Nov
14

BMFcast Extra 008 – The Amityville Horror

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It’s fall, it’s kinda still Halloween, and there are at least 17 movies in the Amityville franchise. That should keep us busy on BMFcast Extra until 2018 or so! First up, the original “classic” from 1979, featuring James Brolin’s hair and Jody the demon pig child-thing. Enjoy!

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Categories : 70s, Horror, Podcast

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  1. Straight Out of Tijuana says:

    It’s hard to separate the ballyhoo from the viewing experience: this story was sold a non-fiction (if this is the case, then how does one explain scenes in which the dog experiences phenomena all by itself? I guess the dog went and told the author, who then proceeded to write it into the manuscript.) I had the misfortune of reading the sequel to the novel (still non-fiction) before watching even the first movie and it has forever colored my experience with this franchise.

    Many of the so-called paranormal phenomena shown: Swarms of flies (still utterly disgusting, but other than that perfectly natural) apparent headaches or nausea, a cat; open doors; lost money; a falling window; a neighbor with beer (!) lights that go off and on; bad smells from the sewage system; unrelated, long distance car failure, etc. are perfectly normal and natural. A priest goes blind and this is somehow tied to the house? How?

    The ones that are harder to explain: A clear voice that tells a priest to GET OUT!; red, glowy eyes outside a window; a door that is blown out from the inside; the guy sees his own floating head in a hidden red space under the stairs, become increasingly silly.

    All visuals, however (red eyes, floating head, demon pig, stairs’ blood, wrinkly old lady make-up) are apparently either visions or simply temporary hallucinations which leave no physical evidence behind, although the rocking chair implies that they might be reality based somehow.

    This is not a comedy (at least I don’t feel as if the film has a sense of humor about itself) but I just had to laugh out loud a few times (the retching nun, the red eyes, the floating head) at the silliness. The previous killer is the husband’s double. He is not even a reincarnation, since the events transpired a year ago! How can anyone take any of this seriously?

    Having read Stephen King’s film book somewhat recently I am not sure that I wholly agree with his facile interpretation. If the film’s subtext is about the fears of new homeowners, then I feel the film hardly makes a case for it. And if it does, it also equally targets outsiders (the real estate agent, the priest, the nun, the brother, the “psychic” friend… they seem more affected than the homeowners themselves!)

    Speaking of the priest and the nun: Since they are so weak and easy to scare off, why should the entity or entities bother attempting to do so?

    Not even close to the Quality of The Haunting, or the exaggerated, fun, hysteria of Legend of Hell House it nevertheless remains pretty entertaining, stupid fun.

    In fact, just as it is informed by those earlier films, in its turn it seems to have informed subsequent films like The Shining (bleeding interiors, father and domestic abuse issues, Johnny’s axe, Indian burial ground, etc. The date and time stamps are very strange and events which might take place over several days apparently happen in a single day. This might not even be by design! The Shining’s times also become increasingly random and meaningless,) The Entity (1982) (long distance car issues,) & Poltergeist (sexy, smoky domestic scenes of a couple; the Poltergeist clown doll scene makes no sense in itself other than as a reference to the doll scenes from Amityville*, the tree branch scene is pretty much the same thing.)

    Hardly close to being good, but a fun, bad movie. Check it out.

    *Why is Raggedy Ann green? Seem like the result of a mishap in the clothes washer, but it is just weird

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