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Amityville Horror, The (1979)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Amityville Horror, The (1979) Lois Lane doing sexy stretches with thigh-high leggings! Lois Lane spouting off silly dialogue with her shirt open, just a hint of NIP popping out if you watch it slow enough in FRAME BY FRAME mode! Lois Lane in pigtails! Lois Lane with schoolgirl uniforms on! Okay, you get the point, so it's Margot Kidder (who played Lois Lane in the classic SUPERMAN '78) starring in the late '70's adaptation of the famous haunted house story. AMITYVILLE is a slow burn story, Hollywood's subtle warm-up to the over-the-top and vastly superior POLTERGEIST. But the original AMITYVILLE ain't too bad. Nice, spooky tone. Opens with said murders taking place in the house. Years later, that typical late 70's nuclear family with kids from various "other" spouses buys the lofty Amityville pad at an affordable price. For some reason, Lois, er...Margot Kidder wants to have the new digs blessed, and Rod Steiger (!) shows up in a priest uniform and is told to 'GET OUT'! by a demon voice as a swarm of early November flies attack him. The family's little girl sees imaginary friends that rock chairs. Windows shut on hands. Doors open and close on their own. The family dog goes crazy, digging at someTHING sinister hidden in the cellar walls. There's cold spots in the house. Steiger goes to his superiors and says he wants to exorcise the house (!) but his boss, played by Murray Hamilton in a classic hammy cameo, tells hims "No, those beaches will be open for the 4th of July!" Oh, ironically, wrong AMITY situation... I mean...he tells him that he's NEVER seen a reason to exorcise a person or a house in all his years in the priesthood. The two priests exchange curses! Hilarious! From there, the house gets meaner, causing guests to get sick and leave. The walls and steps bleed. The toilets and faucets overflow with blood. Stepdad James Brolin begins to channel some Jack Nicholson and Lois dreams he kills the family with an ax...A cop gets involved, spying on the house in a nice rip-off (er, HOMAGE) to THE EXORCIST. (This bizarre subplot goes NOWHERE, he isn't even offed!) Lois can't find Jimmy Olsen so she goes to the library and finds out that her home sits on some kind of Indian burial ground where sacrifices to the Devil were allegedly made...Lightning flashes! Thunder booms! Will they get out of the house? Again, while the tone is right and much of this movie is spookster fun, if you didn't grow up with this movie or you don't appreciate the '70's nuclear families in a predicament' sub-genre, this one might bore you. But I enjoyed it! Again, it was a heckuva warm-up for POLTERGEIST and there's a few scenes that might send a shiver or two up your spine. Add in the fact that all this was allegedly supposed to have REALLY happened and it makes it all the more creepy. And if not, there's Lois Lane- posing, stretching in her undies, teasing and grinning and begging you to play FREEZE FRAME with her at various intervals...

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