Friday, October 12, 2012

80's Horror Week: Spookies (1986)

One of the problems nostalgia can have is that it can sometimes cloud judgement. "Spookies" is probably an example of this. Sure, it has all kinds of monsters and practical effects, which is why it remains such a sought after cult favorite, but as a whole it's not very fun to sit through.

 Honey, your date's here!

In fact, the story behind the movie is more interesting than the actual movie itself. Originally, it was called "Twisted Souls", and is where the plot with kids in a house comes in. However, the financers weren't too happy with it, so they added a bunch of new footage and things that in no way related to much of the movie. Long story short, the end result was "Spookies", and it's actually two movies combined into one. The end result works as well as you'd expect.

On the unrelated side of things is a plot that involves a kid going into a house and getting more than he bargained for. There's also a Kreon (Felix Ward), a sorcerer who has waited centuries for his bride Isabella (Maria Pechukas) to awaken. For this to happen, he needs sacrifices. That's where plot b (which also makes up the "Twisted Souls" footage) comes in, as a group of teens (actors clearly pushing 40) come in to the house, and start getting knocked off one by one by a wide assortment of beasts.

In the spirit of fairness, I will admit that the "Twisted Souls" footage is at least interesting. That's mostly because of the array of practical effects and offbeat monsters on display. The creatures themselves range from admittingly cool (a spider woman, a grim reaper type and an tentacled monstrosity) to incredibly weird (muck monsters that fart whenever they take a step.) Sure, the acting is terrible, but the sheer gutso of this footage actually makes this movie seeing at least once simply for the what the hell factor.

Unfortunately, almost everything outside of the "Twisted Souls" footage is just plain bad. The character of Kreon is the ultimate example of producer meddling, as he seems to hold no purpose other than for there to be a cheap reason for all of this. In fact, everything about the added footage outside of some neat zombies feels unnecessary. Why is there a cat monster? What's with the kid? Why am I supposed to care about Isabella? None of this makes any sense, and none of it is interesting. It's the equivalent of going to a haunted house ride, and someone showing up out of nowhere to add a bunch of stuff nobody wants.

Wow, thanks mom! This is exactly what I wanted!

The best way to describe "Spookies" is that it's one half really stupid but kinda fun monster fest, and another half of pure tedium. At best, one should fast forward through the added footage and just watch everything with monsters.

Rating: 4.5/10

1 comment:

  1. The movie is a mess, but kind of fun. There's some potential in it and it would be cool to see someone remake it and work out all the kinks.

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