Amityville… 36 entries… still counting… and still waiting for the others? (Part One)

Okay kids instead of boring you with who I am or my background let’s just summarize that like you I am some weirdo horror movie fan who in his lifetime has watched way too many horror movies and loves it. With that out of the way, let’s talk the Amityville series and if you couldn’t already tell this is gonna be a two part article for good reasons or bad ones… Honestly I just watched 36 Amityville films in the past six weeks so I don’t know if I would trust me? But let’s get back to what needs discussed or depending how many beers I drink (two 10% beers if wondering) while writing this article. Older horror fans if by some chance you didn’t know, “yes there is 36 F’N entries, so far… in the Amityville series, franchise, whatever you wanna call it. First question before I go on: Can we call it a franchise? I mean really can you call it a franchise if they really haven’t made money. Honestly, I thought I didn’t understand who the “Resident Evil” franchise was being made for but that is a whole different conversation. (Getting another beer) And for the newbies to the horror scene, nerdem, those of you are under 21, there was this movie/book based on a story of the Lutz family moving into a home in the state of New York that was haunted in the 70s. Anddddddddd… had a history of some horrible murders. In my John Larroquette voice it would be forever known as “The Amityville Horror”.

     Now that I have your attention, I and a couple friends who do a podcast called “Bloodbaths and Boomsticks” decided when we started up again for 2022 we should do an Amityville film every week. Sounds like a dumb idea but what the hell we are talking about a couple of guys that did a three episode podcast arc on the wonderful horror film “Spookies” (before it was cool). Yes, we do a podcast and no we don’t give a donkey fart who is paying attention (we have five listeners I believe) as we been doing a podcast for over eight years that was literally based on drunken conversations between two dumb ass horror movie nerds at a movie convention. Basically we live in reality for the most part. However this dumb ass idea stemmed from one of the dudes John Shatzer doing the “Witchcraft” series (all 16 of them) which intrigued me and of course I watched all of them because I have no life but also because I watch way too many ‘massacre’ films. (A whole other conversation we don’t need to have right now.) Second question before we move on: What happen to the Witchcraft remake? Legit question kids… Anyhow me being me I couldn’t just watch one Amityville film a week I wanted to watch them all? But here is the catch it surprised me that there was actually 36 films with five more in development and two more that we know of coming! (I take this very seriously as I open beer number four and I am invested.)

    

Why does this series intrigue me or my podcast partners Kyle Poling and John Shatzer? Well we are old but the real reason is why are there so many? I remember reading Fango back in the late 80s and once they had Patty Duke and sold the lamp I was out and no longer paying attention. Honestly kids, there are 12 Friday the 13th films, 10 Hellraiser films, eight Nightmare on Elm Street films, etc., you get the picture I kept paying attention. But for some reason I lost touch in caring to read the “Terror Teletype” in Fango about another Amityville sequel (yes I know you know I am old now) but those bitches kept making them. I mean after the first movie in 1979 yinz know the house burned, exploded, it didn’t F’N exist! So how, why, WTF? Well the first few or let’s say four movies were your standard for the 80s for a killer haunted home. That is where it went weird as we as horror fans were not imagining things when we saw four more entries litter the local video stores. These entries were made on modest budgets, had a couple celebs we know, and plots that were remotely worth watching. Again we are talking evil house, evil objects in the house that were sold “Friday the 13th TV series” style, and remember the house exploded. But like a lot of people say “why let plot get in the way of a bad movie” or is that said differently? Anyway after that it went quiet in the mid-90s… Question three: Was that because “Scream” and horror audiences expected more? Question four: because we were introduced to DVD and distribution figured the age of “direct-to-video” was over since even at that time video stores were starting to close their doors? (Time for another beer)

    

This is where all horror fans believed, thought, or just plain forgot the series died? There was nothing between 1996 and 2005. Then it happened… THE REMAKE and it starred Ryan Reynolds! 2005, out of nowhere the remake of “The Amityville Horror” came out and it was like a fart in church, forgotten after sneering at it. I mean it wasn’t horrible and it was all the rage by 2005 the remake was released but it was one of those things ‘based on true events’ that hey breaking news was most likely all bullshit! Even the Warrens of “The Conjuring” films fame for those who don’t know were sucked in during the 70s. Bottom-line kids DeFeo allegedly killed everyone setting these things in motion with the Lutz possibly looking for a payoff or whatever. But hey go Google that shit on your own time as this remake somehow opened ‘Pandora’s box’ of Amityville sequels. Question five: I understood remakes were the fad in the early 2000s but why “The Amityville Horror”? Out of all the horror movies from 70s and 80s this was one literally stumped me in the logic especially when even then it was all in question that it was a hoax or it was one of those things no one cared about. Come on kids… your dumb ass “Paranormal Activity” films or “Ghost Hunters” right before that gave birth to a shitload of TV weirdos that thought they were seeing or feeling ghosts on a weekly basis?

    

Then 2011 rolled around and all of a sudden it was on like Donkey Kong for the love of Rutger Hauer as it became a new thing: Amityville Haunting, Asylum, Playhouse, Deathhouse, etc., you get the drift. I don’t think there is a real answer here as I have read everything from the Amityville name is public domain to there is a loop hole in a contract signed between the book and movie rights to no one gives a fuck which raises question six: Who is actually making money on these entries let alone think they will make money? Then the independent filmmakers got a hold of this series during this time. Mark Polonia should have honestly known better and let’s be honest expect better from him and his crew. But then there is an entry from filmmaker Henrique Couto called “Amityville: No Escape” that was a found footage Amityville film that was not just watchable but great! He confused me because I was being conditioned to just watch a total mess of what is considered a horror movie. But don’t worry kids as I was ass deep entries into the series and thinking the entries were not that terrible I then come across “Amityville: Vanishing Point”. This 2016 entry was made for around $1000 by a so-called filmmaker who has disappeared as quickly as this film was made. The sound and editing were so bad the DVD was pulled from Amazon and there were no streaming rights (or at least that is what my research turned up). This film wasn’t watchable even though I did my best to power through it. Funny thing this had an excuse, but a few entries later another entry didn’t as I was introduced to Florida douchebag and his fake stripper girlfriend in “Amityville: Mt. Misery Road”. Never mind there was an entry called, “Amityville Prison” that was actually another good film (who would of guessed) or a couple entries that more names than foreign territories “Zombie” franchise (again Google that shit) had.

     The reason I bring up “Amityville: Mt. Misery Road” is just the sad fact that this is a piece of garbage that shouldn’t be called a movie. This is a prime example of me not understanding how hot garbage like this entry gets distribution and stuff from Indy filmmakers such as a Jim Roberts, Jorge Delarosa, Zane Hershberger, and I could go on and on  as they struggle their asses off for companies to pay attention. There is no fucking way in hell you can explain to me this film from ‘Florida Man’ is better than the last 200 independent films I have watched. Honestly kids this is plain bullshit and the company that even remotely released this should go bankrupt just because this so-called film was dumb and insulting to people who actually like watching films. But what made this series weirder if possible was the prequel we get in 2018 called “The Amityville Murders”. Literally we are over 20 entries in and we get a true prequel to the whole series depicting the DeFeo murders! Unless you are 12 or lived in a bomb shelter all your life you have seen the several documentaries explaining it’s a hoax and DeFeo wanted to bang his sister but that is after the fact. This entry was a pleasant surprise but not aimed at me as I grew up with all of this stuff. The entry doesn’t cover new ground but when it is sandwiched between “Vanishing Point, Mt. Misery Road, and Harvest” you will want to celebrate!

If you need to know:

Amityville worst:

1) Mt. Misery Road (just fuck off Florida douchebag)

2) Vanishing Point (I can get past the editing and sound was off completely, but you never went back and fixed it)

3) Scarecrow (Really kids, a British scarecrow movie hiding as an Amityville film about a haunted scarecrow in a trailer park… UGH!

    

Then for some odd reason 2019 it went completely quiet just so in 2020 and 2021 the Amityville films just like everyone during the pandemic lost their freaking mind as we got: an island with a shark, witches, a vibrator that was haunted (which I have watched twice and yes you had me at “vibrator at a yard sale” but also Nathan Rumler you legit made me laugh at a film that is 30 films deep into a franchise!, a werewolf, a cult (didn’t see that coming), a vampire (again), they were in the hood with Dustin Ferguson (I enjoyed the Leprechaun in the hood vibe) and zombies… maybe? Then if that wasn’t enough I found one that got lost because of all its different titles that was a 2015 entry, get this it was called, “Amityville: The Final Chapter”. Fuck me sideways with this dumb shit WTF? Because this reminded me of the entry with Jennifer Jason Leigh that supposedly was made in 2011, supposed to be released in 2013 and then again 2015 under a different title?  The frustration, the beer that was drank during this, and what makes this hilarious is I am awaiting the five entries that haven’t been released yet? Or made available for public consumption yet as we will be getting titles like Amityville: Karen, Bigfoot, Hex, Clown, and Sharkhouse! I wish I could make this shit up but the topper out of this glorious or not so glorious mess is one of the two Amityville movies in development is a FREAKIN’ REMAKE with a big budget! Did I miss something while I watched all of these? Anyway I needed to get this out of my system as I know I will part two of this article later this year when I am able to witness the five films to bring our total to 41! So kids don’t do this for fun do this as a group thing and enjoy the dumbness or the puzzling thoughts of how a couple entries can be, how is that an Amityville thing, why is there five more, why it take so long to do in the hood, why isn’t a space movie, and best of all you know the house exploded right? Good night horror kids…

Hope yinz enjoyed the article, if you wanna support come to our Grossfest show May 1st (www.grossfest.com for more details), be the sixth person in nine years to listen to our podcast (http://bloodbathspodcast.blogspot.com/) , or check me out at www.grossmoviereviews.com .

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