March 29, 2009

Spookies (1986)

Spookies (1986)
Watched March 28, 2009

A bunch of twenty-somethings stumble upon a haunted mansion and are hunted by some dude who is obsessed with chess, who needs said twenty-somethings to revive his dead love that actually hates him, and all the while, Billy's parents forgot his birthday so he stumbles upon same haunted mansion. Don't worry, watching the movie won't make the plot line make any more sense.

While "Spookies" doesn't make a lick of sense, it's pretty entertaining due to its copious monster effects and 80s-ness (is that a word?).

The story behind "Spookies" is actually quite interesting, and also quite sad, because what could have been a pretty damn good film was screwed up pretty bad. So, "Spookies" was once known as "Tortured Souls", which was about a group of teenagers who find an old mansion and decide to party hard. Unfortunately, the old mansion is filled with Chinese ladies who turn into spiders, zombies from Evil Dead and flatulent mud men. Yes, flatulent mad men. More on that later. But, anyways, "Tortured Souls" was finished, but there were apparently issues with the financial backer during post-production and the two directors of "Tortured Souls" were fired. Then, said financial backer hired some chick who made porn films to finish the film. The porn chick cut the "Tortured Souls" footage down to about 40 minutes, and then padded out the rest of the running time with newly shot footage of some necromancer dude trying to revive his dead love, all the while hiding in birthday presents to scare little kids. The two completely different films were edited together, and bam-o, we have "Spookies".

It really is a shame, because this makes the film virtually impossible to follow, and almost ruins the film. That damn financial backer. The "Tortured Souls" footage is actually pretty good, and even though it's not great, the final product of that film definitely would have been better than the "movie" we got to see.

The main thing that makes the film entertaining is all the very well done creature effects. We've got hordes of zombies, Asian spiders and beams of light that have the power to age, all of which are very well done. I'm sure if there were giant half-Asian, half-spider women in the world today, they would look somewhat similar to the ones portrayed in the film. But, alas, there are no spider women, so I can't say that for sure. I'd say my favorite monster was the giant Grim Reaper statue that comes to life. It's pretty freaking awesome, but, alas, when giant Grim Reaper statues are thrown off a two-story building, for some reason, they explode, so it didn't last for long. My other favorite are the muck men. I have no freaking idea what the filmmakers were thinking when they created said muck men, but god damn is it hilarious. First off, I watched the film on YouTube (Spookies isn't available on U.S. DVD, unfortunately, so I had to watch it online). So, the horny rebel and girlfriend are in the basement, when suddenly, these cool-looking mud men come out of the ground and attack. Suddenly, there are copious farting noises. I was convinced the user who put the film on YouTube added the farting noises to add humor to the movie. That's how oddly placed these noises are. To make matters worse, these flatulent mud men can be killed with just about any liquid at your disposal, making them quite possibly the least intimidating movie creature... ever.

The characters are all cardboard cutouts; we've got the rebel who just wants to party, we've got the responsible couple who looks about 20 years older than everyone else in the cast and we've got the obligatory horny teenagers. Overall, nothing special in the character area. Does that matter? No.

It's the footage shot after the "Tortured Souls" footage that almost ruins the film. We're treated to the story of Kreon, a necromancer magician dude who loves this one chick, who hates him so much, she poisoned herself just to get away from him. But alas, Kreon still feels like stalking her, so he brings her back to life somehow. I'm still not really sure how, but it has something to do with the people inside the house. Again, try to make sense of this plot.

And for reasons unknown, porn chick decided to throw in some kid who may or may not be mentally retarded. This kid's parents forgot his birthday, so he goes to the mansion, where there's a birthday party set up for him. He somehow ignores all the gaps in logic and decides his parents threw him this birthday party. He ends up being buried alive. Yes, this part has nothing to do with the rest of the movie.

You know, I like ranting about this film. I could just keep talking about it, but I'm just gonna stop. Even if the film isn't perfect (far from it), I really wish "Spookies" got a DVD release so more horror fans could witness this. It's, at the very least, a very entertaining movie that really should be more well-known that it is right now. Even though the film would have been better if it stayed "Tortured Souls", I still liked "Spookies" and give it:

3 out of 5 chainsaws (IT'S ALRIGHT)

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