Comedy / Horror

IMDb Rating 5.1 10 1,835


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January 14, 2020


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740.17 MB
23.976 fps
85 min
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1.32 GB
23.976 fps
85 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Squonkamatic 7 / 10 / 10

There Is No Uncut Version Of This Above-Average 80s Horror Film

IMDb readers are in luck: some of the production team behind one of the two films combined into the feature called SPOOKIES have been posting to the message boards for the film, and their insights into this really odd, enjoyable little flick are quite eye opening. Unless I am mistaken in reading what they have posted, SPOOKIES began in 1983/1984 as a film slated to be called TWISTED SOULS -- credited to directors Thomas Doran and Brendan Faulkner -- about a group of people who travel to a secluded mansion in the middle of nowhere for some sort of party: The place is haunted or possessed by poltergeists who saw THE EVIL DEAD (amongst other films given visual nods) and the cast is killed off in entertainingly gruesome ways by a host of early FX horror meanies -- My favorite is the statue of the Grim Reaper that comes to life, scythe and all, though most fans seem to prefer the Muck Men, who pass gas uncontrollably while trying to maul their victims. "Farting mud men" or whatever. For reasons I am still not 100% clear about the film was shelved for two years or so until 1985/1986 when a hack director named Eugenie Johnson was brought in to try and create a finished feature length film out of the well-produced but unused footage, shooting some additional scenes and editing them into the body of TWISTED SOULS in the same way that one might make a quilt on a loom: The two films are now inextricably interwoven into one 85 minute feature called SPOOKIES, which unless my notes are incorrect, was released theatrically & on home video in 1987/1988 to a certain amount of popular acclaim. Put quite simply, the scenes with the group of people in the haunted mansion with the Ouija board possessed chick are what is left of TWISTED SOULS, the remaining footage with the goofy made-up kids, the Angus Scrimm like old man, and the young goth babe in the white dress are what Ms. Johnson added to round out the runtime. The result is even more confusing than it might sound because the film abruptly changes gears & tones in mid-scene as cutaway reaction shots by the weird monster kids are edited to make them appear as extensions to scenes which they were never meant to be in. The problem is that the production design and texture of film stock used for the SPOOKIES add-in scenes are notably different than the by then 3 years older TWISTED SOULS scenes, giving the film a discontinuous & disjointed feel to it that one might mistake for clumsy editing. One minute you get a terse haunted house scene with 20 something adults panicking as they have to fight off animated killing fiends, the next minute you get stuff that looks like a nightmare sequence from "The Wonder Years". The film comes off as a cross between a horror farce like DEADTIME STORIES and a grim little effects thriller like SUPERSTITION aka THE WITCH, which may also have it's own grim sense of humor but is hardly played for laughs. The final film known as SPOOKIES doesn't make sense as a linear narrative, and yet there is still something going on here that is pretty darn interesting. The bottom line on the film is that NO UNCUT VERSION OF IT EXISTS, unless you want to use Duchamp and say that Ms. Johnson's re-defined film with the added footage counts as a finished, single discreet object. It sort of kinda does, but only until you learn the story behind what you're seeing. And once you know the story behind the production -- and how to tell the two aggregate parts from each other -- it's hard to enjoy it as a single finished piece of art anymore, which is too bad. SPOOKIES doesn't suck but yet it doesn't exactly rule, and as Beavis & Butt-Head teach us, stuff should either suck, or it rules ... By failing to achieve even that basic standard the film becomes a big, exasperating, confusing tease that looks great without managing to say a damn thing about what it is supposed to be. Here is a film that requires background reading. That the original material from TWISTED SOULS is lost to time (or legal considerations, at least) is a travesty: This could have been one of the best haunted house movies of the 1980's, and instead exists only as a sort of incomplete, disorienting mish-mash filled with genuine dreck breaking up some of the most interesting horror scenes from that particular period of time. I find the film as it exists today as a fascinating example of how the worst intentions of even the most talented people can be used against their own better judgment: I'd love to even see a 40 minute cut of what's left that excludes the SPOOKIES additions, even if the film wouldn't have an ending. What ending there was tacked on isn't much to begin with, and sometimes trimming the fat from a steak helps one get to the meat a bit quicker without having to saw through all the chewy, wasteful gristle. If Ms. Johnson was not under a contract compelling her to do the work she has no excuse, because no matter how clever her additions were they only served to muddle up & confuse what should have been a lean, mean little movie. 7/10: Someone call in a butcher next time.

Reviewed by Foreverisacastironmess123 7 / 10 / 10

House of Horrors

Oh I always just loved this film to death, it has such a great fun and scary kind of atmosphere, and I never saw another horror movie with so many different kinds of monsters packed into the story! The theme music isn't much but it sets the tone, the smiling skull informing the audience that the following macabre romp is purely intended in the spirit of ghoulish fun, and is by no means meant to be taken too seriously, although it certainly has its grim moments and there's no shortage of death! The opening demise of the rather brainless Billy is quite the chilling and nasty sequence. At first it seems like the drifter's gonna try something funny with Billy until he's killed by the lame gypsy/pirate/werecat who then, after the creepiest damn horror movie birthday party ever, chases down the helpless little boy, slashes his face and buries him alive! 13 was not a lucky number for Billy... I thought Felix Ward in his one and only role as the deliciously sinister and villainous Kreon was just excellent, and the character setup is so epic and cool to me! Ancient, evil corpse-wizard residing in his decrepit abode of the damned, using dark magic rituals to summon up a mad menagerie of freakish demons to seek out and kill the group of unfortunate sacrificial victims that are trapped in his funhouse of doom, orchestrating the fates of victims and a veritable symphony of horrors like a well-played game of chess, all for the sake of resurrecting the idealised lost love who once poisoned herself to escape him in the first place! The magnificently gothic old mansion was a truly excellent setting for some classic '80's terror. All the gloomy dark hallways and rooms make for one superbly nightmarish tone that's spiced-up by the beasties that are constantly appearing out of nowhere, creating a feeling of the unknown around every corner. Most of the cast were admittedly annoying and forgettable, making you wish that they'd just hurry up and die, which in this case was probably a good thing, and that kind of low-budget acting only adds to the charm in a movie like this. The wannabe comedian with the sock puppet especially deserved to die horribly - and boy does he ever! Fabulously disgusting and inventive display of good old practical effects work in that sequence. I loved the oh-so British "Adrienne", her droll bad attitude was really funny in the scene where she's smoking a cigarette and bossing around her wimpy husband! The music that plays during the scene where she's fighting the snake gremlins is so strange and dramatic, and a very eerie and weirdly poignant scene is the one of her gruesome, and partly-animated death via the electric tentacles of a wailing abomination, and then its unspeakable heart of darkness beats anew... Love that scene! The muckmen were the easiest out of all the monsters to defeat! I think maybe their farting was swamp gas escaping because they were made outta mud! Those silly noises make that part a real guilty pleasure. I love the finale with the rocking music going as the blushing bride is chased through deep dark woods by the demonic zombie horde! Totally goes on forever, but it was the perfectly over-the-top punchline that the whole movie deserved - creatures of the night, put your claws together!!! Half the film is kind of serious, and the other silly. It's a real soup of various horror concepts that somehow to me, all blend together into a joyously macabre work of dark wonder. And regardless of its faults "Spookies" delivers where it counts, maintaining a menacing and surreal tone of dread that keeps the viewer creeped-out until the bitter end. And for whatever reason I do adore that bad ending where everybody's freaking dead and buried, the malevolent old snake survives, the princess is his unwilling prize for all eternity, and his black victory is complete! This picture has something of the old E.C. Grand Guignol magic about it. Cheesy at points, but overall an awesomely spooky blast to watch and it always was one of my all time favourite horror flicks. Bloody brilliant!!!

Reviewed by leathaface 7 / 10 / 10

Now THIS is what 80's horror is all about...

A fun, but not scary horror movie. While the plot may not be all that great (basically some college kids looking to party find an old haunted house filled with evil monsters.) While the "haunted house" idea has been done to death, this movie seems a little different. The thing that really makes this movie stand out in my mind is the fact that 75% of the movie is basically a special effects showcase. There's more different creatures living in the house than real actors in the movie! We get zombies, carnivorous lizard mutants, mudmen, mangled corpses that pop out of closets, a spider woman, a killer with a hook-hand, a cyborg thug with drain-snakes for hands, and even a glow-in-the-dark grim reaper! Many people on this board said that the film was amateurish with bad special effects. Come on now, it was the mid-80's when this movie came out! Spielburg didn't write this movie! For WHEN it was written, and WHO wrote/directed/did the makeup effects it's pretty freakin' good! Bad special effects don't bother me, only the lack of them. This movie, while definitely not being a candidate for the Hair and Makeup department Grammy, is FILLED with all different kinds of effects. Makeup, monsters, costumes, stop-motion, transformations, and transparency effects are just a few different types you'll find here. The only movie I can compare to this one in terms of the sheer variety of bizarre effects is maybe Beetlejuice or Street Trash. The effects on "The Spookies" may not be as good as, say, Poltergeist or Indiana Jones, but the overabundance of them really makes me think, "Man, those FX artists must have put a LOT of time into that!!" Think of this movie as a form of art, and it's pretty good and lots of fun.

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