Thursday, April 2, 2009
Day Seventy-Seven: Don't Go in the House (1980) - Rank 2.5/5
As if Hollywood hadn't made enough Ed Gein-influenced pictures at this point, we get another formulaic tale of a man with a recently-deceased, overbearing mother, who realizes that the proper way to cope is to begin killing women and propping their dead bodies up about the house. The lead, Dan Grimaldi, is less appealing in his role as were his predecessors in similar parts (Anthony Perkins, Roberts Blossom, etc.). What the film does have going for it is a couple of new twists to the tried-and-true tale.
First of all, our starring sociopath, Donny Kohler, was tortured as a child. There are several flashbacks which seemed reminiscent of the child abuse scenes in "Sybil" (thankfully, there were no button hooks present). Donny's mother would punish her son my holding his arms over the lit burner of the stove, leading to a mild moral to the story: don't treat your offspring like prisoners during the Inquisition and they won't aspire to be the next John Wayne Gacy (one of those life lessons often overlooked in parenting classes in high school I suppose).
Second, our serial killer develops a pyromaniacal fetish as a result. He constructs a steel-plated "furnace room" in his home for the sole purpose of luring coquettish tarts in and scorching them to death with a flamethrower. Admittedly, I found myself thinking: "Well, I've never seen that before." Overall, the film was the general schlock that Hollywood has been cranking out en masse for decades. Had I not been with a group of friends, "MST3King" the film as it went, I shudder to think how tedious it may have truly come across.
Watch the Trailer