2/17/2017

GHOSTHOUSE (Review)

Title: Ghosthouse
Director:  Umberto Lenzi (as Humphrey Humbert) 
Writer: Cinthia McGavin 
Cast: Lara Wendel, Greg Rhodes, Mary Sellers, Ron Houck, Martin Jay, Kate Silver, Donald O'Brien
Year: 1988
Min: 95

A creepy and weird little girl has an even creepier toy clown doll, which her dad stole from a corpse for her. When said dad finds out that she has just mutilated a cat, he decides to lock her in the basement. Soon after both he and his wife get sliced and diced. 20 years later, Greg Rhodes (Greg Scott) picks up some screaming on his radio. Using his computer he figures out where it came from. Accompanied by his pretty girlfriend, Martha (Lara Wendell), they head to the source, which is, of course, the house from the prologue! Along the way they meet an annoying hitchhiker with a tendency to play pranks, cause you, that's what stupid and annoying characters did in 80s splatter flicks. They also encounter a group of young friends who decided to check out the house, cause they honestly have nothing better to do with their free time. When the crazy groundskeeper tries to kill one of them with the meat cleaver, the authorities think it's just the dude being a whack-o. However, it's the house who is soon racking more and more of a body count.
Let's call a spade a spade here, and just say that Ghosthouse is an Italian rip-off of Poltergeist with a bit of Amityville for good measure. It was released in Italy as La Casa 3 (The House, if translated to English). In doing this it came come off as a sequel to the Evil Dead films, released there as La Casa 1 & 2. Directed by scholckmeister Umberto (Cannibal Ferox, Rats: Nights of Terror), this flick is by most definitions a pretty bad movie. But, I'll be damned if isn't a fuck of a great time!
The plot, such as it is, is fairly incoherent, dumb, and derivative. You won't find any new ideas here, right down to blood coming out of a faucet. Nor will you find any good acting. In fact, in that department it's downright terrible. Throw in some hilariously bad dialogue and will find much to laugh at, unintentionally of course! There is an annoying as fuck song that is played throughout the movie and is described as a nursery rhyme by one of the characters in the movie. Though, I have no idea what universe that would be the case, other than the universe this silly movie exists in., that is
Oddly enough there are moments of genuine creepiness, that hint at a better movie. But, they are offset by the bits of bad cinema. One thing that is consistently good are the splatter FX. The gore includes blades through the throat, hangings, fan blades to the neck, axe to the head, acid meltdown, corporal bisection, and more. The graphic violence is pushed further than the movies it bites off of, in true Italian fashion. It all gets wrapped up one a cool and decidedly fun ending that will leave you smiling and maybe laughing. I did both!
Ghosthouse is rather silly, unoriginal, and doesn't always make a whole lot of sense. The acting is pretty awful as is the unintentionally hilarious dialogue. But, instead of hurting the movie it just adds to the fun. Fast [aced and gory as fuck, the movie is a great treat for undiscriminating gorehounds. It was released on Blu-ray by Scream Factory a few years ago in a double billing with the not as good, but still OK Witchery (which stars Linda Blair and David Hasselhoff and is known in Italy as La Casa 4!). It is also streaming on Shudder, currently.
2.5 out of 4

0 comments: