Amityville 3-D (1983)
(AKA: Amityville III: The Demon)
(AKA: Amityville: The Demon)
(AKA: Amityville III)
(Release Date: November 18, 1983)

I wish to give this a dog... but it's just not QUITE sucky enough!

A Third Dimension for Cheesy Sequels!

J.C. Maçek III... Window to the Critics!
J.C. Maçek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

The main character kneels above a well built into the basement of a house. Slowly a shadow begins to rise to the surface. It's a young woman who has drowned! Her hair hangs down in black, feature-obscuring mats. As she breaks the surface of the well she grabs this main character, determined to drag him down into the well with her. At this point the main character realizes, with horror, that this is a deformed dead thing has risen from the dead well to claim his soul!

This film is NOT a Sequel to The Amityville Horror or Amityville II: The Possession

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So the Posters and DVD Releases proclaim... So what's the real deal with this?

Grab THIS!

Lightening Strikes ONCE!

The bottom line, here, is that no one has successfully copyrighted the design (or variations thereon) of this house, nor can anyone actually prevent one from using the name "Amityville" (a real Long Island village) in the name of a film. Therefore, basically, you or I could film a new flick right this minute and call it Amityville the Final Bitch-Slap, Amityville: The Check is in the Mail, or even Amityville: The Phantom Menace. We could even liberally drop the name "DeFeo" (the murders are a matter of public record) and shove the whole thing into a house vaguely reminiscent of 112 Ocean Avenue and just wait for the direct to video dollars to flow in like Ectoplasm. Put Misty Mundae in the lead role and you've got a sexy Stand and Deliver!

To be quite literal Amityville 3-D is not an actual sequel to the first two films (and, in all honesty, Amityville II: The Possession is not a sequel to The Amityville Horror). The first two films purported to be based on true events (those of the Lutz family and the Defeo family respectively)... whether you believe these stories, or to what degree you believe them is up to you! However Amityville 3-D is a complete fiction (no, the house did not blow up... it's still there), and made no claim to a basis on true events.

The Real George Lutz says that he has the Legal Rights to all Sequels to The Amityville Horror. Because of this he was able to sue Orion Pictures to prevent them from using the title The Amityville Horror II for the first sequel. The word "Horror" has been dropped from all the subsequent sequels as well (because "Amityville" can't be copyrighted, but "Amityville Horror" can).

However, let's take a closer look at this here horror flick. The Amityville Horror was released independently, and was produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff. Both Amityville II: The Possession and Amityville 3-D were released by Orion Pictures and both were produced (or, at least, Presented) by Dino De Laurentiis. Both feature the same Demon and both work damned hard to avoid the name "Lutz".

In fact, the only thing separating this film from Amityville II: The Possession is the fact that Meg Ryan repeatedly refers to the name "DeFeo", whereas in Amityville II: The Possession the story strayed so far from the Truth that they changed that family name to "Montelli".

So, is it a sequel? To Amityville II: The Possession, I'd say, sure as shootin'? To The Amityville Horror? Not legally, nope, nope, nope!

Just one more dump of research for you loyal readers (and those not-so-loyal)! Now, who's with me on creating our own Amityville Knock Off? All I need is an Architect, Misty Mundae and forty million dollars! Who's with me? Ah? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah?

-Accurate, but Dreaming Kneumsi!

And don't miss...
The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson (1977)
Amityville II: The Possession (1982)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Amityville IV: The Evil Escapes (1989)
The Amityville Curse (1990)
The Amityville Horror (2005)
Actually... miss them... it's cool!

Another rip-off of Ringu? Sure seems like that, doesn't it? However, I'm talking about Amityville 3-D, an admittedly derivative slice of filler material that was released in 1983... years upon years before Koji Suzuki would write the novel that would become The Ring. Could he have been influenced by this film? Methinks he's made of sterner stuff. However the similarity (though brief) is undeniable.

As for the rest of the film? Quite frankly, I could deny it... three times before the cock crows in fact. Like the previous film in the "Series" (see sidebar), this film could suck the chrome off of a bumper, however, it's just not bad enough to call a complete Dog. There's just something fun about this haunted house with the ever-changing monsters waiting to bitch-slap every resident in short succession that it can get its three fingered paw on. There's also something damned, damned funny about watching purportedly intelligent people staying in an obviously haunted house, and suddenly being shocked that it didn't work out. Ah, hell!

Tony Roberts (always watchable even with his Mike Brady white-dude afro) is John Baxter, a skeptical journalist who buys the Amityville House after debunking (some of) the strange phenomenon as a hoax. Johnny-boy maintains his smirking, self assured denial as one by one everyone who comes in contact with the house buys the proverbial farm! You have to admire the guy's stoicism and his level of utilitarian acceptance that Diogenes would be proud of.

However, as if Baxter isn't deluded enough yet, his daughter Susan (Lori Loughlin) and her bestest girl friend Lisa (Meg Ryan, yes, Meg Ryan!) perform a Ouija Board Séance, which causes the ectoplasm to hit the fan! What follows is ground-breaking, Earth-Shaking, Demon-Waking, and Plot-Snaking!

Yes, Yes... Not only is the plot of this movie more than a lot borrowed from the previous Amityville flicks, but it owes quite a debt to the previous year's Haunted House flick Poltergeist (which, many claim, was based on the original The Amityville Horror, so the spiral of borrowers goes on and on). Yes, it's safe to say that Amityville III: The Demon (as it's sometimes called) is as derivative as FearDotCom is of Ringu. On the other hand, there is that girl-in-the-well scene that could give any Ring-a-ding-ding-fan pause.

One of the most interesting little tidbits about this flick is the fact that it was originally released in 3-D (and released on Video as Amityville III: The Demon). The current DVD Release (as Amityville 3-D) Proudly states "Amityville 3-D is not presented in 3-D Format - No 3-D Glasses Needed". Still, 3-D was written all over this thing, dating it along with Friday the Thirteenth 3-D, Freddy's Dead the Final Nightmare, Jaws 3-D and 3-D Ladies' Locker Room Caught on Tape. The "3-D" (often animated) special effects are almost funny as demonic insects fly out in a bad layering, or a Boom-Mic operator or Flash-Light holder bounds out at you like a Paparazzi demand for an Interview. Still one can't help but think, with the choices they've made, that this film must have been much, much cooler in a 3-D format. As it stands, it's an exploitative re-tread, as original as "Vanilla Pepsi", and one I feel equally guilty for... kind of liking!

Too much cheese is bad for you! So, heed my warning, Amityville 3-D gets a mere Two Stars out of five! For fans of Haunted House movies Only, and even then, it's no more than a fun little guilty pleasure. Remind me never to watch another Horror Movie with my wife in the house. Here I am watching this haunted little flick about a Poltergeist-Infested house opening and closing doors and windows when my wife bursts in like a whirlwind and says "What are you watching?"; then a few minutes later with "Is it good?"; then again with "What time is this over?"; and finally with "Hey, how do you like my new Halloween Mask and Machete?" Look at the circles under my eyes! I haven't slept in Weeks!

I can hardly wait... Baby!
I can hardly wait till you click here... for more re-view-hoos!

Amityville 3-D (1983) reviewed by J.C. Maçek III who is solely responsible for his views and for his desire to live in a haunted house...
too bad it got destroyed!
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