Scream Factory brings fans of the obscure another lost nugget with its Blu-ray release of 1989’s “The Horror Show.” Although it was marketed outside of the U.S. as a sequel to the “House” movies, it has nothing to do with either of the previous entries in the series. The only thing in common with those two is the movie’s production crew and the fact that it’s about a house in which supernatural happenings occur. There are a few unintentionally hilarious parts to be found in the film, but overall it’s a mess that really comes unraveled in the end.
After seemingly dying in the electric chair, mass murderer Max Jenke (Brion James) returns from the dead seeking revenge on the detective who captured him, Lucas McCarthy (Lance Henriksen). The killer is now in spirit form and able to manifest himself anywhere he pleases. He begins terrorizing McCarthy’s family with every intention of killing them one by one. The desperate McCarthy must find a way to put a stop to Jenke’s bloody trail of retribution.
“The Horror Show” is presented in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1). It goes without saying that the picture quality is better than any VHS or DVD copy floating around out there. It’s clean but doesn’t lose any of the film’s gritty 1980s flavor.
The movie’s DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo provides home viewers with an enjoyable experience. Henry Manfredini’s musical score adequately accentuates all the thrills and chills filmmakers attempt to throw at them. Unfortunately, good sound can’t save an already disastrously confusing film. It can only help to make the pain of watching less excruciating.
“The Horror Show” is rated R for violence, gore, adult situations, nudity, and language. It’s pretty much par for the course when it comes to horror movies of the 1980s and 1990s. I’m positive it was mandatory to have at least one nude scene in all of these types of films during that era.
Scream Factory offers up some fun bonus material for “The Horror Show,” which we’ve come to expect. Producer Sean S. Cunningham provides audio commentary for the feature. There are new interviews with actress Rita Taggart and stunt coordinator Kane Hodder. A theatrical trailer is included as well.
There are those who say it’s all about the journey and not where you’re going. If that’s a mantra you live by, “The Horror Show” may be worth a watch for you. I would like to mention that throughout the film, Lance Henriksen and Brion James do pour their hearts into their respective roles. All I can say is it’s nowhere near as entertaining as I remember it being when I first saw it on cable back in the day. I’m rather lenient when it comes to my horror and slasher films, but this was a bigger mess than I’m able to make excuses for and just accept.
“The Horror Show” is available now on Blu-ray.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
“Scream Factory Presents TV Terrors” Takes Us Back to 1978
“All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” Finally Gets Blu-ray/DVD Release
Scream Factory Takes Home Viewers to “Saturn 3”