Night Killer (aKa Non aprite quella porta 3 & Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3) is a 1990 Italian horror film co-written & directed by Claudio Fragasso (Troll 2, Rats: Night of Terror, Zombie 3, & Scalps) as “Clyde Anderson” (Beyond Darkness, Monster Dog, & Zombie 4: After Death). It was co-written by Rossella Drudi (Troll 2, Zombie 3/4, Hell of the Living Dead, Women’s Prison Massacre, Robowar, & Shocking Dark). Director Bruno Mattei (Hell of the Living Dead, The Other Hell, Violence in a Women’s Prison, & Cruel Jaws) shot additional scenes of graphic gore before the films release in Italy. It was released the same year as the official sequel Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III which caused all kinds of confusion because it had the same name in Italy. It was produced by Franco Gaudenzi (The Arena, Emanuelle and the Erotic Nights, Strike Commando 2, & Double Target) & Mimmo Scavia (Madness, Three for One, & Zombie 4: After Death).
Women have been getting murdered one by one in Virginia Beach by an unknown monster. Everyone is paranoid & watching their back during this brutal time. What happens when a suicidal beauty Melanie Beck (played by: Tara Buckman from Xtro II: The Second Encounter, Never Too Young to Die, The Cannonball Run, & Silent Night, Deadly Night) with a forgotten past, an unstable sleazebag Axel (played by: Peter Hooten from Night of Terror, Orca, 2020 Texas Gladiators, & The Inglorious Bastards) & a masked killer with a razor-fingered glove clash? Sherman Floyd (played by: Richard Foster from Talking to Strangers, To Heal a Nation, & War and Remembrance), Detective Clark (played by: Mel Davis), Dr. Willow (played by: Lee Lively from Blind Vision, The Prince of Tides, & Matlock), & Melanie’s daughter Clarissa (played by: Tova Sardot) are all caught up in this chaotic mess with them. A nightmare makes a gruesome reality!!!!
Night Killer was never officially released here so it was hard to see besides bootlegs from back in the day. Thanks to the great folks at Severin Films, it’s now available everywhere to finally check out after all these years. I always thought it was very bizarre that another film was called Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 at the exact same time as the real one. If you were ever curious & looked up Night Killer, you would quickly realize that it doesn’t resemble that iconic franchise at all & it’s actually fits a different major horror series if you are doing a comparison. The villain in this honestly looks like a cheap Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street. I actually thought it was cool to see an Italian horror feature with that type of character. Claudio Fragasso originally shot this as a tamer suspenseful Giallo with barely any gore or extreme special fx. Producers brought in sleaze master Bruno Mattei to add some violence & nudity to this film to help sell it better when it was released overseas. So it’s kinda a mix of everything that includes Giallo, Slasher, & a splash of Erotic thriller thrown in for hell of it. It definitely delivers on the sleaze, nudity, & gore so any horror fan will be pleased with those elements. Night Killer was a very low budget production so the special fx from Gaetano Paolocci (Silver Bullet, The Barbarians, Body Count, & Top Line), Francesco Paolocci (Shocking Dark, Robowar, Navigators of the Space, & Zombie 4: After Death), & Franco Di Girolamo (Don’t Torture a Duckling, The New York Ripper, Nightmare City, & The Black Cat) are really cheap looking at times especially the mask for the killer but it’s still fun to watch because you know what you were getting in the early 90s with this independent feature. The acting was nothing special here & the script was all over the place. Yes, this movie is a little bit of a mess. That’s not a shock considering two different people put it together but it’s still beyond entertaining & it has a replay value so it’s definitely worth checking out. Slasher fans, it’s time to experience something different from the sub-genre & most likely a rare entry you haven’t seen before, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Severin Films! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer is newly scanned in 4K from the original negative. Since it’s never been released here until now, you can’t really compare it to much. It’s probably the best it’s going to look on home video, it looks better than expected for a forgotten low budget slasher. It has two different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 & Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 on this blu ray. The dialogue is very clean, all the madness is elevated, & the music has a killer boost to it. It has English & English SDH subtitles. I am glad that Severin Films resurrected this rare 90’s horror to home video finally!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Severin Films! “The Virginia Claw Massacre” is an almost 25 minute interview with co-writer & director Claudio Fragasso. He chats about the American location & the cold weather. He tells a funny story about when he first got there. He talks about working with Tara Buckman & Peter Hooten. He says that they didn’t get along at all & had no chemistry. He goes on about both actors for a little bit. He brings up that he was trying to make a different type of horror film & more of a thriller than anything. He mentions how the producers brought in director Bruno Mattei to change it up. He said they got into fights over the production & had major disagreements over the direction of Night Killer. He goes over how they added additional violence & scenes without him being involved. He jokes about his American alias & he says that he might come back. He explains why he had to use the name & how he came up with it. “Mindfuck” is a little over 14 minute interview with co-writer Rossella Drudi. She has her conversation on a drum set. She chats about her experience on the film. She brings up some original concepts for it. She says that the Freddy Krueger mask was always in the film because the Nightmare on Elm Street series was very popular at the time but the claws were added the last minute without them knowing. She mentions how the producer didn’t like the original version & thought it was too tame. She chats about accidentally discovering that they were re-editing & changing her husband’s film. She says that ruined their relationship with Bruno Mattei for years. She goes over the twist ending & explains it. It has a “Trailer” for Night Killer. It’s sold out but Severin Films had a limited edition slipcover version with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 title. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!