Tuesday, February 25, 2014


SPOOKIES (1986) (R) Dir. Genie Joseph, Thomas Doran, and Brendan Faulkner
85 mins.

This movie has quite the cult following and just a cursory glance at the reviews of it on IMDB are overwhelmingly positive. That being said, it really, really sucks. Maybe if one grew up watching this as a kid, like age 6 or 7, I could see why as an adult one could consider this to (nostalgically) be a good movie. It is however, at least for me, utterly bad. Acting, writing, directing, lighting; god!
The film's logo in the title card, is a ripoff of the Goonies logo. The ending is a ripoff of Night of the Living Dead. The main plot and direction are a complete ripoff of The Evil Dead, sometimes shot for shot. Imagine if, you will, that The Evil Dead was written and directed for kids by R.L. Stein. That's this. No real gore, just slime and little blood and loads of monsters... Why is this an R-rated Video Nasty??? I'm getting ahead of myself.
Oooooo.... Spookies.
Some kids get thrown out of a party, but the night is still young and the alpha male of the group is an insufferable dick, so yada yada yada, they go to an abandoned mansion, yada yada yada, MONSTERS. All sorts of strange monsters. There's zombies, gremlin like things (that look remarkably like Jason's worm-incarnation in Jason Goes to Hell), a wolfman-ish lackey, a Spider-woman and her giant spider baby, mud-men that fart but are destroyable by water (doesn't mud CONTAIN water?), possessed Evil Dead demons, the Grim Reaper, an immortal wizard, his reincarnated son, a ghost.... There's no point in describing the film's characters or the plot at length. There's no logic or consistency, there are just set pieces and FX, to which the story itself serves as an almost screwlessly loose diving board.
Here you are folks: the best part of this movie.
The monsters are many, and some the effects work would be quite good, if they were puppeted, lit or filmed right. Instead we get brightly lit rubber dripping Vaseline and awkwardly attacking the actors (who know they're in  a bad movie... so don't even try to be more than one-dimensional stereotypes). Though there are implied and on-screen deaths in this (meaning it wasn't "technically" made for children), they goreless and leave much to be desired, hell I had to rewind the movie at the climax because I had missed the deaths of three characters. Don't blink, or you'll miss them "die" by psychic lightning attack.
Inept on all levels. I'm sure it doesn't help that Genie Joseph pieced this film's new footage with footage from the other two previous directors, who were initially filming it under the title Twisted Souls. what's left is essentially a kid's movie. Maybe it's a disasterpiece, but unless there is a seasoned heckler or three in the audience, and copious amounts of recreationals, its not worth it, at least to me. I know myriads of 80's kids disagree.  I CAN however say it was still better than Home Sweet Home, though. 3/10

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