Christopher K. Richardson | Dayton, Ohio | 09/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I vaguely remember hearing about this film during it's theatrical run in the 80's when I was kid. I remember how critics trashed the film as being a particularly nasty example of the increasingly misogynistic direction horror films were going during that time period. There is no doubt that I did raise my eyebrows while watching this for the first time recently. The scenes of women getting stripped and torched up into flames, the whole abusive mother theme AND the scene in the disco where the protagonist's would be dance partner gets it upside the head with glass candle holder can't be argued as anything but misogynistic. However, I also picked up on the underlying homoeroticism (for this I bump my rating up a star) that runs throughout the film involving the protagonist and his co-worker. I mean, what else could one think about the co-workers odd phone calls in the middle of night and his persistance in "hanging out". Loved the disco music and the vintage feel this film had to it. I think this film is regarding as somewhat of a cult classic in some circles and I would agree. I enjoyed the film enough to buy a cheap, used copy to add to my collection. It's worth checking out at least."
Scott Hocking | Melbourne, Australia | 03/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Forgotten bit of early 80s horror nastiness overcomes its more graphic and mysogynistic elements thanks to a loopy performance by Dan Grimaldi (The Sopranos) and a wonderfully cheesy disco soundtrack. Watch as Grimaldi celebrates his evil mother's passing by playing his disco records REALLY loud. Truly a product of its time, Don't Go In the House ranks alongside William Lustig's Maniac in the sleazy slasher department. A guilty pleasure to be sure."
Better then most of the late-70's schlock
natemang | Richmond, VA | 09/19/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"already a good case against this flick as it falls within the rash of knock-off "don't answer/look/open" movies which hit the scene in the late '70's - but this movie actually holds its own with some considerable sickness and a generally depraved attitude. The lead character doesn't smile once through the whole flick and hardly winces as he torches poor girls in his custom-made incinerator. Not much gore unfortunately other than some burnt bodies but this film is so humorless it makes up for the lack of grue in its mean-spiritedness. A kid abused by his mom (over the range-top burners of course) grows up to obsess about her (a la Psycho) and then take his revenge out against the innocent. A couple good jumps here and there - all in all a quality flick. Probably would have given it 4 stars but the DVD has absolutely nothing in the way of extras: full-screen, 2 (!) chapters, and thats it."
Only worth watching for one infamous and impressive scene
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 10/06/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Quentin Tarantino is said to be a fan of this movie, but - apart from one infamous scene - I can't understand why. Don't Go in the House is pretty much your typical, 1970s-era, cheap drive-in horror feature that promises little and doesn't over-deliver on those promises. (Is it just me, or are all 70s horror films plagued with dark, dirty prints? Can't someone do something to clean these things up a little bit?) I did learn one thing from the film, though. Apparently, back in 1979, you could go into a gun/camping shop and buy a flamethrower and flame-resistant suit - with no background check or anything.
This is the story of a lad named Donny (Dan Grimaldi). Like most young men and women, Donny goes a little crazy the first time he gets out from under his mother's thumb: jumping on furniture, turning up the stereo, and bringing girls back to his place for some fun. Unfortunately, Donny is about thirty years old and a total nutjob, leaves his dead mother sitting in the chair she died in upstairs, and he is not the least bit interested in the kind of games men and women normally play. We learn early on that he has a sick fascination with flame because he just stands there and watches as one of his co-workers at the incinerator stupidly catches himself on fire. Thanks to a childhood flashback, we soon learn the source of this fascination - and, frankly, it makes it pretty hard to disagree with the voices in Donny's head that tell him his dead mother was evil. The next thing you know, old Donny manages to entrap a fairly attractive woman into getting into his truck and stopping by to meet his mother. Bad mistake. Remember the flamethrower and heat suit I mentioned earlier? Yep, you guessed it. Let us pause here and linger on this film's singular moment and only real claim to fame. It's a fantastic scene that deserves a place in the cinematic annals of horror and gore; surprisingly graphic, especially for its time, it is Donny's demeanor and the silence of the act that makes it so effective and memorable. If Don't Go in the House is worth watching at all, it is for this one scene.
The rest of the film is pretty predictable and ends just as you knew it would all along. Of course, no one will be allowed to leave the theatre during the thrilling disco suit-buying scene and no one could possibly want to enter the theatre during the equally memorable disco dancing scene. Throw a little unnecessary epilogue on the end in an effort to make a statement (or not), and you're done. It should be obvious that only dedicated horror fans will wring the first drop of enjoyment out of the experience."
One Of Early 80's Most Disturbing Horror Scenes Returns...
Eric Ericson | Venice, Florida USA | 04/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Back when I was a small child in the mid 70's, Horror movies expectedly frightened me. Big time. Even movie trailers on the TV would have me running into another room. But by the time I reached ten or eleven something happened, my Dad got us cable. There I was barraged by uncut Horror classics running 24 hours a day, on several channels, and I couldn't escape. Nor did I want to.
One of the first then-modern day Horror films I saw there was 1980's Don't Go In The House. While films like Halloween and Friday The 13th were already made by the time this movie came out, it was this movie with it's strange feel & it's one shocking scene that stuck in my head for years to come. Now after one completely botched earlier DVD release, Horror King Wannabe's Shriek Show has released the film in a special edition that may have you asking was it worth it in the first place?
Starring Dan Grimaldi, who eventually would go to play key-character Patsy Parisi in The Sopranos throughout it's entire run, this film is about Donald Kohler, a young man tortured throughout his life by his smothering & abusive mother. During a key moment in his youth, his mother punishes him for having "impure thoughts" by holding his arms above a burning flame. Eventually it's this flame that warps his mind and leads him down his insane murderous path. As a man, he has a job as a garbage man incinerator operator (surprised?). One day he sees a co-worker catch on fire and instead of helping him, he just stands there mesmerized by the flames and goes home. But at home he discovers that his mother has died in her sleep, and he's finally free of her...or is he? But in true "Psycho" fashion, he decides to not tell anyone, keep the body (not without a payback first), and live out his dark burning fantasies. After seeing a flamethrower with full uniform in a shop window (not the usual window shopping affair), he brings it home, sets up a steel wall plated room in he and his mother's huge creepy old-style house, and lets the revenge begin.....
DGITH is NOT a superb film. In fact at times it's slow, Grimaldi's acting is as stiff as his victims, and for a Horror film doesn't have many scenes that would qualify it, especially in this day and age. But it's it one redeeming yet deplorable scene involving Donny's first female victim in gruesome detail that in my opinion makes this film memorable. For 1980 I don't think a film ever went this far into what we now would now consider "torture porn", yet miles away in degree of what we'd see a just few years later. Without it, the movie would probably be pretty much a waste of time to all but the most dedicated Horror fanatic.
And I think that's why Shriek Show has given this film the "golden" treatment. Originally released back on DVD in 1999 with a terrible 4:3 picture and no menus to boot, this time it gets a new 1.85:1 presentation that looks miles ahead of it's original, yet not without it's flaws. While the color quality and high bitrate are excellent, the master still has print damage that was not corrected, but considering how it was made to begin with, it should be forgiven. Also are a new commentary by Grimaldi, an 11 minute video interview with him, trailers, and one interesting yet unadvertised feature called "Hidden Behind The Matte". Y'see, even though the cinematographer insisted that this DVD release be shown in it's "original" ratio, certain scenes seem more appropiate in the 4:3 format. So what Shriek has done is give you those two scenes in that format here as well. One being the most famous scene now being shown in it's full in-the-buff glory, the other the disco hall one that just shows now the discoballs on the ceiling. But these are from the 4:3 master and remind you just how bad this film once looked. So for extras, this movie's on fire!
Oh and by the way, this film has one Easter Egg, and I'll be happy to give it to you! Choose "Extras" from the main menu, then go all the way down until you highlight "Main", then press up to highlight a yellow button in the shape of the original movie poster's image in the upper right hand corner (be careful though, once you highlight it you can't get out of it without playing the Egg or pressing "Top Menu" on your remote.). There you will see the film's Ad Sheets, newspaper advertisements. Not the greatest Easter Egg, but yeah, this Disc has them too!
Overall, this film has stuck with me ever since that midnight showing over twenty years ago. It hasn't aged well, in fact it's disco scenes seems more dated than Xanadu! But to a fan of 80's early Horror, it's it's one shocking scene that puts it on the bloody map. As a whole not so much, but still worthy of a watch to see where films like Saw & Hostel may have received it's inspiration."