I have 430 movies in my Netflix Instant queue. I tend to watch one thing for every five that I add, but now my library is close to being full and I have to make room. So, every Monday I’m going to pick a random movie out of my queue and review the shit out of it. But (like Jesus), I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies in it you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that, too. One Monday for you and the next for me and so on. Let’s get to it.
Howdy folks! I’m Michael Rabattino, and you might remember me from such film websites as CHUD.com, and….CHUD.com. I’ll be sitting in for Jared again this week, and maybe some other weeks in the future. The far-off future, when there will be flying cars and hoverboards and such. 2015, in other words!
Apologies to my good friend Bill Smith for the contents of this review…he has impressed upon me his deep love for this film and frankly I just don’t get it.
What’s the movie? House (1986)
What’s it rated? R for Vietnam zombie explosions, child swimming pool abductions, and George Wendt lovehandles.
Did people make it? As far as I can tell. Directed by Steve Miner. Written by Fred Dekker (story) and Ethan Wiley (screenplay). Acted by William Katt, George Wendt, Richard Moll, and Kay Lenz.
What’s it like in one sentence? It’s the worst-acted and written film you can think of without making yourself ill.
Why did you watch it? Probably for the same reason I watch anything on my queue; it had been there for awhile and I figured it was time to subject myself to Richard Moll. And because I hate myself passionately.
What’s it about in one paragraph? Roger Cobb (William Katt of The Greatest American Hero fame) is a best-selling novelist. He has just separated from his wife, most likely because they just lost a child. He moves into his deceased Aunt’s house after she commits suicide. There, he hopes, he can finally finish his novel based on his experiences in the Vietnam War. Strange things start happening and soon he realizes the house most likely doesn’t want him there.
Play or remove from my queue? I’m conflicted here. This film is mostly a piece of shit so terribly acted and written that I really can’t recommend it, but like any bad film there are redeeming qualities that make it worth your time. I suppose that if I saw this as a kid, when I never really took things very seriously, I might have a different opinion. Seen now, I just really didn’t like it.
I was literally laughing my ass off at the absurdity present here. I try not to be a film snob, and I really don’t believe EVERY film needs to be analyzed. Some things just need to be taken for what they are. But man, this film is dumb.
At one point, Roger grabs his shotgun. You see, there was a Marlin mounted on his wall that came alive and started flapping. The only way to dispatch a taxidermied fish is to unload a shotgun directly into its torso. Everyone knows that.
From that point, all hell breaks loose. A creature or zombie or whatever disguised as his ex-wife Sandy shows up at his front door and attacks him. When this creature reveals itself to be a fraud, he unloads on her. Well, Roger’s friendly neighbor Norm (George Wendt…fuck you, he’s Norm) has just woken up from a nap and glances outside to see Roger on the porch holding a shotgun. He can’t see the body; all he sees is Roger with the gun. So he then does what any rational person would do: he calls the police to report a suicide attempt. Wait, what? I suppose it’s mainly because Roger’s aunt commited suicide and according to Norm that’s something that runs in families he knows nothing about. It’s also because Norm knows Roger has been having Vietnam flashbacks. But yeah, he calls and reports a suicide attempt that occurred while he was sleeping and the police are there 15 seconds later. He hides the body. This is the exact exchange when police (2 cars filled with approximately 58 officers) arrive at Roger’s house:
Officer: “Put the gun down”
Roger: “Well, it’s not loaded, sir”
Officer: “Alright now stand up. Put your hands above your head and move this way, away from the gun. We have a report that someone at this address is firing a shotgun.” (Not so fast, officer…Norm never said that!)
Roger: “Oh, yeah, I was uh, just polishing it. Cleaning it. And it went off by accident. I didn’t know it was loaded”
Officer: ”Well you know it’s against the law to be firing a gun within city limits, don’t you?. I’m going to have to give you a citation.”
Roger: ”Oh, a citation. Thank you.”
Oh, did I laugh. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I laughed even harder when he tried to bury the body to the tune of a cover of Linda Rondstadt’s “You’re No Good”. That makes no sense at all, damn it. None. But thank you, House, regardless.
The biggest problem with this film is that it’s just not scary and it has no idea what atmosphere and set design means in a horror film. They couldn’t have picked a less scary look for a house, and as a result there’s nothing menacing here. Some creatures here, a zombie Richard Moll there. Not enough to make this film even close to scary.
Richard Moll as a zombie towards the end is probably enough to make anybody stick it out through this thing. But man, oh man, is it dumb. Hard to believe this was written by Fred “Night of the Creeps and Monster Squad” Dekker.
Do you have a favorite line? ”No sense having a gun if you don’t load it at one time or another, is there?”
Do you have an interesting fun-fact? This film made 19 million dollars at the box office. 19 million. Let that sink in for awhile.
What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this? Oddly, that feature doesn’t seem to be working. Films that Netflix says are “like” House, however, are The Gate (really good but haven’t seen it in years), Waxwork (Zach Galligan!), and Bubba Ho-Tep (always great).
What does Michael say I’d like if I like this? Any good self-proclaimed horror comedy that’s actually scary and funny.
What is Netflix’s best guess for Michael? 3.5
What is Michael’s best guess for Michael? 1.0
Can you link to the movie? If you really want me to..
Any last thoughts? I don’t ever need to see that again, other than to show friends how unintentionally hilarious it can be.
Did you watch anything else this week? Not too much, actually. The first couple episodes of Workaholics (that’s a damn funny show), Grave Encounters (solid found-footage flick inspired by shows like Ghost Hunters), latest episode of Breaking Bad (Walt, you scumbag..). I think that’s about it!
Any spoilerish thoughts about last week’s film, Goon? Haven’t seen it, but Jared makes me want it inside me. That’ll be one of the next things I check out.
Next week? Jared will be reviewing every single title on Netflix Instant!
And the next time I write the column (most likely the week after), I’ll be inflicting House 2 upon myself. Why? I’m batshit insane.