Panels From Beyond the Grave #24

HOUSE II: THE SECOND STORY (One-Shot, October 1987)

In my review of House II (the film), I referred to the lazy sequel as a poor man's The Frighteners. The storyline tripped over itself at every turn, and I couldn't have cared less about some emaciated wraith's pursuit of a crystal skull. Not to mention the fact that the script was snowed under by husks of blather posing as subplots. It was just too much bullshit for one movie. Likewise, it's too much bullshit for one comic book. Even at 44 voluble pages, House II (the comic...try to keep up) feels rushed. It's a hasty, subitaneous reduction of an in-name-only follow-up that probably should have been 86'd during the screenwriting process. It's a fucking speedball.

Speaking of drugs, I was convinced that I had ingested murderous amounts of pharmaceuticals when I saw that this comic was penned by Ralph Macchio. Calm down; as it turns out, we have a different Ralph Macchio on our hands. This Ralph Macchio has worked on major Marvel titles such as Daredevil and Spider-Man. And you can tell. The dialogue is supercilious to the point that the characters narrate every single thing that happens. "I'm being shot at!" "We're being chased!" "Look, a dinosaur!" At times, it's not clear who is saying what. The artwork isn't terrible, but it's extremely 80's. The colors are sallow. I would attribute the dreary ink to the age of the comic itself, but it's in stellar shape. I should sell it, seeing as how I don't like it. Fat chance!

House II (again, the comic) deserves cool points for merely existing. Hey, I'll admit that this is a sweet collector's item, but Christ, the fucking plot holes. All of the nonsensical drivel from the film was left intact. Supposedly, the crystal skull grants immortality to its owner, and yet, Gramps (y'know, the owner) perishes due to...something. Why bother coming back from the dead if it's a round trip? What does this skull do exactly? Ugh. Guys, I can usually squeeze four paragraphs out of a review subject, but honestly, I have nothing else to say about House II: The Second Story. I'm affixing a half-Dragon for the New World Video ad tacked onto the "feature presentation." Four videocassettes for $19.95 a pop? Sold!

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