For today’s main Halloween Scene entry I was looking for a supernatural slasher movie from the 80s, so when I stumbled across The Horror Show which was produced by Sean Cunningham the director of the original Friday The 13th and read that it was not only about a serial killer’s ghost haunting a cop but also that said cop was played by Lance Henriksen, I was sold. Heck, I didn’t even bother adding the movie to my Netflix Instant queue, I just played it straight out.
As it happens, it’s actually a pretty good movie. Well shot, well acted, creepy killer, good special effects, might be scary to some. What more can you ask for? The plot is kind of a mix of Jack Frost, Jaws and I assume Shocker, though it’s been a long time since I’ve seen that one. Henriksen plays a cop who tracked down a serial killer named Max played by noted character actor and “that guy” Brion James. At the execution, Max gets fried but almost immediately a shrink with some crazy ideas about energy and evil or whatever see that his ghost rises out of the body and threatens him. From there, the Max’s ghost starts haunting Henriksen and his family, making him go crazy.
I should note, however, that this isn’t really a slasher flick, even though the killer is fond of meat cleavers. I guess it’s kind of a haunted house movie, or maybe more accurately a haunting movie? It’s not so much things moving that shouldn’t be, but voices being heard, devices being manipulated and in one case, someone being straight up murdered. As such it plays out more like a psychological thriller I guess. After a certain point, you’re not really sure what’s real and what’s not, but it’s all so frenetic, that it almost doesn’t matter.
By the way, the movie is also known as House 3 because it was renamed for foreign distribution. Were the House movies that big that they had a following outside of the States? I mean, I dug the first one, but I don’t think it was an international smash hit.
Anyway, I’ve been writing a lot of things like “it’s not a classic, but it’s fun to check out” this October, but I think The Horror Show might be close to that kind of thing. I hadn’t heard about it before even with the pedigree names attached, yet it turned out to be a solid flick with good actors and impressive gore. Can’t go wrong with that!