The Revenging Manta, the ninja vigilante of downtown Orlando, and I were sneaking inside the Museum of Schlock, trying to surprise the punks who’d seized my property. We entered through a secret passageway in the Starcrash exhibit. No punks to be seen, but I got the eerie feeling that we were being watched. Maybe it was the costume of the robot sheriff Elle at the far end that made me uneasy. We walked swiftly and silently into the next room, the Spookies exhibit.
Come to think of it, I’ve never covered 1986’s Spookies on this blog. This movie credits not one, not two, but three directors: Brendan Faulkner, Thomas Doran, and Eugenie Joseph. I remember watching this on the USA Network as a child one Saturday afternoon. At that point in my life, it was the worst movie I had ever seen. Spookies was my first introduction for what I would later come to know as schlock.
Let’s get out of the way. Spookies is a Phantasm ripoff. If you want to watch Spookies if it was a good movie, watch Phantasm. If you want to watch just regular Spookies, it’s streaming on Shudder. So I revisited Spookies attempting to see if it’s as bad as my ten-year-old self would have me believe. And I realized in the thirty plus years past then, I’ve seen far worse movies. Don’t get me wrong, Spookies is a train wreck, just not as severe as I remember.
Spookies begins with an old man named Kreon (Felix Ward) obsessing over his dead wife, Isabelle (Maria Pechukas). In order to restore her to life, he must trap the souls of people who unwittingly stumble onto his property, an old mansion surrounded by tombstones. First we have Billy, a young boy who ran away from home because his parents forgot his birthday. We learn this because he’s grilled by some creeper in the park about why he ran away. Billy says he’s going places and he leaves. The creeper then gets mauled by a wolf boy in a yellow dress shirt.
Meanwhile, we got some rowdy partygoers looking for a place to crash. One car is filled with yuppies, the other is filled with punks. One of the punks has a felt puppet attached to hand that he uses to annoy the other partygoers and the audience. His death should have been puppet related, but he gets drained by a giant spider instead. Everybody dies in this movie. Billy gets buried alive by the wolf boy. Oh wait. According to Wikipedia, the wolf boy is actually a were cat. My mistake.
There’s a scene where the punks and yuppies play around with a ouija board. They ask all sorts of questions like if they’ll live through the night, but the board says no. One of their own turns into a zombie controlled by Kreon. The rest of them are picked off one by one by a grim reaper or some baby demons. We even get a scene with farting muck zombies. Maybe just watch the trailer for this one.
Jeff Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, episode 284, episode 441, episode 442, episode 443, episode 444, episode 450, episode 477, episode 491, episode 492, episode 493, episode 495, episode 496, episode 545, episode 546, episode 547, episode 548, and episode 549) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.
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