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.
Behold my latest acquisition courtesy of an artist on Ebay. I figure we have a ghost might as well embrace it. It’s a bit smaller than the original I’m sure. I wonder what happened to that sign. I’m betting someone snatched it during the frenzy after the book was released. Can you imagine if that thing showed up on Ebay?
This one is a bit smaller than the original I’m sure, but I like how he aged it a bit. Now I just need a post in the yard to hang it from. In case you aren’t clear what the significance of this is…here is a photo for reference:
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.
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.