HORROR HOUSE ON HIGHWAY FIVE has an approximate running time of 90 minutes, but to me, it was all a blur. I popped in the tape and was immediately bombarded with a barrage of surreal, incoherent images and eerily funny yet nonsensical lines of dialogue. For the first time in years, I was glued to my television set. There was really no plot per se, but rather a constant stream of cinematic insanity involving a man in a Nixon mask, two Nazi brothers, pot smoking hippies, dead cats, homemade explosives, dancing, chloroform hijinx, and a disturbingly unfitting, genre-defiant soundtrack.
Now, mind you, I am no stranger to the vast world of bizarre movies. I thoroughly enjoy flicks such as ERASERHEAD, SWEET MOVIE, BEGOTTEN, UN CHIEN ANDALOU, and EL TOPO. But for whatever reason, this movie affected me on a level that no other has, and I'm having a hard time pinpointing why. Perhaps it's because films like the ones I just listed knew exactly what they were doing. They were meant to be disturbing, bizarre, and confusing, thus making their weirdness easier to accept. But I'm not so sure HHOH5 even realizes just how strange it really is. I'm sure its intent was simply to spook and shock its viewers, but instead it comes across as some kind of completely accidental minimalist/surrealist/faux-arthouse pic. Imagine blending the works of Nick Zedd, Ed Wood, and Salvador Dali. Yes, it's just that weird.
So did I like this movie? I honestly don't know. For once in my life a movie has sent my emotions into a whirlwind, and trying to determine my feelings about it is nothing short of impossible. It's almost as if HHOH5 has caused some kind of chemical imbalance in my brain. I will say this, though: it was definitely entertaining, but don't know if I could ever prepare myself to endure its lunacy a second time.