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House Where Evil Dwells, The (1982)
Movie Review by The Spastic Cannibal

House Where Evil Dwells, The (1982) Lately, I seem to be incidentally stumbling across many putrid horror films that seem to strike me as unintentionally hilarious. So far, "The House Where Evil Dwells" is the funniest one I've inadvertently been bombarded with non-stop comedy by...

It opens in silence - 1840 (I think) - with a geisha-type Japanese woman inviting a man into her house. They begin screwing when the woman's enraged husband shows up and spots their entangled shadows behind the paper walls. Wielding a samurai sword, he bursts in and begins chopping them up in slow-motion before committing harakiri. This whole beginning was alright and sets a nice, misleading tone for the rest of the movie. Present day, a family has arrived in Japan to stay in the murder house where the husband can get some writing done and learn just before arrival that there was, in fact, a double homicide committed in the house. This marks the first time Doug McClure fucks things up for our three main characters. Upon their first night, Susan George shows off her tits (still lookin' good, but she's past her "Straw Dogs" prime at this point) and soon we catch a glimpse of the ghosts... Actually, we see the ghosts pretty clearly... a LOT. The three entities (who must've put their differences behind them in order to haunt the new residents together) are shown in total "Ghostbusters" fashion - transparent and slightly blue - as they walk casually into frame numerous times and knock things over. The ghost-woman possesses the wife and causes her to have sex with Doug McClure (ick). Then, while the husband's starting to display a semi-Jack Torrence mental collapse, the young daughter is attacked by large, fake looking Japanese crabs (?) who chase her up a tree. The pure absurdity of this scene makes me lightheaded as I now think back to it... Finally, the husband has a sword fight with McClure. At this point, I'm rolling on the floor, evacuating my bowels.

First off, "The House Where Evil Dwells" could be retitled "How Not to Make a Ghost Film 101". If this shit were any less subtle, the ghost would've shape-shifted into robot raptors. Unfortunately, this movie was incapable of being that awesome, though it succeeded in being massively implausible and un-creepy. How is showing a semi-transparent ghost swatting a bowl off a table suppose to incite fear into the viewer? How does a ghost-sword turn into a REAL sword once it's stuck in a table? Why don't we see the ghost throw the Japanese dildo mask at Susan George, yet we see them fucking around with Edward Albert? So, the mask flies off the wall and I'm suppose to go "Whao! What on earth could've caused that?!" What was the crabs' beef with the little girl? I've never seen a horror movie play every one of it's cards wrong like this! It's honestly the least "scary" supernatural film ever made. It's downright hilarious! I really want to believe that director Kevin Connor (the man behind "Motel Hell") was aiming for laughs, but the whole attitude behind the movie felt too sincere. Connor sunk himself by showing the ghosts right from the start. He only furthered the humiliation by showing a groaning ghost-head in a bowl of soup, right before Ed Albert angrily dumps it down his kid's throat.

Unless you're looking for unintentional comedic gold or want to see Doug McClure's naked ass for some reason, I'm sure you'll find "The House Where Evil Dwells" terrible...

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