The Curator of Schlock #375: House

The Curator of Schlock #375 by Jeff Shuster


William Katt for the win!

As I was saying, Edwige and I were being held captive by an angry mob in a small village in the province of Saskatchewan. I blacked out after having been zapped by a cattle prod. I woke up in a solitary cell. A tray of chicken Kiev slipped through the slot at the bottom of the door. I asked for some Taster’s Choice coffee, but got no answer.

Then I wept.

I hope Edwige is okay.

This week’s Arrow home video release is 1986’s House from director Steve Miner. He also directed Friday the 13th Part 2 and Friday the 13th Part III, but don’t worry, this is not one of those despicable slasher movies. I wouldn’t be caught dead reviewing one of those.

I run a clean blog here.

House is one part haunted house movie and one part Vietnam War movie.

The movie is about a famous horror writer named Roger Cobb (William Katt). He’s basically a Stephen King type of writer with legions of fans who follow him around to book signings. Much to his agent’s and readers’ chagrin, Cobb has decided to write a memoir about his experiences in the Vietnam War. His agent warns Roger that he’d better have a draft written by the end of the month if he wants to keep his advance.

Roger seeks solitude in the suburban home of his deceased Aunt Elizabeth (Susan French). Her body was found dangling from a noose in her second floor bedroom. Roger has a bad history with this house. His own son went missing on the property awhile back and was never found. Roger and his wife divorced due to the strain.

Roger is keen to get working on his memoir when his next door neighbor, Harold (George Wendt), starts bugging him to have a beer. Roger insists that he needs solitude.

We get to see glimpses of Roger’s memoir through his Vietnam flashbacks. One of his comrades was Big Ben (Richard Mall), a blowhard Roger couldn’t stand. However, when Big Ben got shot up by the Viet Cong, Roger couldn’t bring himself to finish him off. Roger vowed to get Big Ben medical attention, but Roger hadn’t gone far before the Viet Cong had discovered Big Ben, dragging him off to be tortured.

Did I mention there are creepy ghosts in this movie? There’s the thing that lives in the closet of his aunt’s bedroom. There’s the ghost that looks like a bloated, demented version of his ex-wife. Tools from the lawn shed float in mid air and try to slice and dice Roger. He babbles on about all this to Harold who thinks he’s crackers.

Roger buys a ton of video and camera equipment hoping to record one of these specters, but there’s much more at play here. Seems the house is keeping his son captive in some sort of dark dimension related to Roger’s Vietnam experience. That’s all I can say on the subject. Check this one out, readers.

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, episode 477, episode 491, episode 492, episode 493, & episode 495) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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