Many say imitation is the sincerest form of flatter, 99.9% of the time I think this is complete and utter bullshit. If your a copycat...your a copycat. Of course on the other hand, certain times people who have a true passion about something, either a novel, a piece of art, or film show their love for it in something else they do. Taking elements and shaping it into something of their own.
With Offerings (1989) I believe this was one of those rare cases but it was poorly excused. The film it was trying so hard to intimate was John Carpenters' Halloween. (1978)
Offerings tells the story of John, a young mute boy who lives with his mentally abusive mother who’s just found out he's been killing and torturing small animals. The only person who's kind to John is Gretchen, a young girl who lives a couple of houses down. One day when Gretchen and John are playing a group of the local neighborhood kids come and start to harass John, daring him to do a “Well walk”. In which you must walk around the length of an old stone well in order to be part of their gang. John accepts the challenge, but when one of the kids scare him when he's balancing on the stone wall, John falls into the deep well, severely injury himself.
Seven years later John now a teenager is in a mental hospital, disfigured from his accident and convicted of his mother's murder. It seems shortly after John's accident, he lost his mind and brutally murdered his mother before being arrested and taken into the hospital's care. Now almost in a coma trance, John seems to be an empty shell...until he wakes and murders one of the nurses to escape. On the loose, John heads back to his old neighborhood for some payback on the children who caused his accident so many years ago...
Gretchen, the girl who was John's only friend is now a pretty young seventeen year old who's parents are away on vacation. It inst long until her friends slowly begin getting picked off and body parts are left on Gretchen's front porch as an offering. (ex- an ear, nose, ect).
Verdict – I bought Offerings on a complete blind buy when I snagged a copy of it during one of my many VHS tape hunts. I thought the cover was very interesting with the blood leaking present. Seemed almost like the bastard cousin of Happy Birthday To Me or Bloody Birthday. Mind you, many people joke my taste in movies...mostly horror isn't exactly what you would call...typical or classy. I have my own taste and believe it or not I found this movie as sort of a guilty pleasure. I love slashers, and of course all the classics...and trust me I've seen many piles of complete shit, movies that honestly makes me just stare in complete silence as the credits roll and wish to God I could get that time back in my life. I'm sure many have felt the same way about some gems I've shown them. Ha, ha, ha. But in all seriousness there's a difference between guilty pleasures, and shit. Offerings I saw as a low grade guilty pleasure.
During a time when many shitty slashers were being pumped out one after another after another, the quality began to go down. Lower budget, lower production, and bad actors and writers. Mind you Offerings is on the very far end of the scale of what makes a slasher classic and memorable, but I found it pretty enjoyable comparied to so many awful slashers that came out of such a good decade. Now 1989 was the tail end of the era of the Slasher craze. So many bad movies came out in this year, but one of my all time favorite slashers also was released Intruder. Offerings has a pretty cut and dry plot, like Horror Hound said it reflects a lot with Halloween, in fact a lot of its elements shadow Rob Zombie's Halloween remake. The acting is laughable, and so isn't the crazy plot hole of WHY would this girl continue to stay at this house after getting two...count em two body parts?! I did enjoy the pizza scene, and even though it's very low gore wise I thought a few of the kills were pretty interesting in a very simple way.
The score, along with some scenes (girl being attacked in a car, killer escapes a mental hospital, and stalks young girl, ect) are very Halloween like, but I honestly think the director just wanted to do his own take on such a classic that started the whole slasher craze.
The ending scene is a little out there, but had a tender moment that makes you feel sorry about the killer, which is a change that you don't often see.
A silly slasher that I enjoyed...go figure.
I guess Offerings is on DVD, but I'm old school and own the VHS copy. If your a horror fan or a slasher nut, check out Offerings, a pretty good find in a pile of many horrible unwatchable films.
Two stars out of five.