The Third Saturday in October (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Third Saturday in October (2022) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on July 05th, 2022 | Movie Review | Slasher, Comedy, Killer, College, Serial Killer, Teen, Gore, Maniac

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It's about an escaped death row convict who terrorizes a group of college football fans in Alabama, 1979.

The Third Saturday in October was directed by Jay Burleson (The Third Saturday in October Part V) and stars Darius Willis (Spiral), K.J. BakerAllison ShrumAntonio WoodruffCasey AudKate EdmondsVeanna BlackDre BravoRichard Garner, and Lew Temple (MonstrousBecoming, and Feral).

The Third Saturday in October (2022) Review

For horror buffs, The Third Saturday in October might be a clever nod to popular slasher flicks like Friday the 13th. For college football die-hards, it's the day when the Alabama-Tennessee football rivalry game is typically played - at least up until 1992. Unfortunately, reviewing Jay Burleson's slasher parody, it is clear that he put more effort into recreating the feel of older films and paying homage to horror movie tropes than making something new and exciting. Although it is more successful in this than its predecessor, The Third Saturday in October Part V, it still falls short in comparison.

In October 1979, Ricky Dean Logan and Vicki Newton supported each other as they attended the execution of Jakkariah Harding, the serial killer who killed their children. After Harding's death by electric chair, Ricky and Vicki try to continue their lives. However, they don't make it far as Harding, who escaped death, goes after a college football gathering as his next kill. Ricky and Vicki are the only ones who can stop him.

Although many different sources inspired the director, it is primarily the holiday of Halloween that shaped this movie. The director's use of humor is still present, but it is less exaggerated than before to make the film feel like the first movie in a series. Harding's escape from death and the authorities follow in the footsteps of Myers' escape from Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Heather Hill, the upstanding Final Girl, agrees to go to a party to watch Alabama's most crucial college football game of the year. Although she doesn't drink alcohol, she feels like a babysitter among her more experienced peers.

Films with similar themes tend to have more pronounced differences. For example, while both may revolve around football, one might have more prominent cat imagery and references. This could suggest that the former film's creator, Harding, may be a stone-cold killer with a soft spot for kittens. In an early scene, the killer lifts a tiny kitten by its neck, tilts its head to the side like Myers, and lightly taps it on the nose, contrasting with what one might expect. It's a humorous take on Myers' interactions with dogs. More commercials are tailored toward the local area during the game, and a wide variety of football fans are interested in its outcome.

The Third Saturday in October is a more serious movie than most, and its longer runtime is evident in the slower pace of the second act. However, if watched in the recommended order, it can be easy to see how Part V is much more fast-paced and energetic. This slasher movie set in Alabama provides a new take on familiar tropes, though it doesn't break new ground in the genre.

Worth Watching? 

It's best to watch the slasher homage series as a double feature because the movie's overlap creates a unique experiment. Burleson did a great job recreating this, likely with minimal resources. The Third Saturday in October is not as entertaining as Part V, but it is a fascinating exercise in nostalgia.

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