Saturday, 2 October 2010

Spookies (1986)

What the hell is this?! Either the flu I've got is making me hallucinate (again) or this film did actually just pass over my TV. I'd never even heard of this prior to finding it for 50p in the local charity shop (which seems to be getting in a steady stream of very weird forgotten horror films- woohoo!) for the cover alone. Look at that cover. Painted monsters that look like walking open sores! It had to be mine. In fact if I remember rightly I went "Yoink!" when I took it from the shelf. Thankfully the tape plays perfectly despite being 24 years old, but the unfortunate thing is the movie it contains.

After a bit of research (well, visiting the movie's Wikipedia page anyway), I discovered that this glorious mess of a film is actually bits of an unfinished film stitched together with newer footage shot a while after production was shut down on the original. It was going to be called 'Twisted Souls', but I think I like the 'Spookies' title better as it's just plain stupid. Much like the movie.

The plot? Uh... a bunch of random people (who seem to have nothing in common) break into a spooky old house. Weird shit happens, monsters appear, one of them is possessed, and one by one they are attacked by all manner of oddness. This oddness includes the two 'Muck Men' on the cover, which are basically piles of rubber poo that keep farting as they attack the cast! I wonder if Kevin Smith ever saw this before making Dogma.

There's a spooky immortal sorcerer hiding in the house, along with his feral sidekick (a cross between an angry cat and the X-Men's Nightcrawler in a jester suit), who is setting all of the monsters and crap on the poor, unwitting cretins that broke into his house (which is in the middle of a graveyard, of course). There are possessions, a massive Alien-type demon, zombies, severed heads, a thing that looks like the villain from Terrahawks, glowing Reaper demon things, creepy ghost ladies spitting prophecies, a little blue boy with plastic fangs and so much more. It's like a dozen films going on at once in one house.

Watching it gave me even more of a headache, so I'm rocking some more painkillers now. It's a really frustrating film, as it's absolutely, utterly, completely awful, but there are some frankly brilliant effects sequences. In particular I'm a big fan of the zombies, which are almost as much of a mess as the editing. Even if you didn't know this was a half-finished film with other stuff added, you can tell it a mile off. The editing is all over the place, but the effects are just enough to keep you watching until the end.

That is if you can find a copy, as Spookies was so universally hated that it is one of those rare films that still doesn't have a DVD release of it out there (whoops, actually it does- it's on a pound-shop movies label! How fitting!). As it charges towards its muddled climax, the makers throw everything into the pot just to see what boils first. It's ludicrous, gory, cheesy and cheap. I think that's why I loved it. Either that or I've taken the wrong painkillers and am instead off my face on plant food or something. Who can tell? This film is crap, but it's crap in a way that leaves you utterly mesmerized. Well, in my case it left me mesmerized and sweating, but that's probably not from the flick really. Whoa, I think I'm growing roots...

The Trailer:

A collection of the 'best' scenes:

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