The ‘House’ movie series will always be among my favorites. Each one stands on its own as a unique interpretation of the classic ‘Ghost Story’. House III doesn’t quite fit the format but most of the 3rd act takes place in a house so I guess that counts.
Today’s Key Movie:
House III (or The Horror Show depending on how you know it) follows a cop Lucas McCarthy (played by Lance Henriksen) who is experiencing PTSD from his pursuit and subsequent arrest of serial killer ‘Meat Cleaver Max’ (played by Brion James). Max is executed by via electrocution and comes back for revenge on Lucas threatening his family and framing him for murder.
Why this movie?
I love the House movies. They are an great example of the ‘good’ B-horror of the 80’s.
I had all but forgotten about House parts 3 and 4 until a very good friend reminded me of their existence. As they are currently out of print I had to hunt them down as an import but they are totally worth it.
This film also has two of my favorite lesser known actors, Lance Henriksen and Brion James. Henriksen is best known for his role of Bishop in Aliens and as Frank Black in the Tv series ‘Millennium’. Brion James is one of those actors that has been in practically everything. From Blade Runner to Fifth Element, you have seen him of you watched moves from the 80s and 90s.
Another cool bit, Aaron Eisenberg plays Lucas’ son in this film. Eisenberg would also later star as Nog on Star Trek Deep Space Nine. It always seems to come back to Star Trek with me. Ironically Aaron’s character was working a scam with a chili company in this movie as a b-story. He claimed he found a thumb in one of their cans. At the end of the film they actually resolve the b-story when someone shows up with Five Years worth of Chili as an apology. I guess he really was a Ferengi after all.
How did this translate to real life?
One really cool bit of trivia is that I got a chance to meet Brion James as a kid. When I was younger I had a chance to work as an extra on a tv movie called Rio Diablo. It starred Kenny Rogers and Travis Tritt but where it really shined for me was in its villains.
During filming, another kid and I snuck off to eat lunch with the actors. The official rule was that extras ate last but we didn’t care. Everything was going well for us until we got our food and started looking for a place to sit. Out of nowhere a voice yelled out ‘hey kids!’. We were busted.
Turns out it was none other than Brion James inviting us to sit with him and the rest of the ‘bad guys’. It was AWESOME. Brion and the gang were amazing folk and I will never forget that time.
Okay, you like this film, but is it really a ‘good film’?
As a stand alone film, yes. Solid cast, cool special effects. Ironically it has nearly the exact same plot of another film (Shocker) that came out the same year. Personally, this one is much better.
As an entry to the ‘House’ Franchise, no. It really doesn’t fit in the lineup and shouldn’t really be part of it. In the other films, the House itself is almost a character of its own. This one has a house in it…and that’s the only real connection.
The only Trailer I could find:
OK, where do I get this movie?
It looks like you can get it from Shout Factory under the name The Horror Show. Like I said earlier, it’s probably better off as a stand alone film.
Thank you for reading today. I hope you enjoyed the review. If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday. We also have a fun Retro TV Review series in which we are currently reviewing the entire Star Trek The Next Generation Series, episode by episode.
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these movies as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!
Late to the Game 10/28/18