Muchos entertaining dumbo haunted house schlocker from Umberto Lenzi
I've only seen one of Umberto Lenzi's best known films, Cannibal Ferox and more of his derided trashy later output. However, I enjoyed Ghosthouse and Nightmare Beach and now this strange outing. I approached it with zero expectations but from the outset the film actually proved to be a great cheesy time. A group of geologists get stuck at an old hotel where murders have taken place and soon enough strange things begin to happen. Happily, these are strange and deadly things, allowing the film to field more gore than one might expect from a haunted house picture, including one wonderfully demented moment that may well be unique in the horror move annals. The dubbing is pretty lame and some of the dialogue pretty ridiculous. This is to be expected though and it certainly had me laughing, as did the anti-climatic ending, which might have bugged me more were I not so thoroughly prepared for one even worse. To be honest, I could see it coming and it made me smile despite being stupid. Though never scary as such, Lenzi gives the film plenty of zip and verve and must be credited for one of the oddest ghouls to appear in one of these films, a creepy Buddhist monk. There's a nice amount of tension and atmosphere and the house is a good location, pretty ordinary, but creepily filmed. The various supernatural events bring a reasonable quota of the spooks with a good everything and the kitchen sink attitude and there's some fun with severed heads making up most of the gore. The plot makes more sense than Ghosthouse, although it is still up to the viewer to work out some of the details. Also, the gore is more generally convincing. Altogether, though this couldn't be described as that great of a film, as far as Eighties cheese goes this is a ripsnorter. It doesn't go on too long, is pretty well perfectly paced and is loaded with things to shock and or amuse. Given that I adore this sort of stuff I'm maybe prone to rating it higher than most but still I reckon this should go down pretty nice with supernatural horror trash mongers
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