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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Popcorn Frights Film Festival Movie Review: The Third Saturday in October

{Note: Go read the review for The Third Saturday in October Part V and then come back to read this)

Jakkariah "Jack" Harding (Antonio Woodruff) is back again to… wait, this isn’t a sequel, it’s the ORIGINAL “lost” entry in The Third Saturday in October franchise and boy, is this a doozy!
Back in 1979 "Jack" Harding has a date with an electric chair courtesy of the killing spree that he was responsible for.  In attendance as witnesses are Ricky Dean Logan (Darius Willis) and Vicki Newton (K.J. Baker), unrelated parents of a couple of Harding’s victims. Oddly, Harding is scheduled to be buried directly following the execution, but when Ricky and Vicki arrive at the cemetery they discover, to their horror, that Harding is still alive and now on the run!

Elsewhere, virginal Heather (Allison Shrum) has just started her shift at the local Bronco Burger fast food joint where she meets customers John Paul, Denver, Pam, and Ned. After some odd flirtation and cajoling, Heather agrees to join them in watching the annual Alabama-Mobile Seahawks and Tennessee A&M Commonwealth rivalry game instead of hanging out with her dad to watch as she usually does. What follows is a more methodical and deliberately paced story than the sequel.  All of the tropes and expected story beats are here; people splitting up, the dogged pursuer of the villain, creative kills, and - of course - a final girl.
Both creatively and technically, writer/director Jay Burleson puts together a much more enjoyable film here than Part V.  Not only are the characters more interesting, but stylistically it looks better and the comedy is more nuanced and less in your face (no piping hot pizza scenes here). While it might ruin the “joke” of the random sequel being watched before the original, it might be fun to revisit Jakkariah and his murderous antics. Jack Harding in Space, maybe, and of course the inevitable gritty and modern reboot.  Until then we’ll have to settle for this and The Third Saturday in October Part V which should, obviously, be watched together as a double-feature.  

The Third Saturday in October 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

The Third Saturday in October
Directed by: Jay Burleson
Written by: Jay Burleson
Genre: Horror/Comedy
Starring: Allison Shrum, Darius Willis, K.J. Baker, Antonio Woodruff
Runtime: 89 minutes
Rated: NR
Release Date: June 25, 2022

Reviewed by Mike Imboden

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