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La Casa 3


Italy 1988
produced by
directed by Umberto Lenzi (as Humphrey Humbert)
starring Lara Wendel, Greg Scott, Mary Sellers, Ron Houck, Martin Jay, Kate Silver, Donald O'Brien, Kristen Fougerousse, Willy M.Moon, Susan Muller, Alain Smith, William J.Devany, Ralph Morse, Robert Champagne, Hernest McKimnoro
story by Umberto Lenzi (as Humphrey Humbert), screenplay by Sheila Goldberg, Cinthia McGavin, music by Piero Montanari, Simon Boswell (from the film Deliria), cinematography by Franco Delli Colli

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A sextet of teenagers - Paul (Greg Scott), Martha (Lara Wendel), Mark (Ron Houck), Susan (Mary Sellers), Tina (Kate Silver) and Jim (Martin Jay) - decide to investigate some spooky old house they have received scary radio messages from, seemingly from their own future. And before you know it, the radio messages come to life and Jim ends up dead, his throat cut by the blade of a fan - ouch.

By now all of them know the house is haunted and to top things off, there is also a homicidal maniac, Valkos (Donald O'Brien) prowling the neighbourhood ... but do our kids leave right away ?

No - true, Paul and Martha leave in the morning, but Paul is so hell-bent on investigating the whole thing that he is back by nightfall. And the van of the others simply won't start. And as it goes in these movies, instead of staying together to have a fighting chance against whatever evil their is, the kids wander off on their own constantly or leave each other alone, so before the movie ends, Tina and Mark are killed as well - with Mark's deathscene being especially ridiculous, as he almost drowns in a lake of milk that seems to be positioned right below the house, before Susan, mistaking him for a milkmonster (?) kills him. Martha meanwhile is hunted through a graveyard by our madman (who eventually ends up hanging from a tree, no explanation given) and hides, of all places, in a crypt, where its inhabitant comes to life before her very eyes. And during all this time, Paul tries to figure out what's going on and finds a clue leading to a little girl (Kristen Fougerousse) who died 20 years ago, and her doll, only her doll wasn't hers, but her father (Alain Smith), the funeral home owner, snatched it from a dead girl, so it seems all the evil is emmanating from the dead girl and the doll ... and thank God the little girl's grave is the very crypt Martha was caught (in but saved from by Paul), and now Paul figures all he has to do is to burn the body of the girl and her doll. And really, in a amazingly underwhelming finale, all the evil spirits who have just prepared to kill Susan suddenly disappear.

Only - is the horror really over ?


Ghosthouse is proof for the sad state Italian genre cinema was in the late 1980's. The script is amazingly weak and seems to be little more than a succession of indifferently directed genre mainstays, garnered with a few gore effects one has seen better elsewhere, all the lead actors are uncharismatic, talent-free and perfect cannonfodder for this kind of film, and in the end, one is just diappointed that not more of them have died, the outfits of the characters look by today's standards plain terrible, and any attempt at creating a proper, spooky atmosphere is destroyed by one of these annoying 1980's pop-synthie-scores.

To me it seems unexplicable why this film is re-released on video/DVD every few years - it is really that awful !


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD