Try to follow along here. The Third Saturday in October Part V is the fourth sequel to the “lost slasher” film, The Third Saturday in October, however there are no parts two, three, or four - but there IS a part one and we’ll get to that a little later. Y’see, writer/director Jay Burleson has crafted a two part homage to the heyday of the slasher sub-genre and video stores where you’d often find a sequel before stumbling across the original entry - so the recommended viewing order here is Part V followed by Part I.
As any good sequel should, this starts off with a flashback montage of the three sequels from the 1980s (the original was released in 1979, as the story goes) before we hit our “current” time of 1994 and the titular third Saturday in October when everyone is glued to their TVs for the annual college football rivalry game between the Alabama-Mobile Seahawks and Tennessee A&M Commonwealth. Again, like any good sequel, we’re treated to a killing by franchise star Jakkariah "Jack" Harding (Antonio Woodruff) just a few minutes in.
Burleson wastes no time introducing our characters - there’s PJ (Poppy Cunningham), her babysitter Maggie (Kansas Bowling), and a group of Maggie’s friends who are having a party across the street from where PJ lives and Maggie wants to be, but can’t because she’s babysitting. Harding, naturally, arrives at the house and gets in, unseen by anyone, so that he can do what we all want to see him do.
Both this and its follow-up precursor try to tightrope the line of comedy and horror - some of it subtle (a married couple early in the film have different photos of themselves on the walls of their house posing with different fish they’ve caught), that lands pretty well, to the outright goofy (a later scene involving some piping hot pizza) with most it just being bad and not very funny at all. Had Burleson stuck with one type or the other it might have felt more balanced. We've got all of the expected slasher archetypes here from the characters to situations, variety of kills, and even the tease of (yet another!) sequel at the end, as well as no shortage of tips of the hat and references to other slasher flicks all the way down to some of the fonts used during the credits.
All in all The Third Saturday in October Part V is a fun, if slightly uneven, film which - intended or not - is on par with the vast majority of franchise sequels so maybe that’s the point.
The Third Saturday in October Part V screens as part of Popcorn Frights Film Festival which takes place as a hybrid event, in person in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and with a virtual program online and runs from August 11-21, 2022. For more information, visit www.popcornfrights.com
Directed by: Jay Burleson
Written by: Jay Burleson
Starring: Kansas Bowling, Poppy Cunningham, Antonio Woodruff
Runtime: 102 minutes
Release Date: June 25, 2022
Reviewed by: Mike Imboden
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