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Horror Movie A Day: Quint visits THE HOUSE WHERE EVIL DWELLS (1982)
There’s an awful face in my soup!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day. [The regular A Movie A Day list has been frozen in order for me to do an all-horror line-up for October. I’ve pulled many horror titles from my regular “to see” stack and have ordered many more horror and thriller titles to make sure we have some good stuff. Like the regular AMAD column all the movies I’m covering are films I have never seen, but unlike the regular AMAD column I will not connect each film to the one before it. Instead I will pull a title at random every day and watch whatever the movie Gods determine for me.] This movie is fucking ridiculous. Let’s get that out of the way up front. The unintentional humor in this movie is off the charts. It is fucking ridiculous.

Now, the movie starts off well. In fact, it’s got a great opening scene. The Alamo Drafthouse regularly does an event called the 100 Best Kills where they encourage the audience to bring in videos, DVDs, CD-Rs whatever… that have great movie kills. I think on the next one I’m going to bring in this one. For starters, THE HOUSE WHERE EVIL DWELLS is a haunted house movie with an opening about samurais. Yeah. Samurai. Nothing says haunted house like samurai. A pretty Asian lady invites in a man who I assumed was her husband. She puts his sandals in their place, kneels while opening and closing the door for him. The man gives her a little figurine of two people embraced, obviously fucking. They eat and then fuck. Then we’re outside as a regal samurai dude comes walking up, watching the shadows on the rice-paper walls, getting more and more pissed off. Yep, you guessed it. This is the real husband. Pissed off he unsheathes his sword and chops down the door in a rage.

What follows is about the most awesome awesomeness you can get… we’re talking three or four minutes of slow motion pissed off samurai as the cheating man scrambles for his life, throwing shit at the sword-wielding maniac while the topless woman panics and tries to get away. All in slow motion. And then the samurai makes contact and chops a limb off, stabs the dude in the dick and then decapitates him, sending the head flying to the ground next to the cowering lady. Of course he takes her out, too, then commits hari kari. There’s the origin of the haunted house. Now we have an American family who moves in, friends of the local American diplomat, played by ‘70s B-movie king Doug McClure. Susan George is the matriarch of the family and Edward Albert (Eddie Albert’s son) is the patriarch. Together with their daughter they move into this great deal of an old Japanese house. And this is where it starts getting really awesome. The haunting is represented by transparent blue versions of the two men and girl from the opening wearing heavy kabuki theater style make-up watching shit going on… and occasionally slipping into the bodies of the new family.

Susan George is apparently the most susceptible and what does this scary ghost do when she enters George’s body? Does she become a demon of some sort? Does she spew split pea soup? No. She becomes a slut. Literally, the slut-ghost makes George want to fuck McClure. The samurai ghost does ultimately inhabit Edward Albert, making him very angry. But oh no… that’s not the best part of the movie. Apparently, the ghosts can also summon… pissed off crabs. Oh my God, the pissed off crabs ruled. Obviously incredibly fake, but somehow the fakeness actually works in the favor of the effect making it, I’m sure, unintentionally creepy. I don’t know where the fuck the filmmakers got the idea to put evil crabs into the movie, but it’s brilliant. They also surround the two fake moaning crab monsters (each one utters guttural samurai noises) with real live baby crabs, which look like disgusting red spiders. All those crab things terrorize the little girl (after I guess swallowing one of the souls in a cup of soup, which I don’t exactly get).

Of course, there’s a monk that lives up the road and wants to help. When the gwailo family finally decides that there are fucked up things happening, the dude comes in, chants, forces the spirits to go sit out on the front porch and tells the family, in their final night, “Okay, I’m off. Oh yeah, don’t open this door. See ya’!” That’s a paraphrase, but you get the gist.

This movie is fucking ridiculous, if I haven’t made that perfectly clear. Final Thoughts: The performances are okay, but for some reason it seems at least half of the movie was redubbed, made in the ADR booth after wrapping, which kind of undercuts a lot of the performances. But honestly, the filmmaking on this one is pretty poor, with a mediocre script and uneven characters. Which is a little surprising as Kevin Conner also directed the awesome MOTEL HELL. That Kevin Conner did not show up for this one. However, I will say that the movie is just bad enough to be a lot of fun. And you get a whole lot of Susan George nudity, so the flick can’t be all that bad, even if it’s MILF-era Susan George and not STRAW DOGS-era nubile Susan George. And check out this complete false advertising poster… which has absolutely nothing to do with the movie (hell, it even altered the title).

Here are the titles in the drawing pool for the rest of October: Wednesday, October 1st – Friday, October 31st: H-MAD! Horror Movie A Day! Check out the list here! Now it’s time to pull the next HMAD! Next up is:

Wow, that’s going to be a jump, going from ridiculously entertaining early ‘80s haunted house movie to a South Korean serial killer movie from the aughts. Looking forward to it, though. Been meaning to get to this one for a long while. See you folks tomorrow for that one! -Quint

Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4th: On Golden Pond
July 5th: The Cowboys
July 6th: The Alamo
July 7th: Sands of Iwo Jima
July 8th: Wake of the Red Witch
July 9th: D.O.A.
July 10th: Shadow of A Doubt
July 11th: The Matchmaker
July 12th: The Black Hole
July 13th: Vengeance Is Mine
July 14th: Strange Invaders
July 15th: Sleuth
July 16th: Frenzy
July 17th: Kingdom of Heaven: The Director’s Cut
July 18th: Cadillac Man
July 19th: The Sure Thing
July 20th: Moving Violations
July 21st: Meatballs
July 22nd: Cast a Giant Shadow
July 23rd: Out of the Past
July 24th: The Big Steal
July 25th: Where Danger Lives
July 26th: Crossfire
July 27th: Ricco, The Mean Machine
July 28th: In Harm’s Way
July 29th: Firecreek
July 30th: The Cheyenne Social Club
July 31st: The Man Who Knew Too Much
August 1st: The Spirit of St. Louis
August 2nd: Von Ryan’s Express
August 3rd: Can-Can
August 4th: Desperate Characters
August 5th: The Possession of Joel Delaney
August 6th: Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx
August 7th: Start the Revolution Without Me
August 8th: Hell Is A City
August 9th: The Pied Piper
August 10th: Partners
August 11th: Barry Lyndon
August 12th: The Skull
August 13th: The Hellfire Club
August 14th: Blood of the Vampire
August 15th: Terror of the Tongs
August 16th: Pirates of Blood River
August 17th: The Devil-Ship Pirates
August 18th: Jess Franco’s Count Dracula
August 19th: Dracula A.D. 1972
August 20th: The Stranglers of Bombay
August 21st: Man, Woman & Child
August 22nd: The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane
August 23rd: The Young Philadelphians
August 24th: The Rack
August 25th: Until They Sail
August 26th: Somebody Up There Likes Me
August 27th: The Set-Up
August 28th: The Devil & Daniel Webster
August 29th: Cat People
August 30th: The Curse of the Cat People
August 31st: The 7th Victim
September 1st: The Ghost Ship
September 2nd: Isle of the Dead
September 3rd: Bedlam
September 4th: Black Sabbath
September 5th: Black Sunday
September 6th: Twitch of the Death Nerve
September 7th: Tragic Ceremony
September 8th: Lisa & The Devil
September 9th: Baron Blood
September 10th: A Shot In The Dark
September 11th: The Pink Panther
September 12th: The Return of the Pink Panther
September 13th: The Pink Panther Strikes Again
September 14th: Revenge of the Pink Panther
September 15th: Trail of the Pink Panther
September 16th: The Real Glory
September 17th: The Winning of Barbara Worth
September 18th: The Cowboy and the Lady
September 19th: Dakota
September 20th: Red River
September 21st: Terminal Station
September 22nd: The Search
September 23rd: Act of Violence
September 24th: Houdini
September 25th: Money From Home
September 26th: Papa’s Delicate Condition
September 27th: Dillinger
September 28th: Battle of the Bulge
September 29th: Daisy Kenyon
September 30th: Laura
October 1st: The Dunwich Horror
October 2nd: Experiment In Terror
October 3rd: The Devil’s Rain
October 4th: Race With The Devil
October 5th: Salo, Or The 120 Days of Sodom
October 6th: Bad Dreams

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