HOUSE (1986)

Evil Dead 2 starter kit

A Vietnam vet turned horror novelist returns to his boyhood home to find that it has been invaded by ghosts and ghouls.

A Vietnam vet turned horror novelist returns to his boyhood home to find that it has been invaded by ghosts and ghouls.

Director: Steve Miner

Film series: House

Screenplay: Ethan Wiley

Music composed by: Harry Manfredini, Buddy Feyne

1 Hour 33 Minutes


REVIEW BY JEREMIAH

I remember the VHS boxart probably more than almost any other film (Dead Alive perhaps being the only one to imprint harder), and I also remember how devastated I was after finally renting it too. What should have been a terrifying ghost story, turned out to be a silly, goreless, slapstick nightmare. And at the time, I wanted—what I thought were anyway—edgy horror films.

Anyway that was then, this is now. And today, silly, goreless, slapstick nightmares—I'm totally cool with. So it pretty much follows that on my second go round, I had a much better time—a really good time in fact, with House. Coming across as something of a precursor to the master class of Evil Dead 2, there was just enough in the way of comically-driven horror to tickle the same funny bone. One-sided battles with a zombie swordfish (like those mountable Big Mouth Billy Bass toys), fist fights with a zombie soldier, being manhandled by a closet demon (which totally looked like the offspring of a tree branch and drain scum), and hilarious encounters with a bloated deadite-looking girlfriend, ultimately ending in dismemberment.

It kind of runs wild tonally, and the flashback segments don't really work for me, but if you're looking for some cinematic skylarking in the horror genre, perhaps something generally inoffensive, give this a (re)visit.

In

10 TO MIDNIGHT (1983)

It's for jacking off! Isn't it?!?

An outraged police detective (Charles Bronson) and his rookie partner (Andrew Stevens) skirt the law to catch a killer of women.

An outraged police detective (Charles Bronson) and his rookie partner (Andrew Stevens) skirt the law to catch a killer of women.

Director: J. Lee Thompson

Initial DVD release: February 4, 2003

Box office: 7.176 million USD (US)

Screenplay: J. Lee Thompson, William Roberts

1 Hour 43 Minutes


REVIEW BY JEREMIAH

10 to Midnight is by far, my absolute favorite Bronson flick. The perfect blend of grit, sleaze, shocking violence, and sheer audacity -- it tickled me in all the ways trash cinema should tickle me.

Bronson is calm and collected, coming into his role as Leo Kessler stoic and completely composed—he only seems like a hard ass on the surface (likely cause he's old and tired), but there are moments which expose the soft underbelly of a police dad that cares. Moments which help bring life to—and humanize—the zero-pulse detective.

So when there's flinch and disruption to his cool demeanor, when things really hit the fan, when he's pushed to the tipping point (mainly by Gene Davis), you can't help but—not only be shocked that he's actually alive—but root for the guy as well (wait till you get to the interrogation scene; it's the perfect example of this).

And speaking of Davis, you couldn't ask for a better person to do the tipping. Playing the maniacal dick-in-the-wind Warren Stacy (a serial killer inspired by real life murderer Robert Speck), his unpredictability and energy make him the perfect counterbalance to Kessler. Its all very tortoise and the hare stuff, except with guns, knives, and a masturbation pump.

In

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