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"...TERROR IN THE HAUNTED HOUSE is a great turkey of a horror film that's unintentionally funny. Unfortunately, Rhino has decided to pull a fast one on consumers with their DVD release. Without telling customers, Rhino has altered this film. The "mind-altering psycho-rama" is not the original subliminal footage. Please note at the 66 minute mark, Rhino includes 3 subliminal messages which read "Rent Rhino Videos every day". Also, Gerald Mohr, in the REAL cut of the film, does a prologue and epilogue which explains "psycho-rama". Thanks to Rhino, this has been cut... These changes should have been noted on the packaging!"
A good movie lurks under the schlocky wrapping
Joseph P. Menta, Jr. | Philadelphia, PA USA | 01/25/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, first things first: the "Psycho-Rama" gimmick is ludicrous (if there is indeed a lost prologue explaining the purpose of this silly effect, I would love to see it just to experience someone trying to justify the "innovation" of Psycho-Rama with a straight face); there are several moments of hokey, low-rent acting; and, finally, the title of the movie is quite cheesy. But having said all that, damn if the movie isn't a creepy, fairly involving gothic mystery that keeps you guessing right to the end. If the studio had thrown a bit more money at this thing and gotten rid of the headache-inducing and never-to-be-seen-again "Psycho-Rama" effect, this movie could have stood among any major studio's regular output. Rhino offers its usual bare-bones DVD, but hey, the price is good and the print is sharp. Check this one out-- it may surprise you."
5 stars for fun, super awful, campy flick
Michelle Boyer | Aurora, CO United States | 10/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie had been an annual Halloween movie for my friends and me... I am delighted to find it again. This movie is chock full of over the top, stereotypical acting, cheesy effects (the psychorama has to be seen to be believed), and lines that are much funnier because they are meant to be so serious. If you like campy movies, you will love "Terror in the Haunted House"."
Rhino Video altered this film by adding its own subliminals.
James McDonald | Southern California | 02/14/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
""The First Picture in Psycho-Rama! The Fourth Dimension! Subliminal Communication!" There are 13 original subliminal images in this film. The front of the DVD Disc is a perfect example of what a real sublinimal message looks like except for the image on the disc is permanent. The subliminal messages and images in this film really serve no purpose to the storyline except to try to make you scream. You can see them very quickly...a flash. But since some are hard to really see (of course), I will tell them to you here. (Spoiler) Cartoon-like drawing of a bald-headed old man wearing glasses with a mouse in his mouth. This appears four times. A Ghoulish, devilish, fat face with jagged big teeth, pointy ears, two horns out of his head and a long tongue hanging out of his mouth. This also appears four times. Again the old man face with a mouse in his mouth appears again and below it reads "Get Ready To Scream!" This appears three times. Then the face appears again and reads "Scream!". Then the face appears again and reads "Scream Louder!" The ultimate subliminal message follows when the woman goes to the window. The full screen reads "SCREAM BLOODY MURDER". What is really bothersome about this film is that Rhino Video has altered the film and has added eight subliminal messages of their own. Later in the film, another cartoonish face with a tongue hanging out of its mouth appears. Again the face appears which reads below it "Prepare to die". Again the face appears and reads "Die Die Die!" The face appears again and reads "Die Louder!" A skeleton-like face appears and reads "Die Dead!" A cobra snake appears and reads "Rent Rhino Videos Every Day" This appears twice. Then the cobra snake appears in bright red still reading "Rent Rhino Videos Every Day". A marketing gimmick, no doubt, by Rhino Video to get people to buy more of thier videos (If subliminal communication does work). A subliminal message can really be seen well when you "Pause" and "Step" (Frame by Frame) the DVD picture. That is why a movie with subliminal messages is perfect for DVD. Perhaps subliminal messages does work, because I do remember the images I saw. They were displayed on the American Movie Classics (AMC) website when AMC was showing the film."
Filmed in Psycho-Rama!
Jonathan Schaper | London, Ontario Canada | 04/05/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a mediocre gothic thriller about a woman learning secrets about her boyfriend's past while visiting his boyhood home (the type of thing satirized in Arsenic and Old Lace). It has a certain nostalgic charm that makes it more interesting to watch than most modern low-budget horrors. The only reason this movie still gets attention, however, is because of its "Psycho-Rama" gimmick.For those wondering what Psycho-Rama is, during the so-called "scary" scenes, drawings of Mr. Hyde-like faces or short "scary" messages are flashed on the screen just long enough for the viewer to make them out. This process was satirized on an episode of South Park where they flashed photos of Barbara Striesand during scary scenes. This effect is supposed to subliminally activate the fear centres of the brain, increasing the viewer's reaction to the "scary" scenes. The filmmakers even originally added warnings to their ads for people with heart conditions that the stress caused by this process might give them heart attacks.Not long after this film came out, a controversy arose about the use of subliminals in movie theatres centered around pictures of soda drinks or food flashed on the screen during movies in order to make patrons hungry or thirsty so they will rush to the snack counter for overpriced products. Actually, a person who is not already thirsty cannot be made thirsty as a result of subliminals (the pictures can only make a person more aware of their existing thirst), nor will they make a person willing to pay more for a drink. Nor can a person be made frightened by subliminals unless the images are actually frightening. Thus the panic about the use of subliminals giving people heart attacks or turning them into consumer mind-slaves was unwarranted, but that didn't stop laws banning such practices.Unfortunately, since the process does not work, the film remains unfrightening and even the novelty of the gimmick wears off after you've seen the same drawings and messages flashed a dozen or so times."