Out There Halloween Mega Tape (2022) Movie Review – 31 Days of Halloween
Gorge yourself on candy corn and hunker down for a haunted house party filled with aliens, vamps, and phantom tramps via this hard-to-find flick from an infamous East Coast ’90’s bootleg video operation. Straight from the archives of Trader Tony’s Tape Dungeon, the “Out There Halloween Mega Tape” was assembled from the highest quality source materials available and presented just as it was sold via Trader Tony’s mail order catalog in the 1990’s.
It’s October the 8th and time for another entry into our K-O-Ween 31 Days of Halloween feature. Today we are looking at something entirely different – Chris LaMartina’s Out There Halloween Mega Tape from 2022. This movie is a completely different take on Halloween horror and a massive change of pace from what we have been previously looking at. If you like your movies extra quirky, you need to check this out.
I always start these articles by reminding you that if you are participating in an October horror movie a day marathon. Then you can check out our K-O-Ween 31 Days of Halloween 2022 list for inspiration or even our A Tubi 31 Days of Halloween for a whole selection of movies available to watch completely free. You can also just follow along with the reviews we will be releasing every day. These reviews will be sticking to a shorter format as most of these movies are old and there isn’t a great deal I can say about them that hasn’t already been said.
Some of the Strangest Horror Content Around
For those of you who don’t know, which may be rather a lot of you given this movie’s extremely limited release. Out There Halloween Mega Tape is the follow up to the fantastic 2013 movie WNUF Halloween Special. Whereas the original was pretty easy to find. LaMartina decided to release this one solely on DVD to hopefully impede piracy attempts. I am not sure that LaMartina understands just how easy it is to rip a DVD. But it has resulted in this movie being hard to find so I guess he succeeded.
To describe these titles as movies seems a little bit disingenuous. In fact, they are actually rather difficult to categorise at all. The best way might be to describe them as an experience or a vibe. This isn’t just a simple story. It is some of the weirdest horror content that you will ever see and that is what makes these two movies so special. Think the BBC’s Ghostwatch but American.
The original WNUF Halloween Special was an 80’s style television broadcast of a Halloween news special. Complete with ads and political messages all presented as if it was recorded off of the TV and played from a VHS. It perfectly captured the feeling of watching terrible news specials on local broadcast channels while also managing to be a hugely funny and genuinely entertaining horror story at the same time. Out There Halloween Mega Tape is more of the same.
Hard to Describe
Whereas its predecessor was set in the 80s. Out There Halloween Mega Tape is a 90’s style broadcast of a talk show’s Halloween special, again, complete with ads. It is, basically, more of the same and that is a great thing. But that still doesn’t do a good job of explaining just what this movie is. The best way to do that would be to put yourself in the position of someone watching back in the 90s.
Imagine yourself as a child sat in front of the television and forced by your parents to sit through an awful talk show’s Halloween episode. Remember Ricki Lake? That type of thing. Guests are dressed up in horror garb, endless spooky puns are made, and your only respite from the boring topics of cheating and deception are the commercials featuring the best new toys around. You zone out and picture yourself playing with the next big thing on Christmas morning. Only for your excited daydreaming to be interrupted by a boring message from your area’s local political candidate. Then its back to the talk show but hope is on the horizon. An unexplained mysteries show is coming up with the promise of aliens. Awesome!
Following the story of a television crew reporting on the supposed impending arrival of an alien being and the cult that is waiting to meet them. Out There Halloween Mega Tape is an experience. Some people will get it and others won’t. But if you have any kind of nostalgia for that type of television content. This is a movie that is going to resonate with you tremendously. It’s incredibly quirky and very weird but it works for a whole bunch of almost inexplicable reasons.
On To The 90s
One of the best parts of WNUF Halloween Special is the ads. They are, basically, faux-ads ripping off genuine commercials from the time period and they are done extremely well. My fiancee and I have a bit of a sad habit of watching old 80s and 90s ad compilations while unwinding so we are pretty clued up on this subject. Chris LaMartina absolutely nails the style in both movies. The ads feel completely authentic though they are guilty of copying almost verbatim here and there.
The ads, this time, have a distinctly 90’s ‘tude to them and follow a bunch of rip off products of things that were popular back then. Roller blades, super soakers etc. It is incredibly nostalgic if you are a 90’s kid. Hell, we even get a short segment of a cartoon that is supposed to reflect the time period. Though the animation is way off in my opinion and feels far closer to an early 2000’s flash video.
It’s brilliantly well done throughout and lends the movie a genuinely authentic television broadcast appeal. Some people will be put off by this. There are a lot of ads and they take up a bunch of the running time. But, like I said, these movies are almost an experience rather than actual movies. If you don’t like the commercials there is probably very little for you to get from the movie as a whole.
A New Approach
The original’s news broadcast format has been switched to a talk show followed by an “unsolved mysteries” style program surrounding aliens. The two shows are broken up by a gap in the recording. Suggesting that one of them was recorded a number of years later. The talk show is hilarious and perfectly lampoons those crazy mid 90’s shock fests. The set feels authentic, the audience reactions are spot on and the awkwardness of the format is perfectly captured. It’s hilarious stuff and a massive throw back for anyone that grew up on this type of stuff.
For the second segment, the host of the talk show, Ivy Sparks (Melissa LaMartina), has had her show cancelled after a scandal. Hence why she is now co-hosting an unsolved mysteries program called “Out There”. Not that anyone around her will let her forget her history in television. With co-workers and guests alike reminding her of her famous catch phrase “Be nice”.
She speaks to a group of cult members who are awaiting the arrival of an alien ship to take them away. Only for disaster to unfold as the night goes on. Naturally this is a very clear take on the Heaven’s Gate religious group who committed mass suicide after awaiting the Hale-Bopp comet. It is very apt for the time period and hilarious throughout.
A Common Link
Out There Halloween Mega Tape takes place in the same world as The WNUF Halloween Special and while you can watch them independently of each other. It does help to check out the original first as the sequel does reference the things that happened quite frequently. I actually really appreciate this little touch as it adds to the “local cable broadcast” feeling of the movie. You really do get the sense that this is a community show with a small audience that are mainly concerned with local affairs.
You will see familiar faces from the original. Veronica Stanze is still around, people who were running for office last time are now running for the Senate and the same old people shilling products are still here. It’s familiar and very self referential. Watching The WNUF Halloween Special followed by Out There Halloween Mega Tape would feel like you were simply flipping through old VHS tapes. They would both flow together nicely. The themes are similar, the presentations are similar and many of the personalities from the original appear in the sequel.
Hilarious But Not Scary
Much like its predecessor, Out There Halloween Mega Tape is not supposed to be scary. Its horror themes revolve around aliens and cults rather than the paranormal subject of the original. But the main story doesn’t really kick in until half way through the movie. WNUF Halloween Special had a much keener focus on the main investigation whereas this one pushes that to the background. There are more commercials, more variety and a larger focus on the talk show segment which is rather disconnected from the main story.
You really have to go into this movie knowing what to expect. If you are expecting a horror movie, you will be disappointed. It’s best to look at it as a Halloween night in front of the television back in the 90s. That would be the most apt way to describe it and the most reasonable way to set expectations. It’s hilarious, cheesy, unique, quirky, weird and absolutely fantastic all at the same time. To be honest, this one might be more of a Halloween evening watch than the beginning of October. But I wouldn’t want to suggest something so strange for Halloween itself just in case it doesn’t appeal to you.
Final Thoughts and Score
Out There Halloween Mega Tape, much like The WNUF Halloween Special, is not for everyone. Its strange presentation, lack of scares, and strong comedy focus will put a few people off. It definitely isn’t a movie to turn down the lights and try to enjoy. It is a movie to throw on when you have just put on your Halloween outfit, poured some drinks and grabbed some snacks with friends and family. This is the perfect opener to Halloween and a brilliant flashback to 90’s television for anyone who wants a hit of nostalgia.
It isn’t going to scare you. In fact, it doesn’t even feel like a movie. But you will definitely remember it and if you are one of those people who the movie was made very specifically for. It will become a Halloween mainstay and a must watch every October. I would say the original is slightly more cohesive and slightly better. But both movies are fantastic and Out There Halloween Mega Tape is an absolute ton of fun.