Ghosthouse Aka: La Casa 3 
Ddirected by Umberto Lenzi as Humphrey Humbert
Sstarring: Lara Wendel, Greg Scott, Mary Sellers, Ron Houck, Martin Jay, Kate Silver, Donald O'brien, Kristen Fougerousse 
Italy, 1987

"Death holds the mortgage, and if you move in...they'll be hell to pay!"

Never acquiring a taste for much of Umberto Lenzi's movies (except maybe Make Them Die Slowly) I never saw the true appeal of his work as compared to his Italian counterparts (and yes I know Lenzi's film Man From Deep River was the first true Cannibal film and Deodato only made a sequel but it was a much BETTER sequel!). I haven't had the pleasure of seeing any of his highly reputable Mafia flicks but this far Lenzi does nothing for me. Ghosthouse is as bad and as boring as Italian cinema gets, it gets off to a good start but falls through the crack as it plays through. Lenzi under the clever American pseudo Humphrey Humbert directed this brown paper bagged grease soaking through cheese! If it made the least ounce of sense I'd be grateful but its just got bad written all over it. As far as haunted house movies go this one takes the prize for one of the worst.

The plot deals with a mortician known for taking possessions from the dead. He makes the mistake of taking a clown doll from a young girl before she is buried and the spirit of the girl returns to his house to wreak havoc with her doll. Then we are introduced to a radio transmitter/computer operator who gets a strange message over the wire one day and decides to follow where the signal is coming from. The guy and his girlfriend follow the signal and it leads to the house where another group of young people are residing in the house for one foolish reason or another. As to be expected the house comes alive and kills and the nit wits don't leave right away but stay to "investigate". The pay off is most of the cast dying and one guy gets it in a particularly funny way, death by milk! The house has moving mirrors, exploding objects and even ghosts in the washing machine. The show stopper of the whole movie is the frequently looped nursery rhyme which sounds like a twisted hybrid or follow up to Goblin's score in Suspiria performed by children, some find it effective, I find it annoying. If you want a haunted house flick with gusto try The Changeling or even Amityville 2: The Possession which is better than the original. The Ghosts haunt poorly in Ghosthouse, seek scares elsewhere, if you want cheese have a stay at Ghousthouse. The best thing about the movie is the tagline..

-Richard Taylor



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