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Invitation to Hell (1984)

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

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Matt Winslow
... Patricia 'Pat' Winslow
... Jessica Jones
... Tom Peterson
... Mr. Thompson
... Mary Peterson (as Patricia McCormack)
... Walt Henderson
... Chrissy Winslow
... Robbie Winslow
... Sheriff
... Grace Henderson
Greg Monaghan ... Pete
... Miss Winter
... Stepson
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

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


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24 May 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Invitación al infierno  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

A preliminary production asset of "story-boarding" a script by a visual lay-out graphic illustrator is rare - in a television movie or for a series program property; a luxury few producers budget nor schedule. Because of ABC's focus developing this MOW property for Susan Lucci, the producers (Robert Sertner and Frank von Zerneck) immediately hired the Russian film script illustrator Petko Kadiev; illustrating the script gave the producer's a visual presentation story-book to dazzle the network suits; an analysis of camera shots providing a visual tangible bible for both the director and the cinema-photographer. These film shot lay-outs provided the optical effects a complete analysis of their work to be performed. The Hollywood Effects house previously had provided the film-optical effects for all of the British produced James Bond films in their London based unit. The American owned effects company had established their Hollywood based facility in the heart of Hollywood, located in a huge warehouse-stage facility (near the Samuel Goldwyn Studio, located off Santa Monica Boulevard). The Petko Kadiev storyboard script sequence was handed over to the optical-effects team which determined the shot-sequence required by the script's dictated shot set-ups. Bob Urick performed all of his work, dressed in the NASA astronaut space suit during filming. He was not doubled by another actor nor by a stunt double. Staff-plastic-skin hard-wall flats, built on the Culver City production stage, were transferred to the Hollywood Effects stage for additional filming requirements, utilizing both first and second effect team photography units. This "Jessica Jones' hell inferno" two day optical effects filming sequence was the final filming of the MOW project. See more »

Goofs

Tom Winslow removes his helmet, messing up his hair. A second later, his hair is neat again. 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 See 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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