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

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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 .

Gross Movie Reviews #333

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Gross Movie Reviews #333

 

By Tim Gross

 

Apocalypse L.A. (SyFy Channel/DVD) – The film was released under a different title last year “Disaster L.A.” but has been rereleased by SyFy Channel recently. It’s a zombie movie without calling it a zombie movie. Meteors start crashing to earth or L.A. specifically changing certain folks into flesh-eating mutants… hence zombies! Call them whatever you want but a group of so-called friends are fighting to get out of the city and flee the chaos. If you have destroyed many brain cells with beer like I you will most likely find yourself watching this flick just because otherwise choose your movies wisely my friends as I give this mediocre sci-fi flick 1 star.

 

Shattered Hopes: The Amityville Horror Murders (DVD) – If you were someone who was born in the 70s and remember all the stories of the movie and the family that left because the devil or evil spirits lived in a red room in the basement you’ll enjoy this… Why?  It debunks everything we know then and tries to get behind the real truth of the home and the murders and there was a cover up of some things that happened during the murders years ago. Fun stuff I tell you kids! I give it 3 stars.

 

Edge of Tomorrow (DVD) – Tom Cruise continues to be in some of the best fucking movies I have seen years as this flick is “Aliens meets Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day”! Starts off with you saying to yourself “I have seen this film before…” But that’s when the movie gets interesting as Tom Cruise plays an officer who has never had the pleasure fighting the aliens who are trying to take over Europe in the near future and when he does, he dies constantly! Then he wakes up to relive the same day and same invasion over and over until he is able to figure out what to do. Great flick, Tom Cruise was great, Hollywood keep letting Cruise in these very entertaining flicks as I give it 3 ½ stars.

 

Vampire Hunter D (DVD/You Tube) – I know you are saying to yourself, “Holy shit the Gross Man actually watches Japanese Anime?” And the answer is yes. Not much but I have my moments because I respect the genre as those who follow it all are small in numbers but embrace it more than horror fans embrace their favorite horror films. Anime is almost like its own culture. But I am not expert to explain to this so let’s talk about one of the best animated horror films of all time if not the best as this flick in my opinion changed everything in 1985. Up until then anime wasn’t talked about and most of us only had the pleasure watching such other animated flicks: “Heavy Metal, Wizards, Fire and Ice, etc.” “Vampire Hunter D” took the plotline of futuristic vampires, the action icon of anti-hero to save all, and amazing animated gore and threw into a blender which in turn made an amazing animated horror film that changed a generation. Magnus Lee a head vampire named after Christopher Lee comes back to his homeland after being gone for many years and finds a young girl he would like to make his wife. Villagers live in fear of her believing she will bring an army of bloodsuckers down upon them so they ban her from town. So she seeks the help of a known stranger who makes it his life’s work to kill vampires. It is violent brilliance in action my friends. I give it 4 stars.

 

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (DVD/YouTube) – The argument can be made they waited 15 years too long for a sequel but we got one anyway and it is fucking awesome! Imagine films: “Vampires, The Road Warrior, and Gary Oldman from Bram Stoker’s Dracula” were mashed together and we get the great chaos in an animated film that has “D” trying to save a rich man’s daughter from a vampire that claims he loves her. The vamp and the woman want to leave this earth for a place where they will not be hunted and live in peace. Some people prefer this flick of the first but I enjoy the origin story more but this flick still has enough punch to gut for horror and anime fans to enjoy as I give it 3 ½ stars.

INVALUABLEDOCUNEWS

Invaluable (DVD) – A documentary that was written/directed/edited by independent filmmaker Ryan Meade, who took it upon himself to bring to light the greatness of Mr. Tom Sullivan. If by some chance you do not know who this man is you are missing something in your life. Mr. Sullivan or we should call him Mr. Evil Dead was the man who did the amazing special effects for the first “Evil Dead” film and is a superb artist also! The documentary dives into Sullivan’s life from the time he grew up and met Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell to his soul mate dying (which I never knew about) to how Sullivan with just a chance meeting with Cinema Wasteland’s Ken Kish at a convention in the late 90s made him an icon among horror movie fans and convention goers alike. The film has interviews with Michael Berryman, the ladies of “Evil Dead”, Bruce Campbell all talking about Tom Sullivan not only being a great friend but the backbone of a film that still has generations of horror fans talking about over 30 years later! The film promotes Tom Sullivan’s artwork which is just amazing and I could stare at all day but also shows his traveling “Evil Dead” museum. Ryan should be proud of this project because there are still many people out there that don’t know about Mr. Sullivan and should. Tom is one of my favorite celebrities to have ever met and I will tell everyone he is one of us… a horror fan and has fun still too this day doing what he does. I give this perfect insight into the life of the artist Tom Sullivan 4 out of 4 stars. Now do yourself a favor and go visit this page and support Ryan Meade and Tom Sullivan: http://ryanmeadesmovies.wix.com/invaluablemovie .

 

Kickboxer 2: The Road Back (DVD) – Sasha Mitchell shows up as a third brother in the Sloan family who runs an old gym his brothers use to run until they were killed by Tong Po who was the villain that fought Jean-Claude Van Damme in the first flick. This flick has a shitload of faces in it that you will recognize immediately: Peter Boyle, Dennis Chan (who was the trainer in the first film), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (yeah trying saying that three times in a row, but mother fucker is in everything), Michel Qissi as Tong Po, Matthias Hues (we will always know him as the alien dude in “I Come in Peace” and one of my favorite directors, Albert Pyun directs. An enemy that was disgraced by Tong Po for killing the Sloan brothers forces the final Sloan brother to fight for honor after burning down his gym and making him do yoga with hobos in the park. Good follow-up to the original JCVD flick as I give it 2 ½ stars.

 

Kickboxer 3: The Art of War (DVD) – Sasha Mitchell and Dennis Chan travel to Brazil to make some money but instead befriend a couple kids that live on the streets and must fight for their freedom. Some asshole promoter sells slaves/hookers, whatever and wants Sloan to take a dive during a fight to make a bunch of money. But Sasha says it ain’t happening and begins kicking ass all over Brazil. The sequel is entertaining enough to make me watch the next flick so let’s move on as I give it 2 stars.

 

Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor (DVD) – Sasha Mitchell is back for another round looking uninterested and without his buddy and instructor Dennis Chan. This time around some dude looking like Tong Po who seems to survive every movie is a druglord and is running Mortal Kombat/cough, cough I mean a tournament in Mexico to decide who will win a million dollars and fight him? Uninterested Sloan makes his way to Mexico to save his wife from Tong Po who won’t know its Sloan fucking up all his minions in his compound! The film is hilarious for the wrong reasons or the right reasons if you are weird like me as I give the flick 2 stars. Did I mention Albert Pyun was back to direct this sequel?

 

Kickboxer 5: The Redemption (DVD) – AKA we are done making sequels for now because we believe that Tim Gross guy and those two weird people from Seattle are the only ones that would watch part five in America. Huge hits overseas… here not so much. Mark Decascos takes over for Sasha Mitchell as the unstoppable American who fucks up anybody that messes with his friends or in this case kill off the Sloan clan. Anyway Mark’s character travels to South Africa to avenge Sloan’s death and the no name dude that gets his as beat on a rooftop by a couple of extras. Training montage, lost in Africa until a new friend’s sister picks them up, generic mock “Enter the Dragon” end fight scene and you have part five! I give the film 1 ½ stars. Good news kids there are a sequel/remake in the works being directed by Albert Pyun!

WolfCop (DVD) – I always enjoy when I find or hear about films like this feeling like the film was made just for me to watch and review?! The title says it all and I laughed my nutsack off watching this masterpiece. A drunken deputy of a small town named Lou that is useless keeps being sent out for disturbances in the woods of kids partying or doing satanic shit until one night his ass gets knocked out and wakes up in his own bed. Lou has flashes of what happened the night before but is unsure and soon becomes a cop who wants answers. Soon we got fun werewolf transformations; bad jokes that make me laugh my ass off, and a “Wolf Cop” car that is bad ass! Lou begins his bloody rampage through town trying to find answers and uncovers the truth behind the town’s leaders and why every 32 years a local event gets canceled. I love cheap Canadian horror movies as the filmmaker and company knew they were making a cheese fest and embraced it and that is what makes this one of my favorite horror films of 2014 as I give this son of a bitch 4 stars! And thank the lord there is a sequel in the works!

 

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (DVD) – Is it a sequel, a remake, you be the judge as it is one good fucking movie. The tatersack killer is back! 66 years after the original murders he appears again Halloween night 2013 during a showing of the 1976 film at the local drive-in. The townsfolk baffled, scared, want answers to why is this happening again, and a high school that is told , “to make everyone remember”? Jami is a shy girl who was just happy to go on a date but now is the center of attention as the unknown killer is back and haunting her but she fights back by researching who may have been the original killer as that mystery still remains unsolved. The film also incorporates the 1976 film and its filmmaker into the mystery as Jami believes if she can find the real killer the new one will disappear? Trying not to give away a lot as I was impressed with the direction the film went. So if you are a big fan of the original garb a six pack and pizza and enjoy this fun present day classic as I give it 3 stars.

 

Kolchak: The Night Stalker (DVD) – It all started in Vegas with Kolchak investigative reporter into the unknown. Kolchak is given a job to report on a murder of a woman having her blood drained from her body. Not sure what to make of it he investigates deeper and tries to bribe his way into the morgue and try other sources that may have other information as the bloodless bodies begin to pile up. But when it comes down to it Kolchak convinces the Vegas police they must carry silver crosses and wooden stakes to drive into this madman’s chest. Great 70s TV movie that as I said before inspired “The X-Files” and many other TV shows. Darren McGavin was awesome in this role as I give the flick 3 ½ stars.

 

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You can always visit and see some past reviews, independent film news, or me ranting at: www.grossmoviereviews.com !!!

Don’t forget you can also hear Kyle Poling and me talking about horror flicks on a weekly basis on the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast at http://bloodbathsandboomsticks.blogspot.com/ .

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