Don't Go in the House is one of those "Don't" movies that lives up to its title. Let's answer the question of "Why Not?" Donald Kohler (Dan Grimaldi) is a nice enough young man who keeps to himself a lot and stays out of the way at work. We soon learn the reason is that he's got Mommy issues worse than Norman Bates and Jason Voorhees put together (or so the exploitation advertisers hope you'll think). One of the first things we learn about his is that he's a total pyro, simply watching when a coworker gets torched in a work accident. Soon after that we find out that he's a man-child who would envy the maturity Michael Jackson might show at a "Jesus Juice" sleepover.
The proverbial shit collides liberally with the proverbial fan when he comes home to find that his mother (Ruth Dardick) has passed away. At first he's devastated, then he decides to live it up and do very extreme things like... oh, you know... turn his music up loud and put his feet on the furniture. But when the disembodied voice of his mother returns to keep his ass in line, he starts reliving years of abuse (including having his hands burned over the stove for masturbating).
Sure as smokin', Donny is going to do something crazy and do it but quick. Though what he actually does is incredibly weird. Horrifying, but... just weird. He builds a fireproof panic room (skipping out on work to do so) and buys a fireproof suit and a flamethrower. Then he uses his miniscule and inept charm to bring women into his house so that he can strip them naked (thank you) and then burn them alive (fuck you).
This is really too bad, because anybody can tell that what Donny really needs is to just get laid.
And, just like any of these usual women-slashing serial killer flicks, the douche bag in question is far, far too far gone to realize his problem is just about solved... or would be if he'd just chill out. You've got a naked woman in your house. You're so sexually frustrated and immature in your virginity that it's driving you to kill. Um... so wouldn't some sex be preferable? I've never killed anybody ever, but I've had plenty of sex and I have to believe that sex beats death every time, man.
With me on that one is Donny's only friend Bobby (Robert Osth) who tries to do the D-man a favor and get him laid. Sadly Donny isn't really into the concept. He prefers his women fuh-laaaaaaaaaaaaaa-ming!
If you can believe it, Donny actually gets crazier as we approach the final act. His ridiculous actions result in an ending that you're never going to believe. Not in a "surprise, twist ending" kind of way, but in more of a "you guys totally ran out of ideas, didn't you" sort of way. Rest assured, every step of the way we're getting more and more charred body parts.
This is where we get into the whole "Video Nasty" Territory. Interestingly, if Donny had ONLY killed these chicks it wouldn't have qualified as a Video Nasty. If he had actually been a man about it and had some great sex with these ladies, it wouldn't have qualified as a Video Nasty. But since he burned them as some kind of sexual substitute (dare I call it a "weenie roast"?), it made the DPP's infamous list of 74 and got ripped from the shelves.
Unlike many on the list, director Joseph Ellison didn't ride his controversy to stardom. Neither did his co-writer Ellen Hammill, whose only credit after this one... is co-writing Joseph Ellison's only credit after this one. I will say this, though... their fellow co-writer, Joseph R.Masefield went on to become the Supervising Sound Editor on The Evil Dead, which was... also... banned as a Video Nasty by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
But unlike The Evil Dead, Don't Go in the House is a DOG! It's not the worst thing on the list and it's got its fun enough moments like many you'll find there, but yeah, it's nasty... it's a DOG! It doesn't help that it's got the approximate originality of a Mad TV spoof of a Saturday Night Live satire of a Scary Movie II lampoon of The Others! Dead Mother in the house still dominating her socially immature, grown, serial killer son. Holy crap. Somebody should make a movie called DON'T... RIP OFF HITCHCOCK! Fuck.
Don't Go in the House... or the woods, or the basement or the attic or the phone or anyhwere else for that matter...
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