Sunday, January 21, 2018

Don't Go in the House, Flamethrower Carnage

Alas, poor Kathy (Johanna Brushay). No doubt, Kathy's demise help fuel the anti-slasher film propaganda which accompanied these films in the 80s. A strong independent woman, cut down by a deranged maniac for the pleasure of an audience of impressionable young boys. This death was heartbreaking. A beautiful florist is abducted by a maniac, stripped and strung up in a specially built fire room. As she begs for her life and some mercy, our maniac broods over her for several seconds and then activates his flamethrower. As Kathy is engulfed in flames, we hear her screams for several more seconds. Hence 1979's "Don't Go in the House" (aka "Pyromaniac").
Kathy, well done
Donny (Dan Grimaldi) is a poor man's Norman Bates. With severe mother issues, he takes his mom's corpse and props it up in a chair where she continues to torment him. As a child, Donny was tortured by his mom with fire, and he has the scars to prove it. Now voices in Donny's head guide him to take out his vengeance on every attractive gal in New Jersey...with his flamethrower. Now Donny cruises the Garden State and abducts babes (a rarity in New Jersey...okay, stop it! I'm kidding!). But after Donny gets through with them, well, they're not pretty anymore. Their burnt corpses now make up a twisted menagerie in Donny's home.
As his mom still appears as a walking corpse, Donny continues to abuse his collection of babes even after their deaths.  As the voices in Donny's head increase in intensity, he gets bolder in his quest to collect NJ vixens.  This results in a priceless scene in a disco where he lights a gal named Farrah's (Nikki Kollins) head on fire...sort of an anti- Alberto VO5 commercial. With Donny's psychosis getting more and more deadly, a final fiery scene which includes more of the most beautiful New Jersey has to offer, probably tourists...(okay, I'm kidding again), a flamethrower, a priest on fire for the Lord, and charred ghosts will unfold before your eyes.
Awkward and uncomfortable, "Don't Go In the House" is not a date movie, unless you are dating a gal from Jersey...kidding!  Everything about Donny will make you cringe almost as much as a drive on the New Jersey Turnpike.  For a disturbing and heartbreaking horror film, enjoy "Don't Go in the House," directed by Joseph Ellison. 


  1. This was a first. I have never heard a horror film called heartbreaking before. I believe I saw this one years ago. Good rwview, Christopher.

  2. Hey, man. I love my Jersey girls. Ha ha

  3. Wow I need to see this! Is it a video nasty?

  4. I saw this many years ago (as a child!) It was one of those movies that you were dared to watch in the school yard or you were chicken. I suspect most did not as they couldn't possibly have had access, but my parents owned a video store so I did. And I regretted watching it, it gave me nightmares �� I think I'll look this one up again, see what I get out of it now I'm (allegedly) grown up. Great review, thanks for reminding me of this gem!

  5. This is one seedy, nasty downbeat little flick & it's definitely one of the better Video Nasties & its opening murder is rather jaw dropping actually. Very nice review Christopher, don't watch this one very often but it's an effective and grimy little horror.