I’m going to come out and say it right now, this is probably my favorite Double Feature from Scream Factory. You might ask why when there is no special features, save a trailer for each movie, but the answer to that question is simple, the movies contained on this disc are so freaking terrible, but oh so awesome, you can’t help be highly entertained. Ghosthouse is your standard haunted house movie, with some nice kills and a creepy clown doll and little girl, which are basically in the movie to rip off Poltergeist. Witchery is a movie that is super hard to explain, doesn’t make sense and features all kinds of weird stuff, plus David Hasselhoff and Linda Blair with wicked hair. Need I say more? Oh, you want me to continue? Okay, let’s go on with this review…
RUN-TIME: 94 / 96 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.66:1
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
RATING: NR / R
PRODUCTION DATE: 1988
RELEASE DATE: June 30th, 2015
Clown dolls. Witches. Hasselhoff. What more could you want?
Prepare yourself for one of the most bizarre double bills imaginable with Ghosthouse and Witchery! Released in Italy as part of the infamous La Casa series, these two highly unusual horror films are essential viewing for fans of Cult Cinema.
Your tour of terror begins with Ghosthouse, in which a group of visitors to a seemingly-deserted home find themselves tormented by demonic spirits – including one particularly freaky little girl and her creepy clown companion. Soon, our hapless heroes find themselves powerless to conquer the evil of the Ghosthouse – where death holds the mortgage and if you move in… there’ll be Hell to pay!
Then, a new address brings new frights as the immortal David Hasselhoff and The Exorcist’s Linda Blair turn up the terror in Witchery. When a terrible storm leaves a motley assortment of people stranded on an island resort, they soon find they have more to worry about than not packing rain gear! A horrible witch unleashes her wrath on the unwanted visitors – and no one is safe from her unquenchable thirst for death!
Ghosthouse. Witchery. A duplex of doom, brought to you on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory.
Let’s get this review rolling with the first movie on the disc, Ghosthouse, also known as La Casa 3, which is a whole other story that I will break down later on in this review, but for now, let’s focus on the movie.
When I started up Ghosthouse, I had this sudden feeling that I’ve seen this movie before, way back in the day. I couldn’t quite remember the movie, but certain pieces kept reminding me that yes, I have seen it before. This made watching the movie so much more enjoyable, as I felt like I was reliving my childhood or something. (Scary that all it takes is a low budget cheesy horror film to rekindle the spirit of being a kid.) As for the movie itself, it’s quite a convoluted mess, with a plot that is never really explained, but just kind of bounces from one scene to the next. The kills are pretty cool, with a few gory ones at the beginning and the house, which is the same house used in House by the Cemetery, is very interesting looking. The acting on the other hand is incredibly hilarious, with some truly side splitting lines, with my favorite being that dead pan deliver of “I don’t know, I only know computers.” I couldn’t stop lauding. Ghosthouse is wonderful representation of a good time with a cheesy 80s flick. It’s full of bad acting, a muddled plot and a splash of who gives a damn and just have fun! You couldn’t ask for more… well, I guess you could ask for a better plot and better acting, but that wouldn’t be fun now would it.
The second move on the disc is by far one of the most confusing films out there, Witchery, also known as Witchcaft, La Casa 4, Evil Encounters and Ghosthouse 2. I’m pretty sure everyone involved in the movie, which features David Hasselhoff and Linda Blair, had no idea what the hell they were shooting. It’s basically just scenes pieced together to form a weird, out there narrative. I could try to explain it, which would involve me mentioning a haunted hotel on an island, a glowing witch light, an old lady in black trying to open the gates of hell (I think) by sending people into a swirling red vortex, where weird dirty people sew your mouth shut and a melted man caked in makeup humps you bloody, but I would be remiss in being able to really explain just how bizarre this movie really is. It’s one that’s best left to check out on your own and see if you can decipher the meaning behind it all. Just be prepared for some “great acting” and an ending that will have you laughing long after the credits roll.
Okay, I said I would explain the whole La Casa thing and this is how it goes. The first two Evil Dead movies were released in Italy under the title La Casa and La Casa 2, which is Italian for The House. When Ghosthouse was released over there, they decided to make it an unofficial sequel to The Evil Dead movies and titled it La Casa 3, even though it has nothing to do with The Evil Dead. After, Witchery came out, which is considered a sequel to Ghosthouse, it was titled La Casa 4, along with plenty of other names. The next movies to come out in the La Casa series was Beyond Darkness (La Casa 5), which is going to be released from Scream Factory in the Double Feature release of Metamorphosis / Beyond Darkness. Another two movies were released under the La Casa brand, House II: The Second Story (La Casa 6,) which is a sequel to House, although unrelated in story and finally The Horror Show (La Casa 7.) The Horror Show (released by Scream Factory on Blu) was also branded as a sequel to House and House 2 under the title of House 3: The Horror Show. Funny enough, La Casa 6 and 7 where both released before La Casa 5. There you go folks. That’s the story behind the La Casa series, a series of movies unrelated to each other. Now, have I confused you enough?
The Double Feature from Scream Factory is packing a wonderful picture and audio quality. I noticed no issues with the films and in fact, I am quite surprised at how great they really turned out. These aren’t tack sharp pictures, but they appear to be nice and clean and grain is left intact. Audio is also loud and clear, with no muddled issues that I could hear.
The features are where the disc is lacking, with only trailers for each movie, which go to spoil the entire films, featuring every single kill. It’s quite impressive actually how much spoilers they were able to cram into a couple minutes.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- Theatrical Trailers
Even though the disc is lacking special features, the movies alone are worth the price of admission. They are cheesy examples at how much fun low budget flicks from the 80s really are. Ghosthouse is a fun romp through a haunted house and Witchery will confuse you to no end. I highly recommend picking up this release if you are fan of having a good time with a bad movie. It’s just a shame more features couldn’t be included.