Category Archives: Horror Movies

On the Nightstand: The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

My memory isn’t what it used to be, but I can say with some degree of certainty that Jay Anson’s 1977 novel “The Amityville Horror” not only ignited my love of horror and true crime, but my love of reading in general. I still have my original dog eared paperback that I got from my local used bookstore The Book Trader and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it. I enjoy it more every time, but this time around I was being more critical, paying more attention to the mechanics of the story rather than just the events. Some of it is downright odd.

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Review: The Amityville Curse (1990)

“Careful, this place bites.”

The Amityville Curse title over a red-tinted image of the house. A screaming man is off to the side.

There have been an embarrassing number of movies using the fair hamlet of Amityville to get a few views online from unsuspecting horror fans. On the surface Tom Berry’s 1990 direct-to-video entry in the franchise might seem like one of them, perhaps even the first. The house on the poster is certainly not the house we know and love, not even if you squint.

The Amityville Curse is based on the 1981 novel by parapsychologist Hans Holzer. His previous novel, The Amityville Murders, documented the DeFeo murders and subsequent trial of Ronnie Jr. as well as Holzer’s own investigation into the haunting. He claims that Ethel Myers, trance-medium and shawl enthusiast, made contact with the angry Indian spirit that haunts the property. This vengeful chief and the curse he placed on the land is the basis for the story that unfolds. I reread the book, which comes in at just under 200 pages after watching the movie so I could compare them. I’ll post that review later.

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Review: Amityville Horror – The Evil Escapes (1989)

“Lamps don’t have memories.”

Title card for Amityville: The Evil Escapes
Why not The Amityville Horror Part IV: The Evil Escapes

After the dismal failure of Amityville 3-D the house on Ocean Avenue and its demons were relegated to low-budget made for television movies. That remained the case for the next 15 years actually. Amityville: The Evil Escapes (or Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes) aired on NBC on May 12, 1989. I was weeks away from graduating high school and you can bet your ass I was parked in front of the television ready for some fly-covered terror.

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Review: Amityville 3-D (The Demon)

“There’s evil in this place.”

In February of 1976, mere weeks after they fled the house in Amityville the Lutzs contacted the Parapsychology Institute of America and spoke to their director Stephen Kaplan. According to Kaplan they requested an investigation of the house to prove their claims that demonic forces infested the place. Kaplan was happy to oblige free of charge, but reminded George Lutz that if he found their story to be a hoax…he would make that information public. Lutz cancelled the investigation shortly thereafter.

The Lutzs ended up famously calling Ed and Lorraine Warren which led to a highly dramatic televised seance in the dining room of the house. Kaplan went on to be one of the Lutzs biggest critics. He wrote a book in 1995 called The Amityville Horror Conspiracy that claims the entire story was nothing but a money grab. I mention all of this feuding and drama because after watching 1983’s stinker Amityville 3-D I realized that its very possible David Ambrose had Kaplan in mind when he penned this script.

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Pigs in space?

Folks of a certain age might recall a segment on The Muppet Show called Pigs in Space. It was super silly and I loved it. Everything is better in space right? Just ask Vin Diesel.

Now that we have Space Force to protect us someone has decided that the only way to finally defeat Jodie the Pig is to launch the Amityville House into space.

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