Monday, June 27, 2016

House Stories: House a.k.a. Ding Dong, You're Dead

Welcome one and all. Well folks I have gotten write backs from both a star and the writer/director of Camp Blood 4 and 5. Goes to show you never know who is reading this blog. That being said, the guys were good eggs in spite of my candid and goofy takes on the film. Say, one could almost think of interviewing them for Rotten Ramblin' On.

This week it is all about House. Yes, the confusing series that has brought us 1,2 and...4? Huh? Yeah that has been a mystery for more than 20 years for me and trust me when I say, I was a tad disappointed at the discovery.

Told you to open the door and get me a beer!

Today's film comes from the mind of writer Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps,The Monster Squad, If Looks Could Kill, Ricohet, Tales from the Crypt and Star Trek: Enterprise) produced by a teenybopper slayer/director/producer Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th, A Stranger Is Watching, Spring Break, The New Kids, DeepStar Six and Terminal Invasion), directed by a man of TV and movie sequels, director Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Part 2, Friday the 13th Part III, Soul Man, Warlock, Elvis, My Father the Hero, Halloween H2O: 20 Years Later and Lake Placid) and music composed by writer/jazz soloist/composer Harry Manfredini (Here Comes the Tigers, Friday the 13th, Swamp Thing, Friday the 13th Part III, Spring Break, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, The Hills Have Eyes Part II, Zombie Island Massacre and Slaughter High) bringing you the horror comedy that is House.

Roger Cobb (William Katt of The Rookies, Ironside, Carrie, The Rainmaker, The Greatest American Hero, Perry Mason Returns, Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star, Swimsuit, White Ghost and House IV) is a novelist that delves into horror mostly thanks to his experiences in Vietnam (Cue Hendrix music!) whose luck has gone terribly sour. His books aren't selling as well as they could, he is separated from his wife and his son disappeared mysteriously. Overall, a suck life thus far. His aunt Elizabeth (Susan French of The Sting, Airport 1975, Jaws 2, Captain America II: Death Too Soon, Flatliners, Younger and Younger and Fist of the North Star) who raised Roger for many years after his parents' death has passed away leaving her house to Roger.

Robert Culp furious with the revenues of Greatest American Hero.

Roger is being pressured to finish his book project to increase his sales and get him back on top. Haunted to this day about events of Vietnam we see why Cobb needs to end the book to bring the demons to rest. Cobb holds onto the house as this is where his son was last seen and is convinced the house itself is the culprit as childhood memories of the house were disturbing. His now ex-wife Sandy (Kay Lenz of American Graffiti, Breezy, The Passage, Swan Lake, Stripped to Kill, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Fear and Streets) checks on him when he shuts down or keeps people at bay and you get the vibe she genuinely misses and loves him still but the loss of their boy put a huge gulf between them.

Determined to finish his Vietnam horror novel, he investigates the house itself as every night at midnight something different, warped and ominous happens. His nosy next-door neighbor Harold (George Wendt of Cheers, Fletch, Space Truckers, Spice World, Wild About Harry and Saturday Night Live) turns out to be a huge fan of Cobb's and the two then check out the barrage of monsters and demons ebbing their way into the house. Can Cobb deal with the ghosts of the past?

With some camp moments, the pace of the story takes you on and makes a leisurely pass to realms brushing against one another. Creatures manifest in the house harming Roger and damaging his mind and soul. You get the vibe this could go completely Jaccob's Ladder but skirts off into Evil Dead 2 territory. With amazing prosthetics, stop motion animations and a bit of blue screen you are in for a bizarre time. You know the seriousness of a dismembering scene has been made fun of as our protagonist buries the remains of his wife turned demon to the tune of Linda Ronstadt's You're No Good.  I think I belted out laughing. Dated perhaps but still valid for some good scares and good story telling.

Aunt May??  NOooOOOoOoOO!!!!!!