I promised myself that I would get back to reviewing movies on In Poor Taste, and here I am. I wanted to return to doing smaller, concise, and let’s be honest, reviews you don’t want to take home to show your parents, as that is what In Poor Taste is all about. So we end this hiatus with a quick review of Don’t Go In the House, released on Blu-ray by Severin Films.
There are a bunch of older grindhouse films out there with the word “Don’t” slapped on them (in fact, there are so many films that Severin Films included an extra on the release of just old grindhouse trailers of movies with the word “Don’t” in the title). Most of them try to survive by sucking the teat of cool film names, but some rise to the surface and end up being worth a watch. Luckily Don’t Go in the House is one of those films that falls into the latter category.
The story follows Donny (Dan Grimaldi, who looks like Dustin Hoffman and Jimmy Fallon had a baby together), who as a child was both physically and emotionally abused by his mother. Due to his terrible upbringing, he has a fascination with fire and an unhealthy obsession with cleansing women he deems “evil”. The only thing holding in his killer tendencies is his mother, who he takes care of, but one day she ends up kicking the bucket, and Donny sees this as freedom at last! Listen to loud music? Check! Eat what he wants? Check! Bring home beautiful ladies, tie them up and light them on fire with a flamethrower? CHECK!! Unfortunately for Donny, he is terrible at being a serial killer, going so far as lashing out at a woman who just wanted to dance at the disco (in between snorts of cocaine, of course). Even with this tomfoolery, will Donny cleanse the world of evil, or will he perish by his own doing? (Hint: William Lustig’s Maniac owes a lot to this movie).
Don’t Go in the House has all the right things to make a good horror film. Brutal kills (albeit with dated flame effects that will make you laugh), ghastly ghouls, the disco, naked ladies, and a side character who is cheating on his wife (and at the end of the movie, will have quite the crazy explanation to give to her). We have ladies doing dumb stuff, a clothes shopping scene where we get to learn what people wear to the disco, and finally, the movie is around 92 minutes long (the theatrical cut, not the integral cut, which I will discuss shortly). You can’t go wrong with this flick!
Severin Films has released Don’t Go in the House on a two-disc set with all sorts of stuff to tickle your pickle. This release was a joint effort with Arrow Video, who are releasing the Blu-ray in the UK market. I can’t tell you whether the transfer will be the same, but I can tell you that the Severin Films release looks quite nice. There is a bit of softness to the overall picture and instances of lines appearing on the screen. My cohort Ryne at Cultsploitation mentions some wobble during one scene, but that man has some sort of weird fetish about wobble. I didn’t notice any wobble, but I be wobble blind.
You have a choice of three different cuts, one being theatrical, the other being the TV cut titled The Burning (any instances of nasty dialogue has been dubbed over to hilarious effect). Finally, the third cut is the “Integral” cut which combines both the theatrical and the TV cut into a mega cut! The nice thing about this version is the “dirty” dialogue has been reinstated back into the film, which means all you people that get a kick out of homophobic slurs will be delighted. The theatrical cut offers 1.0 DTS-HD MA, and the Integral cut is served up with 2.0 DTS-HD MA.
There are of course a load of special features, but I won’t waste your time going through them all. I can tell you I popped in Disc 2 so I could watch the feature Open Matte Flamethrower Scene, mainly for the nudity. What? I’m a pervert.
NEW 2K scan from the original negative
Theatrical Cut & Integral Cut
THE BURNING — Alternate TV Cut
NEW Audio Commentary With Director Joe Ellison And Producer Ellen Hammill (theatrical cut)
Archival Commentary With Actor Dan Grimaldi (theatrical cut)
NEW ‘House’ Keeping — Interviews With Co-Producer Matthew Mallinson and Co-Writer Joseph R. Masefield (HD; 20:55)
NEW We Went In The House! — The Locations Of DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE (HD; 19:23)
Playing With Fire — Archival Interview With Actor Dan Grimaldi (unrestored HD; 9:44)
DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE Trailer Gallery
UK theatrical (HD; 1:34)
UK teaser (unrestored HD; 0:41)
German theatrical (unrestored HD; 1:53)
US theatrical (HD; 1:56)
US TV spots (unrestored HD; 1:46)
Image Gallery (chapter breaks; 1:09)
NEW Audio Commentary With Stephen Thrower, Author Of Nightmare USA (integral cut)
NEW Minds On Fire — Video Essay By The Reprobate David Flint (HD; 14:56)
NEW Burn Baby Burn — Interview With Director Joseph Ellison (HD; 28:29)
Grindhouse All-Stars — Interviews With Filmmakers Matt Cimber, Joseph Ellison, Roy Frumkes And Jeff Lieberman (HD; 34:24)
Open Matte Flamethrower Scene (HD; 3:50)
DON’T Trailer Reel (various qualities of unrestored HD; 13:21)
Severin Films has done a splendid job with this release, providing all sorts of extra features and three different cuts. Fans of the film will be pleased to pick up Don’t Go in the House on Blu-ray.