måndag 11 januari 2010
Back when I was perhaps 10-11 I got ahold of an album by Venom, the *hrm* masterpiece that is At war with Satan. Even back then I remember the record to be pretty much worthless but it was a cool cover and had this text in the fold that spoke of the final war between God and Satan which enticed me a bit. One of the lines where something like "And the seven keys to the gates of hell lie unguarded" which immediately gave me an idea. I was to write a novel about this guy who found the keys to the seven gates of hell and gave himself the mission to close them all. This was some 25 years ago and I dont remember much else than that the gates where in places such as Hill house, the Amityville house and the Bermdua triangle. One part even had the here hijacking a plane to fly over the bermuda triangle and parachuting himself into it. Michael Bay, are you hearing this? I dont remember much more other than the fact that that I recall ripping the end or at least a part of the story from Gus Trikonis fun little flick The Evil. This little tidbit just came back to after watching the movie again after 25 years which means that this review is pretty much soaked with nostalgia. But you know, it is a fun little movie with is pretty much generic as haunted housemovies go but does what it is supposed to do and has fun with it. And, it has that plottwist that I ripped off, which is I dare say, one of the weirdest plot twists I have ever seen to this day.
Richard Crenna, Rambos old chief in command to most of us or that millionaire in Judging Amy who were supposed to marry Amys mother to some, like my girlfriend for instance, plays a college professor who buys an old house that he intends to restore. He brigns a group of people with him and, voila, the house traps them all inside, Andrew Prine starts to saw his hand off and they start to die on by one. Seems this house is built upon... something bad.
Simple story, but Gus Trikonis is a capable director who keeps the action moving at a nice pace although it does have a but of tv-movie feel sometimes, something which at least the handsawing bit helps us dispel. The kills are a bit simple and ungory which adds to the tvfeeling, but they are at least effective and one scene where a young woman is dragged into a piece of stairwell which suddenly is pitch black is a really evocative one. The actors are decent, Richard Crenna and Andrew Prine are always watchable, but yet again, there is that tv-moviefeeling again. Was this shot for tv? Does anyone know? Imdb doesnt say anything about it. Oh well, none of that makes it a bad movie. The scares are sound, the atmosphere is good and as seventies haunted house movies go, you can do a lot worse.
Then there is that plottwist. The following text will be full of spoilers of the events in the end of the movie so if you dont want to be spoiled I recommend you stop reading NOW.
The whole reason for all of this is that the house is built upon the place where Satan fell when he was cast out from heaven, and acts as a prison for him. Richard Crenna removes a cross from a hatch he finds in the cellar, which means he releases Satan from his prison. So far, this is a decent plot for a horror movie, but there is a scene toward the end where Crenna and his wife fall down into the hatch and comes upon some tunnels. Crenna starts wandering around and finds a large white room where Satan himself sits upon a throne, as an old guy in a suit. Now, if Satan manifested himself upon Earth, wouldnt he have chosen a more distinct, evil form than Victor Buono? It gets a bit anticlimactic and very unscary. But then again, I suppose he can choose whatever form he wants and it could be that he chose this form, the rather common for for God, just to mock him? In the end, it would have been much cooler if there was this slobbering beast in the room, covering both walls and ceiling. Tv-movie anyone? The goof-factor gets pretty high, but never really ruinds the movie because its just so fucking weird. I would love a nice dvd of this with a commentary track explaing what the hell they were up too.
A fun little frightflick well worth spending 90 minutes with. Thats enough for me.
Oh, I actually finished that novel. I think it was 60 pages long or something like that. I have no idea where it is today and I think it's best it remains like that. I wouldnt want to be sued you know.