Blog Post

‘Throwback slasher’ movies filmed in AL now streaming; premiere soon at the Princess

Exciting news: A set of horror movies in which some of my friends participated is streaming beginning today and will show at the Princess Theatre in Decatur May 21.

They are called “Third Saturday in October, Part I” and “Third Saturday in October, Part V.”

The first film is described this way:

“The year is 1979 and there is a killer on the loose. Jakkariah ‘Jack’ Harding was put to death in Alabama’s famous “yellow mama” electric chair, but that didn’t stop Jack from killing again. Rising from his coffin the killer goes on a murderous rampage eventually stumbling upon a football watch party.”

If you live in this area, you probably know the third Saturday in October is the traditional rivalry weekend between the University of Alabama and the University of Tennessee football teams.

This rivalry is the tongue-in-cheek premise behind the movies. The licensing rights for UA and UT made it impossible for a small-budget production to use these names so, in the films, the rivalry is between the Mobile, Alabama, Seahawks and the Tennessee A&M Commonwealth.

It’s the perfect scenario for a killer to stumble upon one of these watch parties and disappear only to return at the same time next season.

Both “Third Saturday” movies are throwback slasher films reminiscent of the early 1980’s horror movies. The first movie gives the backstory of the killer Jack Harding through the inclusion of hero Ricky Dean Logan, whose daughter was killed by Jack. We get to watch as Jack is put to death in prison, rises from the grave and goes on a killing spree with Ricky Dean Logan constantly on his trail.

The sequel, or “Part 5,” is a device used by the director to show this is an ongoing “horror franchise” like “Halloween” or “Friday the 13th.” The sequel returns viewers to the same weekend of college football seven years after the events of the first movie, leaving viewers to assume that the killer has returned at least three times in the interim.

As is typical for a fifth installment, the body count has risen, the chaos has grown wackier and the murders much more inventive.

The movies have been shown at film festivals around the country and are now available to watch at home through streaming services such as Amazon and Vudu.

Both movies were filmed predominantly in Alabama and, of course, feature a lot of inside jokes and references to our state. Lots of filming took place around Athens and in Courtland. My friend, Frank Crafts of Athens, is a producer, and Rebekah Davis, the Limestone County archivist, has a small role.

The movies will be featured at the Princess Theatre in Decatur on May 21 so you can see them on the big screen. Get your tickets for the films and show your support for local moviemaking here.

Learn more about the movies here.

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