SPOOKIES (1986) Reviews and overview

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Vinegar Syndrome is releasing Spookies for the first time on Blu-ray, newly restored in 4K from its previously lost original negative.

Special features include a brand-new feature-length documentary featuring Max Evry, a special limited edition embossed slipcover designed by Earl Kessler Jr. (first 2,000 units), and a brand new, feature-length ‘Making of’ documentary.

  • Region Free 2-disc Blu-ray Set
  • Newly scanned and restored in 4K from its 35mm original camera negative
  • “Twisted Tale – The Unmaking of Spookies” – a feature-length making-of documentary, including a commentary track with documentary co-directors Michael Gingold and Glen Baisley and extensive deleted scenes.
  • “Vipco – The Untold Story” – a feature-length documentary on the notorious UK home video label, including extended interview footage with Michael Lee (founder of Vipco) and a trailer.
  • 2015 Alamo Drafthouse screening introductions with Spookies director Thomas Doran and co-writer/producer Frank M. Farel.
  • Q&A from a 2015 Hudson Horror Show screening with actor Peter Iasillo, actor Anthony Valbiro and production assistant Tom Sciacca
  • Archival locations featurette with actor Peter Iasillo
  • Pin reel outtakes and bloopers
  • Behind the scenes still gallery
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible cover artwork with new artwork by Gary Pullin
  • English SDH subtitles

Here is our previous coverage of Spookies:


‘A night of unrelenting terror’
Spookies is a 1986 American horror film co-directed by Brendan Faulkner, Thomas Doran and Eugenie Joseph from a screenplay co-written with Frank Farel. The creature effects were created by Gabe Bartalos, Arnold Gargulio, Jennifer Aspinall and John Dods.

The film was originally a 1984 feature entitled Twisted Souls. The movie was being edited when creative and legal issues between the producers and the financial backer prevented final post-production work from being carried out.


In 1985, producer Michael Lee hired Eugenie Joseph to direct more footage which was pieced together with the footage from Twisted Souls, creating Spookies. Faulkner and Doran also worked on Igor and the Lunatics (1985).

Steadicam operator J. Michael Muro later directed Street Trash (1987) utilising a number of the Spookies crew members.

A thirteen-year-old boy named Billy runs from home because his parents forgot his birthday. Making his way through woods, he encounters a drifter who is subsequently slashed to death. Billy stumbles on an old mansion where a room is decorated for birthday celebrations. Thinking it is a surprise by his parents, he opens a present to discover a severed head. Running away, he is attacked by the drifter’s killer, a werecat with a hook on one hand, and subsequently buried alive.


Meanwhile, a group of friends decide to have a party in a seemingly deserted mansion. However, a sorcerer named Kreon resides there, keeping watch over his bride whom he has kept preserved for over seventy years.

Kreon possesses one of teenagers in the group, forcing her to use a Ouija board and summons a variety of monsters to pick off the group one by one. These include muck-men, small reptilian demons, giant spiders, an arachnid woman, an octopus-like creature with electric tentacles, a skeletal witch, a Grim Reaper statue, a vampiric boy in a monk’s habit, and a large group of zombies…


Main cast:
Peter Dain, Peter Iasillo, Joan Ellen Delaney, Soo Paek, Nick Gionta, Anthony J Valbiro, Lisa Friede, Kim Merrill, Charlotte Alexandra, Al Magliochetti, Felix Ward, Alec Nemser, Maria Pechukas.


Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk


Spookies doesn’t hold up well as a proper feature film for obvious reasons. It seems too much of a patched together creation solely based around what make-up effects the FX team could come up with. But what FX! A tour-de-force of 80s horror at its most grandiose and most sublime, Spookies is as entertaining as it is infuriating!” Popcorn Pictures

“The opener is harrowing, Fulci-esque and the night scenes are stunningly shot. The effects are not nearly as bad as they could be given the modest budget but there are corny lightning strikes and a plot that’s all over the map.” Really Awful Movies


” …the entire movie is a series of visual setups, strung between the incongruous sorcerer gloating, party people screaming and dying, the purple werewolf holding doors closed with glee, and a bride loathing her predicament […] This movie is so goofy nonsensical you’ll love watching it while deriding the hell out of it.” Zombo’s Closet of Horror

“For 80 minutes long you will witness a monstrous SFX extravaganza while a group of clueless people is running around and being killed in a big mansion. Now, how does all this relate to our freeze-frame ending? To put it simple, in the same way all the previous events relate to each other in the film: It makes no sense!” Cult Reviews

MOVIES and MANIA rating:


Buy Vipco DVD: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

“The ‘kitchen sink’ approach should please undemanding fans.” John Stanley, Creature Features






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Filming locations:
New York, New York

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