Friday, 2 May 2008

Movie! ‘Spookies’

In the spirit of trying new things out, the blog is going to be taking a (temporary) new direction over the next few days. It’s something I haven’t done before and I’m a little nervous about how it will turn out, hence my decision last night to fortify myself by watching some (very) cheesy eighties horror! :o)
‘Spookies’ was made in a simple time far from the more cynical horror films of today. It was a time when evil necromancers still lived in deserted mansions (although how could it be deserted if someone was living there?) and groups of teenagers saw nothing wrong with breaking in and getting drunk. It was a time when said group of teenagers would see nothing wrong at all with splitting up to find a way out of the deserted mansion (Safety in numbers? Ha!) and find time for sex despite being stalked by a werewolf and a zombie. A happy time, all in all, for the undead!
As you can tell, ‘Spookies’ uses almost every cliché in the book to get a bunch of teenagers into a big house and then kill them off in a variety of amusing and gory ways. Apparently this is so the evil necromancer can raise his long dead love (who doesn’t want to be with him anyway!) but you wouldn’t have thought so given how little time this sub-plot is actually given. What you get instead are a group of teenagers trying out different rooms in the house and occasionally having to battle whatever’s inside.
Personally, I love horror films where it’s all about seeing how creative the killing can be. ‘Death by gigantic mutant spider queen’ was a good one as was ‘death by strange mutant creature that didn’t seem to have any other purpose in the film other than to block a corridor’. This was where the film fell down for me, there were so many ideas that the producers wanted to jam in that the film ended up feeling like a bit of a mess with very little cohesion. Why was there an evil witch in the caverns beneath the house? What was the point of her? Was the Spider Queen just an inventive way of killing off a character or was she a relevant part of the plot? Farting mudmen are always funny but do they contribute anything to the plot other than sound effects? All these questions and more remain unanswered in a film where you really need to force yourself not to ask any questions of the plot and just enjoy the gore and frights instead. That’s what I did; I had a pizza and this seemed to be the best way to watch ‘Spookies’.
A good film for a night in with pizza and a laugh but (like so many of the horror films I’ve posted about on here) is never going to be anything other than that.

Six out of Ten

1 comment:

daydream said...

Nicely done. I have to say that horror movies don't have that much of a deep plot that makes you actually think. I think that thrillers exploit that coupled with fear.

By the way on a sidenote I have to say that I really enjoyed "Diary of the Dead". I reviewed the movie on my reviewing blog, but still thanks for the recommendation and the interview that made me watch it. I linked it back to your post as well.