BLOODBATH AT THE HOUSE OF DEATH (1984)
Article 4996 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Ray Cameron
Featuring Kenny Everett, Vincent Price, Pamela Stephenson
What it is: Horror parody
Eight scientists of the paranormal visit a house where 18 people were killed in one night years ago.
All I really knew about this movie going in was that it was one of the latter movie appearances of Vincent Price in a horror movie. Those drawn to it by that fact may well be disappointed; despite high billing, he has what amounts to a featured role, and he doesn’t quite attack the scenes with his usual aplomb. In fact, his voice doesn’t even quite sound like his own; if I had closed my eyes during his scenes, I’m not sure I would have known it was him. The movie itself was a vehicle for a surreal British TV comedian named Kenny Everett. Apparently, his TV work was hit and miss, and this movie is the same; occasional moments work, but most of it misses the mark. Several horror and genre movies are directly parodied; I see references to CARRIE, THE ENTITY, E.T., ALIEN, TEN LITTLE INDIANS, and possibly even one to THE TINGLER. My favorite moment in the movie is a musical one, in which an attempt to reconcile the count of the people killed in the previous encounter turns into a parody version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. I will give the movie credit for doing one thing right; unlike some horror movie parodies, this one does at least have some success in getting the mood right.