The Horror Show aka House III – USA, 1989 – reviews

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[Total: 1   Average: 3/5]

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The Horror Show is a 1989 American supernatural horror feature film starring Lance Henriksen (Daylight’s End; StungThe Visitor; et al) and Brion James. James Isaac (Jason X) is the credited director, David Blyth (Death Warmed Up) having been fired from the production. The film has also been released as House IIIHouse III: The Horror Show and, in Italy, La Casa 7.

Although marketed as a sequel to the film House for the non-US market, its connection to the two previous House films is limited to the crew it shares (producer Sean S. Cunningham, cinematographer Mac Ahlberg and composer Harry Manfredini, among others) and the premise of a killer haunting a house. Confusingly, the third “true” House film was named House IV in reference to the existence of this film.

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On 11 December, 2017, The Horror Show was released on Blu-ray in the UK by Arrow Video with the following special features:

  • Uncut European Version
  • Alternate US Theatrical Version
  • High Definition Blu-ray presentation
  • Original Stereo and DTS-HD MA 5.1 Audio Options
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio commentary with producer Sean S. Cunningham
  • The Show Must Go On interview with actor/stuntman Kane Hodder
  • House Mother interview with actress Rita Taggart
  • Slaughter, Inc. brand new featurette with special make-up effects creators Robert Kurtzman, Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Workprint Footage
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk

Plot:

Detective Lucas McCarthy (Lance Henriksen) finally catches the serial killer nicknamed “Meat Cleaver Max” (Brion James) and watches his execution.

McCarthy and the others watching the execution are shocked to see Max withstand enough voltage to physically burn his body before finally dying. Max, however, has made a deal with the Devil in order to return from the grave and frame Lucas for a series of grisly murders. He also scares the McCarthy family — who have moved into a new house –and the parapsychologist they hire. Lucas’ only hope of stopping Max for good is to destroy his spirit before Max destroys his life and family…

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Brion James (as Max Jenke) has said in several interviews that of all the roles he’s played, this is his favourite.

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Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com

• New Commentary with producer Sean S. Cunningham
• New Interview with Stunt Coordinator Kane Hodder and actress Rita   Taggart
• Theatrical trailer

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Brion James in a goatee and a pencil thin Arabian Nights topknot chews scenery with demented relish in the type of role he was born to play. There are also some good effects sequences – like the image of Deedee Pfeiffer pregnant with Brion James’s face in her belly and the turkey on the table that comes to life with James’s face. For all that is good about the film though, it is never enough to surmount the routineness of the cliched plot.” Moria

” …while the execution scene is staged with flair and James (a favourite of director Walter Hill) brings some excellent crazy-eyed charisma to a role that hits all the right slasher movie buttons, it’s just not that great and pales against Wes Craven’s Shocker, which came out the year and had the exact same premise.” Kultguy’s Keep

“At turns scary, suspenseful, surreal and saucy, James Isaac’s directorial debut, Horror Show is both satisfying and sadly underrated.” Classic-Horror.com

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