Ralph break into the asylum but when Ralph attempts to take a photo, Malius attacks and kills him. Sonny escapes on his motorcycle while Malius murders a nurse and escapes…

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