Tuesday, December 20, 2011
A Monster Mash, and/or Bash, a potpourri of the possessed, a ghoulish goulash, a cavalcade of kitchen sinks; 1986's Spookies has everything that a veteran of late night vid-junk needs, well... everything except a plot. Wait, there are a few plots, grave plots for the disposable cast. But we will get to that later. For now, prepare yourself for one of the KVLT'S all time favorite slices of cinematic schlock, Spookies.
The movie opens with a kid named Billy, who has run away from home because his parents have forgotten that it was his birthday. Billy ends up at what appears to be an old funeral home next to a cemetery. After deciding to have a look inside, Billy is pursued by a creepy undead magician and his were-cat henchman with a hook hand who is also wearing looks to be either a pirate shirt or a bad Prince costume? The KVLT is not even making this up. Then, in true-to-form classic b-movie fashion, a group of obnoxious twenty somethings looking for a party take a wrong turn and end up at the very same funeral home. Once inside, they too are being stalked by the sorcerer, the hook-handed were-cat and a legion of randomized bloodthirsty creatures. Somehow this has something to do with the resurrection of the sorcerer's late wife. The problem is that she appears to already be alive and not too happy about it either. So why then does the maleficent magician send his undead army to brutally dispatch a group of young people just looking for a party? Maybe the evil magician hates uninvited guests? Maybe he was bored and just needed to blow off some steam? Maybe worrying too much about the glaring inconsistencies and flaws in Spookies will only result in headaches, nausea, and nosebleeds?
If you are a fan of old school analog movie make-up, Spookies delivers the ghoulish goods tenfold. It almost seems as if the entire budget was spent solely on special effects. The parade of creatures include, but are not limited to: zombies, muck men, a spider lady, shape-shifting were-cat with a hook hand, an evil magician, a vampire kid with an ice-pick, a flying witch, demons of varying sizes, an undead bride who looks like a B-movie Winona Ryder and the Grim Reaper!
As the great drive-in and B-movie guru, Joe Bob Briggs has said, "a movie can be anything, as long as it's not boring." The KVLT could label Spookies as being unintentionally funny, cheap, incoherent, a hodge podge of horror
cliches, but rest assured its anything but boring. The whole movie clips along at a very fast pace like a wacky gameshow and with every look behind "door number 3" there is a new monster eager to claim the lives of the unlucky contestants. So flip your brain's autopilot switch to the on position, and enjoy the raucous ride. Intellectually speaking, Spookies is kind of like watching Deal Or No Deal, but with just a little more demonic possession and gore.
Fun Facts about Spookies:
Spookies actually received a very limited theatrical run, but most people remember renting it during the late 80's and early 90's or seeing it featured many times on cable during USA's late night show Up All Night.
Originally titled Twisted Souls, financial backers stressed legal and creative concerns with the original filmmakers during post production. Another director was brought in to shoot new footage, that footage was spliced in with the old footage and from this creative cocktail the awesomely atrocious, Spookies was born.
Tracking down a real copy of Spookies may prove to be an arduous task since it has never been officially released on dvd, and vhs copies can go for as much as $40 on Amazon.com and Ebay.