5.0/10
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17 user 21 critic

Invitation to Hell (1984)

A family moves to a suburban town only to be coerced into joining a suspicious club.

Director:

Wes Craven
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Urich ... Matt Winslow
Joanna Cassidy ... Patricia 'Pat' Winslow
Susan Lucci ... Jessica Jones
Joe Regalbuto ... Tom Peterson
Kevin McCarthy ... Mr. Thompson
Patty McCormack ... Mary Peterson (as Patricia McCormack)
Bill Erwin ... Walt Henderson
Soleil Moon Frye ... Chrissy Winslow
Barret Oliver ... Robbie Winslow
Nicholas Worth ... Sheriff
Virginia Vincent ... Grace Henderson
Greg Monaghan Greg Monaghan ... Pete
Lois Hamilton ... Miss Winter
Cal Bartlett ... Stepson
Anne Marie McEvoy Anne Marie McEvoy ... Janie (as Annemarie McEvoy)
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Storyline

A scientist and his family move to a new town. He meets the local celebrity the beautiful who runs the local health club to which everyone is a member and makes him suspicious. Intrigued he investigates further and uncovers a terrifying plot. Written by beerbohm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Horror Master Wes Craven turns a family's lifelong dream into their worst nightmare.


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 May 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Invitación al infierno See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Moonlight Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The NASA astronaut space suit costume that Robert Urich was to wear at the climax of the "inferno Hell" sequence became a major-critical problem initiated with the film's production scheduling. The production designer took the task of getting an astronaut space suit wardrobe-package since the film costumer was not hired. Braden contacted the costume designer Patricia Norris at MGM Studios in Culver City. Norris had been involved in the 1968 feature film "2001: A Space Odyssey." MGM Wardrobe had the only collection of 'NASA astronaut space suits' in the Hollywood galaxy. The MGM NASA astronaut space suit costume was not complete. The shoulder-back-pack assembly package was missing; had to be designed; constructed - which contained the battery operated motorized cooling fan unit required to keep the actor from over-heating while wearing the astronaut space suit for filming sequences. The effects house filmed a sequence of Bob Urich wearing his NASA space suit protecting him from the intense heat, falling - descending into Hell's inferno; this sequence was scheduled as a miniature shot. The effects house did not have the capacity to provide the miniature space suit-doll-character. Production designer-Braden purchased an 8 inch military G-I-Joe plastic toy doll. Purchasing fabric material matching the space suit's material finish, the designer gave the toy doll to his mother who made patterns and sewed together the miniature space suit to fit the GI Joe doll. Braden carved the back pack, (gloves and boots), from balsa wood matching the NASA space suit's back pack unit built by the construction coordinator Jerry Esposito. A small white plastic ball was detailed to match the space suit helmet. The miniature doll was delivered to the Hollywood effects house. The Hollywood Effects filming team proceeded to mount the miniature doll to a steel rod attached to the doll's belly button. The doll was spun in blue screen process, with the camera tracked (backing) away from the spinning miniature space-suit-doll; this sequence was matted over another filmed background plate providing the illusion of Urich in his NASA space suit sailing down into Jessica Jones' hell-hole subterranean inferno environment. See more »

Goofs

A pull wire is visible when Matt Winslow shoots Tom Peterson with a laser beam, throwing him back. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Craven Images: The Horror Hits of Michael Berryman (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bizarre Film Filled With Plot Holes and Obvious Twists
28 September 2010 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

A man (Robert Urich) get a promotion and moves his family to an isolated community. Here there are a different way of doing things, and a local country club dominates the lives of the citizens... with more going on than meets the eye.

Although this film is entertaining to a point, its made-for-TV origins limit the fun Craven could have had with sex and blood... this film is quite tame, and completely bizarre. Don't ask too many questions about how the plot works, or you'll go crazy.

Mike Mayo nails it on the head when he says, "A capable cast can't compete with goofy plot revelations", and laments that the film "lacks the subversive excesses of his early films". It's true. Maybe this is a swipe at exclusive clubs or yuppies, but it's just toothless. And the biggest plot revelation is revealed in the first minute of the film...

Michael Berryman has a small cameo, and Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) has some memorable lines and moments, including one with a bunny. If you're waiting for a creepy scene, the closest you come is during a sleepover. And Susan Lucci? The DVD box calls her a "sexy director"... I guess "sexy" meant something else in 1984.

This film could be ranked as Wes Craven's oddest film, and makes a good drinking picture for you and some friends. I suspect most people have never heard of it, and I doubt that Craven really tries to get people to notice.


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