The House Where Evil Dwells – USA, Japan, 1982 – reviews

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‘An ancient curse has turned their lives into a nightmare of lust and revenge.’

The House Where Evil Dwells is a 1982 American-Japanese supernatural horror film directed by Kevin Connor (At the Earth’s Core; Motel Hell; Frankenstein [2004]) and produced by Martin B. Cohen. It was based on a novel by James Hardiman, adapted into a screenplay by Robert Suhosky.

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Main Cast:

Edward Albert (Galaxy of Terror; Mimic 2; Sea of Fear), Susan George (The Sorcerers; Die Screaming Marianne; Venom), Doug McClure (At the Earth’s Core; The People That Time Forgot; Humanoids from the Deep), Mako Hattori and Tsuiyuki Sasaki.

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Plot:

In 1840, in the rural region of Kushiata near Kyoto, Japan, a samurai, named Shigero, comes home to find his wife, Otami, in bed with another man, named Masanori. In a violent scene, Shigero kills them both and then himself.

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In the present day, an American family of three, writer Ted Fletcher, his wife Laura, and their 12-year-old daughter, Amy, moves into this since-abandoned house and starts to experience incidents of haunting and possession. The three murdered people still haunt the house and subject each of the Fletcher family to various harassment and mischief which gets more frequent and serious with each passing day…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“The special effects, particularly the ones in which the ghosts interact with the live characters, are good, but everything else is fairly silly.” The New York Times, 1982

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“The film can only be enjoyed on a camp level, as the theatrical make-up on the three spirits is pretty poor, and the special effects of them entering their modern counterparts’ bodies is bound to be considered dated by modern CGI-raised audiences. Most of the scare tactics bring more laughs than fright… DVD Drive-In

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“The film has more nudity than chills, but it does have some quirky humor, especially in the exorcism scene.” TV Guide

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“familiar concoction that blames women for craving more sex than marriage affords (providing an opportunity to ask George to take her clothes off), involve a plague of insects and demonic rubber crabs as well as a phallic ivory carving… ” Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

“Fans make fun of the obvious effects first and the unnecessary nudity second, although fans of Susan George (from Pekinpah’s Straw Dogs) may find the nudity their main reason for watching.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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Cast and characters:

  • Edward Albert as Ted Fletcher
  • Susan George as Laura Fletcher
  • Doug McClure as Alex Curtis
  • Amy Barrett as Amy Fletcher
  • Mako Hattori as Otami
  • Tsuiyuki Sasaki as Shigero (as Toshiyuki Sasaki)
  • Toshiya Maruyama as Masanori
  • Tsuyako Olajima as Majyo Witch (as Tsuyako Okajima)
  • Henry Mittwer as Zen Monk
  • Mayumi Umeda as Noriko, the babysitterShuren Sakurai as Noh Mask Maker
  • Hiroko Takano as Wakako
  • Shôji Ohara as Assistant Mask Maker (as Shoji Ohara)
  • Jirô Shirai as Tadashi (as Jiro Shirai)
  • Kazuo Yoshida as Editor
  • Kunihiko Shinjo as Assistant Editor
  • Gentaro Mori as Yoshio
  • Tomoko Shimizu as Aik
  • Misao Arai as Hayashi
  • Chiyoko Hardiman as Mama-San
  • Hideo Shimedo as Policeman (as Hideo Shimado)

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