A very leisurely paced cheese fest with a discofied soundtrack and unintentional laughs aplenty, "House of Death" is a forgotten horror movie worth watching if you have lots of time to kill and a taste for bad movies. It boasts probably the silliest looking head explosion in film history. It may be best remembered as a starring vehicle for Playboy model Susan Kiger, who also appeared in the popular 1979 sex comedy "H.O.T.S." She keeps her clothes on in this movie.
The film opens with a confusing double murder of a pair of nighttime lovers, whose bodies somehow end up bouncing into the town river. Roll credits.
The next half hour of the film slows down the pace considerably, as most of the time is spent watching the obese town sheriff (William T. Hicks) question locals about the missing couple, and we meet the film's other teen victims-to-be during an afternoon at the county fair.
While they yuck it up and smoke pot, the teens concoct an idea for a party by the same river where the couple had been murdered the night before: "We're going down to the river tonight. It'll be a night to go down in history!" We also meet the film's virginal girl next store (Playboy cover girl Kiger) who has been too picky and busy taking care of her grandmother to date any of the local redneck folk. She seems to be falling for a square schoolteacher that's new to town.
We also see a lot of a town retard, who steals baseball bases and laughs at people. Standard slasher red herring material.
It takes a hell of a long time for the killings to start up again, and once they do the film picks up, but not by much. One gal at the fair is killed off in a ludicrous bow and arrow attack that ultimately leads to a strangulation on a deserted merry-go-round.
As the partiers that evening move to a cemetery (after one of their number is killed off during a skinny dip), we get to see some of the fakest head stones ever put to celluloid. Things finally really get moving when the party heads to the "House of Death" of the title and the surviving teens discover who the maniac killer is, whom the viewer should have been able to predict pretty early on.
Slow moving but oddly entertaining, "House of Death" remains a fun time capsule from the slasher era. Unavailable on DVD, with no release in sight, it's a worth looking for at conventions or on Ebay.
It's interesting you say that films are gteting too gory because that was a common complaint back in the 80 s as well. Yes, I saw Fright Night and liked it a lot. I never saw Waxwork. If you're ever strolling for some older flicks that aren't on my top 10 but are considered horror. Check out:1. The Last House on the Left-original2. The People under the Stairs3. My Bloody Valentine-original4. Prom Night- OriginalI'll do more horror pieces in the future because I'm a big nerd for those flicks. I was a longtime subscriber to Fangoria and have John Carpenter's autograph on a Halloween DVD in my china cabinet.