Wednesday, February 4

The Horror Show (1989)


Directed by James Isaac / David Blyth (uncredited)
95 Minutes / MGM Home Video / Unmatted Full Frame

Lance Henrikson as a detective (Lucas) stalked by the ghost(?) of notorious cleaver murderer (Max Jenke played by Brion James) he sent to the chair. The murderer somehow returns to life through electricity (sound familiar?) and sets his aim on his family. Max begins to manifest to Lucas within his own house, leading him to stab a turkey and shoot a television. When his daugther's boyfriend is found hacked up in the basement; Lucas lands in police custody. Lucas now knows what he must do realizing this is the best time for Max to seek his revenge.

This film has some crippling problems. Henrikson and James are dependable as their usual badass personas. The rest of the cast are just standard stereotypes. You can tell the violence suffered significant cuts. One example is when Max "magically" attempts to rip out of Lucas' chest from within. Henrikson is seen obivously standing behind an effects piece of his gashed torso like something crazy is about to happen, but then he suddenly stumbles out of the room. Even some kill shots look zoomed in to avoid witnessing what would undoubtedly scar the minds of little boys and girls everywhere if the MPAA didn't save them. Beyond that, the conclusion is very jumbled. Locations mysteriously shift, characters die and later appear alive with no reason, and the nature of Max's being simply doesn't make sense. It's another for the "watch once" pile, more akin to an mildly interesting failure.

Still one question remains: Max Jenke vs. Horace Pinker?

Film: 4.5/10
VHS Video: 6/10 (noisy, but not bad)
VHS Sound: 7/10 (clean and clear Hi-fi)

2 comments:

Ron said...

"Still one question remains: Max Jenke vs. Horace Pinker?"

It's funny you should say that, because for some reason those 2 films are indelibly linked in my mind.

J. Astro said...

I wish they'd release this fuckin' film on DVD - James' exaggerated laugh-sneer throughout this whole movie gets old, so I definitely give the edge to Horace Pinker. But "THE HORROR SHOW" is still an awesome pic.

...do you dare tread upon the staircase?
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