May 7, 2008

#5 - #7- The Amityville Horror Flicks

The Amityville Horror (1979)  
Sub-Genre- Possession/Haunted House
In Attendance- Me, Eryn, and The Vanilla Gorilla (Nicknames are used to protect the innocent, bear with us folks.)  

Newly married couple George and Kathy Lutz, along with their kids, find the deal of a lifetime on Long Island; a reduced-price possessed house! Since they cant pass it up, and the fact that a family was slaughtered there only 13 months earlier doesn't bother them in the least, they move in and chaos ensues.

George becomes handy around the house (ala chopping a metric ton of wood), and since he looks like the Brawny Paper Towel Guy, he finds himself picking up tough spills that other paper towels just can seem to handle. He also starts getting really mean which just isn't like him. All sorts of creepy things start happening to the family; chairs rocking by themselves, random noises, blood drips from the walls, Margot Kidder gets naked... the tension is pretty much non stop. 28 Days Later (very clever, Danny Boyle) the supernatural hi-jinks become too much for the family to bear, and they attempt to leave their dream home.

Do they escape? Does Barry Gibb sue James Brolin for hair-copyright infringement? I'll ruin nothing here, save to say that I would have left the damn dog behind.

The 70's... when a man's hair meant something.
This movie, although looking and feeling a bit dated, is an all-time classic. Whether or not you believe the claims that its a true story, the atmosphere set in this one is downright creepy. If you don't get chills when the demonic voice tells the priest "Get out!" then I don't if anything will scare you. Everything from the acting, especially Rod Stiger who is always brilliant, to the score, which added greatly to the chill factor, is in sync here. Ghost stories don't come much more effective than this.

Margot Kidder's acting. Swarming flies are gross. Also, what in the hell took them so long!!

Leave the damn dog behind!!!

Buying a home where multiple murders have taken place is seldom a wise investment. If it sounds too good to be true, ghosts will try to kill you.

A A classic flick that needs to be seen by all who call themselves fans of Horror.

The Vanilla Gorilla Says- 2 of 5 Rapsberries. I saw him hiding under his blanket at least once, though he said he was just chilly. He so macho.

Amityville II: The Possession (1982)  
Sub-Genre- Possession/Haunted House 
In Attendance- Me, Eryn, and The Vanilla Gorilla (Nicknames are used to protect the innocent, bear with us folks.)  

Finally, the story of the Defeo family is told... wait, it's the Montelli family? Well, at least the house is the same... hold on, no it isn't. The house is constructed totally different. Alright, well the murders happen the same way as described in the original, and that's... no, that's different too. Whats in the hell is going on here???

This movie apparently took some liberties, and really had little to do with the first film, other than a family being killed by a possessed son. Paulie, from the Rocky movies, plays the lovable and abusive husband of the Montelli clan, smacking the wife and kids around and demanding discipline! while his creepy-ass son, Sonny, smacks the whole family around with a shotgun, and demands death! It's all a really nice, accurate portrait of the American family.

Sonny has a hot jailbait sister, played hotly by the 80's-hot Diane Franklin, who is really hot, despite her eyebrows needing a good trim, Speaking of trim, Sonny decides he needs some of her trim, and they start having sex. Depending on which side of the Mason-Dixon line you're on, this is either really nasty or super hot. I live in Georgia, so... Yeehaw!

I could eat a peach for days... oh wait, that's an apple. Still. For days.

Father Merrin shows up, fresh off of the Exorcism in Georgetown, and the sequel to The Exorcist begins in earnest. No pea soup though. I wont ruin the ending here, but suffice it to say that I kicked the TV screen. Twice.

There are some genuine moments of creepiness to be had here. Looking past the missteps that this movie makes, and forgetting that this is supposed to be a prequel to one of the scariest movies of all time, it has some good moments. Diane Franklin is also great here, and its sad that she had such a short career in Hollywood; The Last American Virgin and Better off Dead are classics, and we miss her. Temptress.

Though the movie is supposed to be set in 1974, it looks like Walkmans were invented early, and 80's cars already existed, and I need a new TV now.  

Brother/Sister sex. Does it get much creepier than that?

I watched this entire scene in moral protest. Six times.

If you're doing to make a sequel/prequel to a great movie, try not to crap all over its memory in the process.
D+ Some redeeming qualities, but overall this movie is a mess.

The Vanilla Gorilla Says- 5 of 5 Raspberries. He almost went with his super secret 6 raspberries here, but I talked him down.

The Amityville Horror (2005)  
Sub-Genre- Possession/Haunted House  
In Attendance- Me, Eryn, and The Vanilla Gorilla (Nicknames are used to protect the innocent, bear with us folks.)
A creepy, 30 year old guy who lives in his parent's basement and runs a Dungeons & Dragons club, is possessed by a spirit that lives in his wall. He fails his saving throw versus Demonic Wall Ghosts, and thusly shoots everyone in his family in the head. Especially the kids; he shoots them real good like.

A year later, a workin' class guy and his family move into the very same house, even though they can't possibly afford it (especially since she stopped stripping), and the house isn't happy about it at all. Then again, it hasn't had the chance to possess anyone new in over a year, so maybe it is happy.

George (Ryan Reynolds) spends lots of time walking around shirtless, chopping wood and going bat-shit crazy; he even plays a game of catch-the axe-22 times with the dog... all the while, his wife (Mmmelissa George), is absolutely oblivious to it all. Women. Halfway through the movie, the hottest babysitter ever to walk the face of the earth (Rachel Nichols) shows up; she smokes weed, tries to French kiss the 12 year old son (who pussed out like gigantic beta puss!), and fingers a dead girls head in a closet, which drives her insane and thus ends her 4 minute stint in the movie. Great job scriptwriters, you sure blew that one.

I love you.
Later, a priest finds all kinds of flies in a bedroom upstairs, and runs to go get Orkin. The poor old Father could have solved the issue right away when they house told him to "Let them out!", especially with the window right there! Too bad he thought the creepy voice said "Go get help!" I'm sure Orkin took care of business either way. I wont ruin the ending here, but suffice it to say that karate was involved, as was a particularly nasty robot mime. Mime's creep me right the eff' out.  

The Babysitter. Good god was she fantastic or what? Overall, This was a fairly solid remake, in that it didn't crap on the original all that much, and didn't make me mad enough to wish death on all of Hollywood for letting it happen. There are some genuine scares to be had here, and although the new trend of quick jump cuts and blurred movement was present, it was used to good effect. Ryan Reynolds is solid as always here, and I'm surprised that he isn't a bigger star. Overall, it's worth at least a rental for most, or a buy if you're me.  

The babysitter didn't get naked, nor did she have any sort of promiscuous sex on screen. Also, why did they stay in the house for so long?!?!?!

These remakes need to slow down for a while, if not stop altogether. Most of them aren't necessary, other than to turn a quick and familiar buck.

If your new house starts whispering to you and hinting that it wants you to leave, you GTFO!

B- Not a bad remake, and definitely worth a 90 minute watch.

The Vanilla Gorilla Says- 2 of 5 Raspberries. He liked it, but he still insists that he wouldn't move into a house until he found out what was behind the "fake wall" in the basement. Once he tore it down and found out, he'd leave. 

Once more, here's the slutty babysitter who didn't get naked. Sigh.


  1. Theres a hot chick who works at my local EB games store who has eyebrows like Dianne Franklin.

  2. Anon, you need to make her yours, now. Those are some sexy eyebrows.