I said I was going to watch more films that I love during the last few weeks of this project. And this one is a perfect example. First, this is the best horror film that features Norm from Cheers. It also features the lead character wearing one of the dumbest sweaters in film history. Besides those interesting novelties House is one of the most purely insane horror comedy flicks of the ’80s. Its a film for lovers of Evil Dead 2 and Dead Alive and can (should!) easily be considered a worthy peer to either classic gore flick.
Roger Cobb was an accomplished horror novelist and Vietnam veteran. He had it all: A famous TV wife, a charming little boy, and a promising career. But then, on a fateful day while visiting Roger’s aunt, his little boy went missing setting off a chain of events that led to the end of his marriage and his career. After his aunt mysteriously hangs herself (months later), Roger decides to go live in her house and begin work on a new book about his experiences in Nam. Because this is what people do in movies. They go to the worst place ever…for our entertainment.
What transpires over the 93 minute running time is a phenomenal example of horror comedy. Twisted, outrageous and hilarious moments all combine for a movie that personifies fun. Things go bump in the night, a zombie commando goes on a rampage, an ex-wife demon is chopped up and buried (but won’t stay buried) amongst other insanities. The more Roger slips into madness the more wild and out of control the monsters become.
The beauty of this film is the comedic elements don’t overpower the horror. The monsters are straight up scary – excellent special practical effects are seen throughout. From the creepy stuffed swordfish to the variety of flying garden tools; even the practical items in this house are wicked. There is a absolutely frightening closet monster which has 2 foot long skinny and deadly hands. That thing could give a kid nightmares for a week. The ex-wife hag monster is scary too, particularly her shrill voice. But of all the monsters Skeleton Big Ben (Richard Moll from Night Court) takes the cake. The dude is a zombie version of a Vietnam Vet and his makeup is gruesome.
House isn’t just your run of the mill horror flick from the ’80s. No. It features some really talented people behind the scenes including: Writer Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps, Monster Squad), Director Steve Miner (Friday the 13th 2, Lake Placid), stunts by Kane Hodder (Jason X, Hatchet II), and super producer Sean S. Cunningham (Last House on the Left, Friday the 13th). Knowing who is behind this makes it all the more easy to understand why it turned out to be one the best films of it’s kind.
Oh, and the music is downright awesome. The montage piece will have even the most straight-laced people in stitches. “You’re no good, You’re no good….” is sure to brig a twisted smile to your face. Or maybe just out right laughter.
There is no way I can capture the pure joy that this film provides in 500 words or so. It’s the kind of movie that can be watched over and over again and enjoyed each and every time. And for me, that is one of the biggest compliments I can think of.
Snore Factor: Z