I remember seeing today’s entry as a little boy growing up in the midwest. I was terrified by one scene in particular, which stayed with me all these years later. The scene? A breathing wall!
I could never place the film, and searched for years to try to find that scene, watching every theatrical haunted house picture of the 70s and 80s I could find. Thankfully, cable television, in particular, Ted Turner, came to the rescue. They ran the film as part of their Halloween programming, and I just happened to catch it. As luck would have it, I was, and am, in the midst of a series focusing on films that are considered “horror” films.
Perhaps you’ve heard of or seen today’s film?…
31 Days of Howl-oween
A Review of Films Filled with Frights
~ This House Possessed ~
Director: William Wiard
Cast: Parker Stevenson, Lisa Eilbacher, Joan Bennett, Slim Pickens, David Paymer, K Callan
Country: United States
Specs: 92 mins. / Color / OAR 1.33:1 / MPAA Rating: NR
When a rock star (Stevenson) suffers a nervous breakdown, he decides to get away to the scenic town of Rancho Santa Fe. He purchases a furnished house and invites his nurse from the hospital to come along as a live-in nurse, which she happily accepts. Soon the two begin to fall in love, just as a series of mysterious deaths begin to occur at the house. They begin to suspect there may be more to the house than meets the eye, and set out to learn all they can about the house’s history, confirming a haunting truth.
Never have I seen a film deemed a horror film without a single scare in it. In fact, I would garner this felt more like a Hardy Boys TV Movie of the Week than it did a Haunted House film. There is so much nonsense in this film that even the actors must have knew what a turkey this was.
We get to see a house than can spy on people through it’s security camera system, no matter where in the state of California they are (and I thought the old Superfriends cartoons were bad!). We get a 5 minute scene of Stevenson singing a “rock” song or two, whereupon he suddenly collapses from exhaustion. We get a bubbling boiling swimming pool which nobody seems to notice! We even get a breathing wall (for what reason again???)!
The acting, at least, isn’t horrible. Some of the cameos, although horrendously stereotypical, are a welcome treat for fans of films of a different era (from “James Bond” to “Lois and Clark”!).
As I’ve said before, some things are better left to memory than revisiting. In this case, I’m glad to free up that space for something far more memorable!
My Rating: ** / D+