Don't Go In The House

Bleak, nasty, yet compulsively watchable and impossible to forget, this sick puppy (the only pyromaniac disco slasher film to date) belongs to the seamier side of that subgenre’s early days after Halloween, when it split into two camps — the audience-pleasing body count films like Friday the 13th, and the area into which this one falls: the grubby psychodrama with a dysfunctional protagonist killing in the most explicit, harrowing methods possible (see also: Maniac and Nightmares in A Damaged Brain). Here we have the sordid saga of a construction worker who’s the victim of a repeatedly abused past, and who, at the behest of whispering voices in his head, builds a stainless steel room in which he can — well, it ain’t pretty, and it’s the site of one of the most shocking, notorious scenes in sleaze-horror history. Every frame exudes that sinister atmosphere found in New York/New Jersey exploitationers from the same time, coupled with unpolished, weirdly convincing performances, and a handful of genuinely surreal shocks. Plus, the film’s got some seriously amazing disco songs that will wedge into your subconscious for days! A dangerous, but necessary film for those interested in the darkest corners of the American slash cycle.
Dir. Joseph Ellison, 1979, 35mm, 82 min.

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