Sunday, October 18, 2015


LA CASA III (a.k.a. GHOSTHOUSE) is a 1988 Italian horror film directed by Umberto Lenzi. Oops sorry, I mean Humphrey Humbert? Yep, that's a fake. I've never been sure on the reason for American aliases in Italian horror. Maybe it was a distribution thing to trick American audiences? Or it might be similar to an Alan Smithee sort of deal? Whatever the case, LA CASA III is pretty bad with hints of awesomeness.

You're probably wondering what the heck is a La Casa? Well from what I have gathered, EVIL DEAD and it's sequel EVIL DEAD II were released in Italy as LA CASA I & II. So in Italian exploitation fashion, they make a horror movie and advertise it as a LA CASA sequel to assure asses in seats. But here in the States you couldn't get away with something like that, so in America the film is titled GHOSTHOUSE. There, now you've learned something useless today!

Doing some minor research before watching the movie, I found out that Riff Tracks did an edit of the movie. So that at least gave me a heads up of what I was getting myself into.

The film starts off pretty good. We have a somewhat spooky house, which reminded me of the one from HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY. Oddly enough according to IMDB's trivia page, both films used the same set. Which if true is kinda cool.

The master of the house hears what sounds like cat dying. So he goes down to the basement to investigate. Sure enough, what he finds is the family cat with it's throat cut. Ewe! We then hear this creepy music and find his daughter holding the murder weapon, a pair of scissors. Her punishment is to sit alone in the dark and think about what she has done.

Henrietta and her favorite clown doll don't like the sound of that so the house goes all haunted and her dad gets an ax to the head and a shattered mirror blows up in the face of the mother. The story then cuts to New York City, where we meet our main characters Martha and Paul. Martha loves chili and Paul loves his computer. And by computer he means his high-tech ham radio.

One afternoon Paul picks up some strange sounds. Someone asking for help followed by some creepy music/song. Similar to what we heard when Henrietta and her clown doll was on screen earlier. Paul finds out where the radio signal is coming from, and the two of them drive to the house and investigate.

When Paul and Martha show up there is already a group of teenagers at the house. And one of them has a ham radio as well.

Spooky stuff starts to happen. Exploding lamps, exploding bulbs, ghost dogs, and a bunch of other crazy stuff. And people get gruesomely killed. They eventually learn about Henrietta and learn that her tomb must be destroyed.

By this point the films plot kinda goes out the window, and like I said crazy stuff happens. The atmosphere and look of the film is cool, but the acting is bad. Laughably bad. Watching the film became highly entertaining at how bad it was but at the same time how surprisingly good the gore turned out to be.

I'm glad I watched it, but for as obscure as the film is, GHOSTHOUSE is nothing special. And like I suspected, LA CASA (a.k.a. GHOSTHOUSE) had nothing to do with the Evil Dead films.

I only recommend GHOSTHOUSE if you're a connoisseur of Italian horror. Or enjoy the occasional pizza and beer movie night. Perfect for friends to come over and have a good laugh. Other than that, don't waste your time.

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