5.6/10
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88 user 83 critic

Don't Go in the House (1979)

R | | Horror | 28 March 1980 (USA)
A disturbed young man who was burned as a child by his sadistic mother stalks women with a flamethrower.

Director:

Writers:

(story) (as Joseph R. Masefield), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ben (as Charlie Bonet)
Bill Ricci ...
Vito
...
Bobby Tuttle (as Robert Osth)
Dennis M. Hunter ...
Worker
John Hedberg ...
Worker
Ruth Dardick ...
...
...
Girl in Car
Mary Ann Chinn ...
Woman in Street (as Mary Ann Chin)
Lois Verkruepse ...
Woman with Kids
Susan Smith ...
Girl in Market
Jim Donnegan ...
Clerk
Claudia Folts ...
Denise Woods ...
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Storyline

A slasher film about a victim of child abuse (Dan Grimaldi) who grows up to become a maniacal construction worker. He stalks women at discos, takes them home, then chains them up in a special steel-walled room and sets them on fire. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

it was too late to tell them... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Burning  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's original soundtrack turned out to be unusable, having been recorded on what actor Dan Grimaldi termed "less than up-to-date equipment". The soundtrack, in its entirety, had to be re-recorded and re-dubbed. See more »

Goofs

The hallway outside the steel paneled room is brightly lit but when Donny is shown, from Kathy Jordan's point of view, to enter the steel room, the hallway outside is dark. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Kohler: Donald, come here.
Little Donny: No mother.
Mrs. Kohler: You're a bad boy.
Mrs. Kohler: You're evil, and you must be punished.
Little Donny: No mother, please don't.
Little Donny: I promise to be good.
Mrs. Kohler: Come here i said.
Little Donny: No mother, please no.
Mrs. Kohler: Your father let you do things like that, but he's gone now.
Mrs. Kohler: [while burning the childs arms above the stove] I burn the evil out of you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sneak Previews: Extreme Violence Directed at Women (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Late Night Surrender
Composed by Bill Heller
Available on Reflection Records & Tapes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not a Just a Quick Cheesy Silly Low Budget 80's B-Movie
16 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

I first heard about Don't Go In The House when Quentin Tarantino mentioned that it was one of the most disturbing films he had ever seen. That's a bit hard to ignore, especially when it is coming from someone who directed/wrote one of the most brutal "ear-slashing" torture scenes in cinematic history. I still didn't bother renting it until the film left the "new releases" section of the video store I frequent. Even Tarantino's quote didn't grab me THAT much as I thought the title of the movie was a bit goofy, and I read elsewhere that it was really dated. I was just not in the mood for some silly cheesy 80's ultra-low budget exploitation film reminiscent of Last House on Dead End Street. Thankfully, I got more than that...way more.

Don't Go in The House was no doubt influenced by the very true story of Ed Gein which basically means that comparisons to Deranged and Psycho are inevitable. Throw in a bit of Maniac (which opened the same year) with a new weapon of choice and you've basically got Don't Go In The House. What is it about you say? It's about Donny Kohler who lives with his mother and comes home one day from work to find her dead. A normal person who made such a discovery would automatically call 911, but of course Donny isn't normal - that would just be boring. No, Donny instead turns up the stereo, smokes, jumps on a chair like a kid, and burns his cigarette out on a statuette. He is free!! Free from his oppressive and abusive mother. That's until he hears her voice calling out to him. But mother's voice is soon washed away by voices of women luring him on, beckoning him to go against her mothers stern demands and "sin". So, this means that Donny must go out, lure women back to his house, and....the rest is a spoiler.

While Don't Go In The House does have exploitative qualities about it, what sets it aside from typical "graphic" blood-spurting slashers like Maniac and The Prowler is its concentration and attention it gives to the inner turmoil of the lead character rather than focusing on his brutal actions. For this reason the film comes closer to being a character study like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer rather than a simple slasher like The Prowler. Granted, there are certain moments that are a bit hokey, but most of the movie is brilliantly embedded in reality due to solid convincing dialogue, the non-disappearance of daily routine like that pesky thing called "work", and actions that are perfectly in sync with intense situations that the victims find themselves in (especially the first one).

Don't Go In The House doesn't have too much fat either - every scene serves a clear purpose and doesn't seem to be drawn out to meet its feature length running time. The camera work is very good and inventive like an early Sam Raimi film. One instance that stands out is very brief. It involves Donny slapping a corpse across the face that is seated on a rocking chair. We see this from the corpses point of view - meaning that Donny slaps the camera, it shakes, and then it begins to rock back and forth. Brilliant! And completely unexpected in such a movie. The special effects are not bad for a low budget B movie from the 80's minus Savini - the least it can do is not make you laugh.

Overall, this was a solid film that didn't disturb me as much as it did Tarantino, but it did catch me by surprise.


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