I found it! What have I found? Quite possibly one of the best films of all time...Spookies. This is a crapshoot from 1986 with a sordid production history. The acting is inept, the effects are cheap and the plot is a heedless goulash of extraneous characters who die in radically random ways. The script has no sense of direction. To an outsider, Spookies is shit. And I'm not saying that outsiders are wrong; I'm saying that the three unfortunate auteurs who were hired to direct this rummage (yes, three) perfected the b-movie formula. The phrase "so bad, it's good" is popular amongst horror fans. Well, dear readers...Spookies is so bad, it's perfect.
Originally dubbed Twisted Souls, this project was abandoned during the editing stage. Genie Joseph (Auteur #3) was asked to sort through hours of footage and come up with a new movie. After deciding that she could only use 45 minutes of the aborted creepshow, she was given a modest budget to shoot another 45 minutes. The catch? She had to audition a new cast and crew. In other words, she would have to devise a new storyline to utilize the fresh faces, and it would have to mesh with the old storyline. The end result is Spookies, which is basically two different films stitched together.
Honestly, I thought the editing was clever, and while it was obvious that I was watching a patchwork, the shady roots of this haunted hayride didn't hinder my viewing experience. That's not why I love Spookies, though. Hmm, how can I explain this? Spookies is what I see when I close my eyes and envision the ultimate b-movie. If I were to make a braindead schlocktail, this is what it would look like. If you've read a decent amount of my reviews, you know that I "heart" monsters, right? Okay, Spookies is full (and I mean FULL) of monsters. Most of the miscreants on display don't fit into a category (e.g. vampires, werewolves, etc.). That's an added bonus, in my book.
The fun doesn't stop there. We get fog, a full moon, a graveyard and an eerie score to top things off. I know I said that this was the perfect b-movie, but when you're dealing with b-movies, perfection is flawed. The ending drags a bit. I'm not sure how an undead princess can elude hordes of zombies. But that's a trivial grievance. Spookies is about as perfect as a b-movie from the 80's can be. If you want to own a copy, you'll have to settle for VHS (unless you have a region-free DVD player). I don't get it. It's 2011. Where the fuck is my Spookies DVD???
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 10:31 PM