03 June 2008

Boarding House

Boarding House
United States - 1982
Dir. – Johnn Wintergate
Paragon Video Productions, 1986, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 35 min.

Could be a sci-fi adventure, nice crude digital credits and wobbly synth music. Grating beepy CPU readout drones out police case history about murder scene and subsequent haunted house.

Man drowns and his wife shoves her hand into the disposal resulting in an initially blood-spattering but eventually off screen death? More computer readout crap. At a hospital, a nurse is induced by a sniffling off-screen presence to hang herself, and her friend tears his own entrails out at the sight of her corpse. Ok, now for the logical part.

Years later, a sleazy new-wave rocker dude named Jim inherits the property and decides that it would be sweet to rent the rooms to hot chicks, so he can check ‘em out all the time, and hopefully have sex with ‘em, right? Yeah!
A bunch of girls move in!

The next day one of them is stabbed through the hand with an ice pick by an off screen assailant, presumably the gardener. (never proven) The victim later hallucinates herself being murdered in the shower, then comes to, as a blonde, and does some work in the garden! Jim practices his telekinetic powers in his tightie-whities, and later, poolside, the girls giggle and massage him into planning a party. Yay!
Jim allows a detective posing as a random passerby to use the phone, but after hooking up with one of the girls he is shabbily added to growing dead meat pile.
What is happening!? Jim telekenetifies a soapy bathtub maneuver to impress one of the girls, Victoria, then subjects us to another bulge display. Some of the girls, in aninexplicable attempt to add some (derivative) psychological fear, are menaced by a killer wearing a bloody pig head. Some of the girls begin having horrible bloody nightmares, and as if that wasn’t bad enough Jim starts forcing himself on them physically. On the beach he tries to rape one of them, but he is knocked unconscious with a rock, and she bleeds profusely over her entire body, ostensibly crushed to death by the power of the killers mind.
Victorias skeezy tight-shirt bell-bottomed band shows up for the pool party, and then there is a nonsensical universally degrading pie fight. Band plays some banal, bore-n’-roll while the rest of the characters get drunk and die in blurry close-ups in various states of telekinetically induced psychosis stupidity. The killer is revealed in a cloud of canned smoke to a great deal of confused silence.

Possibly one of the most shoddily cobbled together good idea films I’ve ever seen. What could have been a cast of unsympathetic jerks, pretty girls and copious bloodshed all dancing to a bizarre low budget cacophony ended up a perplexing, if fun mess. I get the impression that the bits of gristly homemade genius that pepper this otherwise pretty, but bland exploitation casserole were the only remaining vestiges of the director/writer/makeup man/stars simpleminded vision, hacked and edited to death by boneheaded philistines.