4.9/10
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48 user 61 critic

The Horror Show (1989)

R | | Horror | 28 April 1989 (USA)
Detective Lucas McCarthy finally apprehends "Meat Cleaver Max" and watches the electric chair execution from the audience. But killing Max Jenke only elevated him to another level of ... See full summary »

Directors:

James Isaac, David Blyth (uncredited)

Writers:

Allyn Warner (as Alan Smithee), Leslie Bohem
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Lance Henriksen ... Detective Lucas McCarthy
Brion James ... Max Jenke
Rita Taggart ... Donna McCarthy
Dedee Pfeiffer ... Bonnie McCarthy
Aron Eisenberg ... Scott McCarthy
Thom Bray ... Peter Campbell
Matt Clark ... Dr. Tower
David Oliver ... Vinnie
Terry Alexander ... Casey
Lewis Arquette ... Lt. Miller
Lawrence Tierney ... Warden
Alvy Moore ... Chili Salesman
Zane W. Levitt Zane W. Levitt ... Executioner
Stephen A. Henry Stephen A. Henry ... Morgue Doctor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Meshell Dillon ... Little Girl
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Storyline

Detective Lucas McCarthy finally apprehends "Meat Cleaver Max" and watches the electric chair execution from the audience. But killing Max Jenke only elevated him to another level of reality. Now Lucas' family is under attack, his sanity in question, and his house haunted. Aided by a disreputable college professor, can Lucas reclaim his mind, house, and family? Features Lance Henriksen as Lucas McCarthy and Brion James as Max Jenke. One of the few movies featuring these actors as main characters. Written by Matrix <matrix@rio.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'd rather be on Elm St. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

House III See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$773,348, 30 April 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,738,897
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brion James was doubled by Kane Hodder for several stunt set pieces. See more »

Goofs

Steadicam reflected in the mirror when Lucas is searching his house in opening sequence. See more »

Quotes

[to the various press and officials who have come to witness his execution]
Max Jenke: Glad you could make it!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The U.S print was cut to receive an R-rating with edits to shots of severed legs in a meat grinder, Max's electrocution scene, the staircase fight and some bloody shootings. The UK Anchor Bay DVD (in the "House Collection" box set) featured the cut print though earlier UK video releases plus the Hollywood DVD budget release all feature the full unrated print. See more »


Soundtracks

The Things I Have Done To Our Love
Written by Leslie Bohem (as Les Bohem) and David Kendrick
Performed by Gleaming Spires
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Kind of an afterthought
2 August 2018 | by bowmanblueSee all my reviews

I have to confess absolutely loving the first 'House' film. Yes, the (now iconic) marketing poster of a decomposing severed hand ringing a doorbell may have been a tad misleading. You may think you were in for one scary experience when, in fact, you received one hell of a tongue-in-cheek black horror-comedy. The (inevitable) sequel was so-so, but by this third instalment, it had well and truly lost its way.

Where as the first two 'House' films were both heavily linked to - surprise, surprise - a house, this film seems to forget why it's called what it is. In fact I believe in some territories when the film was released the 'House' part of the title was completely dropped in favour of a more ambiguous 'The Horror Show' title. I guess this tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the project, i.e. it's not really a sequel but more of a horror script that was sort of crow-barred in under the familiar (and therefore profitable) 'House' brand in order to increase sales. But is it any good?

Unfortunately, not really. Even by a stand-alone horror film it's a bit lame. However, that's not for the efforts of leading man Lance Henriksen, who does everything in his extensively-cool acting range to bring some drama to the proceedings. It's starts okay enough - Henriksen is a cop tortured by his previous experiences with a serial killer, only for said nasty to come back from the grave to haunt his family (in the house, in case you were wondering). Then it all kind of falls apart as the scares become fewer and further between and the plot descends into predictability. The serial killer is portrayed by (Bladerunner's) Brion James and he too does his best to add some terror with the limited script available to him. However, in the end, both main actors end up just chewing up the scenery in an attempt to try and elevate what is a particularly forgettable B-movie into something vaguely memorable.

There's some nice practical effects here and there and it's always nice to be reminded of a time before CGI gore ruled the horror scene. But, at the end of the day, it's not enough to save this film. I'm a big fan of Lance Henriksen and watch most of his output, but even I would struggle to sit through this film again (I've watched it twice - the first time over twenty years ago and completely forgotten it. Therefore I've just seen it again and felt I better review it before everything about it escapes me again). The first 'House' film is a classic. Just stick to that.


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