The Horror Show aka House III

Before being able to discuss this film, I feel an obligation to talk about the title shenanigans this movie has become known for. Producer Sean S. Cunningham opted for the Halloweeen 3 / Zombi franchise method for naming this movie. Sean’s company had already produced the original House film (one of my all time faves) and the sequel. This flick has absolutely nothing to do with the franchise. Chalk it up to name brand recognition a la Friday the 13th The Series. The best part, this movie is very similar in theme to the Wes Craven dud, Shocker which was released in the same year – 1989 (Horror Show is better, though). Straight up shenanigans I tell ya.

Lance Henriksen is a cop (go figure) and a damn good one at that. After 19 years on the force and a near perfect record; everything seems to be going well when Lance captures the infamous “Meat Cleaver” Max. A killer responsible for over a 100 murders (conservative estimates) in the U.S. and widely considered the most evil person in the world. He sentenced to death via old sparky not long after his capture. And then the fun begins.

It seems psycho killer Max didn’t take well to being captured and sentenced to death. So, instead of dying he becomes a supernatural force bent on exacting revenge all up on Lance and his family.

What makes this film unique and worthy of a view are the special effects (and Henriksen). On display is crazy amount of Videodrome-like hallucinations of the mutated and disgusting variety. Weird sh*t begins to pile up (part of a frame job against Lance) including chest cavity openings, a rape baby, and plenty of creepy slimy things with tentacles. There’s also plenty of good kills featuring the likes of: A decapitation, a scalping, extra bloody bullet wounds, and some fun with a meat cleaver. It’s all good stuff. Greg Nicotero (FX guru) and company were having a great time and it shows.

Some of the acting is cheesy and the dialogue is kinda dumb. And some of the side plots are just plain goofy, especially the one involving Henriksen’s kid hustling Nestle for a bunch of Strawberry Nesquik. But all of those things just add to the charm of the film. My only big peeve with this film is the end. For a movie with an intentionally dark tone the ending feels like a huge cop-out.

If you dig late ‘80s horror with a touch of cheese and a ridiculous plot – look no further. This one has it all and then some.

Rating: 6.5/10

Snore Factor: ZZ (Engrossing from start to finish)

IMDB 1989

Execution Scene (It’s good, watch it):

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...